World Angola's ex-president home after two years in Spain

09:00  15 september  2021
09:00  15 september  2021 Source:   afp.com

Spain restarts talks to resolve Catalan secession crisis

  Spain restarts talks to resolve Catalan secession crisis BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spain’s prime minister and Catalonia's leader met Wednesday to restart negotiations in hopes of finding a solution to the ongoing political crisis caused by the region’s separatist movement. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez sat down with regional president Pere Aragonès at the seat of the Catalan government in downtown Barcelona. Expectations are low for any huge advances from the meeting which has caused a rift within the separatist camp. Aragonès and his Republican Left of Catalonia party call the talks a “historic opportunity.

Angola ’ s former President , Jose Eduardo dos Santos, returned home on Tuesday after almost three years in self-imposed exile following the new leader’s crackdown on his family’s multi-billion dollar business interests. Dos Santos, who ruled Africa’s second-biggest oil producer from 1979 to 2017, landed in Luanda at about 11 a.m. local time, state-news agency Angop reported on Tuesday. The 79- year -old’s return may suggest there is an agreement with President Joao Lourenco, who began targeting his predecessor’s children almost immediately after coming to power in 2017.

In an exclusive with DW, Angolan President Joao Lourenco spoke for the first time about allegations against Africa' s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos. He also defended his role in a government led by her father. Many years after the end of the civil war, the destruction is still evident across the country. The armed forces continued to play an important role in the Angolan president ' s leadership. Clashes between government forces the separatist group FLEC still occur regularly in the northern enclave of Cabinda.

Angola's controversial ex-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos on Tuesday arrived in the southern Africa nation from Spain, the first time he has returned home since retiring, the state press agency said.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the son of the former Angolan president, was jailed for five years on graft charges © Joao da Fatima Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the son of the former Angolan president, was jailed for five years on graft charges

Dos Santos left the country in 2019 after handing the reigns over the previous year, to President Joao Lourenco, who has since targeted the former first family in an anti-graft probe.

He landed in Angola's capital Luanda on Tuesday morning after spending two years in Barcelona, Angop reported.

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State prosecutors in Angola ordered Jose Filomeno dos Santos to be remanded in custody on Monday over a corruption case involving .5 billion (€1.28 billion) in fraudulent transactions. "The evidence assembled in the case constitutes sufficient evidence that the accused were involved in acts of corruption," prosecutor-general Alvaro Da Silva Joao said in a The opposition Unita party praised the detention of Jose Filomeno dos Santos, saying that President Lourenco is "honoring his promises." Ex - President Jose Eduardo dos Santos stepped down last year after ruling the country for 38 years .

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled for 37 years , will stand down before next year ' s general election, state radio said Friday citing sources in the ruling MPLA party. National Radio of Angola said that Defence Minister Joao Lourenco would take over as MPLA leader, in news confirmed to AFP by Joao Pinto, a senior member of the party. After constitutional changes in 2010, Angola does not directly elect a president , rather the leader of the winning party automatically becomes head of state.

The length of his stay was not immediately clear.

Dos Santos, 79, is accused of appointing relatives and friends to top positions during his 38-year presidency of the oil-rich nation.

Critics say corruption was rife during his rule, with wealth amassing in the hands of a select few and billions of dollars allegedly embezzled from state-owned companies.

President Joao Lourenco, who took office in 2018, has promised to root out graft and restore the oil-dependent economy.

He launched an anti-corruption campaign against the former regime that has honed in on some of dos Santos's children.

Prosecutors in 2019 froze the business assets of dos Santos's billionaire daughter Isabel dos Santos, appointed chair of state oil company Sonangol during her father's rule.

Afghan president latest leader on the run to turn up in UAE

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Africa' s richest woman Isabel dos Santos has spoken out in defence of her companies after she was accused of 'ripping off Angola ' by making her fortune by exploiting her country.

Angola is considered one of the countries with the biggest potential in Africa, but it is going through a harsh economic crisis. The successor of the former president José Eduardo dos Santos, who was in power for 38 years , is João Lourenço, the former defense minister. "Well, the agreements, as a rule, are general agreements, agreements that give the possibility of doing something. After that, you have toexamine concrete projects, one by one. There is the possibilityof cooperating in the training of our military officers in all branches.

Removed from the position shortly after Lourenco stepped in, Isabel is being probed for allegedly syphoning state funds into offshore assets -- accusations she vehemently denies.

Her half-brother Jose Filomeno dos Santos was sentenced to five years in prison in August last year for diverting oil revenues from Angola's sovereign wealth fund, which he oversaw from 2013 to 2018.

Dos Santos is under presidential immunity from prosecution until 2022, five years after the end of his mandate.

Angolans will meanwhile be heading to the polls next year for presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

Lourenco is widely expected to vie for a second term.

He has fallen behind on his promise to restore the economy and caused ire among the opposition for making "unfair" electoral law amendments this month.


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