n Lesotho Law Journal - The place of the army in the constitutional democracy in Lesotho

Volume 22, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0255-6472



The collapse of civilian control of the army in Lesotho as evidenced by the refusal of the army commander to vacate office as directed by the civilian authorities on the 29th August 2014 in Lesotho and the series of military operations not sanctioned, tacitly or expressly, by the civilian authorities is only symptomatic of a deeply embedded problem of poor civil military relations. The problem is historical. This essay therefore takes historical analysis of the key epochs in the evolution of civil military relations in Lesotho. The central thesis of the essay is that Lesotho has lived to see civil military relations where the natural chemistry of the army is political vendetta against opponents. So this history which places the army inextricably at the centre of politics has not reversed since inception of the standing army in 1980s hitherto. The problem has been compounded by weak constitutional democracy which has confronted insurmountable hurdles since resumption in 1993. All the piecemeal reform attempts that have been initiated have hardly eased the problematigue of civil military relations in the country - instead, the situation has deteriorated to a state where the army command can blatantly defy civilian control. The problem is on both sides of the equation - the civilian political leaders as well as the army.

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