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Soldiers ready for war


Mafa Moleko

The Lesotho Defence force (LDF) Task Organised Force has announced its readiness to field gun in the on-going raging battle in the People’s Republic of Mozambique.

According to the LDF Communications Officer, Captain Sakeng Lekola, the Lesotho military force is ready to cannon fight in Islamic Terrorist battle alongside the Mozambique military force in a war that has run for over four months.

This comes after the leaders of the Southern African region met Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi in Maputo on May 27, 2021 to try to persuade him to allow a Southern African Development Community (SADC) force to tackle Ansar al-sunna; a terrorism group that has taken on the Northern Province, Cabo Delgado in arms. 

It is reported that the Cabo Delgado insurgency is rooted in local social and economic conditions. Northern Mozambique is home to many Muslim minority, which were long marginalised from national political power. Ethnic and linguistic divides also feed a dynamic of political exclusion.

According to reports, the endemic corruption and series of natural and human-made economic disruption have heightened social tensions. One result has been a generational and ideological struggle within the northern Mozambique Muslim community that evolved into the current extremist rebellion.

Reports further divulge that several hundred thousand people have become food-insecure as the conflict and associated displacement has interrupted agricultural process.              

The LDF appointed troops marched across the town of Maseru from the LDF operational Headquarters Makoanyane to the administration Headquarters in Ratjomose Barracks, demonstrating their Contingent preparedness to Mozambique yesterday.

“The force was marching to Ratjomose as a way to show Basotho that we are ready to join the SADC forces in Mozambique,” He said.

He further said that the force also was marching to the offices of the LDF Commander General Mojalefa Letsoela who gave them orders before they fly to Mozambique.

Lekola said the Task Organised Force is always equipped to be deployed at the time that shall be announced by the Ministry of Defence. He mentioned that time for departure has not yet been announced and that it will be very early to state their return.

“Lesotho is sending the ground groups forces to Mozambique because the battle there is a ground battle so it does not demand any air forces,” he said, adding that the force is a mixture of the ground groups with different skills concerning different necessary departments.

“Some of the soldiers in this force are skilled in communications, and medicals and other necessary skills needed for this battle,” He said, declining to reveal a number of the soldiers deployed.

“It is not yet time to disclose how many soldiers are to depart to Mozambique. The Government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Defence will address the nation concerning logistics, financial budgets et al.

He further stated that, “Angola is assigned to provide a chopper for the LDF but it should be clear that Angola is not lending Lesotho the plane or doing a favour for Lesotho. Angola is assigned for logistics in SADC, so the provision of transport for Lesotho is one of the responsibilities of Angola,” he said.

“The chopper has not yet arrived in Lesotho and the forces will depart after the chopper has arrived according to SADC preparations,” he said, urging Basotho to refrain sharing falls information on social media regarding to the preparations of departure, that affect the lives of people including the families of such soldiers.

“The Task Organised Force will leave the country with all the logistics that will be necessary for the battle going on in Mozambique, for now I cannot say what exactly they are taking with them but Basotho should know that whatever they are taking is adequate for this battle,” he said.

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