Lake Malawi ownership dispute escalates

33135997312 56fea4d62c zThe ownership of Lake Malawi, which has enormous oil and gas potential, remains in dispute with the government of Malawi announcing plans to take Tanzania to the International Court of Justice in The Hague

Francis Kasaila, Malawi's foreign affairs minister, told Reuters he plans to take Tanzania to court over their claims on the third-largest lake in Africa. Malawi claims ownership of the entire northern half of the lake, while Tanzania claims to own half of this section. The southern half of Lake Malawi is shared between Malawi and Mozambique.

Mediation talks, led by Joachim Chissano, former president of Mozambique, and Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa, are under threat with Tanzania seeking their postponement. Talks were scheduled for later this month.

Kasaila said that Tanzania has been stalling talks in regard to the ownership of the northern half of the lake since 2012.

The 50-year dispute over ownership of Lake Malawi escalated when gas was found in the region. The dispute has put further exploration work on hold, involving multiple operators, including Sac Oil Holdings, RAK Gas, Surestream Petroleum, Pacific Oil and Hamra Oil Holdings.

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