18 October 2012

Tanzania: Border Dispute Talks Set to Resume

TANZANIA and Malawi plan to go back to the negotiation table on October 27, this year, in a bid to find an amicable solution to the border dispute that is currently threatening to jeopardize diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Lake Nyasa has been a source of disagreements since colonial times, which were rekindled recently when Malawi claimed ownership of the whole lake and allowed gas and oil exploration in the lake.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr John Haule, said they were optimistic that the forthcoming talks will help to permanently solve the conflict.

"We had planned to have talks with Malawian officials, over the lake, between October 10 and 15, this year, but due to some circumstances we failed, we are therefore prepared for the talks on October 27, this year," Mr Haule said.

In early October, the President of Malawi Ms Joyce Banda made an order calling off discussions with Tanzania before threatening to take the matter to another level - the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

However, Malawi later withdrew its decision on taking the matter to ICJ and agreed to return to the negotiation table with Tanzania.

Early this week, news that were later categorically refuted as baseless spread that the Malawian government had given Tanzanian High Commissioner to that country, Mr Patrick Tsere, 48 hours to vacate the country amid escalating border dispute between the two neighbours.

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