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Eastern Africa

Al-Shabab Takes Somali Town after Ethiopia Troop Pullout

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Fighters from al-Shabab have taken control of yet another town in central Somalia on Sunday immediately after it was abandoned by Ethiopian troops stationed there by African Union mission (UNISOM).

It was the third time this month that the al-Qaeda-affiliated group moved into a town in the region after the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces.

On Sunday, an Ethiopian contingent abandoned the town of Halgan in the Hiran region, allowing the group’s fighters to enter soon after, Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab’s spokesman on military operations said.

 

A military offensive launched in 2014 by African Union forces and the Somali army pushed out al-Shabbab of major strategic centres, but the fighters, who once held sway over much of the Horn of Africa country, still control some settlements and rural areas.

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The fall of Halgan was confirmed by Dahir Amin Jesow, a member of parliament from the region, who said residents are being subjected to reprisals at the hands of the fighters.

“Each day, civilians are being beheaded over suspicion that they are government supporters,” he told the Reuters news agency. “We do not have a government that is effective enough to protect our civilians.”

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The reason for the peacekeepers’ withdrawal was not clear. Officials in Ethiopia were not immediately available for comment.

Somalia has been embroiled in conflict and lawlessness since the early 1990s following the toppling of military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

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>> ALSO READ : Ethiopian Forces in Somalia Have Undisclosed Agenda: Djiboutian Commander
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Propped up by the African Union-mandated force known as AMISOM, Somalia’s military and central government have strengthened their grip on the country but a relentless campaign of violence by al-Shabab persists.

The group regularly attacks AMISOM’s troops, which is made up of about 22,000 soldiers and police from African nations supporting Somalia’s government and army.

Al-Shabab aims to drive out the peacekeepers, topple Somalia’s Western-backed government and impose a strict version of Islam.

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Eastern Africa

Rwanda President’s son joins Presidential Guard, sparking succession speculation

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Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame’s son, Ian Kagame, has recently been enlisted in the Presidential Guard of the Rwanda Defense Forces. This comes just months after graduating from the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, UK, and joining the Rwandese army.

Ian made his public debut in his new role during the Annual National Prayer Breakfast that took place on Sunday. Photos of him alongside other members of the Rwanda Defense Forces have been circulating on social media.

Last August, Ian was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant during a graduation ceremony at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. His parents, President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Nyiramongi Kagame, were in attendance at the ceremony. Upon his graduation, Jeannette tweeted, “Such a proud moment. Congratulations Ian, thank you for the joy you brought us, this ceremony was one for the books.”

As a highly trained officer, Ian’s role in the Presidential Guard is to ensure the safety of the country’s top leaders. His new position has led many to speculate that he may be following in the footsteps of Ugandan President Museveni’s son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Gen Muhoozi previously served as the Commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC), an elite unit similar to the Presidential Guard in the RDF. He held this position from 2008 to 2017, and then again from December 2020 to 2021, before being promoted to the position of Commander of Land Forces.

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The decision of Ian Kagame to join the Presidential Guard of Rwanda Defense Forces is seen as a strategic move for his future political and military career in the country.

Ian’s enrollment in the Presidential Guard is seen as a sign of his rising political career, as it is a highly prestigious and elite unit within the Rwanda Defense Forces. The Presidential Guard is responsible for the security and protection of the President and other top government officials.

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Many speculate that Ian will eventually rise to a high-ranking position within the military, possibly even becoming the commander of the Presidential Guard. Some have even suggested that he could be groomed for a future leadership role within the country.

Ian’s enrollment in the Presidential Guard also adds to the growing trend of sons and daughters of African leaders following in their parents’ footsteps. Many have criticized this trend, arguing that it perpetuates dynastic rule and undermines democracy.

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It is worth noting that Ian Kagame is not the only child of a head of state to have recently joined the military. In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, has also served in the Special Forces Command and is now the commander of the country’s land forces.

