BREAKING: Former Angolan president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos dies

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos Angolan delivers a speech during his final election campaign rally in Kilamba Kaixi, on the outskirts of Luanda, on August 29, 2012. The ruling popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which has been in power since independence 37 years ago, will compete on August 31, 2012 in the legislative poll against 8 other political parties, including the main opposition Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Dos Santos told the crowd that with a new term he would push ahead with his multi-billion-dollar drive to rebuild the country after the civil war that ended a decade ago. AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN (Photo credit should read STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/GettyImages)
Former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. (Photo via GettyImages)

The former president of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos has passed away aged 79, the Angolan presidency announced on Facebook on Friday.

The former president died at 11:10 am Spanish time, following a prolonged illness, according to a medical report certified by the Barcelona Teknon clinic.

The announcement said dos Santos, who ruled Africa’s second-biggest oil producer for nearly four decades, was “a statesman of great historical scale who governed … the Angolan nation through very difficult times.”

Dos Santos had mostly lived in Barcelona since stepping down in 2017 and he reportedly had been undergoing treatment there for health problems.

The Executive of the Republic of Angola extended its deepest condolences to the bereaved family and appealed for everyone’s serenity in this time of pain and dismay.