'Missing’ president reappears

2013-08-11 14:00

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Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos was found alive and well after “disappearing” to Spain for more than a month, fuelling rumours about his wellbeing.

Dos Santos (pictured) arrived with his wife, Ana Paula, on Friday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, for the Gulf of Guinea Commission heads of state summit.

This came after he left on June 26 for a private visit to Barcelona.

He was gone for more than 40 days.

The Economist Intelligence Unit reported this week that 70-year-old Dos Santos has in the past travelled to Barcelona for medical attention.

Over the past month, ministers have had to stand in for him at regional summits and bilateral meetings, something which is reportedly not unusual.

“The president is widely rumoured to have suffered from serious health problems and his extended visit to a place where he has previously received medical care has led to speculation that he may be gravely ill,” the unit reported.

A government official on Thursday said the reason Dos Santos was gone for longer than expected was because of repairs being done at the presidential palace.

Another website, Africa Review, reported that even opposition political leaders in Angola were starting to panic.

“We know that he travelled to Spain for health reasons. We wish he gets better soon. But (weeks) on we do not know anything (yet) because there is no culture of informing people on his health condition,” Raul Danda of the opposition Unita party reportedly told Angola’s Parliament a few weeks ago.– Staff reporter

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