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Lake Malawi dispute mediators yet to call for meeting

About five months after the cancellation of mediation talks on the lake border wrangle between Malawi and Tanzania, mediators are yet to invite the two governments for another round of talks.

Former president of Mozambique, Joacquim Chissano, and his South African counterpart, Thabo Mbeki, are the mediators.

The cancelled meeting, which was expected to take place in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, on August 7, 2016, was cancelled due to the hospitalisation of one of the mediators.

In an interview yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, George Chaponda, said the Malawi government has since asked for an urgent meeting for the talks.

“We are following up on a meeting which we were supposed to have with those mediators in Maputo but we never had because one of the mediators was sick and was hospitalized in India. So, now that he is back, what we are saying is let’s have this meeting.

“We have told them… perhaps these are former heads of state so they should decide when we can have that meeting but we have said that it is very urgent that we have that meeting,” Chaponda said.

Last year, Malawi wrote the mediators informing them that while she accepts resource-sharing as part of the solution, the legal question on who owns the lake must be determined first.

“We will discuss all these things when we meet. But as you know, the basic issue is that we are saying, the lake belongs to us, that’s it,” he said.

Lilongwe and Dodoma have been at loggerheads over the lake boundary for some years now.

While Lilongwe claims ownership of the entire lake under the 1890 agreement between Britain and Germany, Dodoma insists that part of the northern part of Africa’s third largest fresh water lake falls within its borders

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