STUDY IN CHINA

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Military Coup In Lesotho, Prime Minister In Hiding, Seeks Help From South Africa

Thomas Thabane, Prime Minister of Lesotho, addresses the 68th U.N. General Assembly on September 26, 2013.
By Laura Smith-Spark and Pierre Meilhan, CNN

(CNN) -- An attempted military coup took place in Lesotho Saturday, the country's Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, said in an interview aired by South African broadcaster eNCA.

The Lesotho government is seeking the assistance of the South African government and other neighboring states, Thabane said.


The Prime Minister said that since the Lesotho military was looking for him, he decided "to get out of the way," and fled to an unknown location.

"In my political life, it was not the first time that I saw this kind of activity by the Lesotho army," Thabane said. A lot of effort has been made to reform the military and to "make it a normal army that is subject to the civilian authority," according to Thabane.

He told the broadcaster he would not resign.

Kamalesh Sharma, secretary-general of the Commonwealth of Nations, condemned the reported coup attempt and urged the military in Lesotho to respect civilian authority, constitutional order and the rule of law.

"There is zero tolerance in the Commonwealth of any unconstitutional overthrow of an elected government," he said in a statement. "Democracy and the rule of law are central tenets of our association ... and any action to subvert constitutional civilian rule is unacceptable."

Thabane became Prime Minister in 2012, when he formed the kingdom's first coalition government, according to the CIA World Factbook. Elections are next due in 2017.

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