Category Archives: East Africa

Kenya – Raila says Moses Kuria coached witness against Ruto in ICC case

Daily Nation

Raila claims Uhuru used Moses Kuria to fix Ruto at the ICC

Mr Odinga claimed Mr Kenyatta used Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria to obtain and coach witnesses.

Cord leader Raila Odinga, who on Tuesday claimed that President Uhuru Kenyatta procured and coached witnesses to fix Deputy President William Ruto. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary

  • Mr Odinga claimed that Mr Kenyatta used Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria to obtain and coach witnesses who were to testify against Mr Ruto at the ICC.
  • Mr Kuria, the Cord leader stated, was an employee and political assistant to Mr Kenyatta at the time.
  • Mr Kuria has stirred controversy following his claims that it is Mr Odinga, Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua and Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o who conspired to send Mr Ruto to the ICC.
  • President Kenyatta’s spokesman Manoah Esipisu could not be reached for a comment on the allegations.

Cord leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday claimed that President Uhuru Kenyatta procured and coached witnesses to fix Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Mr Odinga claimed Mr Kenyatta used Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria to obtain and coach witnesses who were to testify against Mr Ruto at the ICC.

Mr Kuria, the Cord leader stated, was an employee and political assistant to Mr Kenyatta at the time.

“Moses Kuria was an employee and a political assistant to Mr Uhuru Kenyatta when he arranged the procuring of witnesses to fix Deputy President William Ruto,” Mr Odinga stated.

He added that Mr Kuria worked for Mr Kenyatta as a political assistant between 2008 and 2014 and was based at the UK Centre at Baden Powell House in Nairobi.

“This is the period when, by Kuria’s own admission, witnesses were being procured against Mr Ruto. The work Kuria did during the course of his employment must be presumed to have been done for and on behalf of his principal, Uhuru Kenyatta,” he went on.

“Uhuru and the Jubilee team cannot claim to be ignorant of what was being done by his own employee Moses Kuria. It is safe to assume that these things were done under his direction. If not, Uhuru must tell the country,” he noted.

President Kenyatta’s spokesman Manoah Esipisu could not be reached for a comment on the allegations.


The latest allegations are likely to escalate the war of words between Jubilee coalition politicians, led by Mr Kuria and National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, and Mr Odinga over Mr Ruto’s cases at the ICC.

Mr Kuria has stirred controversy following his claims that it is Mr Odinga, Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua and Kisumu Senator Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o who conspired to send Mr Ruto to the ICC.

The Jubilee leadership has picked up the claims, with Mr Duale challenging Mr Odinga to tell Kenyans his role in the case facing the deputy president at the ICC.

Mr Odinga and Prof Nyong’o have, however, laughed off the claims but Ms Karua has obtained court orders barring Mr Kuria from linking her to Mr Ruto’s cases.
The claims have also attracted the interest of ICC officials, who have written to Mr Kuria requesting a meeting with him this Friday to interview him on the matter. It is not clear whether Mr Kuria will appear before the ICC officials as a witness or a suspect.

“The time has come for Uhuru to come out and tell Kenyans what his role was in the fixing of his deputy Mr Ruto,” Mr Odinga stated.

“These other machinations disguised as prayers and attempts to drag other people’s names into the witness procuring scheme that was known only to Kuria are only meant to lull Mr Ruto’s supporters and create a false sense of security for them. Uhuru owes Kenyans and his deputy the truth,” he added.

Mr Odinga said it was hypocritical for Mr Kuria to allege that the ODM leadership “fixed” Mr Ruto, whom he described as a “comrade” who represented the party in the negotiations that ended the post-election violence and gave birth to the grand coalition government.


“Mr Ruto was, at that time, a prime target of those who stole the elections. Facts as narrated above make claims by Jubilee a most preposterous proposal and one of the biggest lies ever peddled in our country,” Mr Odinga stated.

He maintained that he firmly supported the formation of a local tribunal to try those who sponsored and unleashed the post-election violence but his efforts failed due to strong opposition from MPs who insisted that those who bore the greatest responsibility for the chaos be tried at the ICC.

