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Lesotho: Military action is the only option

Lesotho's army commander Maaparankoe Mahao says military action is now the only option against Tlali Kamoli.

An immigration sign at the Maseru Border gate in Lesotho. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Lesotho's army commander says he's expecting a military confrontation between him and his predecessor, as efforts continue to try to capture the renegade former army chief who is refusing to step down.

Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao says military action is now the only option against Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, who has been accused of masterminding the attempted coup more than a week ago.

Mahao says efforts to negotiate a truce with Kamoli after the coup have failed and they have no option but to use force to make him surrender

Kamoli, who was removed from his post as army chief by Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane over a week ago, has refused to step down.

At the weekend, various reports said Kamoli has taken control of Lesotho's elite Special Forces Unit and the military's intelligence division, apparently in preparation for a possible stand-off.

The embattled former army chief, who has also seized weapons, is accused of destabilising the country to avoid arrest over corruption charges.

Mahao has since appealed to Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries for assistance to arrest Kamoli, who has refused all attempts to negotiate a truce.