S AFRICA: Bishops Conference Sends Solidarity Message to People of Lesotho

JOHANNESBURG AUGUST 21, 2015(CISA) – The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) has expressed their solidarity with “our brothers and sisters from the Kingdom of Lesotho.”

“We would like to express that Lesotho is not alone, the bishop sand the catholic community are with you in this time of need,” the bishops said in a statement issued by Archbishop Stephen Brislin, President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference.

While calling for open dialogue as a way of solving the problems that are facing Lesotho the bishops noted that the people of Basotho are best positioned to solve their own problems.

“We believe that as long as one of the countries in Southern Africa is unstable, it affects all its neighbours,” the bishops’ conference said.

We therefore need to stand together with all the Basotho people and condemn any form of violence, especially when it is being done by the state,” they added.

Violence broke out in Lesotho in August 2014 the latest victim being the Lesotho Defence Force Commander, LG Maaparankoe Mahao who was killed on June 25 purportedly by some members of the Lesotho Defence Force.

“This action reflects the predicament in which many Basotho people find themselves, that they are not safe in their own country.  It brings fear and threatens the foundations of human rights, especially the right to life and throws out the democratic principles on which many constitutions are founded,” the statement said.

While commending the actions of SADC leaders who acted swiftly and quickly to try and solve the challenges that had befallen the Kingdom of Lesotho, the bishops called upon leaders in Lesotho to come together to seek a lasting solution.

In July there were mass protests in Lesotho against human rights abuses by the government.

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