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Malawi-Tanzania Border Solution needs bad 1890 Heligoland treaty revoked

Malawi-Tanzania Border Solution needs bad 1890 Heligoland treaty revoked

 

Border dispute between Malawi and Tanzania is a product of European colonialists’ disregard of the traditional rights of African communities on their natural heritage in the colonization of the African continent.  The 1890 Heligoland Agreement reached by British and Germany colonialists in their dispossession of African communities in Malawi and Tanzania should be dishonoured by Governments in the liberated Malawi and Tanzania because it is a bad colonial one which would give affected communities on the Malawian side more than their deserved share by denying counterparts on the Tanzanian side their deserved share of the liberated lake by heritage and/or in accordance to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea which requires international borders to be erected on the middle of the water bodies encountered on their courses. 

Lake Malawi was a God given heritage peacefully shared by all generations of all communities who shared its coastlines in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique before the arrival of European colonialists on the African continent. It is therefore, a traditional property of all generations who share its coastlines in the three countries surrounding it; when no generation on Earth should be allowed to decide and endorse dispossession of other generations off their God given resources like lake Malawi without consent and/ or denial of future generations their God given shares of natural heritage like rivers and lakes. 

The 1890 Heligoland Agreement should be revoked to pave way for the reinstatement of justice to the generations of communities on the Tanzanian side of the lake who would be its victims. The good brought in by the European colonialists could be maintained and enhanced further but the bad brought in by them like this bad1890 Heligoland agreement should be rejected by all Africans it benefited and/or victimized. 

While Malawi and Tanzania are African countries already liberated from the political hands of European colonialists; generations of communities on the liberated Tanzanian side of the lake who would be victims of the 1890 Heligoland Agreement should be considered yet to be liberated from European colonialism as long as their counterparts on the Malawian side who would be beneficiaries of the same are yet to recognize and agree that the bad colonial treaty should be revoked as demonstration of good gesture that they wouldn’t inherit the traditional rights the European colonialists had stolen from their counterpart neigbours on the Tanzanian side of the lake. 

It is the responsibility of Governments in Malawi and Tanzania to revoke the bad 1890 Heligoland Agreement on behalf of their communities affected on the Tanzanian and Malawian sides of the lake. The two Governments shouldn’t necessarily seek outside determination on the matter because revocation of the bad colonial treaty is a so straight forward solution. The two Governments should agree to revoke the bad1890 Heligoland treaty in order to pave way for the reinstatement of the tradition of peaceful coexistence and sharing of God given natural resources like Lake Malawi by communities on its Tanzanian and Malawian sides. It would enhance peaceful coexistence and sharing of natural growth potentials in their two countries for the maximum benefit of generations in the two. 

Governments in the European countries whose colonial generations were responsible for the 1890 Heligoland treaty should also stand-up to declare publicly that a mistake was made by their colonial generations responsible for this bad one and call for its revocation in order to reinstate justice to its victim communities on the Tanzanian side. They shouldn’t remain silent when the bad treaty created by their colonial generations is still intact and behind the endless border dispute between its Malawian and Tanzanian victims. 

African countries shouldn’t maintain all what European colonialists instituted on their continent because most of it was meant to enable dispossession of the African population by subdividing it and its resources into the tiny and toothless African countries in charge of the fragments of African resources under their jurisdictions. The subdivision was also subjected to bad colonial treaties which stimulate continuation of border disputes among the tiny African countries and their individual collaboration with former colonial masters in order to maximize benefit of the former colonial masters against peaceful coexistence and collaboration among the tiny African countries which would maximize their own benefit. 

It would be a huge gesture of Good will from the Government and people of Malawi when they appreciate and agree voluntarily (without the involvement alien determination like from courts) that the 1890 Heligoland treaty should be dishonoured because it is a bad colonial one which would deny affected communities on the Tanzanian side their deserved share of the lake by adding it to the share deserved to their counterparts on the Malawian side.

 

 

 

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Comment by Antipas Massawe on September 6, 2013 at 7:48

 What if African countries decided to ignore the borders drawn up by colonialists?

Then a proper survey should have followed to establish on which sides of the colonial borders, border communities would prefer to belong in. Review would help to bring together separated sections of same communities and families’ colonial borders had created. Also, a proper survey should have followed to enable the tiniest countries such as Malawi, Burundi and Rwanda created by the colonial borders make a choice of neighbor to merger with so that their populations could also enjoy the benefit of belonging into a bigger market and democracy. The two surveys would have enabled African communities to review the colonial borders in a democratic process which would helped to mitigate their adverse consequences on some African communities like the denial of affected communities on the Tanzanian side their deserved share of Lake Malawi.

