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Six more months for the LDF in Mozambique


Mafa Moleko

Finance Minister, Thabo Sofonia said Lesotho has decided to carry on with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique following a pronouncement by the sub-regional block to extend the intervention by six more months in a meeting of the Heads of States in Lilongwe in the Republic of Malawi on January 12, 2022, thus putting to rest the ambiguity of whether Lesotho would continue with the SADC mission in Mozambique.

Sofonia indicated that initially, Lesotho was not sure whether to continue becuasse the government was to bear the financial brunt of maintaining troops on the mission and was running out of funds since the mission was an emergency that had been budgeted for.

The conclusion to proceed with the mission comes after the negotiations were made by SADC heads of states that the allowances should or were supposed to be paid by SADC which puts Lesotho at ease of finances towards the mission.

“We were paying for our forces in Mozambique and with our economy when the extension was declared we thought we cannot go further with the mission, but it seemed like SADC was supposed to be responsible for financial aspect of the assignment,” said Sofonia.

Meanwhile, the extension is expected to be divided into two parts with the first three months being continuation of the ongoing military intervention of combatting terrorism, while the final three is expected to be a multidimensional peace keeping and stability initiative. He mentioned that after three months the forces that are Mozambique for war will be lending back to Lesotho.

However, the minister mentioned that it has not yet been concluded whether Lesotho shall be participating in the second part of the mission which encapsulates more personnel including nurses, correctional services, police and many others.

The minister also stressed the issue of transport that Lesotho faced as a challenge since the government had to deliver food to Mozambique frequently.

Meanwhile, the LDF Spokesperson Captain Sakeng Lekola pointed out that the troops continued to do a sterling job recording a number of remarkable achievements. A number of trends of achievements made by the forces have been recorded in the area that was assigned for the LDF.

For instance, the Nangade residence whose residents had been displaced has since been re-occupied following the deployment of LDF and the Tanzanian forces in the region, where even schools have even been reopened.

He added that even the security officials in Nangade had moved from the region until the LDF retained life back to normal and now all the security agents have been back to the city.

It is in this summit that the SADC troops were commended for a job well done and for the achievements made by the forces. Condolences were also passed to the countries that lost some members in the operation.

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