Malawi finalising the process of suing Tanzania over Lake dispute

Chissano: One of the mediators

Malawi is finalising the process of taking  its dispute with Tanzania over Lake Malawi, with its potentially massive reserves of oil and gas, to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, a senior minister has said

Two former African presidents, Joachim Chissano of Mozambique and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, have been mediating the dispute but so far nothing has come out of it.

“The government of Malawi has been committed to the mediation process and peaceful resolution of the dispute through contact and dialogue but we are now ready to take Tanzania to the International Court of Justice because they have been stalling the mediation efforts since 2012,” said foreign affairs minister Francis Kasaila.

Malawi, at the west of Africa’s third largest lake, claims the entire northern half of the lake while Tanzania, to the east, says it owns half of the northern area. The southern half is shared between Malawi and Mozambique.

Gas finds in the region have made the 50-year-old row over territory between Tanzania and Malawi more intense.

Kasaila said that Malawi was particularly worried by Tanzania seeking a postponement of mediation talks scheduled for this month, saying this delayed the conclusion of the matter.