Tanzania’s former president Benjamin Mkapa dies, presidency says

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FILE PHOTO: Tanzania's former President Benjamin Mkapa (R) speaks with Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti during a meeting in Khartoum October 11, 2010. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Tanzania’s former President Benjamin Mkapa (R) speaks with Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti during a meeting in Khartoum October 11, 2010. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo

Tanzania’s former President Benjamin Mkapa, who served from 1995 to 2005, died in the early hours of Friday, President John Magufuli said in a statement.

Mkapa, the East African nation’s third president who led several regional peace mediation efforts in office and afterward, died while receiving treatment at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Magufuli said, without giving more details.

He declared a seven day mourning period, during which all flags will be flown at half-mast.

“Magufuli asks all Tanzanians to remain calm, patient and united during this difficult time,” a statement from his office said.

Mkapa, 81, also served as an ambassador, minister and key official of the ruling CCM party, Magufuli said.

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