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The United States demanded an immediate end to violence in Cameroon on Thursday and a speedy start to talks between the government and Anglophone separatists without preconditions.

U.S. deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the Security Council that security and humanitarian conditions in Cameroon’s English-speaking North West and South West regions “have significantly deteriorated.”

October was the most violent month on record in recent years — and November is likely to surpass it, he said.

Hundreds have been killed in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions in months of fighting between the military and separatists who claim they are marginalized in the largely French-speaking country.

“The violence must stop now,” Cohen said. “The United States calls for an immediate and broad-based reconciliatory dialogue, without preconditions. … We urge all sides to foreswear violence, to restore peace, and to resolve their grievances through political dialogue.”

He said the escalating violence is obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid to over 430,000 internally displaced people as well as education and health access to children in rural areas.

Reena Ghelani, director of U.N. humanitarian operations, warned that Cameroon is “one of the fastest growing displacement crises in Africa,” saying that in addition to those who have fled their homes and remain in the country over 30,000 Cameroonians have crossed the border into Nigeria seeking refuge.

The majority of internally displaced Cameroonians “are hiding in dense forests, without adequate shelter and lacking food, water and basic services,” Ghelani said. “Schools and markets are also disrupted and there are alarming health needs.”

“We note with great concern the deteriorating situation with respect to the protection of civilians, including reported killings, burning of homes and villages, extortion and kidnappings in the South West and North West regions of Cameroon,” she said, adding that there have been multiple attacks on schools and threats to students and teachers.

British deputy ambassador Jonathan Allen said the United Kingdom takes Ghelani’s warning very seriously and announced a $3.1 million contribution from the government to the U.N. appeal for the Anglophone regions to address immediate humanitarian and medical needs.

This represents 20 percent of the U.N. appeal, he said, urging other countries to contribute.

Both Allen and Cohen stressed Cameroon’s important role in fighting against the Boko Haram group and other Islamic State extremists.

Cohen noted Cameroon President Paul Biya expressed confidence in his inaugural address on Nov. 6 that “there is an honorable way out in everyone’s interest.”

The United States encourages Biya “to make good on his commitment to accelerate the decentralization process” and implement recommendations of a Cameroonian commission on bilingualism and multiculturalism, Cohen said.

Allen said that “words alone will not improve things” and strongly urged Cameroon’s government to take urgent action to start a dialogue, undertake confidence-building measures, allow humanitarian access throughout the country, and ensure “accountability for all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses.”

Source: Foxnews

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The UK is to supply new emergency aid to help tackle a humanitarian crisis in Cameroon, as the Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin calls for full humanitarian access to save thousands of children’s lives.

Fighting between Anglophone separatists and Cameroon security forces has displaced almost half a million people since tensions flared more than a year ago in the North-West and South-West regions of the country. The humanitarian situation on the ground is deteriorating, food supplies are critical and thousands of children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.

The much-needed new UK aid funding, delivered through UNICEF, will:

  • treat 1,300 children who are most at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition
  • provide essential drugs to treat 5,700 children for deadly diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea, and acute respiratory infections
  • deliver water and sanitation kits, non-food items and dignity kits to 10,000 people
  • provide 2,000 mosquito-nets to prevent malaria
  • vaccinate 3,500 children against measles
  • identify and support many unaccompanied children.

Minister of State for Africa, Harriett Baldwin said:

Hundreds of thousands of people are living in desperate conditions in Cameroon. We call on all parties to provide full humanitarian access to ensure more lives are not put at risk.

It is the most vulnerable, particularly young children, who find themselves on the front line of this humanitarian crisis.

UK aid will make sure the most vulnerable can get the medical treatment, food, water and support they so desperately need.

The new funding will go towards a $15 million (£11.9m) emergency appeal launched earlier this year by the UN.

