by Ben Taylor
Sarah Cooke, pictured, has been appointed British High Commissioner to the United Republic of Tanzania in succession to Dianna Melrose, who will be leaving the Diplomatic Service. Sarah will take up her appointment in July 2016.
This was announced by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in early February, and was followed by rumours that the current High Commissioner had been recalled at the request of the Tanzanian government. The FCO later issued a second statement, denying that this was the case.
“Contrary to some media reports, the British High Commissioner, Dianna Melrose, will not be ending her mission in Tanzania until the end of July 2016, at the normal conclusion of her posting,” read the statement.
Sarah Cooke has worked for the Department for International Development for the past 11 years, since 2012 as Country Representative for DfID in Bangladesh. This will be her first posting in the Diplomatic Service.
Relations between the diplomatic community and the Tanzanian government have been tense since the disputed Zanzibar elections, and perceived interference of diplomats in domestic matters. See Foreign Relations section for further details.