Ex-Botswana President Sir Ketumile Masire dies

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Botswana’s former President Ketumile Masire has died at the age of 91, the country’s government has announced.

Sir Ketumile, who led Botswana for 18 years from 1980, has been praised for cementing stability in the country and laying the foundations for its economic success, the AFP news agency reports.

He also got involved in trying to resolve regional disputes, including supporting the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

South Africa’s High Commissioner to Botswana, Mdu Lembede, is quoted by the SABC as saying the former president not only backed the anti-apartheid movement but also supported other struggles in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

After stepping down in 1988 to make way for Vice-President Festus Mogae he worked as a mediator in a number of conflicts including in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Botswana’s government has announced three days of national mourning.

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One Response to Ex-Botswana President Sir Ketumile Masire dies

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