Giant portraits, presence of foreign heads of state – Félix Tshisekedi, Denis Sassou Nguesso, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, Filipe Nyusi, Cyril Ramaphosa and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa – emotional declarations, ecumenical worship and 21 cannon shots… This Sunday, August 28, Angola paid tribute to its former president José Eduardo dos Santos, who died on 8 July in Barcelona, by organizing a state funeral in Luanda. “Eternal rest, dear President Zedu [le surnom de José Eduardo dos Santos, ndlr] », Could we read on the white T-shirts worn by many of the participants gathered on the Place de la République. Held in the presence of his successor, João Lourenço, but without his intervention, the celebration hailed the journey of a man who marked the history of the country for having led it for thirty-eight years, between 1979 and 2017.
Angola: after the disappearance of “Zedu”, what remains of the dos Santos?
Symbol of a page that is turning, these funerals come at a particular time: a few days after the holding, on August 24, of general elections which recorded the maintenance of power from Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) of Lourenço, but also the unprecedented rise in power of the opposition, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita), which, led by Adalberto Costa Júnior , challenges the results and claims victory.
The pain of the family is the pain of the people
On the sidelines of the celebration, electoral tensions continued. Four members of the National Electoral Commission (CNE) dissociated themselves from the (still provisional) results due to “constant and systematic violations of the law” – the proclamation of the final results is expected on Monday 29 August. Enough to give a key event in Angolan history a tone very Politics.