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Former Angola President dies at age 79

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Former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos attends a party central committee at a meeting in Luanda, Angola, December 2 ,2016. REUTERS/Herculano Coroado/File Photo

Angola’s former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled Africa’s second-biggest oil producer for nearly four decades, has died aged 79, the Angolan presidency said on Facebook on Friday.

The former president died at 11:10 am Spanish time at the Barcelona Teknon clinic following a prolonged illness, the presidency said.

A spokesperson for the Barcelona Teknon clinic where he was being treated declined to comment.

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Dos Santos had been receiving medical treatment since 2019.

Portuguese news agency Lusa reported last month that the former president was admitted to an intensive care unit at a clinic in Barcelona.

One of Africa’s longest serving leaders, dos Santos stepped down five years ago. His rule was marked by a brutal civil war lasting nearly three decades against U.S.-backed UNITA rebels – which he won in 2002 – and a subsequent oil-fuelled boom.

He was replaced in 2017 by President Joao Lourenco, who despite being from the incumbent’s People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), swiftly moved to probe allegations of multi-billion dollar corruption during the dos Santos era, targeting the former leader’s children.

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