Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Benard Membe (L), and his Malawian counterpart, ephraim Uganda Chime. (PHOTO; By Assah Mwambene of FA).
By ASSAH MWAMBENE
Tanzania has called on the Republic of Malawi Government and the companies undergoing exploration of oil and gas in the Eastern part of the lake Nyasa until a standoff over the ownership of the lake between the two countries were resolved.
Speaking to reporters after the end of the two day meeting of the two countries, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon Bernard Membe stated categorically that Tanzania wants all the exploration activities in the north east part of the lake be shelved to pave way for ongoing discussions to resolve the crisis.
“we told our colleagues from the Republic of Malawi that any exploration or research activities for oil and gas prospects must stop forthwith as their presence was likely to jeopardize the ongoing negotiations and pose as a security threat” the Minister noted
The Minister also noted that Tanzania security authorities have also spotted some aircrafts claimed to the oil and gas researching companies from Malawi flying in the Tanzania airspace without any permit from the Tanzania Aviation Authority. Malawi claimed they were not aware of the incident.
In this standoff, Tanzania is seeking 50 per cent of the ownership of the lake while Malawi claims the 100 percent on pretext that the whole part of the lake under dispute was apparently being owned by Malawi.
He said the purpose of the meeting was aimed reviving the stalled negotiations on the delineation, demarcation,delimitation and re-affirmation of the boundaries between Tanzania and Malawi on the lake and set up a roadmap and program of implementation for the boundary program.
The two countries also stressed on the importance of resolving the issue of boundary on the lake diplomatically.
Another, meeting at a level of Joint Committee of Experts, Joint Committee of Officials and the Council of Ministers on Malawi/Tanzania Boundary meet in Mzuzu in the week commencing 20th August, 2012.
Tanzania delegation in the Meeting was led by Hon. Bernard Membe, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Malawi delegation was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Ephraim Mganda Chiume.