“Eventually Kofi Anan handed over the famous (envelope) to the ICC. This was the origin of the ICC cases,” he stated.

He further said that Mr Ruto’s Eldoret backyard bore the brunt of the violence, which he said was sponsored by the State to suppress opposition protests that followed the disputed 2007 elections. Mr Ruto had just been re-elected the Eldoret North MP on an ODM ticket.

An gola’s Marques and Kenya’s Githongo win Allard prize for integrity

Star (Nairobi)

Githongo, Angolan get Sh10.5m award

Prize recepients de Morais and Githongo in Canada on Thursday last week.

Prize recepients de Morais and Githongo in Canada on Thursday last week.


October 5, 2015

Former Ethics PS John Githongo and Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais have been awarded $100,000 (Sh10.5 million) for their work in fighting corruption.

They received their awards at a ceremony in Vancouver, Canada, last Thursday.

The two were awarded $50,000 each after they were named joint recipients of the 2015 Allard Prize for International Integrity.

The Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, Canada, presented Githongo and de Morais with the prize.

Established in 2012, the Allard Prize is awarded every two years to an individual or organisation “that has shown exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency and accountability”.

Githongo said, “it is a singular honour and a humbling experience to be selected for the Allard Prize.”

“This recognition serves as an encouragement and as an important recognition that there is, across the world, a partnership between all people who care about human dignity to fight corruption.”

In 2004, Githongo exposed the Anglo Leasing scandal and his current work involves creating an informed citizenry.

– See more at:

Ugandan troops stay in South Sudan as withdrawal deadline nears

The East African

Uganda’s People Defence Forces’ (UPDF) Special Forces commandos participate in drills near the South Sudan border. PHOTO | FILE |   AFP



  • The peace agreement gave all foreign armies and militia 45 days to withdraw.
  • Under the agreement, an Igad force from Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda was supposed to replace foreign armies.
  • Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces deployed between 2,500 and 3,000 troops in South Sudan following the outbreak of war mid December 2013.

The deadline for Ugandan troops to leave South Sudan is less than two weeks away but Kampala is yet to give the order for its forces to start withdrawing as demanded by the peace agreement signed in August.

The agreement, which President Salva Kiir signed on August 26 — a week after his rival and former deputy Dr Riek Machar had appended his signature — gave all foreign armies and militia 45 days to withdraw.

Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces deployed between 2,500 and 3,000 troops in South Sudan following the outbreak of war mid December 2013, to fight alongside forces loyal to President Salvar Kiir.

Under the agreement, an Inter-Governmental Authority on Development force from Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda was supposed to replace foreign armies, but it was always difficult to have replacement boots on the ground, Kampala argues.

“Internationally mediated security arrangements are always fluid. We are committed to pulling out as a unilateral arrangement, but the army never leaves a vacuum. If we withdrew now, where is the Igad force that is going to deploy in our place? That’s why you are getting mixed signals [on our withdrawal]” deputy government spokesman Col Shaban Bantariza said.

‘No order for withdrawal’

Earlier, UPDF spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda also said that the army leadership was aware of the impending deadline but the troops were to stay put because no order for withdrawal had been given.

The peace deal, signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa ;eft President Kiir in a weaker position — by demanding the pull-out of UPDF, the main foreign force backing him, as well as demilitarisation of a 25-km radius around the capital Juba and handing Riek Machar a more central role in government.

President Kiir expressed “serious reservations” about some of the clauses in the peace deal and how the mediation was conducted, although it ensured that the conflict ended.

Col Bantariza said the UPDF will follow a phased withdrawal.

“The military, the world over never jumps out; its withdrawal from operations is always phased out sector by sector,” he said.

Indeed, such a phased pull-out, considering the few days remaining before the deadline, presents a logistical nightmare for UPDF, which has to move personnel as well as heavy equipment, some under the cover darkness, for security reasons.

