Former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled Africa’s second largest oil producer for nearly four decades, has died at the age of 79, the Angolan presidency announced on Facebook on Friday.
The former president died at 11:10 a.m. Spanish time at the Barcelona Teknon clinic after a long illness, according to the presidency.
The government announced the obituary in the following way on its Facebook page:
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“With great sadness and dismay, the Executive of the Republic of Angola announces the death of His Excellency the former President of the Republic, Engineer José Eduardo dos Santos, today at 11:10 a.m., Spanish time, as confirmed by the medical report of a clinic in Barcelona, after a long illness.”
“The Executive of the Republic of Angola bows to the figure of a Statesman of great historical dimension, who ruled for many years with clarity and humanism the destinies of the Angolan Nation, at very difficult times.” “The Executive of the Republic of Angola extends to the bereaved family its deepest condolences and appeals for everyone’s serenity in this time of pain and dismay.”
Dos Santos had been receiving medical treatment since 2019.
According to the Portuguese news agency Lusa, the former president was admitted to an intensive care unit at a hospital in Barcelona last month.
Dos Santos, Africa’s longest-serving leader, stepped down five years ago. His rule was marked by a brutal civil war against US-backed UNITA rebels, which he won in 2002, and a subsequent oil-fueled boom.
He was replaced in 2017 by President Joao Lourenco, who, despite belonging to the incumbent’s People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), moved quickly to investigate allegations of multibillion-dollar corruption during the dos Santos era, specifically targeting the former leader’s children.