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Who Owns Lake Nyasa?

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by R.B, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. R.B

    R.B JF-Expert Member

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    analysis
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    Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete.

    Oil exploration in Lake Nyasa has rekindled disputes between Malawi and Tanzania over who owns the lake.
    President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania has insisted that war with Malawi is not a feasible outcome of ongoing disputes between the two countries over the ownership of the lake which borders the two countries.
    Lake Nyasa, known as Lake Malawi by Malawians, has been the source of disagreements since colonial times, which were rekindled recently when Malawi allowed gas and oil exploration to begin around the lake's border. Rhetoric has escalated over the past few months although it seems both sides are now attempting to calm tensions.
    A history of disputes
    Located at the junction of Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, Lake Nyasa - the eighth largest in the world - contains an estimated 168,000 tonnes of fish of nearly 1000 species, and is able to provide sustenance for nearly 600,000 people.
    In the early 1960s, Malawi's first president, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, claimed that Lake Nyasa was part of Malawi referring to 1890 Heligoland Agreement between Britain and Germany which stipulated that the border between the countries lay along the Tanzanian side of the lake. This treaty was reaffirmed at the 1963 Organisation of African Unity summit where it was accepted reluctantly by Tanzania although disputes reignited in 1967-8.


    Malawi also alleges that the 2002 and 2007 African Union resolutions upheld the colonial agreement because of the emphasis on member states upholding the borders inherited upon independence.
    Some, however, argue that it is necessary to correct the errors of the colonial powers, and Tanzania has sought recourse to international law, which indicates that borders are generally in the middle of a body of water, claiming Tanzania should therefore own half the lake.
    Oil and the re-emergence of the issue
    The resurgence of the dispute began in October when Malawi's former president, Bingu wa Mutharika, awarded a contract to British Surestream Petroleum to start gas and oil exploration on the eastern part of the lake. Since then, a number of disagreements over the use of the lake have arisen.
    At the close of July, Tanzania announced plans to purchase a new $9 million ferry to cross Lake Nyasa's waters. Malawi's Ministry of Lands responded by claiming that Tanzania has no legal right to start operating on Lake Malawi since the ownership and border dispute remains unresolved.
    For their part, Tanzanian authorities argued that Malawian fishing and tourist boats were encroaching on Tanzania's waters. Hilda Ngoye, MP for the Mbeya region, alleged that Malawi has been conducting tourism activities beyond its territorial waters, escalating tension further.
    Earlier this month, a two-day meeting was held with the aim of reviving stalled negotiations on the delineation of the lake's boundaries. Tanzania's Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Bernard Membe, requested that the exploration activities be shelved until discussions had been fully resolved, saying "any exploration or research activities for oil and gas prospects must stop forthwith as their presence was likely to jeopardise the ongoing negotiations and pose a security threat".
    Tanzania's Attorney General, Frederick Werema, has added that Tanzania will seek international intervention if diplomatic negotiations do not produce results.
    Malawi's Minister of Energy and Mining, Cassim Chilumpha, has, however, countered that Malawi is justified to start exploration since the lake lies within the borders stipulated by the Heligoland treaty.
    Overblown fears?
    Amidst these legal claims and disagreements, some representatives have also sought recourse to more potentially inflammatory language. Edward Lowassa, Chair of Tanzania's Parliamentary Committee for Defence, Security and Foreign Affairs, for example told reporters that the country is ready to wage war against Malawi if necessary.
    "We expect this conflict will be solved diplomatically... Malawi is our neighbour and therefore we would not like to go into war with it", he said, continuing, "however, if it reaches the war stage then we are ready to sacrifice our people's blood and our military forces are committed in equipment and psychologically."
    Both countries have increasingly backed away from such harsh statements, however, and Malawi's Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Uladi Mussa, told a local radio that Malawians have nothing to fear, reassuring listeners that "issues of boundaries between Malawi and Tanzania are amicably being resolved".
    Malawi's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ephraim Mganda Chiume, also played down the conflict, calling it simply a misinterpretation. "As Malawi we are not calling it a conflict or dispute rather a misunderstanding and at this point we are going to sort it out ourselves without the inventions of other bodies."
    Drawing a line under the dispute
    According to Simburashe Mungoshi, a historian and political analyst with the University of Malawi, the dispute can be resolved only if the two countries take a leaf from how their colonisers Britain and Germany dealt with the boundary issue.
    "When these boundaries were agreed upon by the British and Germans it was a give and take game" he explained to Think Africa Press. "The British had to give up claims in some territories in the Tanganyika area. Needless to say the Germans also had to give up [some claims]. If Tanzania wants a change in boundaries, it would be a give and take. Malawi is a land-locked country; we need access to the sea. Maybe they could give us an equivalent piece of land to take us to the sea."
    As discussions continue, however, life goes on, and Tanzanians and Malawians continue to cross the border, selling and buying products that will ensure their livelihoods.
    Kyela District Commissioner Margaret Ester Malenga has emphasised the atmosphere of mutual dependence between citizens of the two countries, something she believes war would ruin.
    Representatives of the two countries are currently engaging in discussions in Mzuzu, Malawi, as part of a five-day summit ending on August 25 to resolve the border issue once and for all.
     
