Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tibaijuka: Don`t tamper with international border marks

Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development Prof. Anna Tibaijuka has called on wananchi to stop removing marks which have been installed to demarcate the country’s boundaries because doing so is sabotaging the nation. Briefing journalists on Africa Border Day, which was marked on Wednesday, Prof. Tibaijuka said there were some people who purposely remove the marks which had been placed at borders, thus creating misunderstandings with neighbouring countries. She however said the country’s borders with the neighbouring countries were secure and talks to verify them were proceeding in order to make them official by putting marks where they had been removed. The minister called on Tanzanians living near the country's borders to guard the installed marks and inform the authorities in case they have been removed.

Professor Anna Tibaijuka

Tibaijuka said international boundaries were crucial and needed to be handled with care because they might result in conflict between countries, as it occurred between Tanzania and Uganda in the late 1970s. On the boundary between Rwanda and Tanzania, Prof. Tibaijuka said the boundary stretched for 201 kilometres. She said during the colonial era Rwanda and Burundi were under German East Africa, thus there was no border to separate the two countries. “After World War 1 Burundi and Rwanda were given to Belgium, thus Britain and Belgium set out to fix a boundary between Tanzania and Rwanda,” she said. The current border was according to the Anglo-Belgian Protocol of 1924 and amendments which led to the repeal of the Anglo-Belgian Treaty of 1934. She said there was no problem in relation to the boundary, but Tanzania and Rwanda would start talks to demarcate the boundary, especially with regard to Kagera River. On borders between Burundi and Tanzania she said it was set as per the Anglo-Belgian Protocol of 1924. She said the length of the entire boundary was 374 kilometres. Prof. Tibaijuka said there was a need to verify the names of rivers which were maintained in the 1924 protocol to see whether the rivers were still in existence or some of them had disappeared due to climate changes.


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