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Emmerson Mnangagwa, center-right, and his wife, Auxillia, arriving at the presidential inauguration ceremony in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Friday.

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Ben Curtis/Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled into exile after losing a power struggle less than three weeks ago, became Zimbabwe’s new president on Friday — succeeding Robert Mugabe, the leader he had backed for decades before helping oust him last week.

In a rapid reversal of fortunes that abruptly ended one of the longest reigns in Africa’s post-colonial history, Mr. Mnangagwa was sworn in at a ceremony at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, the capital.

Mr. Mnangagwa — who served for half a century as his predecessor’s right-hand man — is Zimbabwe’s second leader since independence in 1980.

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