Tanzania-Malawi border dispute referred to SADC

A fishing boat comes back from Lake Malawi to Chitipi village in Salima, Malawi on April 4, 2012. Lake Malawi, covering about 24,400 square kilometres, is the home to more than 500 species of fish. Part of it stretches into Malawi's northern neighbours Tanzania and Mozambique.  

The border conflict between Tanzania and Malawi has been referred to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) consultative committee, an official has said.

Addressing journalists in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, Tanzania minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Membe said the talks that had been going on between government officials of the two countries had stalled.

Malawi claims that the border lies on the eastern shore of Lake Malawi according to the 1890 Heligoland Treaty, while Tanzania insists the border is at the middle of the lake according to customary laws and Section 6 of the same treaty, he said.

A Malawian official who took part in the three-day talks in Dar es Salaam at the weekend said that he was confident that the wise men in SADC would handle the issue with great care and do justice.

He said the SADC committee would go through the failed negotiations and come up to deliver justice, adding that should it fail, the matter would be referred to the International Court of Justice.

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