Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

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Zimbabwe has begun a new chapter. Robert Mugabe resigned after 37 years in office. And Emmerson Mnangagwa took his inaugural oath on Friday. The new president is now focused on forming a cabinet. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is in the capital, Harare. Here's her report.

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After 37 years with one leader, Zimbabwe has a new president. Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in today at a stadium in the capital Harare.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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"The Crocodile," "The Enforcer," "The Bodyguard," "The Spymaster." Those are just some of the names Zimbabwe's new leader goes by.

One could also add "The Survivor."

The nicknames are an indication of what Zimbabweans can expect of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is 75, and poised to be sworn in as president to replace his one-time mentor Robert Mugabe, on Nov. 24.

As a young 18-year-old recruit to the independence liberation struggle, Mnangagwa was condemned to die by the Rhodesian authorities the guerrilla warriors — combatants and strategists — were trying to depose.

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The man who is poised to be the new leader of Zimbabwe returned to the country today.

(CHEERING)

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Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe's president today. It brings an end to his 37-year leadership of a nation he helped birth. His announcement was read out by the speaker of Parliament at the start of proceedings aimed at impeaching him.

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Ever since Zimbabwe became an independent country, it has had one national leader. President Robert Mugabe has resisted all efforts to dislodge him.

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Updated at 6:05 a.m. ET Wednesday

Zimbabwe's army said Wednesday that it has seized control in what is being described as "a bloodless transition" that has apparently pushed aside President Robert Mugabe. The military said he and his family are "safe and sound."

Armored vehicles and soldiers patrolled streets in the capital, Harare, amid loud explosions overnight. Soldiers reportedly took control of the headquarters of the national broadcaster, ZBC, and an army spokesman said on air: "This is not a military takeover."

Ingenuity, inspiration, an elaborate ruse and a touch of madness. That is what it took for Zainabu Hamayaji to protect her family from Boko Haram.

The terror network in northeastern Nigeria has killed 20,000 people, abducted thousands more and driven more than 2 million people from their homes during its eight-year insurgency. The 47-year-old mother of 10 — four biological and six orphaned children ranging from age 5 to 15 — had to feign insanity to keep the insurgents away.

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Salamatu Umar was abducted by Boko Haram in 2014, when she was just 15. She and five other girls were herded in the bush. She was forced to marry a Boko Haram fighter.

She and another girl eventually escaped, running away while they were collecting firewood for cooking. Umar was pregnant at the time.

Today, she is 18 and the mother of a 1-year-old son, Usman Abubakar. She survived her "hell" and lives in a displaced people's camp in Maiduguri, the main city in northeastern Nigeria and birthplace of Boko Haram.

Umar is free — and yet she is not really free.

Imagine the worst has happened to your family. You've been forced to flee your home.

You eventually make it to safety. But now you're living in a camp for displaced persons.

You don't want to just depend on handouts. So how do you make a living?

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In 2014, Boko Haram seized the town of Gwoza in northeast Nigeria, killing hundreds of people. The insurgents declared that Gwoza would be the seat of their self-proclaimed caliphate. It was a perfect place for them, protected by a mountainside, with caves and tunnels for hiding out.

Could I summon the resolve to eat a grasshopper?

That was the question.

It's certainly a good idea to think about eating insects. Food specialists would like people around the world to think about eating insects — an excellent source of protein.

Not everyone is a fan of the idea, for the obvious reasons.

But in northeastern Nigeria, deep-fried grasshoppers, spiced with powdered chili, are a local favorite.

Ado Garba told me that he loves eating grasshoppers. I could tell, admiringly, that he is a hopper connoisseur.

If you happen to be a cancer patient needing radiation in Senegal, getting past the shock of the diagnosis and onto treatment is a major hardship at the moment.

The country's only radiotherapy machine — indeed for a long while the only one in French-speaking West Africa — is broken. That's the machine whose radiation is used to treat primarily breast, head and neck tumors and bone cancer.

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Nigeria is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world according to the U.N. The combination of an ongoing Boko Haram insurgency and drought have left millions at risk of starvation. Peter Lundberg is the U.N.'s deputy humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria.

Around the world, Muslims are marking Eid Al-Fitr, the celebration that ends Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting — including the people of northeastern Nigeria, a region blighted by an eight-year insurgency by the extremist group, Boko Haram.

Picture a kaleidoscope of color and a medley of vivid African print cloth surging forward amid screams and weeping — for joy.

That was the magnificent and moving scene, Saturday, in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, as 82 former Chibok schoolgirls — now young women — were reunited with their mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and other family members, after three years in Boko Haram captivity. Tears were streaming down their faces and gave way to broad smiles of happiness and relief after years of torment and trauma and missing their families.

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