Former Lesotho PM returns to hero's welcome
Publish date: 13 February 2017
Issue Number: 714
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Lesotho's former Prime Minister yesterday (Sunday) returned to the mountain kingdom, pledging to win back power two years after fleeing in fear of his life. Thomas Thabane, leader of the All Basotho Convention party, was greeted by thousands of supporters at a rally in the capital Maseru, as political instability threatens to again shake the country. Legalbrief reports that South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was in Maseru for Thabane's return, downplayed tensions, saying the move was facilitated by SADC. A report on the News24 site notes that Thabane called on Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili to open Parliament 'so that we can legally overthrow his government and take over'. Lesotho has been hit by power struggles since a failed coup in June 2014, which led to elections in early 2015 when Thabane narrowly lost power. In 2014, army chief Tlali Kamoli was accused of launching a coup against Thabane when soldiers attacked police headquarters, looted weapons and killed one officer.