Lesotho's PM returns to capital after fleeing alleged coup

Leotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has returned to the country after fleeing to South Africa following an alleged military coup.
By JC Finley  |  Sept. 3, 2014 at 4:19 PM
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MASERU, Lesotho, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has returned to the country after fleeing an alleged military coup on Saturday and seeking shelter in neighboring South Africa.

According to an unidentified BBC source, South African police provided protection to Thabane and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing as they entered the capital city of Maseru and are guarding the state house, Thabane's official residence, and Metsing's home.

Over the weekend, Thabane accused the military of launching a coup, citing military elements surrounding his official home and the military's seizure of government buildings in the capital of Maseru, and fled to South Africa.

While in South Africa, Thabane met with President Jacob Zuma to discuss the political crisis. Zuma, acting under the auspices of the South African Development Community, promised to dispatch an "observer team" to Lesotho.

Thabane is expected to brief Lesotho's King Letsie III on his meetings to resolve the crisis.

The military has refuted Thabane's allegation of an attempted coup. Military spokesman Maj. Ntlele Ntoi insisted that military actions were taken over the weekend in response to a threat from "political fanatics" the police were attempting to arm.

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