  2. N

    Nikupateje JF-Expert Member

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    Mode,

    Unganisha hii na zile tulizojadili na umezipeleka kule ulikozipeleka.
     
  3. Nivea

    Nivea JF-Expert Member

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    i think the one who create it 'GOD" DUNIA NA VYOTE VIJAZAVYO NI MALI YA MUNGU SIMPLE AS THAT.
     
  4. Safari_ni_Safari

    Safari_ni_Safari JF-Expert Member

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    He must be very rich then.......
     
  5. Nivea

    Nivea JF-Expert Member

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    OFF COURSE YES HE IS RICH Safari_ni_Safari
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2016
  6. A

    Awo JF-Expert Member

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    Kikwete bana! Yeye anadhani akisema Tanzania haitapigana vita na Malawi, basi, amemaliza kazi. Hawezi hata kusoma nini Nyerere alimwambia Banda (Kamuzu)? Nyerere hakuzungumzia kupigana au kutopigana vita, ila alisisitiza ni kwa nini nusu ya Ziwa Nyasa ni mali ya Tanzania na kwamba mpaka uko katikati ya ziwa. Sababu ya kuweka mpaka katikati ya ziwa ziko wazi. Mpaka hauwezi kuchorwa kwenye kingo za ziwa kwa sababu kingo hizo huhama mara kwa mara. Simple logic tu!
     
  7. Kashaijabutege

    Kashaijabutege JF-Expert Member

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    Africans own Lake Nyasa.
     
  8. hendeboy

    hendeboy JF-Expert Member

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    ubishi ubishi tu force lazima itumitumike mpaka wa tanzania na malawi ni katikati ya ziwa nyasa full stop no discussion kama malawi hawataki ni kuwarudisha nyuma kwa nguvu.
     
  9. Safari_ni_Safari

    Safari_ni_Safari JF-Expert Member

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    I suppose he got a will as well............just in case
     
  10. REMSA

    REMSA JF-Expert Member

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    zaburi 24:1
     
  11. Nivea

    Nivea JF-Expert Member

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    some how and open ended hands thats why we tanzanians and malawians feel like owner but he also has power to take it away.awesome
     
  12. Safari_ni_Safari

    Safari_ni_Safari JF-Expert Member

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    Awesome!...:spy::spy::spy:
     
  13. Nivea

    Nivea JF-Expert Member

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    hapo kwenye red umemaanisha nini tena
     
  14. Safari_ni_Safari

    Safari_ni_Safari JF-Expert Member

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    Ni awesome na sio awaresome !!!
     
  15. Nivea

    Nivea JF-Expert Member

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    hahahahaha haya bwana mimi sijiu kidhungu ndugu yangu naunga tu
     
  16. B

    Bwaga ya moyoni Senior Member

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    Hivi kweli hii ni mara ya kwanza kujadili habari hii? lete updates kama unazo.
     
  17. K

    Kigano JF-Expert Member

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    Nadhani anachukulia ni rahisi baada ya kumwangalia Joyce Kama mtoto wa kike. lakini ukiangalia picha zao wakiwa wanaongea pale Mozambique, utaona wazi kabisa the President of Malawi was very serious as compared to our president who seemed to be joking, smiling and without showing any seriousness. Na nilisikiliza baadhi ya speech zake utaona bado anahusisha issue hiyo na vyama vya upinzani vya humu ndani, which is so dangerous. ajue wamalawi wanamsikiliza, watakavyoona ametabasamu kiasi cha kutosha watamliza, then tutakuwa tumepoteza. Nyerere ( Mungu amlaze mahali pema peponi ) was very serious on this issue. Let's wait and see, but Kikwete is likely losing withiout knowing.
     
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