CAPE TOWN, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Wednesday condemned the assassination of Lieut. Gen. Khoantle Motsomotso, commander of the Lesotho Defense Force (LDF).
Motsomotso's assassination on Tuesday was an "inexcusable barbaric and heinous act," the SADC said in a statement.
Some senior officers of the LDF are reported to have also lost their lives in a shooting, reportedly carried out by an army officer.
The motive for the assassination remains unknown.
Motsomotso's killing happened two years after the killing of former LDF commander, Brig. Maaparankoe Mahao, in June 2015.
"This development is a serious blight and setback to the ongoing efforts to restore peace, security and stability to the Kingdom of Lesotho," the SADC said.
Lesotho is a member of the 15-state SADC. Other member states are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The organization called the killing of Motsomotso "an unfortunate occurrence which threatens the prevailing peace and security of the SADC region as a whole."
The SADC said it is immediately deploying a ministerial fact-finding mission to Lesotho to avert the possibility of further deterioration of security in the kingdom.
The mission is expected to conduct an assessment of the security situation and to hold meetings with all key stakeholders in Lesotho so as to establish the root causes of the assassination and subsequently recommend the appropriate courses of action.
South African President Jacob Zuma has also condemned the assassination and called for absolute calm and restraint so as not to further destabilize the situation in the kingdom.
Lesotho, completely landlocked by South Africa and one of the world's poorest countries, has been haunted by political instability in recent years.