Yet, with a peace agreement in place, the switch of position by Kampala that its troops will stay runs counter to claims that UPDF’s deployment in South Sudan has achieved its objectives — to stop genocide, secure South Sudan’s key installations and the trade routes between Uganda and Juba.

South Sudan – rebels accuse army of attacks despite ceasefire


Rebels accuse South Sudan government of attacks weeks after peace deal

South Sudanese rebels said on Saturday government troops had attacked their positions over the last three days, casting further doubt on a fragile peace agreement in the world’s youngest country.

No one was immediately available to comment from the government – but both sides have regularly accused the other of breaking the ceasefire ratified by parliament last month under pressure from the United Nations, regional and world powers.

“For the last three days we have received a report of the government forces on the offensive, attacking our positions in Unity state,” rebel spokesman James Gatdet Dak said, referring to an oil-producing region on the northern border with Sudan.

“The intention was actually for them to control the areas we have been holding for a number of months, and this is a clear violation of the permanent peace agreement.”

South Sudan split away from Sudan in 2011 under the terms of a peace deal that ended decades of north-south civil war.

But a political row between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar descended into fighting inside the country in Dec. 2013, often along ethnic faultlines.

The fragile deal, which followed a series of failed ceasefires, came under further pressure when Kiir announced late on Friday he had increased the number of administrative states to 28 from 10, an action the rebels say was taken unilaterally.

In his decree, Kiir said it would move more power into the regions and create a more federal government.

“This presidential decree is a violation of the peace agreement and is a clear message to the world that president Kiir is not committed to peace,” Machar said in a statement.

South Sudan – Kiir unilaterally splits 10 states into 28

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has unilaterally decreed expansion of the current 10 states to 28 federal states in the country in an unexpected move announced on South Sudan Television (SSTV) Friday evening, prompting reaction from the armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, that the unilateral move was a serious violation of the peace agreement.

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (seated) signs a peace agreement in Juba, August 26, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomu)

President Kiir, in order read on SSTVat 8:20pm, criticized his current governance system which he said has been holding the people’s power in the center in Juba, saying there was need to adopt a federal system of governance in the country, surprisingly in line with the demand of Machar’s rebel movement which the government had been rejecting at the peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for nearly two years.

“Over the last ten years, the power which was given to you by the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] has remained in the center,” said Kiir, referring to the peace deal signed on 9 January 2005 with Sudan by then SPLM rebels to end 21-year long civil between north and south of the former Sudan.

The CPA granted South Sudanese a referendum on self-determination which resulted to overwhelming vote for secession from Sudan in 2011. He said his rationale for delaying creation of more states in devolution of powers to the people was because he was allegedly busy preparing for referendum from 2005 to 2011.

“My administration in the center was busy with issues to do with your self-determination such that you become free and sovereign state. Now, indeed you are free, therefore, there is no reason for me to retain your constitutional right for self-governance, self-reliance, self-development and determine your through free, fair and democratic elections in three years to come,” he claimed.

He went on to say that the creation of 28 states, which shall come into effect within 30 days, will provide an opportunity to “develop your locality, your home villages through mobilization of local and states resources.”

“We should therefore abandon culture of war and embrace culture of peace, co-existence and hard work such [that] you and I together develop our country because our country is a country of opportunities,” he said.

The order number 36/2015 AD for creation of new states of South Sudan said the president will now have the chance to nominate more state governors and additional members of the state assembly in his newly created states.

The sitting state members of parliament (MPs) will be maintained at 21 members in each state and there will be no more than 21 lawmakers.

The president acknowledged that his administration has been facing economic declines, surging unemployment as a consequence of the war which erupted on 15 December 2013.

It is not clear where more resources will be mobilized to fund the development of the states as the creation of 18 more states has become as a surprise to the nation and the international community.

In the breakdown of the states, Kiir created 8 states for greater Equatoria which included Imatong, Namurnyang, Maridi, Budi, Amadi, Jubek, Terekeka and Yei river.

