dos Santos, José Eduardo

dos Santos, José Eduardo zho͞ozĕˈ ēᵺwärˈdo͞o do͞os säNˈto͞oz [key], 1942–, president of Angola (1979–2017). Educated in the USSR as an engineer, he was foreign minister in the first government of independent Angola, succeeding Neto as president of Angola and head of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in 1979. In 1991, he abandoned Marxism and negotiated an end to the civil war with the insurgent National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). The peace ended when dos Santos outpolled UNITA candidate Jonas Savimbi for the presidency, and UNITA forces resumed fighting (1992). A second peace effort in 1994 also ended in fighting, which lasted from 1998 to 2002. Under dos Santos, economic growth in some sectors (oil and diamonds) led to significant corruption, and poverty remained widespread. He stepped down as president in 2017 but remained chairman of the MPLA until 2018.

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