Tanzania raises stakes in border spat

2013-07-26 10:38
Jakaya Kikwete. (AFP, File)

Jakaya Kikwete. (AFP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Tanzania said on Thursday its armed forces were ready to protect the country against any foreign threat to its territory, raising the stakes in an escalating border dispute with Malawi.

Tanzania is embroiled in a territorial wrangle with Malawi over the ownership of Lake Nyasa, which is known as Lake Malawi in the neighbouring country.

Malawi, which sits to the west of Africa's third-largest lake, claims the entire northern half of the lake while Tanzania, to the east, says it owns half of the northern area. The southern half is shared between Malawi and Mozambique.

"Anyone who tries to provoke our country will face consequences ... Our country is safe and the army is strong and ready to defend our country," said President Jakaya Kikwete without directly mentioning the Malawi border dispute, in a speech to mark the country's national heroes' day celebrations.

"We will not allow anyone to mess with our country, or try to take away our territory. We will deal with them just as we dealt with [former Ugandan ruler Idi] Amin."

The Tanzanian army helped topple Amin in 1979 after he invaded part of Tanzania's territory.

Kikwete's remarks come after his Malawian counterpart, President Joyce Banda, told mediators this month her government would not accept any interim deal on the disputed boundary with Tanzania until the wrangle over sovereignty is settled.


Banda also said her government would not entertain any interim agreement on Tanzania usage of the lake until the issue was resolved.

Tanzania has repeatedly assured their citizens to continue using the lake without any fear.

Malawi had pulled out of talks on the issue in October, accusing its northern neighbour of intimidating its fishermen, a charge Tanzania denied. 

It returned to the negotiating table this year as the soured relations delayed exploration for oil and gas.

In 2011, impoverished Malawi awarded exploration licences to British-based Surestream Petroleum to search for oil in the lake.

Read more on:    joyce banda  |  jakaya kikwete  |  tanzania  |  malawi  |  east africa  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.