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Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe steps down after decades of rule

Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, preempted impeachment proceedings by announcing his resignation Tuesday, The New York Times reports. Mugabe, 93, has ruled the nation since its independence in 1980.

On Sunday, the ruling Zanu-PF party ousted Mugabe as party leader. Mugabe stunned Zimbabweans by refusing to resign in a rambling televised speech. He said Tuesday that his decision to finally step down was out of concern for "the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and the need for a peaceful transfer of power," and residents reportedly took to the street of Harare, the capital, to celebrate:

Emmerson Mnangagwa, who served as Zimbabwe's vice president until Mugabe fired him this month, was chosen as the new party head, but he had fled to South Africa for safety. Mnangagwa is expected to be Mugabe's successor.