The Namibian Defence Force has sent 250 military personnel from its motorised infantry unit to Lesotho to join the Southern African Development Community (SADC) contingency force deployed to help maintain order in the mountainous kingdom.Information and Communication Technology minister Tjekero Tweya told media in Windhoek that the decision to deploy Namibian soldiers was sanctioned by the country’s cabinet.
Namibia’s cabinet also approved the deployment of five officials from the ministries of international relations, defence, and police, as well as the Namibian intelligence service to be part of the SADC Oversight Committee on Lesotho, according to Tweya.
The SADC contingency force which is around 1000 strong force comprises military personnel from the member states, including Angola, South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Namibia’s deputy Prime Minister who doubles as the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, has confirmed the deployment.
She said the mission, reported to cost around $6 million, is fully funded by the regional bloc.
Motšomotšo assassination by his subordinates in his office at the Ratjomose Barracks came barely two years after murder of another LDF commander,Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, in May 2015, and has heightened political tensions in the historically-troubled mountainous kingdom.
Lesotho has been on edge since August 2014, when the military under Motšomotšo’s predecessor, Tlali Kamolli, raided police headquarters in the capital Maseru.
Thomas Thabane, who was prime minister fled the country, after accusing the military for an attempted coup d’état.