For greater Bahr el Ghazal he decreed into being 10 states namely, Wau, Aweil, Ngor, Aweil East, Twic, Gogrial, Tonj, Eastern Lakes, Western Lakes and Gok.

In greater Upper Nile he also decreed 10 states to include Leer, Northern Guit, Ruweng, Eastern Nile, Jonglei, Western Nile, Eastern Bie, Lajor, Buma and Western Bie.

Kiir also acknowledged that the new states will create difficulties or conflicts in determining their respective boundaries, but added there shall be state border disputes committee to address issues that may arise.


The leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), Riek Machar, in response to the abrupt unilateral change, said the move by president Kiir was a violation of the peace agreement he signed with him on 17 and 26 August, respectively.

Machar questioned the rationale behind the initial rejection by president Kiir of his demand to adopt federal system of governance which initially sought to create 21 states based on colonial districts which had clear boundaries so that the expansion of the states should have been incorporated into the peace agreement and in the constitution of the country.

He said although creation of more states based on federal system of governance has been a popular demand of the people of South Sudan since 1947, the unilateral way has been decreed by president Kiir after the peace agreement is a violation of the peace deal.

“The creation of more states in the Republic of South Sudan is the cornerstone of the vision of the SPLM/SPLA in the process to realizing a “Democratic Federal State” in South Sudan. The SPLM/SPLA, before the Peace Agreement, established 21federal states based on the former “British Colonial Districts.” The twenty one (21) colonial districts have clear delineated borders that were demarcated before 1st January 1956,” Machar said in a statement released on Friday in response to the order.

“The Presidential Decree issued unilaterally today, Oct 2nd 2015, by President Salva Kiir Mayardit creating 28 states in the Republic of South Sudan is a clear violation of the Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan signed on 17th and 26th August 2015 by myself and President Kiir respectively. The peace agreement is based on 10 States,” he said.

President Kiir and his government had been rejecting the rebels proposed adoption of federal system of governance and creation of 21 states in the peace talks, dragging the talks for nearly two years. Government’s argument has been that South Sudan is not yet ready for federalism or more states, but the abrupt change of mind has come as a surprise.

Due to the disagreement between the government and the rebels at the negotiations table, the peace agreement was therefore based on the current 10 states until a permanent constitution making provides for creation of more states. The current transitional constitution also says South Sudan is composed of 10 states.

The agreement also gives the rebels 40% of power sharing in the two oil-producing Unity and Upper Nile states as well as Jonglei state, which president Kiir has now split into 10 states. It is not clear whether the governors of the new states coming out from Unity and Upper Nile will be nominated by Machar’s group.

The agreement also restricts national cabinet to 30 ministries with some having deputies and that no new ministerial positions should be created in the 30-month of the transitional government of national unity which will be formed in December.

Machar said the sudden unilateral move by president Kiir was a clear message to the world that he is not committed to the peace agreement and can violate it at any time of his choosing.

“In the light of the action of President Kiir, we call upon the IGAD Plus and the international community to take a position,” he concluded.

Analysts say the abrupt change of mind by president Kiir was to try to score a number of things: to claim credit for creation of more federal states, thus federalism, dismantle the oil-producing states given to the opposition by the peace agreement and set Machar against the people in case he opposes the creation of the new states.

Creating more states without historical known boundaries, they say, will likely create further crisis in the determination of new boundaries from the scratch as majority of them will not be based on of the colonial 1956 boundaries.


Belgium cuts aid to Burundi as EU sanctions bite


Fri Oct 2, 2015
Burundi's President President Pierre Nkurunziza delivers his speech after being sworn-in for a third term following his re-election at the Congress Palace in Kigobe district, Bujumbura, August 20, 2015. REUTERS/Evrard Ngendakumana

By Robert-Jan Bartunek and Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Former colonial power Belgium said on Friday it would halt some aid to the government of Burundi in protest at President Pierre Nkurunziza’s disputed third term as leader of the central African country.

Separately, the European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes agreed earlier this week on four officials close to Nkurunziza who are accused of using excessive force during clashes in the run-up to his re-election in July.

