This file photo taken on July 3, 2015 shows Angola's President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos waiting for the arrival of his French counterpart at the presidential palace in Luanda. AFP / ALAIN JOCARD
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Angolans endured a bloody civil war and extreme poverty as for nearly 40 years power rested solely in the hands of autocratic President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. State radio's announcement Friday that he would stand down next year appears to be the beginning of the end of one of Africa's longest reigns, and could open a new chapter for a country largely closed off to the outside world.When Dos Santos, who is now 74, became president in 1979, war was already raging between the MPLA government and UNITA rebels, four years after independence from Portugal.Leading Angolan writer and opposition activist Rafael Marques is scathing in his criticism of Dos Santos and dismisses any suggestion of the president being held in affection.Life after Dos Santos is hard to imagine for many Angolans if – as announced – he does not stand in next year's election.
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