Kamoli off to Su­dan

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Keiso Mohloboli

LIEU­TENANT Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli has fi­nally found a coun­try will­ing to ac­com­mo­date him for his leave-of-ab­sence af­ter be­ing stuck in tran­sit in South Africa for two months.

Lt Gen Kamoli and Lt Gen Maa­parankoe Ma­hao of the Le­sotho De­fence Force, as well as Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sioner, Khothatso Tšooana, were ex­pected to leave for Uganda, South Su­dan and Al­ge­ria re­spec­tively on 21 Novem­ber 2014 on spe­cial leave in line with the Maseru Secu- rity Ac­cord (MSA).

The MSA was part of South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) ef­forts to nor­malise re­la­tions be­tween the army and po­lice fol­low­ing a pro­tracted turf war which had brought in­sta­bil­ity to the king­dom, and also sought to en­sure Le­sotho holds next month’s snap elec­tions under a peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment.

How­ever, while Lt Gen Ma­hao and Com­mis­sioner Tšooana have since left for their re­spec­tive desti­na­tions and are only ex­pected back home af­ter the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 Na­tional As­sem­bly elec­tions, Lt Gen Kamoli re­mains in tran­sit in Johannesburg af­ter Uganda re­neged on its pledge to ac­com­mo­date him.

But ac­cord­ing to Gov­ern­ment Sec­re­tary Moahloli Mphaka, Su­dan has agreed to host Lt Gen Kamoli, with de­tails of his itin­er­ary set to be re­leased today by SADC Fa­cil­i­ta­tor to Le­sotho, Cyril Ramaphosa, who bro­kered the MSA.

Mr Ramaphosa, who is also South Africa’s deputy pres­i­dent, is ex­pected in Le­sotho today to con­tinue his facilitation in en­sur­ing Le­sotho holds peace­ful elec­tions next month. Ba­sotho hold an early elec­tion fol­low­ing last year’s col­lapse of a tri­par­tite gov­ern­ment led by Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane.

“As you are aware, Lt Gen Kamoli was sup­posed to have left with Lt Gen Ma­hao and Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Tšooana on 21 Novem­ber 2014, in line with the Maseru Se­cu­rity Ac­cord. They were all sup­posed to stay a few days in South Africa on their way to their re­spec­tive desti­na­tions, but Lt Gen Kamoli is still in tran­sit.

“That is why the Prime Min­is­ter (Tha­bane) is­sued a letter on 4 De­cem­ber 2014 ask­ing the African Union (AU) Chair­per­son, Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-zuma, to in­ter­vene in the mat­ter,” Mr Mphaka said.

“My of­fice has since re­ceived a letter from the AU in­di­cat­ing that Lt Gen Kamoli would be go­ing to Su­dan and we ex­pect to get de­tails of this lat­est de­vel­op­ment any­time now.”

Mr Mphaka dis­missed as base­less, al­le­ga­tions that Lt Gen Kamoli was be­ing ac­corded spe­cial treat­ment and that he would spend his leave-of-ab­sence in South Africa.

“Nei­ther the gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho nor SADC have the power to force Uganda to take Lt Gen Kamoli. And there has never been writ­ten ac­cep­tance by Uganda that the coun­try would ac­com­mo­date Lt

Gen Kamoli.

“How­ever, this is­sue has now been re­solved, and what is only left are de­tails on when Lt Gen Kamoli would be leav­ing for Su­dan.”

On the other hand, SADC Head of Mis­sion to Le­sotho, Fan­nie Phakola also con­firmed Lt Gen Kamoli was headed for Su­dan.

“There have been de­lays by Uganda to for­mally ap­prove their ac­cep­tance of Lt Gen Kamoli, but that’s not to say the coun­try doesn’t want him. It’s pure spec­u­la­tion that no coun­try wants to take him, as he will soon be go­ing to Su­dan,” Mr Phakola said.

Mr Phakola also dis­missed claims that Lt Gen Kamoli was be­ing treated as a spe­cial case.

“Our job was to make sure that we take him out of the coun­try for his spe­cial leave and we did just that. We only stepped in to ne­go­ti­ate with the AU be­cause the chair­per­son is a South African and we felt we could com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter since I am also a South African.

“We were just help­ing out, and not that we were re­ally re­spon­si­ble for se­cur­ing a des­ti­na­tion for him.”

Mr Phakola also re­futed al­le­ga­tions that Lt Gen Kamoli was fre­quently vis­it­ing Le­sotho.

“The Maseru Se­cu­rity Ac­cord is very clear that Lt Gen Kamoli, Lt Gen Ma­hao and Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Tšooana can only come back to Le­sotho af­ter next month’s gen­eral elec­tions,” he said.

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