Comment by Antipas Massawe on September 4, 2013 at 15:27
Moshe Lewinga, Thanks for reading through and commenting on my opinion on Lake Malawi (Nyasa) border dispute.
If it is in accordance to the bad 1890 Heligoland colonial treaty, yes the entire northern part of Lake Malawi (Nyasa) is owned by Malawi. But, if it is in accordance to the 1982 UN treaty on International borders, the same is owned by both Malawi and Tanzania because the border between Malawi and Tanzania passes through the middle of the lake. So, in accordance to this line of argument, Lake Malawi border dispute arises from the bad 1890 Heligoland colonial treaty and the 1982 UN convention which are conflicting. Determination of solution to the arising conflict needs proper legal procedures to be followed in case the ongoing mediation fails to determine solution which is acceptable to both Malawi and Tanzania.
To me, validity of the Bad 1890 Heligoland colonial treaty ended the day both Tanzania, Malawi and the rest on the African continent were liberated from colonialism because this bad one was solely created for the interests of colonialists in their colonial dispossession of communities in the African countries they created on the continent.
However, this bad one could be considered valid (with errors to correct) to date on condition that all countries which were created by colonialists on the African continent had unanimously agreed to honour their colonial borders which were created on ground in accordance to the Bad 1890 Heligoland colonial treaty.
But, even if all these African countries have already agreed unanimously that the borders of their countries should remain as they were created in accordance to the bad1890 Heligoland colonial treaty, such agreement still needs revision for the sake of justice delivery to communities on the Tanzanian side who shared the coastlines of Lake Malawi on its Tanzanian with counterparts on its Malawian and Mozambican sides peacefully for generations before the arrival of colonialists, whom the agreement would deny deserved share of Lake Malawi by heritage.
All communities who shared Lake Malawi coastlines in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique are the true owners of Lake Malawi and not the African countries created on ground by colonialists.
Therefore, without the approval of all communities who are the true owners of the Lake in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique, the agreement reached by all African countries that the borders of their countries created in accordance to the bad 1890 Heligoland colonial treaty should remain as they are is illegal because affected communities who are the true owners of the Lake in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique were not involved in the agreement which denies the affected ones on the Tanzanian side their deserved share of the lake without their consent.
In the case of Lake Malawi border between Tanzania and Malawi, affected communities on the Tanzanian and Malawian sides of the lake should have been consulted in the agreement reached by African countries to retain their borders which were created on ground in accordance to the bad 1890 Heligoland colonial treaty.
By giving the whole northern portion of Lake Malawi (Nyasa) to affected communities on the Malwian side of the Lake, the agreement reached by all liberated African countries to honour their borders created on ground in accordance to the Bad 1890 colonial is an illegal one which and be corrected for the sake of justice delivery to the affected communities on the Tanzanian side whom the agreement denies deserved share of the lake by Heritage. Thanks for the 1982 UN convention already in place for reference in the administration of correction.
Comment by Moshe Luwinga on September 4, 2013 at 9:28

I have read this article twice just to understand what the Dr. is trying to put accross. I agree with him that Malawi was given an unfair edge especially considering the local communities who depend on the lake for their day to day survival. a few points which can be drawn from this article are:

1. The status quo is that Malawi owns the entire northen part of the Lake as at now 

2. Tanzania wants the lake boarder to be changed from the shore to the middle

Lets look at both sides

Tanzania's stand is a bit dangerous. are they tryn to set a precedent here? I mean almost all the boaders in Africa were drawn by the colonialists. One day each and every African country will wake and say, no am not happy with the boarders set by the colonialists, lets change our borders. in other words we will have a totally new look africa, with some countries gaining areas and some losing! definately each country will want to gain but do expect any country to lose a portion of their territory? Should we change only the water boarders and not the land boarders? should we may be disregard all boarders set by the colonialists and start afresh? what Tanzania is sayn is we want to gain a portion and Malawi should lose a portion without any gain!! surely thats unreasonable!!! If the Heligoland Treaty of 1890 is to be invalid, should it be invalid only on water or land too? How do you invalidate it? only Tanzania should invalidate it without Malawi having a say? If you read the treaty very well, it said countries were free to negotiate the borders in future! what does that mean? Tanzania and Malawi should sit down and negotiate, in theory the treaty say, Tanzania should  aproach Malawi and Malawi should consider ceding part of the lake or not!!  

 

Lets also look at the 1982 UN Treaty. was it meant to change existing boarders? the answer is definately no, rather it was focusing on the equitable use of water bodies. surely Lake Victoria is not divided into equal parts amongst the countries which boarders the lake. why is this so? Tanzania can better explain!! Why can Malawi enter into agreement with Tanzania to equitably use the lake Malawi water? let them own the lake and allow the local use the water for their day to day use. am not sure what the status quo is here. are local Tanzania's not allowed to use the water on a daily basis? if they are not, then Malawi is infringing on their basic human rights, which should definately be addressed.

The 1982 Treaty also has a provision which explicitly states that the middle divider only applies where there is no existing agreement/boarder. Tanzania should not just uniliteraly declare the boarder  by interpreting the 1982 Treaty in isolation of the other provisions of the same treaty.

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