Following the passing of former Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos, the Mozambican government has proclaimed five days of national mourning.
The period of mourning began on Thursday at midnight. The national flag will be flown at half-mast throughout the five days in the nation and at all diplomatic missions abroad.
The Council of Ministers met in an extraordinary session on Wednesday night and made the decision.
“Jose Eduardo dos Santos, earned, at a national and international level, high prestige and esteem, especially in the context of the fight for racial equality against apartheid, in favour of freedom, dignity and economic and social progress of the countries of southern Africa and the African continent in general,” said Ludivina Bernardo, the deputy minister of industry and commerce in a press conference.
In encouraging discussion, stability, and peace among the peoples of the region, Mr. Dos Santos was “one of the pioneers in forming the current Sadc [Southern African economic bloc],” according to the deputy minister.
Last week Friday, Dos Santos passed away in a hospital in Barcelona where he was receiving medical care.
Dos Santos was an Angolan politician who served as the president of Angola from 1979 to 2017. As president, dos Santos was also the commander in chief of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and President of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the party that has ruled Angola since it gained independence in 1975.
He was the second-longest-serving president in Africa, surpassed only by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, who took power less than two months before dos Santos.
Dos Santos joined the MPLA, then an anti-colonial movement, while still in school, and earned degrees in petroleum engineering and radar communications while studying in the Soviet Union.
He fought for the MPLA during the Angolan War of Independence, which became the sole legal party after the country’s independence in 1975 and adopted Marxism–Leninism as its ideology. He then held several positions including Minister of Foreign Affairs during the rule of the country’s first president, Agostinho Neto.
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