Op­po­si­tion, govt talks re­sume in Maseru

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Billy Ntaote

TALKS aimed at fa­cil­i­tat­ing the re­turn of op­po­si­tion lead­ers who fled to South Africa in May last year re­sumed in Maseru this week.

The talks took place on Mon­day at the home of Arch­bishop Tlali Lerotholi of the Ro­man Catholic Church, with the del­e­gates agree­ing to con­tinue the dis­cus­sions on 31 March.

Home Affairs Min­is­ter Ad­vod­vo­cate Lekhetho Rakuoane and his For­eign Affairs and In­ter­na­tion­alonal Re­la­tions coun­ter­part, Tlo­hang hang Sekhamane, rep­re­sented gov­ern­ern­ment in the meet­ing, while thee op­po­si­tion del­e­ga­tion com­prised All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) deputy­puty leader Tlali Khasu, Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) deputy leader ader Joang Mo­lapo and Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho (RCL) deputy puty leader Dr Mot­lo­h­eloa Phooko.

Arch­bishop Lerotholi reprep­re­sented the Chris­tian Coun­cil of Le­sotho (CCL) in the meet­ing,ng, which was a fol­low-up of ini­tiali­tial dis­cus­sions held in Mod­der­poort,ort, South Africa, on 2 March. The he talks, which were ini­ti­ated byy the govern­ment, seek to endd the ex­ile of for­mer prime min­is­ter and ABC leader Thomas Tha­bane, BNP leader Th­e­sele ‘Maserib­ane and RCL leader Keketso Ran­tšo.

The three lead­ers claimed they had been in­formed of a plot to as­sas­si­nate them by someme mem­bers of the Le­sotho De­fenceence Force (LDF) when they sought refuge in the neigh­bour­ing coun­try.ntry. The mil­i­tary has since de­nied this claim.

Chief Mo­lapo con­firmed Mon­day’s meet­ing, but would not give de­tails of the dis­cus­sions.

“We did have a meet­ing with the govern­ment del­e­ga­tion at the Arch­bishop’s res­i­dence. How­ever, I can­not re­veal de­tails of the meet­ing as things are at a very sen­si­tive stage at the mo­ment.

We agreed to meet again on Thurs­day next week, and it is af­ter this meet­ing that the op­po­si­tion will re­veal progress made on the talks,” said the BNP deputy leader.

Arch­bishop Lerotholi, Ad­vo­cate Rakuoane and Mr Sekhamane were not read­ily avail­able for com­ment.

Mean­while, dur­ing the Mod­der­poort meet­ing, the govern­ment is said to have guar­an­teed the lead­ers’

safety should they re­turn to Le­sotho.

How­ever, Dr Tha­bane has in­sisted on the dis­missal of army com­man­der Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kamoli be­fore he re­turns home from his Ficks­burg refuge.

The ABC leader ac­cuses Lt-gen Kamoli of al­legedly be­ing be­hind the plot to as­sas­si­nate him and re­fuses to end his ex­ile un­til the LDF has been dis­missed.

BNP deputy leader Joang Mo­lapo.

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