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The body of ex-President dos Santos is said to arrive in Angola

#body #exPresident #dos #Santos #arrive #Angola

The body of Angolan Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who died in Spain last month, was due to arrive in Luanda on Saturday, the government said, ending a weeks-long feud over the repatriation of the ex-president’s body.

A lawyer for dos Santos’ widow confirmed that the remains, which were at the center of a family dispute, had left Barcelona and were en route to the Angolan capital.

“On Friday we did all the preparations, the customs papers, the embalming, we did everything and indeed the body is flying to Angola this morning,” Josep Riba Ciurana, a lawyer for Ana Paula dos Santos’ widow, told AFP.

Dos Santos, who ruled the oil-rich African nation with an iron fist from 1979 to 2017, died in Barcelona on July 8 at the age of 79 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Since then, the question of when and where he will be buried has pitted the Angolan government and his widow against some of his adult children.

A court in Barcelona this week ordered the transfer of his remains to Paula and granted permission for “the repatriation and international transfer of (his) remains to Angola”.

Dos Santos’ 44-year-old daughter, Tchize dos Santos, appealed to challenge the decision, but Riba Ciurana said a judge granted immediate enforcement of the sentence and allowed the body to leave Spain.

– ‘Surprised’ –

“We are the first to be surprised,” said Carmen Varela, Tchize’s lawyer, adding that she learned about the repatriation from television and was “not informed about anything.”

Varela explained they wanted to hold the funeral in Barcelona because returning to Angola was not an option for some family members.

Several dos Santos children have faced a number of corruption investigations in recent years.

The body was due to arrive in Luanda in the late afternoon, a government official told AFP, without giving further details.

The announcement comes just days before Angolans are due to go to the polls in a national vote and marks a small victory for President Joao Lourenco.

Lourenco was addressing a large crowd of supporters at a campaign rally in Luanda when the news broke.

In an Instagram post, Tchize accused the president of using her father’s body as a campaign tool, calling it a “world shame.”

During dos Santos’ nearly four-decade tenure, members of his family benefited from the nation’s oil wealth while most Angolans remained mired in poverty.

When he resigned in 2017, dos Santos handed power to former Secretary of Defense Lourenco.

But Lourenco quickly turned on his former patron and unleashed an anti-corruption campaign to recover billions he suspected had been embezzled as part of dos Santos, a campaign targeting the former president’s family.

“You took me to the altar and… I won’t be able to take you to your last (resting) place,” Dos Santos’ eldest daughter Isabel, who has faced a spate of investigations into her multinational deals, wrote on an Instagram. Post.

“They snatched you from my arms.”

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#body #exPresident #dos #Santos #arrive #Angola

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