Lesotho in 2019: looking back to find a way forward

A newspaper seller is pictured on August 31, 2014 in Maseru. Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane claimed on August 30 he fled for his life after soldiers seized power in a coup, despite the military denying it overthrew the tiny mountain kingdom's government. Image: Getty, Mujahid Safodien/AFP

Lesotho’s internal strife has long been a headache for SADC.

The regional organisation’s most recent engagement, the SADC Preventative Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho (SAPMIL), is credited with bringing security and relative calm to the mountain kingdom, but Basotho leaders failed to use this period of peace to steer the country toward long-term stability. The departure of the bulk of the SADC force late in 2018 was therefore a concerning but not catastrophic development. Creative SADC policies that address the economic, political and security causes of conflict in Lesotho can still help place that country more firmly on the path to a durable peace.

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