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Robert Mugabe, longtime leader of Zimbabwe, has died at 95

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses party supporters Tuesday, March 18, 2008, file photo, at a rally in Gweru, about 155 miles south of Harare. On Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his predecessor Robert Mugabe, age 95, has died. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / Associated Press)
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses party supporters Tuesday, March 18, 2008, file photo, at a rally in Gweru, about 155 miles south of Harare. On Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his predecessor Robert Mugabe, age 95, has died. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / Associated Press)
Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Robert Mugabe, the longtime leader of Zimbabwe who was forced to resign in 2017 after a military takeover, has died.

His successor Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed Mugabe’s death in a tweet Friday, mourning him as an “icon of liberation.”

Mugabe was a former guerrilla chief who took power after the end of white minority rule in 1980 and presided over a country whose early promise was eroded by economic turmoil and human rights violations.

While Mugabe blamed Zimbabwe’s economic problems on Western sanctions and once said he wanted to rule for life, growing discontent about the country’s leadership prompted a military intervention, impeachment proceedings and large street demonstrations.

On Feb. 21, 2018, Mugabe marked his first birthday since his resignation in near solitude, far from the lavish affair of past years.

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