Former Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete, the new AU envoy for Libya

The African Union has appointed former Tanzania President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete as a Special Representative for Libya.

A seasoned diplomat who also served as his country’s foreign minister for 10 years between 1995 and 2005, the 66 year-old Kikwete, the fourth president of Tanzania, stepped down as president in October last year after serving the maximum two five-year terms.

He joins a small list of former African presidents like his predecessor Benjamin Mkapa, Botswana’s Festus Mogae and Joachim Chissano of Mozambique, all of who have been named envoys by international and continental organisations like the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU).

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Kikwete’s appointment comes amid three-year recurring violence in Libya, following the killing of long-serving president Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.