dos Santos, José Eduardo

dos Santos, José Eduardo

(zho͞ozĕ` ēthwär`do͞o do͞os säN`to͞oz), 1942–, president of Angola (1979–). Educated in the USSR as an engineer, he was foreign minister in the first government of independent Angola, succeeding NetoNeto, Agostinho
, 1927–79, first president of independent Angola. A Portuguese-educated physician and poet, he founded the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) in 1956, directing the war of liberation against Portugal from exile with East bloc
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 as president 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 SavimbiSavimbi, Jonas
, 1934–2002, Angolan rebel leader. He was a founding member of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) in 1966. Savimbi was included in the interim independent government with Neto and Roberto in 1974 but returned to armed opposition
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 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) has led to significant corruption.