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Jose Eduardo dos Santos

Angola’s former president dos Santos dies at 79

Angola’s former president dos Santos dies at 79
President of Angola Jose Eduardo dos Santos waves to supporters during an election campaign rally for Joao Lourenco (unseen), the candidate of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), in Luanda, Angola, 19 August 2017. EPA/MANUEL DE ALMEIDA

LUANDA/BARCELONA, July 8 (Reuters) - 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.

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.

(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya, Joan Faus and Patricia Rua, Nellie Peyton and Anait MiridzhanianEditing by James Macharia Chege)

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