Lesotho’s Prime Minister Flees Country After Military Uprising

Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane on Sunday accused the kingdom's deputy prime minister of helping to plan a military coup that forced him to flee the country. Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa assumed power after Thabane retreated into South Africa from Lesotho on Saturday when the army surrounded his home in the capital, Maseru.

A policeman was killed and four others were wounded in the uprising, said senior police Supt. Mofokeng Kolo, but the army denied trying to force out Thebane. Lesotho, a southern African kingdom of 2 million people, has experienced several military coups since its independence from Britain in 1966.

The U.S. is deeply concerned about the "clashes between security forces" in Lesotho and called for a "peaceful political dialogue" between factions, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon similarly called for "respect for the constitutional order and democratic rule," according to his spokesman.


— Elisha Fieldstadt, with Reuters