Notes to editors

  • UK aid will be providing a £2.5m contribution to the UN’s response to the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, with £2m to be disbursed immediately through UNICEF. The remainder will be allocated in 2019 to support the coordination of the international response through the Conflict Humanitarian and Security Department (CHASE).
  • The total number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) has now reached 437,000. 30,000 refugees have been registered by UNHCR in Nigeria and an unknown number of people have been forced to migrate to other regions of Cameroon. More than 10% of the population of the Anglophone regions has been uprooted.

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Source: gov.uk


TUMI and CO: The ShortSightedness of the AGC. “Mafia or Foolishness?”

APOW Takes A Stand

His Eminence, Christian Cardinal Tumi,

The Anglophone General Conference Convenors,

We the Ambazonian Prisoners of War (APOW) express shock and disdain to the distasteful way with which the AGC is trying so hard to sabotage the southern Cameroons independence restoration struggle.

In all God fearing and intellectual honesty, APOW, as a backbone of the Ambazonian struggle for the restoration of her independence want you to answer the following questions with the fear of God that you (TheAGC convenors) represent.

  1. What has happened to all the preconditions that were tabled to be met by the La Republique du Cameroon government
  2. The release of all Ambazonians kidnapped in connections with their independence restoration struggle?
  3. The has intensified of the Ambazonian territory
  4. The granting of amnesty to all Ambazonians on exile
  5. The bringing back and complete rehabilitation of all the internally displaced person(IDPs) and externally displaced persons (EDPs)
  6. The genocide

Contrary to the expectations of the preconditions mentioned above, la Republique du Cameroon government and their Neocolonialist mastershave rather

  • Reenforced their military presence in the Ambazonian territory.
  • La Republique du Cameroun is employing the use of chemical weapons killing thousands of Ambazonians 
  • The genocide carried out by la Republique du Cameroun on Ambazonians has intensified
  • La Republique du Cameroun is rather throwing more Ambazoniansinto jails, detention centres and execution centres
  • La Republique du Cameroun intensified the burning of villages and as such creating a tremendous increase in internally displaced Persons and externally displaced persons.

Worthy of note is the fact that Maitre Ndocki and 45 others French Camerounians arrested after the La republique du Cameroun post elections protest  have been discharged and acquitted of the same charges which Ambazonians are currently serving jail terms for.

Does it means that, His Eminence and the AGC covenors have completely forgotten about the preconditions for the AGC to hold and have given a blind eye to all the atrocities being carried out by La Republique du Cameroun on Ambazonians and honestly see that the solution is the online polls with two evils (federation or decentralization) to choose from?.

APOW, haven critically examined the AGC and their intentions have concluded that His Eminence, the covenors and the AGC itself are a nuisance and a distraction to the Ambazonian Independence restoration struggle.

We therefore call on you and the AGC to reexamine the objectives of the AGC in line with our questions above. We also demand that any convening that you steward makes room for theoption of the restoration of the independence of Ambazonia, which representsthe conviction and motivation of the vast majority of Ambazonians.”

   APOW

Chairman.                                                    Secatary General

Tsi Conrad.                                                 Ngongafi Maxim

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Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) led a letter signed by a group of Democratic Senators to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raising deep concerns about violations of human rights, the breakdown in the rule of law, and elections fraud in Cameroon. In addition to Senator Van Hollen, the letter was signed by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

The Senators write, “Cameroon has become an increasingly important regional counterterrorism partner and the United States has increased its commitment of security assistance in recent years. However, rising tensions in the Anglophone North West and South West regions, coupled with credible reports of human rights abuses by the Cameroonian armed forces in those regions and the Far North, where Boko Haram is active, have changed the tone of discussions regarding U.S. security assistance.”

They continue, “Reports indicate that government forces are responsible for extrajudicial killings, the burning of villages, torture, and other human rights abuses, including a much-publicized video reportedly showing soldiers executing two women, a child, and a baby they accused of being members of Boko Haram. The violent death of American missionary Charles Wesco underscores the level of bloodshed engulfing the Anglophone areas of the country. United Nations figures indicate that more than 21,000 Cameroonians have fled to neighboring countries and 160,000 are internally displaced.”

