Military Coup at Lesotho, the Kingdom of Sky
Lesotho, the country whose entire land area is above 1000 meters and is often referred to as the “Kingdom of Sky”, is currently facing a dire political challenge from within. Lesotho is entirely surrounded by South Africa with a population of 2 million. It is also known for its “herd boys”, as very young children, aged 5, are seen raring herds of cattle in remote corners. These children thus, don’t get time for a formal education. Lesotho gained its independence from UK in 1966 when it agreed to continue to be a part of the 53-member Commonwealth.
Thomas Thabane was elected as the Prime Minister in 2012, when he was successful to manoeuvre a coalition government-a first in the history of the nation. The next elections are due in 2017.
Lesotho has asked for help and intervention of South African government. The secretary general of Commonwealth Kamlesh Sharma has expressed concern at the situation and has asked the military leaders to respect the civilian governmental authority and work within the ambit of Constitution and law. He also reiterated the sentiment of Commonwealth nations of zero tolerance towards any act which tries to undermine and overthrow a democratically elected government.
US State Department also expressed its concerns at the escalated situation and has called on all parties to exercise restrain and resort to peaceful resolution of the problem by democratic means.
The Prime Minister has, however ruled out any possibility of his resignation or stepping down. Following the reports of a military hunt for him, he has taken refuge at some undisclosed location.