The African Forum for Former Heads of State and Government mediating the border row over Lake Malawi between Malawi and Tanzania is expected to issue its verdict in early March.
Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Malawi and Tanzania have confirmed that their teams will travel to Maputo, Mozambique to meet a panel of mediators led by former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano.
In November last year, Malawi and Tanzania submitted their responses to five questions the forum posed to each of the two countries on the 50-year-old border dispute.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Quent Kalichero, in an interview on Sunday, said the forum had invited Malawi and Tanzania to Maputo to a meeting scheduled for February 22 and 24 this year.
Said Kalichero: “But our counterparts suggested to postpone it because they had prior engagements. We are going to be invited again. So it could be true we are meeting soon,” said Kalichero.
But Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Membe on Thursday told reporters the panel of the forum deliberating on the issues had called for the meeting early March.
He appealed to Malawi to show up as evidence was already presented before the panel which he believes will let justice prevail on the border dispute on Lake Malawi, according to a report in Tanzania’s Daily News published on Saturday.
“In case we will be discontented with the decision of the panel, the matter will be taken to the International Court of Justice,” he is quoted as having said.
Malawi and Tanzania are locked in a border dispute which risks the relationship between the two countries.
At the heart of the dispute is the border line on Lake Malawi. Tanzania claims that the border between the two countries lies at the middle of Lake Malawi while Malawi says the bolder of the two countries lies at the coast line of the eastern side of the northern part of Lake Malawi.