Mr. Jacques Joaquim Yhombi Opango, the former Republic of Congo president has succumbed to the deadly novel coronavirus according to AFP.
Yhombi – Opango, who led Congo-Brazzaville from 1977 until he was toppled in 1979, died at a Paris hospital on Monday aged 81. According to his son Jean-Jacques, Yhombi – Opango was ill before he contracted the virus.
The late president was born in 1939 in Congo’s northern Cuvette region. As an army officer, he rose to power after the assassination of president Marien Ngouabi.
Yhombi Opango was later ousted by Denis Sassou Nguesso and jailed from 1987-1990 on accusations that he had taken part in a coup to oust Nguesso.
He was released a few months before a 1991 national conference that introduced multi-party politics in the central African country and founded the Rally for Democracy and Development party which was to later lose in the 1992 presidential election.
Yhombi Opango later allied with elected president Pascal Lissouba, becoming his prime minister between 1994 and 1996.
When civil war broke out in Congo in 1997, Yhombi Opango fled into exile in France. He was finally able to return home in 2007, but then divided his time between France and Congo because of his health problems.