Lake Malawi border dispute mediation resumes in SA

 

A mediation process on Lake Malawi boundary dispute between Malawi and Tanzania is expected to resume today in Pretoria, South Africa, following the postponement of the last meeting scheduled for May 8 and 9 this year.

According to a press statement Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation released yesterday, the meeting, which starts today and finishes tomorrow, is expected to be attended by the High Level Mediation Team (HLMT) led by former Mozambique president Joaquim Chissano.

Leading the Malawi delegation: Kasaila

Reads part of the statement: “The meeting scheduled for this week has been convened by the High Level Mediation Team which is led by His Excellency Joaquim Chissano, former president of the Republic of Mozambique. Other members of the team include His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, former president of the Republic of South Africa, and His Excellency Festus Mogae, former president of the Republic of Botswana.

“The Government of the Republic of Malawi shall restate its position on the boundary of Lake Malawi and expects that the HLMT will pronounce itself on the fundamental question on where the boundary lies between the two countries, following the submissions by the two countries at the onset of the mediation process.”

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Rejoice Shumba confirmed about the meeting, saying line minister Francis Katsaila is leading the Malawi delegation.

“I can confirm that the mediation process will start tomorrow [today] in South Africa. The minister [Kasaila] is leading the delegates representing Malawi. But I am not sure who are the other delegates. I only know that minister of Justice [and constitution Affairs Samuel Tembenu] has also made the trip,” she said.

So far, Malawi has maintained that the north-eastern boundary between the two countries is the Lake Malawi shoreline as established by Article 1 (2) of the 1890 Anglo-German Treaty.

Tanzania cancelled the May meeting at the 11th hour without clear reasons which affected the progress of the mediation process. n

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