US issues Lesotho travel advisory
by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE United States said it had ordered some of its citizens to leave Lesotho amid some political problems in the Southern African country.
It was reported recently the Lesotho military had attempted to stage a coup but such attempts were foiled by South African Defence Forces.
Zimbabwe, which chairs the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with South Africa heading the troika defence, politics and security alongside Namibia quickly intervened to resolve the political problem in Lesotho.
“The US Embassy in Maseru continues to conduct essential services, but has issued an Emergency Message to US citizens advising that the Department of State has ordered the departure of non- employed family members of US Mission personnel due to concerns over a possible deterioration of the security situation in Lesotho,” Jen Psaki, Department Spokesperson, said from Washington.
The Emergency Message advises that the US Embassy in Lesotho will be open September 2-3 for emergency American Citizens Services only, and that citizens should be aware the Embassy might be forced to suspend operations without advance notice if the security situation deteriorated further.
US citizens seeking assistance in departing Lesotho can contact the US Embassy.
The official said US remained deeply concerned by uncertainty over the political process and the state of public security in Lesotho’s capital Maseru.
“We continue to call upon government officials and all parties to reach a resolution through peaceful dialogue.
“We urge government officials, leaders of the Lesotho Defense Forces, and the Lesotho Mounted Police Service to respect democratic processes in line with the Lesotho Constitution and the rule of law.”
US recognizes South Africa’s regional leadership as Chair of the South African Development Community’s (SADC) Organ for Politics, Defense and Security, and other SADC members as they work with Lesotho’s leaders to reach a political solution, the official said.
– CAJ News
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