Under agreements that ended a civil war in 2005, presidents were limited to two terms in Burundi, an ethnically divided country of just over 10 million people that has suffered months of violence and unrest since Nkurunziza said he would run again.

Belgium, from which Burundi gained independence in 1962, said it was immediately halting aid programmes benefiting the government, including its support for the justice system.

It said it would switch these funds to other programmes to help Burundians, for example via aid groups. Belgium will continue to finance health care initiatives.

“Aid that we know for sure will benefit the population will be kept,” said Alexander De Croo, minister for development aid.

Belgian aid for Burundi was just under 50 million euros ($55.8 million) in 2013, most of it going directly to the state.

The EU, which funds about half the annual budget of Burundi, is also considering whether to limit its aid, diplomats said, but is wary of hurting ordinary people.

nder the EU sanctions list published on Friday, European governments agreed to impose asset freezes and travel bans on the president’s chief of staff, Gervais Indirakobuca, accusing him of “obstructing the search for a political solution” and “issuing instructions that led to … acts of violence, acts of repression and violations of international human rights”.

A national intelligence officer, a former general and the deputy head of the national police are also on the EU list.



Burundi crisis: Nkurunziza aides and coup plotter face EU sanctions

President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi speaking to journalists in Bujumbura, 17 May 2015Reuters President Pierre Nkurunziza’s pursuit of a third term in office was seen as unconstitutional by his opponents

The EU has imposed an asset freeze and travel ban on three Burundi officials accused of ordering the use of excessive force after a failed coup.

The officials – overseeing intelligence and security bodies – are close to President Pierre Nkurunziza.

The EU has also imposed sanctions on a former general who took part in the attempted coup.

President Nkurunziza’s decision to pursue a third term in office triggered street protests and the coup attempt.

Opponents of the president say the decision was unconstitutional.

Following the failed coup in May, the president went to win an election.

Unrest continued in the central African country, with more than 100 people reported to have been killed over the summer.

Protest against President NkurunzizaImage copyrightReuters
Image captionStreet protests erupted over the president’s decision to stand for a third term

On Friday, the EU announced sanctions against:

  • Godefroid Bizimana, the deputy head of the national police, accused of decisions that led to the “disproportionate use of force and acts of violent repression”
  • Gervais Ndirakobuca, a cabinet official responsible for police matters, accused of giving instructions that prompted violations of international human rights law
  • Joseph Niyonzima, a senior intelligence official accused of arming and training a pro-government militia
  • Leonard Ngendakumana, a former general who took part in the coup, accused of “obstructing the search for a political solution”

Burundi’s government has yet to comment on the sanctions.

Belgium – Burundi’s former colonial power – has meanwhile said it will suspend aid for some development projects in the country because of the recent political instability.

Burundi: Key facts

The country is facing its worst turmoil since the 12-year civil war ended in 2005

  • 10.4m population
  • 50 years – life expectancy for a man
  • 2nd poorest country in the world
  • 85% are Hutu, 14% Tutsi
  • 300,000 died in civil war

Kenya – military needs more civilian oversight, a proposed bill calls for less

African Arguments

Soldiers line up in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo by US Army Africa.

Amidst a growing sense of insecurity in parts of Kenya and the broader region over the past few years, the Kenyan army has been growing in visibility and importance.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has been deployed to fight al-Shabaab in Somalia; it has had to respond to the Islamist militants’ devastating attacks on the likes of Garissa University and Westgate mall; and it has been deployed to maintain security after communal clashes in a number of regions around the country.

This increased involvement of the KDF in security operations has led to the growth of its budget to a lofty Ksh91 billion ($870 million) in 2015/16. However, while this trend ought to call for more civilian oversight of the army’s operations and expenditure, the opposite is now being proposed.

The Kenyan government recently put forward some far-reaching amendments to theKenya Defence Forces Act (2012). The amendment bill is currently in the committee stage in which members of the National Assembly and the public can propose further changes to the document before it goes to the National Assembly for the third reading and vote. But if the amendments go through as the government hopes, the result is that the defence forces would be shielded from any form of civilian oversight, including financial accountability to parliament.