The move has raised questions about the potential for a political succession in Rwanda, as President Kagame is nearing the end of his current term and the constitution limits the number of terms a president can serve. Many are wondering if Ian’s military career is a sign of things to come in the country’s political landscape.

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Eastern Africa

Al-Shabab kills 7 soldiers in central Somalia attack

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Al-Shabab fighters attacked a military base in central Somalia, killing 7 soldiers and injuring several others. The government had recaptured the base from al-Shabab in October. The group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement and said it had killed “many apostate soldiers and their commander.” The base is located about 60km north of the capital, Mogadishu and was part of a broader government offensive which began in August and has made significant gains.

The attack on the military base is just one in a series of recent strikes by al-Shabab. As pressure on the group has grown, its fighters have increased gun and bomb attacks on the military and civilians, including in areas where they have retreated. The group has been fighting since 2007 to topple Somalia’s central government and impose its strict interpretation of Islamic law.

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In some regions, residents have reported that al-Shabab’s tactics, such as torching houses, destroying wells, and killing civilians, combined with demands for taxes during the worst drought in 40 years, have pushed locals to form paramilitary groups to fight alongside the government. However, in other towns and villages, al-Shabab’s courts are gaining widespread acceptance as constitutional courts struggle with backlogs and a perception of being corrupt.

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The conflict has also contributed to a food crisis in Somalia. More than 200,000 Somalis are suffering from catastrophic food shortages, and some parts of central Somalia are on the brink of famine. The government, along with international aid organizations, is working to address the crisis, but the ongoing violence makes it difficult to provide aid and assistance to affected areas. The attack on the military base is a reminder of the ongoing threat posed by al-Shabab and the need for a sustained effort to defeat the group.

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Eastern Africa

President Uhuru Kenyatta To Kongowea Traders – Only Pay For Services Offered To You

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has told traders at Mombasa’s Kongowea market to only pay for services offered to them. The President said the new market was built by the national government at a cost of Shs 500million and that the National Youth Service will from next week embark on cleaning of the market.

Addressing traders at Kongowea on Monday, the Head of State said there was no need for the county government to continue taxing the traders and yet it doesn’t provide services to them.

“There is no need for the county government to continue taxing the traders and yet they do not provide the services they have paid for,” said Mr Kenyatta.

He said the Government has launched investigations to establish claims that traders at the Kongowea market were not being served despite paying taxes.

He said the national government would not hesitate to take action against those who failed to deliver.
“We cannot allow the people to suffer in the hands of some few individuals. Wananchi should only pay for services offered to them,” said President Kenyatta.

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He warned police against harassing wananchi if they don’t pay for the services not offered. The President and Deputy President William Ruto, at the same time, told opposition candidate Raila Odinga that Kenyans will go to the polls on October 26 whether he participates or not.

The leaders said the Opposition leaders were scared of the elections because they have sensed defeat, saying they were scheming to have the elections delayed in another three months for their selfish gains.

They said the Opposition was bent on inciting Kenyans through demonstrations to cause confusion with the hope of getting into power through the backdoor.

“We know their games and we have said enough is enough. There will be no postponement. Mr Odinga should retire and honourably go home,” said the Deputy President.

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President Kenyatta and DP Ruto told Mr Odinga to retire from politics if he was not ready to participate in the October 26 polls.
Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala (Tourism), Governor Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Nyali MP Mohammed Ali, among others, also spoke at the meeting.

The Deputy President said Opposition leader was now opposed to the elections because he knows that he will win.
President Kenyatta said Jubilee was ready and prepared to face the Opposition at the ballot and will not allow any attempts to have the elections postponed.

“The Opposition should stop sideshows and prepare for the next elections. Kenyans want to move away from elections to concentrate on development activities,” said President Kenyatta.

DP Ruto said the mass exodus of Kenyans who supported Nasa during the August 8 elections has shaken the Opposition and that’s why they want to interfere with the elections.