The Senators close the letter urging, “The U.S. government should make clear to the government of Cameroon that, while we remain dedicated to the fight against Boko Haram, our commitment to human rights and the rule of law is steadfast and we expect our regional partners to share that commitment. We must also emphasize the critical importance of a political solution to the crisis in the Anglophone regions, work with civil society groups to ensure that elections are free, open, and transparent, and offer our assistance as mediators. The United States should impose sanctions on individuals found to have committed gross violations of human rights, consistent with the law. In addition, we will work with our colleagues in the Senate to assess whether additional conditions should be imposed on security assistance to Cameroon.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

We are writing in response to concerns that have been raised about the recent elections in Cameroon, the ongoing crisis in the Anglophone regions of the country, and human rights abuses related to the crisis and the campaign against Boko Haram.

Cameroon has become an increasingly important regional counterterrorism partner and the United States has increased its commitment of security assistance in recent years. However, rising tensions in the Anglophone North West and South West regions, coupled with credible reports of human rights abuses by the Cameroonian armed forces in those regions and the Far North, where Boko Haram is active, have changed the tone of discussions regarding U.S. security assistance.

Reports indicate that government forces are responsible for extrajudicial killings, the burning of villages, torture, and other human rights abuses, including a much-publicized video reportedly showing soldiers executing two women, a child, and a baby they accused of being members of Boko Haram. The violent death of American missionary Charles Wesco underscores the level of bloodshed engulfing the Anglophone areas of the country. United Nations figures indicate that more than 21,000 Cameroonians have fled to neighboring countries and 160,000 are internally displaced.

In addition, recent elections were marred by irregularities and intimidation. Voter turnout in the Anglophone regions was reportedly “marked by apathy, and in some regions, outright fear,” and driven to unprecedented lows by the military’s campaign against Anglophone separatists, which has often veered into human rights abuses against civilians. The results of the election remain heavily disputed, and multiple presidential candidates have petitioned for the results to be voided, citing allegations of ballot stuffing and intimidation. The program director for Central Africa at the International Crisis Group told Foreign Policy that “[t]here is an emerging civil war. Anglophones feel completely disenfranchised, but they didn’t need the elections to tell them that.”

The U.S. government should make clear to the government of Cameroon that, while we remain dedicated to the fight against Boko Haram, our commitment to human rights and the rule of law is steadfast and we expect our regional partners to share that commitment. We must also emphasize the critical importance of a political solution to the crisis in the Anglophone regions, support civil society groups to ensure that elections are free, credible, and transparent, and offer our assistance as mediators. The United States should impose sanctions on individuals found to have committed gross violations of human rights, consistent with the law. In addition, we will work with our colleagues in the Senate to assess whether additional conditions should be imposed on security assistance to Cameroon.

We look forward to working with you on this critical issue.

Sincerely,

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Source: vanhollen.senate.gov

Comoros have written to Caf asking for the disqualification of Cameroon from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals after the Central Africans lost rights to host next year’s edition.

The stripping of Cameroon’s 2019 Afcon hosting rights could lead to a legal wrangle as Comoros seek to evoke Caf statutes for the Indomitable Lions to be expelled from the tournament.

Caf found Cameroon ill-prepared to stage the tournament and withdrew mandate which would be handed to another country before the end of this year.

According to Article 92 of Caf regulations: “If a country having been entrusted with the organisation of the final tournament of the Africa Cup of Nations is desisting or the tournament is being withdrawn from it, it shall be subject, in addition to further disciplinary sanctions, to a fine fixed according to the following scale:

“92.3. Withdrawal notified within one year before the date of the final tournament: a fine of five hundred thousand (500,000) U.S. dollars and a suspension of the next edition of Afcon of it’s A national team, without considering the concerned edition.”

Strengthening their case, Comoros have cited the case study of Morocco being expelled from the 2015 Afcon finals after withdrawing their hosting responsibility.