If passed, the Defence Cabinet Secretary will no longer be required to submit an annual report to the president and parliament on the expenditure and work of the ministry. Meanwhile, the amendment bill also seeks to delete the requirement that the Auditor General scrutinises the financial records of the KDF.

The net effect of these proposals is that parliament would effectively lose its constitutional oversight of the army, and that the Cabinet Secretary for Defence would not be required to answer any queries arising from military operations or spending. At a time when civilian accountability ought to be enhanced, this bill looks set to reduce it.

Past misdeeds

These issues are not just questions of principle, but of immediate concern to the actions of the KDF in recent years.

Kenya’s military has been accused of human rights violations during its operations in Baringo, Mount Elgon, Garissa and Mandera among other areas, and its officers are rarely held accountable. Part of the problem is that there is no direct, easy and accessible mechanism for reporting violations and seeking redress.

On 16 September, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHCR) released a report entitled ‘The Error of Fighting Terror with Terror‘, which claimed to have documented evidence of 120 cases of egregious human rights violations including 25 extrajudicial killings and 81 enforced disappearances in the ongoing crackdown against terrorism. The report accuses almost all security agencies, including the KDF, of complicity in these violations.

In another instance in November, 2014, West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin and MPs from the region dispatched a team of human rights experts to probe alleged rights violations by the KDF during an operation in Kapendo, Turkana County. More than 50 people were said to have been injured in an operation aimed at recovering illegal firearms.

Going back further, the KDF was also said to have bungled rescue operations during al-Shabaab’s seige of Nairobi’s Westgate mall in 2013 after it took over the operation from the GSU Recce squad – an elite police unit that had cornered the attackers. More damaging yet was CCTV footage that emerged, showing soldiers looting the mall during the rescue operations. A commission of inquiry into the Westgate attack and response, promised by President Uhuru Kenyatta, was reportedly shelved due to fears it could expose sensitive details and lead to the passing of a no-confidence vote on the security chiefs.

As well as escaping accountability, Kenya’s military has also been tainted by corruption allegations. In January 2011, for example, the KDF was forced to justify the purchase of 15 Jordanian fighter jets, most of which were mechanically defective. The following month, the military faced allegations that regulations regarding the acquisition of armoured vehicles had been circumvented to help a South African firm win the tender. And in his latest report, Auditor General Edward Ouko queried the procurement process of purchasing 32 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) at a cost of KSh1.1 billion ($11 million) and a further planned purchase of 75 armoured carriers at $25 million.

What next?

Kenya’s 2010 Constitution requires that policing must be conducted with respect for rule of law, democracy, fundamental freedoms and human rights and all national security organs remain subordinate to civilian authority. However, the proposed KDF bill falls short of these requirements and will not help instil values of discipline, preventing corruption, accountability, and upholding human rights.

Instead of the amendments being proposed, parliament and the Auditor General’s office ought to be strengthened in their civilian oversight roles not weakened, especially in addressing corruption in procurement. Meanwhile, efforts to hold to account KDF officers found guilty of human rights violations need to be enhanced, as they will go a long way in instilling public confidence in the forces as they undertake internal security operations.

The government could consider creating a KDF Ombudsman’s office staffed by civilians. This office could receive and address complaints against KDF officers and make binding recommendations to address them. Involving civilians in auditing military work is not new – indeed, the KDF has involved the public in its recruitment process, consistently using the media to emphasise that the process is open and free from manipulation and corruption. Such initiatives need to be deepened, extended and institutionalised. Furthermore, improving public knowledge of the existing accountability structures and how they can use them would help activate greater public use of the forums and enhance accountability.

As the amendment bill goes through its period of consultation before it returns to the National Assembly, Kenya is faced with a chance to reject the clauses that would remove the KDF from civilian oversight, a crucial cornerstone of holding the military accountable in a democratic society. It is crucial that this opportunity is seized.

Patrick Mutahi is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies in Nairobi


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