José Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled Angola for 38 years has died age 79 at a hospital in Barcelona, Spain, the government said Friday.
Dos Santos was hospitalized after suffering a cardiac arrest last month and had been on life support.
Angola’s current head of state, João Lourenço, announced five days of national mourning starting today Saturday, when the country’s flag will fly at half-staff and public events are canceled.
Dos Santos was once one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers who during almost four decades as president of Angola fought the continent’s longest civil war and turned his country into a major oil producer as well as one of the world’s poorest and most corrupt nations.
His political journey spanned single-party Marxist rule in post-colonial years and a democratic system of government adopted in 2008. He voluntarily stepped down in 2017 when his health began failing.