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Mugabe Makes First Public Appearance Since Zimbabwe Crisis Eruption (PHOTOS)

© AP Photo / Ben CurtisZimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, center, arrives to preside over a student graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, center, arrives to preside over a student graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The development comes a day after Mugabe met with the army commander and South African envoys.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has arrived at a university graduation ceremony in Harare in his first public appearance since the eruption of political upheaval as a result of tensions after the leader had fired his deputy and likely successor Emmerson Mnangagwa, who enjoys military support last week. Mugabe was reportedly greeted by ululations from the crowd as he declared the ceremony open.

© AP Photo / Ben CurtisZimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, center, stands for the national anthem after arriving to preside over a student graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, center, stands for the national anthem after arriving to preside over a student graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 - Sputnik International
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, center, stands for the national anthem after arriving to preside over a student graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

Mugabe's first public appearance comes just a day after state-run Zimbabwe Herald newspaper released photos of the president meeting with South African envoys and army commander Constantino Chiwenga, who earlier this week had threatened to "step in" in the conflict and called on the president to stop the "purge" in the ruling party. According to South African media, the talks were aimed at finding a solution to the turmoil.

Political Upheaval

South African President Jacob Zuma, who was previously contacted by Mugabe while he had been "confined to his home but said that he was fine," has commented on the talks, saying that the situation in Zimbabwe "very shortly will be becoming clear."

Most recently, an opposition leader called on Mugabe to resign, saying that his removal from power would be in the interest of Zimbabwe's residents, while the president reportedly saying that he remains the legitimate head of state and demanding guarantees of immunity should he step down.

Earlier this week, the ruling party in Zimbabwe has announced that the country was in a "bloodless transition" of power from 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, who had reportedly been heavily guarded by the military and preparing to announce his resignation. The military, however, said in a televised statement on Wednesday that there was no "military takeover of government" underway and that the president was "safe and sound."

READ MORE: Zimbabwe: Mugabe Claims 'Legitimacy,' Army, Opposition Insist on Transition

Youth washes a minibus adorned with picture of President Robert Mugabe at a bus terminus in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 15, 2017 - Sputnik International
Deposed Zimbabwe Vice President to Form Transitional Government
The African Union has stated that the crisis "seems like a coup" after armored vehicles had entered the outskirts of Harare earlier this week.

Local media reports have suggested that the sacked vice president, Mnangagwa, plans to install a transitional government that will rule the African nation until the general elections in five years. However, no confirmation has followed.

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