Amid of a dispute within the family over the late leader’s funeral, the government of Angola has recruited a law company to represent both its interests and those of widow Ana Paula dos Santos, the former president José Eduardo dos Santos.
While the widow and younger children want his remains repatriated to Angola, the former president’s older children want to have custody of it and arrange a funeral in Spain.
The administration and the late leader’s family reportedly tried to come to an agreement on funeral plans, but they were unable, according to local media.
By the end of this week, a Spanish court is expected to make a decision about the body’s custody.
Jose dos Santos, who ruled Angola for 38 years before retiring in 2017, passed away on July 8 in a hospital in Barcelona, Spain.
Since stepping down in 2017, he had mostly lived in Barcelona. He had been undergoing treatment for various health challenges.
Angola’s current President Joao Lourenco, announced five days of national mourning starting Friday, when the country’s flag will fly at half-mast and public events are cancelled.
Dos Santos came to power four years after Angola gained independence from Portugal and became engrossed in the Cold War as a proxy battlefield.
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 when his health began failing.
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