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SADC to send fact-finding mission to Lesotho after army chief killing

Cape Town – The Southern African Community (SADC) is set to send a ministerial fact-finding mission to Lesotho on Thursday to assess the situation following the killing of the country's army commander Lieutenant General Khoantle Motsomotso, the Department of International Relations and Co-oprtation says in a statement.

Motsomotso was shot dead by rival officers at a military barracks on Tuesday, in an apparent assassination set to revive instability in the mountainous African kingdom.

“True to one of its key objectives which is to consolidate, defend and maintain democracy, peace, security and stability in the region, SADC will on 7th September 2017 dispatch a ministerial fact-finding mission to the kingdom to assess the situation and determine the required intervention mechanism,” read the statement.

President Jacob Zuma, as the new SADC chair, has condemned the “senseless and regrettable” killing of Motsomotso, especially “because his killing happens two years after the killing of former Lesotho Defence Force Commander, Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao in June 2015, thus creating a dangerous pattern in the Kingdom of Lesotho”.

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who fled the country in 2014 after a coup attempt and whose wife was shot dead in June, offered no details about the killings during a news conference other than saying the incident was being investigated. DM

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