MAPUTO—Malawi’s Pres Joyce Banda and her Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete on Saturday dismissed fears of an impending war between the two countries over the third largest fresh water source in Africa, Lake Malawi.
Addressing journalists in the Mozambican capital Maputo, Pres Kikwete said there’s been a lot of hype over the issue with some going as far as saying the two neighbours would fight.
“Let me assure citizens from both countries that we are not going to war, we have over the years been in a good relationship and both countries have no aim of straining this relationship,” he said.
Pres Banda expressed similar views.
“I hope that this issue will be solved diplomatically through dialogue for war is not a solution,” she said.
Rumours of a possible war between Malawi and Tanzania over ownership of the eastern region of Lake Malawi have made headlines in both countries.
Malawi’s position is that Lake Malawi entirely belongs to her as stipulated in the 1890 Heligoland Treaty, also known as Anglo-German Treaty, signed between two colonial rulers Great Britain and Germany which defined the border as the edge of the waters of the eastern shore of Lake Malawi.
The Tanzanian government believes the border should be along the middle of the lake basing on common international law. Where two countries are separated by a water body, the border is along the middle of that water body, according international law.
A delegation from the two countries will meet in the Malawi on August 20 over the dispute which erupted following the granting of an oil-exploration licence to British firm Surestream Petroleum which has been conducting an environmental impact assessment.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.