Angola’s longest-serving leader, Jose Eduardo dos Santos has died at the age of 79 in a Barcelona clinic.
According to a statement on Facebook by the country’s presidency, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, who ruled Angola for with an iron fist for 38 years, died Friday at the Barcelona Teknon clinic after suffering cardiac arrest.
With “great pain and consternation” the Luanda government posted on Facebook news of the confirmation of Dos Santos’ death.
José Eduardo dos Santos ruled the Portuguese-speaking, oil-rich state of Angola as the second president who served from 1979 to 2017.
He affectionately came to be known as Zé Dú, throughout his 38-year-old long presidential term.
In September 2017, he formally retired from political life, leaving power to his successor, the current president of Angola, João Lourenço and has since been in exile in Barcelona where he died this Friday after a prolonged illness.
Although his death comes at a particularly sensitive time for Angolan democracy, as the country prepares for its upcoming elections in August 2022, his stint in power has left a legacy that continues to generate divided opinions inside and outside Angola.