Defence Minister Setšabi speaks on LDF deployment to Mozambique

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By Liteboho Thebe

Tomorrow Minister of Defence and National Security Halebonoe Setšabi will announce officially the deployment of members of the Lesotho defence force as a contingent to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) peace-keeping mission in Mozambique (SAMIN).

Setšabi’s ministry said in a statement to the press that he shall reveal nuanced details about the SAMIN on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

The northern natural gas-rich province of Mozambique, Cabo Delgado, has been riddled in incessant conflict and the country has requested foreign intervention as more than 700,000 people were reportedly displaced. SADC made its decision at a summit held in Maputo, Mozambique in June 23, 2021.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, ’Matšepo Ramakoae had announced the possible deployment of members of the Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) to Mozambique’s province of Cabo Delgado threatened by conflicts earlier in April at a meeting of the with European Union Commission delegates.

Ramakoane had disclosed to a Political Dialogue between the European Union Commission (EU) and the government of Lesotho, held on April 20, at Avani Lesotho hotel.

She said there is a coming head of states and government meeting penciled for Maputo and the meeting is meant to evaluate and work out a plan on how the region should help Mozambique.

The EU donated €7.86 million to Mozambique aimed to respond to the after-effects of the terrorist attacks that occurred in the Mozambican northern province of Cabo Delgado.

According to the World Food Program, the violence has resulted in the displacement of over 565, 000 people.

She said the Lesotho contingent of the SADC standby force has always been established to assist where there is a problem but it is not just a question of humanitarian assistance but also a question of what type of equipment will they be using.

She also said that also important are strategies are also aligned with the type of assistance that will be required regarding the terrorist attacks taking place in the northern part of Mozambique.

She also adds that SADC is concerned about the terrorist attacks in Mozambique and how Lesotho will be able to assist in the matter as a member of the SADC.

The minister also emphasized her fears, adding there has never been an act of terrorism in Lesotho and that they fear a similar thing might happen in the country.

“We are talking about AI-Qaeda and some things that we have never had down here so they might be given strategies to assist in such issues.

“The civil society is also concerned that some of the signs they already see in the country are like the ones of terrorism, they see lots of cars coming and see lots of people that they don’t know coming in and out of Lesotho,” said the minister.