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Commonwealth Secretary-General's Statement on Lesotho

30 August 2014
Statement by: Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today deplored the reported attempt at a military coup in Lesotho

“There is zero tolerance in the Commonwealth of any unconstitutional overthrow of an elected government. Democracy and the rule of law are central tenets of our association, as set out in the Commonwealth Charter, and any action to subvert constitutional civilian rule is unacceptable,” he said.

The Secretary-General urged the military in Lesotho to respect civilian authority, constitutional order and the rule of law. “It is imperative that the military take urgent and immediate steps to return the country to civilian rule and return to the barracks”.

Mr Sharma recalled the efforts of the Commonwealth, in recent months, to help establish a framework for governance reforms and take forward the country’s development agenda. He said that his Special Envoy to Lesotho, Dr Rajen Prasad, is in touch with the key political leaders and remains closely engaged, with a view to help resolve the political situation.

The Secretary-General said that the Chairman of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) was being kept informed of developments and CMAG would work towards a discussion on the Lesotho situation as soon as possible, taking into account the position and diplomatic efforts of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU).