Former Zimbabwe President Mugabe dies at 95

Former Zimbabwe President Mugabe dies at 95
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Zimbabwe's president on Friday announced that the country's longtime former leader and strongman, Robert Mugabe, has died at the age of 95.

Mugabe, who ruled the country for 37 years after being released from his previous imprisonment by the country's formerly majority-white government, was ousted by members of his own party in a 2017 coup that saw the end of his nearly four decades in office.

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced Mugabe's passing "with the utmost sadness" on Twitter, calling the former president one of the founding fathers of modern-day Zimbabwe.

"It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe's founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe," Mnangagwa wrote. "Cde Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace."

Mugabe originally took power in the country's 1980 elections following a peace deal brokered by the U.K. between Mugabe's ZANU forces and Ian Smith's white-majority government, a remnant of European colonial powers.

His time as president was controversial, as he made a number of moves to remain in power for nearly 40 years.

He was sanctioned by the United Nations in 2003 over U.N. concerns about human rights abuses in the country and Mugabe's own frequent reelection to office, typically in campaigns marked by fraud and outbursts of violence in the country.

The 2017 military coup that removed him from power was sparked by Mugabe's firing of Mnangagwa, his successor, and reports of his plans to instead appoint his second wife Grace Marufu as the next president.

He died in Singapore, according to Reuters.