MASERU, LESOTHO, Oct 19 (NNN-SA NEWS) -- South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa paid a working visit to Lesotho Wednesday to attend the landmark Post-Elections National Dialogue in the Mountain Kingdom in his capacity as the facilitator appointed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to co-ordinate the restoration of a stable political environment in the kingdom.

The National Dialogue, which will be held under the auspices of the Lesotho Council of NGOs, will be officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Lesotho, Monyane Moleleki. Deputy President Ramaphosa will deliver a message of encouragement to delegates, the Presidency said Wednesday.

The dialogue follows calls by the SADC for a multi-stakeholder dialogue to address, in an inclusive way, security, constitutional, media and public service reforms in the landlocked kingdom.

The SADC Oversight Committee, the SADC Council of NGOs and the United Nations are participating in the two-day event. Those invited to the dialogue include opposition party representatives, parties in government, heads of churches, the College of Chiefs, civil society organizations, academics, media and the Independent Electoral Commission.

The main objective of the dialogue is to provide supportive services to the NGO community in Lesotho through networking, leadership, information dissemination, capacity building, human rights, advocacy and lobbying, and representation when dealing with the international community and government.

During a working visit to the country on Aug 9, Ramaphosa, the coalition government in the kingdom, opposition parties, NGOs, religious leaders and the College of Chiefs respectively expressed their commitment to a multi-stakeholder dialogue directed towards long-term peace and stability. All these constituencies are participating in the dialogue this week.

The dialogue will facilitate discussion on, among other issues, the complexities of the Lesotho electoral process; issues associated with securing national peace, political stability, reconciliation and transitional justice. It will also facilitate discussions on pre-conditions for undertaking successful reforms, and key considerations on the process, structures and leadership that should accompany the reform process in the kingdom.

Last month, the South African Cabinet joined President Jacob Zuma in condemning acts of violence which saw the assassination of Lesotho Defence Force Commander General Khoantle Motsomotso and three other officers.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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