Lesotho is a country located in Southern Africa. With a population of over 2 million people, it is the twenty-fourth most populous country in the region. Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy and its military consists of two branches: the Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS). The LDF are responsible for defending the country’s borders and sovereignty, as well as providing security to its citizens. In terms of defense spending, Lesotho spends approximately $45 million annually on its military making it one of the highest defense spending nations in Southern Africa. The country also participates in several United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions such as those in Darfur and South Sudan. Lesotho is also a member of both African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), and has close ties with other SADC members such as Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Lesotho.
The defense of Lesotho encompasses (2009) 2,000 men enlisted and is organized into seven companies as well as an air force section with light aircraft and four helicopters. The material is of Western origin. Defense costs rose from 4.6% to 5.0% of GDP in 1985-96, having decreased to 2.3% of GDP in 2007. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that LSO stands for Lesotho.
From June, the opposition boycotted Parliament in protest of the government’s lack of interest in investigating the death of Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao. He was shot by soldiers after being removed from the post as commander of the military a month before. Thabane and two other opposition leaders then fled to South Africa. Due. the lack of security in the country and instability they were unable to return. In July, the SADC sent a commission of inquiry to the country to investigate the circumstances surrounding the killing of the general, but in October the commission had to give up its work due to the unwillingness to cooperate with the government and the military.
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Twenty-three soldiers suspected of being loyal to General Mahao were arrested in May 2015, subjected to torture and threatened to stand before a military court. In October the High Court ordered the soldiers released, but only 7 were released. In April 2016, an appeals court handed down an order that, contrary to the district court’s order, said the remaining should remain incarcerated – still without trial and verdict.
Tom Thabane and the other fugitive opposition politicians returned to Lesotho in February 2017 to take part in a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Mosisili. Mosisili then printed new elections, conducted in June. Thabanes ABC went 2 mandates up to 48, while Mosisilis went 17 back to 30. Thabanes ABC then formed a coalition government along with 3 other parties and Thabane himself as prime minister.
British protectorate since 1868 (at the request of the local leaders who intended to escape from the Boers), with the name of Basutoland, it was annexed from 1871 to 1884 to the Cape Colony, to then return as a separate colony under British dependence. In 1965 he obtained self-government; independence, which involved the renaming of Basutoland to Lesotho and a monarchical institutional order with King Moshoeshoe II, was achieved in 1966. A conflict between the king and the prime minister, Lesotho Jonathan, of the Basotho National Party (BNP), was resolved in 1970 with the prevalence of the latter, who suspended the Constitution and forced the king into exile, remaining arbiter of the country, but generating, especially from the end of the seventies, an even armed opposition (Lesotho Liberation Army , LLA).
Although economically dependent on the Republic of South Africa, in the 1970s the government sided against the apartheid policy and supported the African National Congress (ANC); Pretoria responded by closing the border (1986). Jonathan’s isolation facilitated the military coup of J. Lekhanya (1986), who formally re-entrusted the powers to Moshoeshoe, while the expulsion of some ANC refugees and the reopening of the borders marked the improvement of relations with the powerful near. While the terrorist activity of the LLA resumed, in 1990 a conflict between Lekhanya and the sovereign was resolved with the dethronement of the king, replaced by his son Letsie III (1990). After Lekhanya itself was overthrown, power returned to civilians with the multi-party elections of 1993, which brought N. Mokhehle, leader of the Basotho Congress Party (BCP) into government. In 1994 Letsie III dismissed Mokhehle and dissolved Parliament, but soon he was forced to abdicate in favor of his father; he then returned to reign in 1996, following the death of Moshoeshoe II. Divided into numerous factions, the BCP recorded a split that led to the birth, by Prime Minister Mokhehle, of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), victorious in the 1998 elections. B. Pakalitha Mosisili, leader of the party after the withdrawal of Mokhehle from politics, he formed the new government, but tensions in the country were rekindled and order was restored, at the request of the premier, with the intervention of South African troops and the Botswana (under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community, SADC). The 2002 elections, which came after long negotiations with the opposition, saw the confirmation of Mosisili as prime minister. At the end of 2006 a crisis in the ruling party led to early elections: the new victory of the LCD allowed Mosisili to take office for the third term, while the elections of May 2012 led to a coalition government – the first in the history of the country – led by Prime Minister MT Thabane, who was replaced by Mosisili following the early elections in March 2015. The alternation in power continued after the outcome of the consultations of the June 2017, won by Thabane, who however failed to obtain an absolute majority; in May 2020, the politician resigned.