- Published on Thursday, 16 August 2012 02:02
- Written by EDITOR
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MALAWIAN President Joyce Banda made encouraging remarks at a news conference in Lilongwe. She said that her country will not go to war with Tanzania over the ongoing Lake Nyasa border dispute.
She explained that negotiations on the matter are still going on between authorities of Malawi and Tanzania, but noted that even if the ongoing diplomatic efforts fail, other channels will be used exhaustively to resolve the matter.
Ms Banda stressed that the dispute is not a good reason and will never be, for the brothers and sisters of the two countries to go to war. The border dispute erupted last year when Malawi issued a licence to a British firm, Surestream Petroleum, to prospect for hydrocarbons.
Tanzania claims a portion of the 29,600 square kilometres lake, but Malawi cites a colonial-era agreement dating from 1890 that stipulates that the border between the two countries lies along the Tanzanian shoreline of the lake.
The dispute between Tanzania and Malawi over Lake Nyasa, which is known as Lake Malawi in Malawi, is yet another of African headache brought about by the colonial division of the continent. In drawing up the boundaries between their "possessions" in Africa there was little precision in the process
Problems with borders are commonplace in Africa. Sources show that the continent has more than 100 border disputes brought about by its former colonial rulers. Arbitrary lines drawn on maps by colonial powers sitting at the Conference of Berlin in 1884 have left countries with meaningless boundaries that are now the source of conflicts.
These have led to countless disputes, some leading to war, others to years of diplomatic and legal wrangling. It is hoped that Tanzania and Malawi are going to give diplomacy the chance in amicable resolution of the dispute over Lake Nyasa and continue living as brothers and sisters.
Both countries have many problems at present including poverty and diseases that need to be overcome as soon as possible. Wars will never take the two countries anywhere and should not be an option since they will make things worse. Let the leaders and experts meet and resolve the dispute.