Address by SADC Facilitator, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on the closure of the SADC Facilitation Mission, Maseru, Lesotho, 30 March 2015
His Majesty King Letsie III
Right Honourable Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili,
Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Mothejoa Metsing
Your Excellency SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax,
Your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps and heads of international organisations
SADC Head of Mission and members of the Facilitation Mission
Members of the media
Ladies and Gentlemen
We gather here today to bear witness to the development of yet another important chapter in the history of the Kingdom of Lesotho. It is a chapter that adds to the momentum for the creation of peace and stability in the country, the region and continent of Africa
Accordingly, we shall lower the flag of the Southern African Development Community.
By this act we declare to the people of this country and the world to know, that peace and stability has indeed returned to Lesotho.
To this extent we take this opportunity correctly to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the leadership of SADC for its contribution to peace and stability in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Through the SADC Double Troika Organ of Politics, Defence and Security, SADC provided us with a roadmap towards the restoration of political and security stability.
We interacted with all political, religious, traditional, non-governmental sector and other role-players in an effort to restore political stability in the country. We thank leaders of all these sectors for their co-operation and contribution to peace and stability. When history so desired, they put the interest of Lesotho first above sectional political interests.
This reaffirms our conviction that Lesotho has a leadership core with the necessary political will and determination to rise to the occasion when called upon.
This is the mark of the quality of a leadership that is required to lift the country to peace, development, growth and prosperity.
Today Lesotho can pride itself for having contributed to the growing number of countries in the region and continent that have held credible, free and fair elections in pursuit of the political and economic renewal of Africa. We thank members of Lesotho security forces, working in partnership with their SADC counterparts, to provide security for the holding of democratic elections.
We thus convey our gratitude to countries of the region who responded to the clarion call of the SADC leadership to deploy men and women in uniform to help protect the integrity of the electoral process in Lesotho.
Our appreciation extends equally to all observer missions for monitoring the elections. Following the signing of the Maseru Security Accord, it was agreed that Lt. Gen Kamoli, Lt. Gen Mahao and Commissioner Tsoona would go on leave of absence.
I have authorised the return of the three Officials to Lesotho. Lt. Gen Kamoli has already arrived in Lesotho. The other two officers are due to arrive in days.
The Right Honourable Prime Minister
The SADC Double Troika Summit held in Pretoria in February this year called upon stakeholders in the Kingdom of Lesotho to pay attention to security sector and constitutional reforms post the February elections.
The conclusion of the recent credible, free and fair elections have created an excellent opportunity for the people of the Kingdom of Lesotho to begin the process of engaging with a number of reforms to ensure long lasting solution to challenges facing Lesotho.
At its recent meeting, the SADC Troika advised that following the elections Lesotho should commence the process of constitutional and security sector reforms.
As SADC we have committed ourselves to continue to assist the people of the Kingdom of Lesotho in their quest to institute these constitutional and security sector reforms.
As the Chairperson of the SADC Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, South African President Jacob Zuma said during the inauguration of the Right Honourable Prime Minister-
‘we reaffirm SADC’s readiness to assist the people and the government of Lesotho on the required constitutional and security sector reforms.
‘SADC member-states collectively have the expertise and capabilities to share with their brothers and sisters in the Kingdom’
We have collectively made major strides towards the creation of peace, stability and security in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Nonetheless I take this opportunity to extend my gratitude and best regards to all members of the Facilitation Mission to Lesotho for your unflinching support towards the achievement of the goals and objectives set out by the SADC Regional leadership for peace and stability in Lesotho.
The people of Lesotho and indeed SADC shall forever remain indebted to your sacrifices!
We wish you the best as you begin the long journey to the various destinations in our region of SADC-back to the comfort of your beloved countries, homes and indeed your loves ones.
May I take this opportunity once more to extend my sincere gratitude to His Majesty King Letsie III for his wise counsel, wisdom and advise during the process of the restoration of peace and stability in the country.
Finally, we thank the government and people of Lesotho for the excellent arrangements and the warmth with which they received us as the SADC Facilitation Mission to ensure the success of the peace process.
Khotso, Pula, Nala!!!
I thank you
ISSUED IN MASERU, LESOTHO
30 March 2015