Malawi takes lake row with Tanzania to International Court of Justice, says President Banda

Malawi is contemplating reporting the lake dispute issue with Tanzania to International Court of Justice (ICJ).

President Joyce Banda told journalists in Lilongwe on Tuesday that the issue has gone too far and Malawi will seek international help to ensure that justice prevails, saying Malawians cannot entertain embarrassment whenever they want to fish on the lake.

“The lake issue has gone to next step. I have decided to take to International Court of Justice to determine and resolve this wrangle,” President Banda said.

President Banda speaking at a news conference at the New State House Tuesday on her attendance of the UN General Assembly in New York.-Photo by Sam Makaka/Mana

Banda explained that government through Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation wrote their Tanzanian counterparts over the issue of producing new map that include part of Lake Malawi.

She said the agreed follow-up dialogue meeting that was supposed to be held in Tanzania was called off after realizing that they had produced new map, saying unless they have responded to the letter then Malawi can decide whether to go ahead with the meeting or not.

“We decided to call off the follow-up dialogue meeting over the lake issue after we discovered that Tanzania had issued a new map with part of our lake. If they don’t respond to our letter, we will look at alternatives.

“Government through Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation wrote them and we are waiting for their response,” she added.

President Banda returned home on Tuesday from United States of America where she attended the 67th United Nations General Assembly which started on September 25 through October 1, 2012.

During the Summit, President Banda made her first maiden speech at the General Assembly. In her speech, she commended the President of General Assembly on the theme as it offered an opportunity for world leaders to reflect on the devastating effects of conflicts on the lives of millions of people.

She also told the Assembly that achieving sustainable development for all was the best way to ensure a peaceful and stable world, saying the greatest threats to peace are poverty, lack of opportunity and hope.

The President also shared her vision of transforming Malawi by eradicating poverty through economic growth and wealth creation.

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