The Namibian (Windhoek)

30 January 2013

Namibia: Oranger River Boundary Dispute Continues

A LONG-STANDING dispute between Namibia and South Africa over the border of the Orange River is yet to be resolved.

Wilbard Helao, the deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says the two countries continue to discuss the matter.

"What I can say is that the matter is being discussed. There are a lot of things that need to be resolved," said Helao.

The Namibian has seen a Cabinet document in which Government said that the matter was raised during President Hifikepunye Pohamba's last visit to South Africa in November last year.

The document said the South African minister for water and environment, Edna Molewa, said the Permanent Water Commission, established in 2007, was preparing meetings on the matter.

Molewa said South Africa regarded the matter as urgent and looked forward to reaching consensus.

The dispute started at Namibia's independence. According to Namibia the border is the middle of the river but South Africa claims it is on the northern high-water mark - as boundary established when colonial powers Britain and Germany signed a treaty to this effect in Berlin in 1890.

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