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SA to discuss Africa standby force at AU

Amid major concerns over Lesotho, the activation of the Africa standby force will be discussed at the AU.

Amid major concerns over Lesotho, the activation of the Africa standby force will be discussed at the AU. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

JOHANNESBURG - The International Relations Department says it will lead a discussion in the African Union (AU) about the activation of standby forces in times of instability on the continent.

The Lesotho parliament was suspended by the prime minister with the blessing of the king this week, amid political tensions threatening to collapse a coalition government.

Lesotho's coalition government is on the brink of collapse and its understood emergency talks between the three major parties are currently being mediated by the Christian Council in the capital Maseru.

South Africa has already expressed concern about unusual movements by the Lesotho army in that country's capital and says it is monitoring the situation.

Department spokesperson Clayson Monyela says, "South Africa has been calling on AU members to implement a previous decision on activating the Africa standby force. At the upcoming summit in Malabo next week, we'll discuss the issue of the African capacity to respond immediately to crises on the continent."

SA WARNS LESOTHO

Meanwhile, South Africa has sent another stern warning to Lesotho that it will not tolerate political instability in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) region following the suspension of the country's Parliament.

Monyela, says government is particularly concerned over movements by the Lesotho Defence Force in the capital.

"We won't tolerate any unconstitutional change of government in the region, especially in the Sadc. The Sadc is known as the zone of peace, stability and development and therefore no neighbouring country will be allowed to go the route of instability."

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