Malawi border demarcation with Mozambique resumes

The governments of Mozambique and Malawi are expected to resume the delimiting of their joint border next month after a six month suspension due to conflicting interpretations with the former regime of Bingu wa Mutharika.

The two governments reached an agreement last month after a meeting of representatives in Tete City, Western Mozambique.

During the meeting representatives of both countries agreed to resume the demarcation exercise which started in 2009 next month.

Jose Elias Mucombo, the Director of Borders at the National Institute for Sea and Border Affairs, who headed the Mozambican delegation, said besides reaching a consensus on the interpretation of the agreement,they also agreed on procedures for employing temporary workers to move equipment along the border, particularly in remote and inaccessible regions.

Malawi - Mozambique border

Mucombo explained that there is a 76 kilometre stretch of the border yet to be demarcated, of which 25 kilometres is in dense forest.

“It is a barely accessible region. We even considered using helicopters to move equipment, but after calculating the cost we realised that neither the Mozambican nor Malawian governments are in a position to cover such an expense. Therefore, we agreed to hire temporary workers,” he told Mozambican journalists.

Another stretch of 51 kilometres remains uncompleted in the district of Milange, Central Province of Zambezia and southern part of Malawi.

“Fortunately, we have solved two of the sticking points, particularly the most delicate point which was the interpretation of the agreement. By 20 July we want to have teams deployed on ground to resume our work,” said Mucombo.

The demarcation of the border is to replace the original boundary markers between the two countries stretching along the 1,400 kilometre border, which is composed of 900 kilometres of land, 322 kilometres of lakes and 190 kilometres of rivers.

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