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» 12.02.2010 - Lesotho to focus budget on alternative revenue creation
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Science - Education | Society

Lesotho student clashes being investigated

afrol News, 3 November - The October student riots, in which one student died and 20 persons were injured, are now to be investigated by a commission of inquiry. The Maseru National University of Lesotho meanwhile has been reopened.

On 22 October, striking students clashed with police forces, which opened fire and killed one student and injured several more. The incident was described as the worst in many years at the National University of Lesotho (NUL), and caused for a temporal close-down of the university.

Students had barricaded the campus roads and were burning tires. The students went on strike after learning that their books, food and accommodation allowances had not reached their individual accounts, despite earlier promises from authorities. Campus security and police were called in to defuse the situation, resulting in clashes and the use of firearms.

Aiming at normalising the situation at the university, NUL has now appointed a commission of inquiry into the incident. The commission which has been set up by University Senate is made up of five members that include academic, non-academic as well as student representation. The findings of the committee were to be "used to learn from the past mistakes."

Addressing students after a temporary closure due to protests made two weeks ago by students, Vice Chancellor Molapi Sebatane urged for "regular communication between all the concerned parties" to forestall possible repercussions, hence the formation of the commission for in depth report.

He expressed the need for students to be counseled as there is evidence that some members of the university community have been traumatised by the incident. "This year's disturbances were particularly disconcerting, therefore one week for the revision period shall be used for lectures to make up for the time lost during the closure of university," he said.

Meanwhile, the deceased student, Miss Mats'eliso Thulo, will be buried on Saturday this week, it was announced. No other details about funeral arrangements have been made.

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