April 23, 2018 / 2:01 PM / 8 months ago

Angolan president sacks armed forces, spy bosses in latest purge

FILE PHOTO: Angolan President Joao Lourenco inspects a guard of honour on a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Feb. 14, 2018. REUTERS/Kenny Katombe/File Photo

LUANDA (Reuters) - Angolan President Joao Lourenco sacked the chief of staff of the armed forces and the head of the foreign intelligence agency on Monday, his latest moves against officials tainted by graft allegations or links to his predecessor, Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Lourenco succeeded Dos Santos last September, pledging to tackle an endemic culture of corruption and bring economic reforms to Angola, Africa’s second biggest producer of crude oil, which is marred by widespread poverty despite its oil wealth.

General Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda, the head of the armed forces before his sacking, was named by prosecutors last month as a suspect in an investigation of a scheme to negotiate a fraudulent international credit line of $50 billion.

André de Oliveira Sango, a long-time Dos Santos loyalist, was made foreign intelligence chief over a decade ago.

Their sackings were announced in a presidential decree broadcast on the national public radio station. Neither could be reached for comment.

José Filomeno dos Santos, the son of Angola’s ex-president, was charged last month with fraud relating to a $500 million transaction out of an account belonging to the central bank, a clear sign that the former first family has lost its grip on power.

Reporting by Herculano Coroado, editing by Ed Stoddard and Larry King

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