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Talks on Lake Malawi resume

Meditation talks on the Lake Malawi boundary dispute between Malawi and Tanzania resume today in Pretoria, South Africa.

The discussions were called off last minute on May 8 and 9 this year by the government of Tanzania.

The Malawi government expressed its concern over the postponement, as it affected time-frame of the mediation process.

In a statement released yesterday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the two-day meeting scheduled for this week has been convened by a high level mediation team led by Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique.

Other members of the team include Thabo Mbeki, former president of the Republic of South Africa, and Festus Mogae, former president of the Republic of Botswana.

“The position of the Government of Malawi is that the boundary is the shoreline of Lake Malawi as established by Article 1(2) of the 1890 Anglo-German Treaty,” reads the statement in part.

Ministry spokesperson, Rejoice Shumba, said Malawi has been waiting for the meeting and expects to have a logical conclusion of the matter.

Asked whether Malawi shall maintain room for discussion over the lake wrangle, Shumba said the two-day mediation meeting will be a determining factor.

“The meeting will help to decide the next course of action but, as of now, our stand is to continue with the discussions. What is paramount to the people of Malawi is to have the whole lake,” she said.

Shumba also said they expect the high level mediation team to pronounce itself on the fundamental question of where the boundary lies between the two countries, following submissions by the two countries at the onset of the mediation process.

“The Government of the Republic of Malawi shall restate its position on the boundary of Lake Malawi… The Malawi Government wishes to assure the general public that it will do everything possible not to give up even a single inch of its territory,” reads the statement in part.

The meeting is a follow up to the last meeting which was held in Maputo, Mozambique, from March 20 to 21, 2014, where the governments of Malawi and Tanzania submitted their respective positions, and agreed that the high level mediation team should first establish the position of the boundary between the two countries.

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