Where is SADC go­ing with Le­sotho?

Lesotho Times - - Opin­ion & Anal­y­sis -

(3) that all army per­son­nel held at the Maseru Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity Prison on sus­pi­cion of mutiny be granted amnesty and be re­leased forth­with, (4) that all ex­iled op­po­si­tion lead­ers, sol­diers and oth­ers re­turn to Le­sotho through the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of the gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho.

In the eyes of the whole world and Ba­sotho, it is sur­pris­ing that after sev­eral Dou­ble Troika and SADC Sum­mit none of these de­ci­sions have been im­ple­mented.

In ad­di­tion, the fa­cil­i­ta­tor un­like deal­ing with the pre­vi­ous coali­tion gov­ern­ment on SADC de­ci­sions, is seem­ingly un­able to reign in gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment these de­ci­sions.

There­fore, this begs the ques­tion whether in con­trast to what Presi- dent Zuma said at that Jan­uary Sum­mit, SADC has de­cided to for­sake Ba­sotho.

For all I care, I still main­tain Ba­sotho and the en­tire world still has full con­fi­dence in the com­mit­ment, abil­ity and ef­fi­cacy of SADC pro­cesses.

The re­gional body has been known in the past to have en­forced its de­ci­sions on the for­ma­tion of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment in Zim­babwe, the ban­ning of the two war­ring lead­ers in Mada­gas­car from tak­ing part in that coun­try’s elec­tions and in­deed, the en­force­ment of a new elec­toral model, the re-in­state­ment of the de­throned King and the hold- ing of a snap gen­eral elec­tion, all en­forced in Le­sotho.

De­spite all these prece­dents on SADC’S abil­ity to pre­vail over mem­ber coun­tries’ regimes to toe the line, the lat­est gen­eral per­cep­tion among Ba­sotho is of a re­gional body that is dither­ing on the Le­sotho im­passe and fi­nally, likely to for­sake Ba­sotho.

How­ever, I beg to dif­fer for the fol­low­ing rea­sons:

One, SADC has al­ready ex­pended too many re­sources, money, time and hu­man, to sim­ply aban­don Le­sotho.

Two, prece­dent of pre­vi­ous SADC con­duct all point to a SADC en­forced so­lu­tion.

Three, the in­tegrity, cred­i­bil­ity and ef­fi­cacy of SADC both in­ter­na­tion­ally and re­gion­ally, in­clud­ing do­mes­ti­cally, is at stake.

Four, the in­ter­na­tional pres­sure com­ing from the US, EU, AU, UN, Com­mon-wealth and other or­gan­i­sa­tions and govern­ments on SADC is un­bear­able.

Five, South Africa, SADC’S only re­gional power has too much at stake in Le­sotho.

Six, the fact that the Le­sotho im­passe is still on the SADC agenda is a huge pos­i­tive.

Seven, eco­nomic in­ter­ven­tion is still an op­tion.

Eight, diplo­macy is too much of a slow and con­fi­den­tial process for us or­di­nary folks, to fully ap­pre­ci­ate.

Nine, aban­don­ing the Le­sotho im­passe without a so­lu­tion would set a cat­a­strophic prece­dence on the im­age of SADC in­ter­na­tion­ally and re­gion­ally.

Ten, solv­ing Le­sotho’s im­passe would for­tify the ar­gu­ment for a home-grown so­lu­tions for a re­gional prob­lem and en­hance SADC’S in­tegrity and im­age through­out the world.

How­ever, de­spite all these con­clu­sions, the de­lay by SADC has ad­mit­tedly been in­or­di­nate.

In con­clu­sion, there­fore, de­spite the pub­lic per­cep­tion of dither­ing, in­er­tia and ap­par­ent dis­in­ter­est, Ba­sotho should draw in­spi­ra­tion on the ba­sis of the above rea­sons that SADC has not aban­doned Ba­sotho.

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