Also cited were Kenya who had the 2018 African Nations Championships (Chan) taken away from them and expelled from the tournament for not being ready to host.

The Madagascar national Under-17 team were also booted out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Under-17 finals after they had hosting rights withdrawn from them for ill-preparedness.

Comoros General manager Saadi Ben Amir confirmed that they had raised issues with Caf.

“I was with my president this morning and he sent a letter to Caf asking for clarification,” Ben Amir was quoted as saying

“We are asking for the application of the regulation, and more specifically Article 92, which states that a country which is withdrawn from the organisation of Afcon does not participate in the edition in question.”

Interestingly, Cameroon host Comoros meet in the final Afcon qualifier and if the latter wins, they would book a place at the finals for the first time ever in their history.

The two teams are separated by three pints in Group B which has Morocco as leaders.

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Source: soka25east

The detained Ambazonian leaders today rejected their Cameroonian nationality at the Yaounde military tribunal as their case opened on Thursday, December 6.

Appearing before the President of the military tribunal for the first time in public, the ten accused all turned down the Cameroonian nationality when their names and nationalities were read out.

Their leader Julius Ayuk Tabe set the ball rolling when he stood in the accused box but the magistrate could not find any nationality against his name.

Then stepped Nfor Ngala Nfor, who rejected the Cameroonian nationality read against his name and stressed that he is a Southern Cameroonian.

“That country does not yet exist,” the President of the court, Col. Abega Mbezoa epse Eko Eko was quick to hit back but this did not dissuade the other detainees from rejecting the Cameroonian nationality.

This heated start to proceedings was a sign of things to come as the defense counsel composed of about 47 law firms held the court to task on the composition of the civil party as well as the submission of the list of witnesses by the State Prosecutor.

According to the defense counsel led by Barrister Fru John Nsoh, they only received the list of witnesses from the Prosecution on Wednesday, December 5 at 17.39 in violation of article 414 of the Criminal Procedure Code which warrants the prosecution to present the list of witnesses to the accused five days before hearing starts.

After objections and counter objections from both parties, the magistrate was obliged to suspend the hearing only to resume two hours later to finally adjourn the matter to January 10, 2019, to pass a verdict on the issue and open the case proper.

“We are not disappointed with the adjournment. We just had a technical ruling which said the case has not yet even opened,” Barrister Fru John Nsoh, lead counsel of the defense said.

Before the case came to a close, Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho prayed the court to facilitate access of the lawyers to their clients as well as family members which were welcomed by the magistrate.

It should be noted that the charges were not brought before the ten accused today but the notice board of the court states that the accused are charged with secession, promoting secession, acts of terrorism, financing acts of terrorism, revolution, insurrection, hostility against the state, creation of armed groups, propagation of false information, undermining internal and external security of the state, non possession of national identification card.

H.E. Sisiku AyukTabe. We miss you our great leader. God shall prevail.

Posted by Southern Cameroons Broadcasting Corporation – SCBC on Thursday, 6 December 2018

 

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Source: journalducameroun

The top U.S. diplomat in Africa says the Southern Cameroons could get much worse, saying “the last thing we need” is growing radicalization in response to the actions of security forces.

Tibor Nagy told reporters on Thursday that the situation in the Central African nation is worsening by the day and “worrying me greatly.”

He said the United States calls for dialogue between Cameroon’s government and the Anglophone separatists who sprang up from peaceful protests against the alleged marginalization of English-speakers in the largely Francophone country.

Nagy said he is reminded of neighboring Nigeria, where the government’s “brutal response” to extremism led to growing membership in Boko Haram.

The U.S. diplomat suggested “some form of decentralization” in Cameroon as mentioned in a proposed constitution for the country.

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Source: foxnews

 

A high power fact-finding delegation of legislators from the German Parliament otherwise known as the Bundestag is sojourning in Cameroon to meet stakeholders in the current Anglophone Crisis.

