The Monitor :: No BDF Troops For Lesotho
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Last Updated
Friday 15 December 2017, 17:56 pm.
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No BDF Troops For Lesotho

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) will not be joining the Southern African Development Community (SADC) troops on a peacekeeping mission to Lesotho because Botswana believes the decision was premature and that the country (Lesotho) is recovering.
By Bame Piet Mon 06 Nov 2017, 12:19 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: No BDF Troops For Lesotho








Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said yesterday that the position of the Botswana government is that Lesotho has a government in place, and institutions that have the capacity to resolve the ongoing crisis. Further, she said that no agreement to send troops was reached during the September summit in Pretoria – South Africa.

“We cannot afford to do that at this point in time. We have two people who are in oversight committees and that was our position at the last Heads of State Summit was to increase manpower for oversight committees,” Venson-Moitoi said. She stated that the Summit did not resolve to send troops into Lesotho, saying that the military should come as the last resort.

“Sending peacekeeping troops means there is turmoil, but we believe that Basotho can still resolve their differences without involvement of the military. All they need is time. We presented our position during the Summit and there was no opposition from the floor, nor was there a resolution to send troops. We have said that we cannot send troops.” Angola, Swaziland, Namibia, and South Africa this week sent troops into Lesotho for the peacekeeping mission.

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However, the Minister said it is possible that after assessing the situation, the Double Troika on Security, which Botswana is not part of, agreed that there was need for military intervention.

Lesotho Foreign Affairs Minister, Lesedi Makgothi expressed disappointment that Botswana was not sending troops yet there was a request for such from the nation of Basotho. He said the decision to send troops was informed by the Double Troika Technical Assistance Mission after assessing the situation and coming up with the figure and the expertise of the troops. Initially, the request was for 400 troops, but it could only be ascertained by the findings of the Technical Assistance Mission.

“Botswana had indicated that she will not send troops, but only police and intelligence. I do not know why they decided not to deploy the military, but I will find out why,” Makgothi said in a telephone interview from overseas where he is on official visit.

He said the situation in his country was not very satisfying and that “anything could happen any moment”. He said that his recent meeting with SADC Executive Secretary was private and did not discuss military issues.

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