June 17, 2024

Former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos who was in power for nearly four decades dies in Spain at 79

Jose Eduardo dos Santos
Jose Eduardo dos Santos

Former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos who was in power for nearly four decades died in Spain on Friday. He was 79.

The Angolan government announced dos Santos’ passing in a Facebook statement, saying that he died at a clinic in Barcelona after a prolonged illness.

The government described the former leader as a “statesman of great historic dimension, who ruled for many years with charity and humanism.”

“The Executive of the Republic of Angola brings to the knowledge of national and international public opinion, with a feeling of great pain and dismay, the death of His Excellency the former President of the Republic, Engineer Jose Eduardo dos santos,” the statement said.

Dos Santos, who was president of Angola from 1979 to 2017, was celebrated for turning the country into a major oil producer but was also accused of gargantuan corruption and violent human rights abuses, including silencing dissenters.

He was accused of using his position to grow his family’s wealth while Angolans languished in poverty and hopelessness. His daughter, Isabel dos santos who ran the state oil company Sonangol became the richest woman in Africa with an estimated wealth of about $3.5 billion. In 2018, his son, Jose Filomeno de Sousa dos Santos, who ran Angola’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund, was charged with fraud involving a transfer of $500 million from the fund.

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