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A dispute over fishery resources in Niassa, Chiuta, Chirua and Amaramba lakes in Mozambique’s northern Niassa province is affecting relations between Mozambique and Malawi.
The dispute centers on the four lakes on the border between the two Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries.
Several analysts find it difficult to make sense of Mozambique-Malawi relations in the matter, which are made more confusing by political, economic and even social divergences.
According to Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries provincial director Alberto Mucavele, one such incidents occurred in 2012, when police officers from Malawi “crossed the Mozambican border and went to Lake Amaramba, arrested 11 fishermen and confiscated two fishing nets”.
Over the years, several other incidents between the two countries have been reported, including the sentencing to death in Malawi of six Mozambicans accused of murder in 2009. Their penalty was later converted to life imprisonment.
The list of incidents is long. One occurred in 2010 when a vessel that left the port of Quelimane in the central Mozambican province of Zambézia and experimentally navigated the Zambezi River to Nsanje in Malawi transporting 60 tons of fertilizers, was detained in Marromeu by the Mozambican authorities.
Sociologist Rogério Sitoi acknowledges that relations between Maputo and Lilongwe have often been tense, but says that Mozambique should not lean towards a tightening of positions, but rather towards relaxation.
Mozambique and Malawi share a common border of about 1,400 kilometers.Source: Voa Portugues