Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda, has assured of continued peaceful co-existence between Malawians and Mozambicans living in border districts.
He was speaking in Blantyre at the end of the 13th session of the Malawi/Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission on Defense and Security.
The discussions, which centre on concerns to do with national security between the two bordering countries, started on Tuesday.
Banda said the meeting was essential as Malawi and Mozambique share borders in a number of districts.
“Borders play a significant role for the peace and safety of our people.
Mozambique and Malawi share a lot of borders. As such, we have agreed that we are going to open most of these borders to make sure that the unchartered routes we have across our countries are taken care of. There will also be joint operations between the Malawi and the Mozambique governments to ensure peace between the people living in these bordering areas,” he said.
Minister of National Defence in Mozambique, Jaime Bessa Neto, said the interaction addressed issues of crime that happen in most of the border regions, citing motor vehicle theft, illegal migration, human and drug trafficking.
“We are good neighbours with Malawi. I do not think that there are conflicts between our people. There might be some differences between our people – for instance, if someone wants to go to the other country, there are some requirements that have to be fulfilled to abide by the law. This may tend to lead others to break the law of another country. However, the continued discussions held between us and Malawi will ensure that most of these crimes are brought to an end,” he said.
In recent years, there have been simmering tensions between Mozambicans and some Malawians at Makanjira in Mangochi District and those plying trade at Tsangano Turn-Off in Ntcheu District, which some had feared might strain relations if left unchecked.