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“We are tired of their rhetoric and stories and the country wants to move on. We must conclude elections on October 26. If those in Opposition are not ready, they should retire from politics,” said DP Ruto.

He added: “There is exodus of Kenyans from Nasa because they are tired of their empty rhetoric and want to support Jubilee which is committed to improving their lives.”

Mr Balala and Mr Sonko urged residents in coastal region to turn out in large numbers and support the reelection of President Kenyatta.

“It is time for us to move away from politics of propaganda and support Jubilee that is committed to improving our lives,” said Mr Sonko.

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Eastern Africa

We Are Not Employees Of The UN – Museveni To AMISOM

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President Yoweri Museveni has told a meeting of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troop-contributing countries (TCC) that their role in Somalia is purely for Pan African reasons of helping to stabilise Somalia. Uganda was the first country to deploy peace keeping troops in Somalia in 2007, under AMISOM to restore peace in the Horn of Africa. President Museveni addressing a meeting of AMISOM contributing countries said Uganda is not an employee of the United Nations.

AMISOM is the regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations in Somalia.

“This is a Pan-African venture. We are not employees of the United Nations (UN) or Somalia,” he said.

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The President was last Thursday chairing a closed-door meeting, one of a kind, for countries contributing troops to AMISOM including Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda host Somalia and Djibouti in which they agreed to improve political and military co-ordination to ensure that peace and security is guaranteed in Somalia. A member of the African Union also attended the meeting.

According to a release from State House sources at the talks, priority centered at helping Somalia in building a strong national army and taking stock of the political situation. All parties agreed to keenly follow a review on AMISOM by the UN Secretary General.

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The UN provides logistics, technical and training support to AMISOM and to the Somali National Army. The UN believes with enhanced support to AMISOM, the African Union Force and predictable funding, along with a co-ordinated effort to build the Somali National Army and Police Forces, Al Shabaab can be defeated.

Uganda was the first country to deploy in Somalia in 2007, under AMISOM to restore peace in the Horn of Africa.

During the meeting, Uganda was elected as official spokesperson of the troop-contributing countries.

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The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister of Somalia Hassan Ali Khare, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Desalegn Hailemariam, foreign affairs minister of Kenya Amina Muhammed, commissioner Ismael Chergui of the African Union, Allen Nyamitwe, the foreign affairs minister of Burundi.

Others were Yusuf Mahmoud, the foreign affairs minister of Djibouti, Abdullahi Rachid the defence minister of Somalia, foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa, Chief of Defence Forces Gen. David Muhoozi, Uganda’s permanent representative to the UN Adoniya Ayebare and Maj. Gen. Kayemba, Uganda’s military adviser at the Uganda Mission in New York.

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Djibouti

Djibouti-Tunisia Conference On Investment – Members Of TABC Received In The Palace Of The Republic

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Arriving in Djibouti on 16 September to take part in the first Djibouto-Tunisian investment conference, Tunisian businessmen members of the Tunisia Africa Business Council, a newly created Business Council dedicated to Investments in Africa, were introduced yesterday to the head of State by the Minister to the presidency responsible for investments, Ali Guelleh Abd.

President Ismail Omar Guelleh warmly welcomed the Tunisian delegation led by Mr. Bassem Loukil, CEO of the eponymous group and president of the TABC

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The head of State welcomed the Tunisian businessmen to Djibouti and spoke with them about the relations of friendship and cooperation between Tunisia and the Republic of Djibouti, the many similarities between the two countries and the partnership Between the two countries-which is in the process of being set up-and whose economic conference is the founding act.

The efforts made by the SDI to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and the provisions that have been made in the area of investment guarantee have also been mentioned.

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At the end of the interview, the head of the Tunisian delegation, Bassem Loukil did not conceal the determination of the TABC to quickly ratify economic projects in Djibouti in many areas, including information technology, Telecommunications, agro-food and housing.

“We are all the more motivated to launch these projects quickly in Djibouti as your country offers all the successes for important investments,” said Mr. Bassem Loukil, who thanked the people and the Government of Djibouti for the reception received at Djibouti.

