Malawi Government says it will protect its citizens who live along the north and eastern shores of Lake Malawi bordering Tanzania.
Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu said this on Sunday after talks between the two neighbours over the lake boundary collapsed again last week.
Kunkuyu could, however, not mention the steps being taken to protect the citizens, saying the matter is sensitive.
Â â€œWe are assuring all Malawians living on that side that they are being protected because in as far as Malawi is concerned, the status quo remains that the whole part of that side of the lake belongs to us.
Â â€œAs we wait for a mediator, what that entails is that no part of that side has been taken away from Malawi. All chiefs along that side should know that nothing has been taken away from them and should know that government has their well-being at heart. We, however, still plead for calm,â€ he said.
Kunkuyuâ€™s statement comes after the two sides agreed that a mediator from the Sadc region be appointed to facilitate the talks.
The talks initially came to a halt after President Joyce Banda ordered government to pull out because Tanzania was allegedly intimidating Malawians on the border and that Tanzania had deployed a gunship to patrol the lake.
Under contest in the dispute is the Heligoland Treaty of 1890 between colonial powers Britain and Germany which gave Malawi ownership of the whole lake. Tanzania contends that the treaty is flawed, saying under international laws, the east African nation has the right to half of the lake.
Kunkuyu said the sticky issue in the recent talks was that Malawi went to Tanzania with a position that the whole lake on the disputed side belongs to it while Tanzania wanted the two sides to go through maps and other evidence to prove their stand.