Political differences aside, João Lourenço and Adalberto Costa Júnior are together this Sunday at the funeral of José Eduardo dos Santos. Four days after the general elections in Angola, which are being contested by the main opposition party, the leaders of the MPLA and UNITA mark their final farewell to the former Angolan president.
The funeral ceremonies of José Eduardo dos Santos, which began on Saturday, ended this Sunday, the date on which he would have turned 80, with a State funeral in the presence of several Presidents, including Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
The body of José Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled Angola from 1979 to 2017, arrived in Luanda on the 20th, after the Spanish judicial authorities decided to hand over custody of the body to the widow and mother of three of his eight children, Ana Paula. dos Santos.
The former head of state died on July 8, aged 79, in Barcelona, Spain, where he has spent most of his time for the past five years, but the funeral will only now take place due to a dispute over custody of the body between two factions of José Eduardo dos Santos’ family – the widow and three youngest children, supported by the Angolan regime, versus the five oldest children.
This Sunday, there will be military honors in a program that includes lyrical music, reading of messages from the Angolan State and the family, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the José Eduardo Santos Foundation and reading of the funeral eulogy, as well as an ecumenical service. , accompanied by choir groups.
After a moment of greeting and laying of a wreath on the part of the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, the urn is left with military honors and the funeral procession begins to the grave where there will be a restricted ceremony, with representatives of foreign governments. .
Among the guests are 21 high-level delegations, including the Presidents of Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as representatives from Rwanda. , Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Namibia, Timor-Leste and Zambia.
The Portuguese delegation also includes the Minister of Foreign Affairs, João Gomes Cravinho. At 10:00 am, the Portuguese ruler, who arrived at the place where the funeral ceremonies take place. To journalists, he highlighted the “relationships” between the two countries that “provided the peoples’ rapprochement”, refusing to comment on Angola’s electoral process.
Also arriving at the memorial was Adalberto da Costa Júnior, the UNITA leader contesting the provisional results of Wednesday’s general elections.
21 cannon salutes will also be heard, with an honorary overflight of aircraft and maneuvers by the Angolan Navy in Chicala Bay, and the ceremonies will conclude with the deposition of the urn in the tomb with a prayer.