October 1, 2022
President Joao Lourenco, dos Santos’s successor, stands to realize a second time period in workplace

Angolans and world leaders gathered on Sunday for the state funeral of former strongman president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, whose practically four-decade rule of the oil-rich nation was marred by allegations of plunder and nepotism.

The memorial service was held on the historic palm tree lined Praca da Republica within the seaside capital Luanda on what would have been dos Santos’s eightieth birthday.

It comes days after his occasion, the Individuals’s Motion for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) — which has dominated the nation for practically half a century — noticed its worst outcomes on the polls in essentially the most hotly contested elections since independence.

Dos Santos — who died final month following a cardiac arrest — might be remembered as a “statesman and devoted pan-Africanist,” former Namibian president Sam Nujoma, 93, advised the tons of of mourners in attendance.

A choir sang dirges whereas flags flew at half-mast across the sq., which homes an imposing concrete mausoleum the place the nation’s founding president Agostinho Neto is interred.

Dignitaries together with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi and Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stuffed rows of white and gold seats.

Josiane dos Santos, the late chief’s daughter, sobbed whereas recalling her father’s love for music.

Throughout Angola’s conflict for independence, the younger “Zedu”, as he was known as, started his profession as a revolutionary by recording LPs that inspired the struggle towards coloniser Portugal whereas he took refuge within the neighbouring DRC, she mentioned.

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Dos Santos was referred to by many, notably MPLA members, because the “architect of peace” who introduced democracy and multiparty politics to the nation.

On the streets of Luanda, some individuals have been extra crucial of his legacy.

“He left a excessive charge of youth unemployment… excessive poverty and one of the vital unequal societies,” mentioned Mariana Quissanga, 42, a businesswoman promoting furnishings and garments.

Dos Santos led the nation from 1979 to 2017 below the MPLA banner. His occasion notched up its worst electoral efficiency on this week’s polls.

After 97 % of the outcomes have been tallied, an preliminary depend confirmed the MPLA had received 51.07 % of the vote, with 44.05 % for the occasion’s principal rival, the Nationwide Union for the Complete Independence of Angola (UNITA).

UNITA — which fought a bitter 27-year civil conflict towards the MPLA authorities — has rejected the outcomes.

5 members of the 16-strong election fee have threatened to not log off the outcomes.

“Let’s hope that… an answer will be discovered to what’s occurring within the nation”, commissioner Francisco Vieira advised a press convention on Saturday.

Dos Santos died at a clinic in Barcelona, and a few of his youngsters have been at loggerheads with the federal government and his estranged spouse over the place and when he was to be buried.

However a Spanish court docket final week dominated that the physique be returned to his spouse in Angola.

His eldest daughter Isabel dos Santos, who has confronted a slew of investigations into her multinational enterprise dealings, final week wrote on social media that she wouldn’t be capable to attend the funeral.

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However because the ceremony was below manner, Isabel posted an image of herself and her father on Instagram, captioned in Portuguese “Completely satisfied birthday papa”.

Below dos Santos’s tenure, Angola turned one among Africa’s prime oil producers. Whereas dos Santos and his household reaped huge wealth from Angola’s assets, many of the nation’s 33 million individuals stay among the many poorest on this planet.

As one of many longest-ruling African leaders, he established himself as a political heavyweight past the nation’s borders.

Weakened by age and sickness, he stepped down in 2017, appointing Joao Lourenco as his successor, who now stands to realize a second time period in workplace.

Dos Santos handed a collection of legal guidelines earlier than his departure from authorities, granting himself broad judicial immunity.

Manuel Kalunga, a 57-year-old public servant, will miss dos Santos.

“His dying leaves an excellent vacuum within the political, social and cultural panorama,” Kalunga mentioned.

The memorial service was held on what would have been dos Santos's 80th birthday
The memorial service was held on what would have been dos Santos’s eightieth birthday
Dignitaries including the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi attended the funeral
Dignitaries together with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi attended the funeral

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