Lake Malawi Dispute Still In Limbo; Mutharika And Magufuli To Dialogue.

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The Government of the Republic of Malawi participated in the Mediation Talks on the Lake Malawi Boundary Dispute with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, which took place in Centurion, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, from 11th to 12th July, 2017. The High Level Mediation Team (HLMT) led by His Excellency Joaquim Chissano, former President of the Republic of Mozambique, and His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, former President of the Republic of South Africa facilitated the talks.

The Malawi delegation was led by Honourable Francis Kasaila, M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He was accompanied by Honourable Samuel Tembenu, SC, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and other senior Government Officials.

The Meeting was a follow up to the last meeting which was held in Maputo, Mozambique, from 20th to 21st March, 2014, where the Government of the Republic of Malawi and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania submitted their respective positions.

The Talks in Pretoria, South Africa, were held in a cordial manner, reflective of the long standing relationship between the two countries. During the talks, it was evident that there is commitment on both sides towards an amicable resolution of the dispute.

Notwithstanding the above, during the Meeting, the Malawi Delegation reiterated the position of the Government of the Republic of Malawi on the Lake Malawi Boundary Dispute with the United Republic of Tanzania. Malawi Government restated and re-affirmed its position that the Lake Malawi Boundary between the countries is the shoreline of Lake Malawi as established by Article 1(2) of the 1890 Anglo-German Treaty.

The Malawi Delegation also opposed the unacceptable conduct of making unilateral decisions such as production of Maps purporting to change the current Malawi/Tanzania Boundary which Malawi rejected. It asserted that both parties should avoid taking provocative actions which can escalate tension.

The Malawi Delegation further expressed Government’s commitment of respecting African boundaries existing at the time of independence in consonance with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) /African Union (AU) Declarations.

Having heard from both Delegtions, the HLMT proposed that it should brief and consult with Their Excellencies Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, for Their Excellencies’ further guidance on the resolution of the dispute. In the spirit of seeking a solution on the dispute, the two Delegations accepted the proposal and further agreed that, the process of consulting the two Heads of State by the HLMT should take place in not more than three months time from 12th July, 2017, after which, further direction shall be availed by the HLMT.

The Government of the Republic of Malawi shall keep the general public and the nation informed of any further developments on the matter.

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