A decision to take the Malawi/Tanzania lake border dispute for arbitration to the International Court of Justice – ICJ – is the only option but would take long to be resolved, Chancellor College based law expert Associate Professor Edge Kanyongolo said on Tuesday.

He was reacting to President Joyce Banda’s remarks that seeking mediation of former SADC Heads of State on the wrangle has been a waste of time saying the only option is to take the matter to the ICJ.

“Going to court has implications and one of such is that the issue [border dispute] might take time to be resolved,” warned Kanyongolo while conceding that “this is the only next logical step.”

According to Kanyongolo, much as this is the only option, the two sides have to swallow their pride as the case would take long to be concluded.

He cited as an example a similar wrangle between Nigeria and Cameroon which took over five 5 years to resolve.

Asked to assess the approach taken by the mediation team this far, Kanyongolo said the Malawi government was left with no option but to take the issue to the team first.

“Regardless of how much time has been spent by the mediation team, this was Malawi government’s constitution obligation to first take the issue to the team,” he said.

Malawi maintains ownership of the entire Lake Malawi under the 1890 treaty whose validity is disputed by Tanzania which wants a stop to the oil exploration currently under way to pave way for a diplomatic resolution.

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