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The Minister to the Investment presidency, Mr. Ali Guelleh Abd, has expressed his pride in the interest of Tunisian investors in our country. For him, the two countries, bound by a long and old friendship, are about to write together a new page of their common history.

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Eastern Africa

Ethiopia – 76 Year-Old Man Charged With Sexual Assault And Abuse Of Woman

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Oswego Police and the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office say a 76 year-old Wheaton man is in custody after he allegedly sexually assaulted and sexually abused an adult female victim in Oswego in 2016.

In a joint release, the agencies say 76 year-old Woldekidan Gebremedhin of W. Roosevelt Rd. in Wheaton is charged with two counts each of Criminal Sexual Assault and Criminal Sexual Abuse after he was arrested on a warrant at his home in Wheaton on Friday.

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Authorities say Woldekidan Gebremedhin allegedly sexually assaulted the adult female victim, who was not further identified, in Oswego in July of 2016.

On Tuesday the four felony charges were approved and a warrant for arrest was issued.

Woldekidan was taken to the DuPage County Jail and was then transported to the Kendall County Jail where is he is being held on $250,000 bond.

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Djibouti

Qatar Withdraws It’s Peace-Keeping Force As Punishment For Eritrea And Djibouti For Siding With Saudi Arabia

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Qatar’s alleged support of terrorist organizations, which has already frayed its relation with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf states, is also destabilizing East Africa.

Qatar’s withdrawal of its peacekeepers on June 14 from the Djibouti-Eritrea border was a form of punishment to the disputing countries which supported the quartet of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, according to a senior researcher at a US Department of Defense think tank.

“Punishing Djibouti and Eritrea for breaking relations with Qatar was one reason for the withdraw of Qatari peacekeepers,” said Joseph Siegle, director of research for DOD funded African Center for Strategic Studies.

Qatar responded almost immediately after the two embattled countries announced support and removed nearly 500 troops it had kept since 2010 in a border.

Eritrea, which is larger and better armed than Djibouti, quickly moved into the disputed territories of Dumeira mountain and Dumeira Island.

Although no shots were fired, tensions have increased dramatically in the area. In June 2008, the two countries fought a brief war that claimed roughly 200 dead and wounded. Qatari peacekeepers arrived in 2010 as part of a Doha led mediation process.

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In a renewed round of open conflict, the odds would heavily favor Eritrea. Eritrea has a veteran military as well as larger numbers of armored fighting vehicles and combat aircraft.

“The military and the state apparatus are full of veterans of previous conflicts,” Siegle said. “In fact, the state as an institution is more focused on conflict than Djibouti.”

He said the tense situation is yet another unhappy consequence of Qatari policies that have provoked a range of harsh responses from its neighbors. The persistent efforts by its Gulf neighbors to punish and isolate it since June have strained its resources so that the removal of peacekeepers is as much an act of redeployment as retribution.

“I think it’s a combination of the reason that is most strategic and Qatar has a limited number of forces and it is dealing with the more threatening situation given the current embargo,” Siegel said.

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“It has bigger strategic interests than the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea. I think punishing Djibouti for breaking relations with Qatar was a factor but, it was secondary in the context of the current crisis. Qatar has other ways of punishing Djibouti in the regional context.”

>> READ MORE : Peaceful Settlement of Eritrea – Djibouti Conflict Achieved: Qatar

The dispute lies along a small section of the 110-kilometer-long Djiboutian-Eritrean frontier. An agreement signed in 1900 between France and Italy left the precise location of the border along the Dumeira Mountain and Dumeira Islands ill defined.

Djibouti is a founding member of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism founded by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Defense and the small Red Sea nation has also formally joined the US-led and anti-ISIS coalition.

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Qatar’s sudden withdraw may not have only cost Djibouti a strip of its territory. Djibouti also worries about the fate of its Djiboutian prisoners of war held by Eritrea – an issue that Qatar had attempted to negotiate.

