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Why Lake Malawi dispute should solve basing on the 1982 UN convention on the Law of the Sea.

Validity of the 1890 Heligoland treaty ended with the liberation of Malawi and Tanzania from European colonialism because by addressing colonial interests alone, the treaty violated the traditional rights of affected communities in Tanzania and Malawi on Lake Nyasa (Malawi) they shared peacefully for generations before the arrival of European colonialists. The 1890 Heligoland treaty should therefore end with the end of colonialism in the two countries it affected because retaining it by liberated Malawi and Tanzania, favours affected communities on the Malawian side at the expense of their counterparts on the Tanzanian side who were not consulted in the colonial institution of the treaty and/ or never approved it. 

Also, the 1963 OAU Resolution which stated that countries shall adopt and adhere to the borders that they inherited on their attainment of independence and officially drawn on July 21, 1964 is also not justification of validity of the 1890 Heligoland treaty after the end of European colonialism in Malawi and Tanzania because the communities it would victimize for generations on the Tanzanian side were also not consulted in the drawing of this OAU resolution. 

True owners of Lake Malawi (Nyasa) are generations of communities who shared its coastlines in Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique for generations before the arrival of European colonialism and any agreement or resolution which violates the traditional rights of any affected community on the lake for generations should be considered illegal unless approved by the community it would victimize. And, even if approved by the community it victimizes validity of such approval should not hold for future generations of the affected community because these deserve the right to decide for themselves on the manmade treaty or resolution violating their traditional right on the lake. 

Therefore the 1890 Heligoland treaty and the 1963 OAU resolution on borders are human errors which should be corrected and therefore not justification of the colonial border which denies affected Tanzanian communities their deserved share of Lake Malawi (Nyasa) for generations because they would be victims were not consulted nor approved inaction of both the 1890 Heligoland treaty and the 1963 OAU resolution on national borders. 

Consequently, resolution of lake Malawi (Nyasa) dispute should base on the most up to date 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 because this was enacted to address violations of the traditional rights of affected communities on water bodies for generations in previous treaties and/or resolutions.

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Comment by Antipas Massawe on August 2, 2013 at 11:09

Fact is that the colonial 1890 Heligoland Treaty was revoked and the Lake Malawi dispute it had caused between Malawi and Tanzania ended in 1982 when all members of the United Nations ( including Malawi, Tanzania, United Kingdom and Germany (East and West)) unanimously endorsed the 1982 UN Convention on the  the law of  The Sea, stipulating international borders should lie on the middle of water bodies falling on the borders.


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