The cold hands of death have taken away former Botswana president Sir Ketumile Masire.

He was 91.

Reports on Friday indicated that Masire died on Thursday night after he was hospitalised last weekend in a critical condition.

In a statement posted to Facebook, the Botswana government said: "This is to confirm that our beloved Former President Sir Ketumile Quett Joni Masire has passed away. May His Soul Rest in Peace and his family and the nation as a whole be comforted."

Masire was the president of Botswana from 1980 to 1998.

He led various diplomatic initiatives in Africa, including chairing a panel that investigated the 1994 Rwanda genocide, and co-ordinating the Inter-Congolese National Dialogue.