The mission which is made up of representatives from about six political parties in Germany is comprised of members of the Crisis and Conflict Committee of the Bundestag. Since their arrival in the country last Saturday, December 1, 2018, the committee members have been meeting with different stakeholders.

Our sources told us that it was the wish of the Parliamentarians that their stay in Cameroon remains low keyed. We are also told that on Sunday morning, they held their first meeting with some journalists, Church leaders and other persons at the Akwa Palace hotel Douala where these persons, mostly from the North West and South Regions x-rayed the deep-rooted causes of the conflict as well as a vivid picture of the current human rights abuses on the ground in the two restive Regions.

A similar meeting took place that same Sunday in the afternoon at the Yaoundé Hilton hotel with other stakeholders wherein a similar story was told these German representatives.

With the assistance of the German Ambassador to Cameroon, Dr. Hans-Dieter Stell, the Law makers were told of the inhuman suffering Anglophones are going through, the role of the various armed groups, the military as well as Government’s lacklustre attitude towards the much talked about dialogue, sources informed us.

These stakeholders also prayed the German Parliament to use its influence in the international relations of nations to put pressure on the Government of Cameroon and France, which is the major stakeholder to call for a negotiated dialogue with a third party.

Without promising a miraculous panacea to heal the wounds of Cameroonians in general and Anglophones in particular, the Parliamentarians promised to do their own best to shorten the lifespan of the current bloodshed.

However, they decried the heavy hand of France in matters concerning Cameroon which is blocking every international initiative.

This Monday, the German legislators met with some Government officials to read the story through their own lenses. Unfortunately, they were barred from going to the affected Regions because of the security embargo imposed by Western countries on their nationals.

Note that last month German Parliamentarians raised the Anglophone Conflict in their Parliament and challenged the Government to be proactive now to prevent a further escalation of the situation which to them would lead to a major humanitarian disaster.

It was based on this that the Bundestag sent members of the Crisis and Conflict Committee to Cameroon.

These members would then report to the Parliament in general for further actions to be taken.

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Source: natimesnews

 

Up to 50 Christian schools and hospitals have been affected, and the military has kidnapped four churches. “We need peace and the UN intervention”, a Cameroonian Christian says.

Last October, Paul Biya (86), the second longest serving president of Africa, won the elections in Cameroon with more than 70% of the votes.

The octogenarian, who has been in power for 36 years, will continue in office at least six more, despite the complaints of the opponent Maurice Kamto, who appealed the elections and unsuccessfully claimed their nullity.

THE CONFLICT IN AMBAZONIA

One of the most difficult scenarios for the president is the conflict with the self-proclaimed Republic of Ambazonia, in the West and English-speaking region, with three million people.

Up to now, the president’s policy has been based, above all, on military actions in favor of the defense of a unitary and centralized state in Yaoundé, against the groups in favor of independence that denounce what they consider to be privileges of the French-speaking part.

The conflict, which has its origins in the colonial division of the continent and the incorporation in 1961 of the former South Cameroon, occupied by the British, to Cameroon, of French exploitation, has caused the death of hundreds of people, including an American missionary killed in October, and the displacement of tens of thousands since 2016.

“WE NEED PEACE AND THE UN INTERVENTION”

Christians are not exempt from constant confrontations either. In fact, they have been the object of one of the last actions by the independence militias, which in early November kidnapped 80 students from the Presbyterian school in Bamenda.

Although the students have been released, “we need peace and the UN intervention”, says a Methodist Christian in Cameroon, who has agreed to speak with Spanish news website Protestant Digital, preferring to keep his identity anonymous.

“Many people die every day, homes and villages are burned, there are famished people and also those who take refuge in Nigeria. We do not have a voice in our country”, he adds.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

Up to 50 primary and secondary schools and Christian hospitals have been affected by the conflict, according to the secretary of communication and information of the Council of Protestant Churches of Cameroon, Gustav Ebai, who has lost four relatives in the clashes.

