The Malawi-Tanzania border dispute
(eufrika) – For over 50 years there has been a dispute over the border between Malawi and Tanzania. Attempts from both sides in the past resulted in a stand still and were not pursued further.
With the research on oil resources in Lake Malawi by the Malawian government, the dispute heated up again. The Tanzanian government requests a 50 per cent share of oil exploration in the lake.
Three major meetings have taken place since September 2010 without signed agreements so far. The recent meeting held in Mzuzu in Malawi from 20 – 27 August 2012 resulted in the statement that none of the countries are interested in resolving the issue in war.
The Tanzanian government claims that the border, according to International law, would be a demarcated median (in the middle of the lake). On the other hand, Malawi refers to the 1890 Anglo-German Helgoland Treaty that emphasizes the whole water area of Lake Malawi belongs to Malawi while Songwe river belongs to Tanzania.
As preparation for the next meeting in September this year, the attorney generals of both governments will evaluate the 1890 agreement. Both parties will meet again in Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam to find a solution and discuss the possible engagement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as mediator.
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