At the end of the 2008 conflict, Eritrea held 19 Djiboutian prisoners of war. Four were later were released, and two escaped according to the Djiboutian government.

>> ALSO READ : Eritrea Freed Djibouti Prisoners of War

“[Eritrea] continues to spread blatant lies about the prisoner’s condition and has refused to account for them despite repeated calls by the Security Council,” according to Mohammed Dualeh, Djibouti’s ambassador to the United Nations.

Djibouti hosts several foreign military bases, Camp Lemonier, a former French Foreign Legion outpost, has been America’s only permanent military base in Africa since 2001.

The country has also welcomed military bases from China and Japan in recent years.
Via Tesfa News!

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Eastern Africa

Six Men Sentenced To 20 Years In Jail For Cutting Off 6 Years Old Albino’s Hand

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6 years old tanzanian Albino-Boy

Six men who cut off the hand of a 6 years old Albino Tanzanian boy for money ritual  in 2013 has been sentenced to 20 years in imprisonment each by a Tanzanian Court.

Albinos has been hunted like wide life in Tanzania as their body parts is said to be of huge importance in witchcraft and rituals. For Tanzanians where sentenced to death in 2015 after they abducted a 15 years old Albino boy, killed him and dismembered his body for rituals

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An estimated 75 Albinos where kileed in Tanzania between the year 2000 – 2015, United Nations sources said. This is just a rough estimate and does not represent the actual number of Albino victims in Tanzania, as most rituals occur in remote villages where not included in the statistics.

While a man was sentenced to 30 years in jail by Tanzanian court for impregnating a school, many has been wondering why adults who where convicted of hacking off a minors hand, which is tantamount to murder where given a paltry 20 years in imprisonment.

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Eastern Africa

Kenya To Hold Re-election On October 17 – IEBC

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kenya to hold re-election on 17th of october

The Supreme Court of Kenya had annulled the August 8th presidential election in which incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner by the IEBC having obtained 54% of the total vote cast. Kenya’s Independent Electoral And Boundary Commission (IEBC) has set the date for re-election on the 17th of October 2017.

Recall that a similar incident  took place in 2007 and sparked  a chain of violence which claimed the lives of about 1100 persons. The election violence that took place on August 8th was mild in comparison to that of 2007 as about 20 persons were reported dead.

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Why the first election was cancelled

The August 8th election was cancelled by Chief Justice David Maraga on Friday, saying that the Independent Electoral And Boundary Commission had failed to hold a lawful poll, as a result, the outcome of the election is invalid, null and void.

The Chief Justice added that IEBC had committed irregularities and illegalities during the process of collation of results from polling units  and transfer to central counting center.

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Raila Odinga’s Concerns

Having conducted an election viewed by the supreme court as marred by illegalities and irregularities, Odinga has no trust on the IEBC as a result. He is demanding that the head of IEBC and other big shots in IEBC be replaced before the nation polls.
They are also demanding that a different company should be given the contract to print the ballot papers for the forth coming elections.

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Meanwhile, the incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta has continued to campaign for the for coming October 17th election

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Eastern Africa

Somalia – Al Shabaab Terrorists kill 26 Soldiers, Carted Away Weapons And Vehicles

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al shabaab

MOGADISHU – Al Shabaab terrorist invaded an army barrack in Kismayu, a port city in the southern region of Somalia in the early hours of Sunday morning, said a Somalian military official. He added that the details of casualties is not yet known.

Though, Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the raid, saying that 26 army personnel were killed in the event, but it could not be verified by other reliable sources.

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Spokesperson for the dreaded terrorist group, Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters: “This morning, we stormed Bula Gudud. We killed 26 soldiers and burnt 2 cars.” However, Al Shabaab terrorist group who are linked to Al Qaeda Terrorist Network is known to exaggerate casualty figures.

Somalian National radio station also announced that the base has been raided by Al Shabaab terrorist but could not ascertain the number of casualties.

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