The military has also kidnapped four churches to turn them into barracks. “The government of Ambazonia, which controls most of the Northwest and Southwest, has placed a group of soldiers in the school until the crisis is resolved”.

“There are often shootings between different forces, and a stray bullet can kill a minor”, explains the Methodist believer. Because of this tension, the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC), published a statement last October, in the community bank holiday.

“Given what the English-speaking community is going through at this time, we cannot have a celebration while many of God’s children are being killed, suffering or living as internal or external refugees”, says the text signed by the Reverend Fonki Samuel Forba, of the PCC.

“The emphasis should be placed on supplying the Working Fund for the Mission, to allow the church to continue assisting our pastors and brothers displaced by the armed conflict that has brought pain and suffering to many”, the document adds.

CAMEROON RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY

53% of the population in Cameroon is considered Christian, according to the Joshua project. Of these, about 39% are Catholics, 22% Protestants and just over 33% belong to other denominations.

The sources consulted explain that “Cameroon is a country of religious tolerance. There is freedom of worship. Most of the Christians in the country are Catholics, Presbyterian, Baptists and Evangelicals, but there are also Pentecostal groups that are growing”.

In addition, “the main challenge is to meet, and this has made it difficult for the church to have a strong voice in the country”.

According to Central African missionary of Assemblies of God in Cameroon, Adongo Augustin Atilas, “believers are not united and live much more the syncretism and its ritual practices, especially when there is a birth or during the mourning after a funeral”.

Ethnic religions represent the third largest group of people in the country, with almost 22% of the population. The second group is Islam (24%), especially in the Northern part of the country, which lives in conflict because of the presence of Boko Haram and Fulani shepherds.

“Muslims and Christians have no problem in Cameroon. They live well and sometimes can share views on Jesus, although it is a taboo for some Muslims. They can visit you at night to pray and study the Bible, but they will never go to church”, Atilas says.

POLITICAL INTERFERENCES

The increasing conflict in recent years has mainly generated two political reactions to the religious fact: indifference and suspicion, depending on the point of view from which one looks.

“The government does not care about anything, it has no solution for the problems of the people, nor is it prepared to listen to the weeping of the masses”, explains the Christian Methodist.

Atilas believes that “Christians in Cameroon are not free to express their beliefs and are threatened by the bad government of the country”.

“We knew that there would be fraud in the elections since the beginning. Biya organized the vote, counted the ballots, registered them and proclaimed the results, despite being also a candidate. What can you expect?”

Lately, politics has also become part of “the prominent churches” of the country. In fact, according to the Catholic newspaper La Croix, Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Catholic leaders, have created an alliance with representatives of the Muslim community to mediate in the conflict.

It is estimated that about one hundred pastors of the PCC have fled from the southwest and Northwest regions, because of the conflict.

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Author: Jonatán Soriano

Source: evangelicalfocus.com

Traffic on the road between Buea and Kumba was paralyzed at the weekend following a heavy exchange of gunshots between French Cameroun security forces and Ambazonia fighters, sources have confirmed.

Sources said the Ambazonia fighters engaged French Cameroun security forces around Ekona blocking the road with similar battles taking place in Muyuka where a truck transporting cocoa was burnt down. Several vehicles were also burnt down as passengers were stranded.

A source traveling on the road told journalducameroun.com that they were escorted in a convoy through the road on Thursday morning by French Cameroun security forces in the midst of sporadic gunshots.

However, the situation degenerated early on Friday morning with heavy gunshots as separatist took control of parts of the road where they mounted roadblocks and were quick to post images on social media.

The tensed atmosphere comes to add to the woes of the local population especially those in Kumba who have gone for several days without electricity following a power breakdown on one of the transformers at the entrance to town.

Sources say workers of the electricity supply company would only get to the area to fix the technical fault when the security situation in the area must have improved.

Circulation was however partially restored on the road later on Sunday evening by security forces but the atmosphere remained tense.

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Source: journalducameroun

 

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