LILONGWE--As dialogue is expected to resume over the Lake Malawi border dispute, Malawi wants the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Office to mediate dispute talks with Tanzania, which is claiming part of the lake. Last week Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ephraim Mganda Chiume toured the Songwe Border post in Karonga district and Kyela, Tanzanian district to brief people there on progress of talks between the two countries
Chiume assured Malawians not to panic saying a consensus will be reached once talks resume with Tanzania later this month. The talks were abruptly suspended following Tanzanian new map which cuts the Lake into half, the arrest and harassment of Malawian fishermen and presence of Tanzanian patrol boat on the lake and their threats to blow up Malawian fishermen’s boats plying trade on the lake.
Malawi is of view that the matter can easily be resolved if the UN is involved considering that International Court of Justice is under armpit of the UN. Apparently, Malawi does not agree with Tanzania’s recent proposal to have a Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) mediator.
One of the Malawi’s daily paper The Nation quoted Chiume as saying, “we will look at the legal opinions of the two countries’ attorney generals… we will also be asking Tanzania what value will the Sadc or AU mediation add to the legal dispute.”
Malawi claims the entire lake while Tanzania is arguing that the border separating the two countries runs in the middle of the lake, as per international convention when two countries’ border is a water body. However the convention makes exceptions where there are other treaties on the same.