Ethiopia: Press Release from the Caucus of Opposition Parties (COP) – (05.06.2022)

[VOL – JUNE 05,2022] Having Noticed the fundamental differences on the approach of the National Dialogue with the government and it’s allied Parties, we here by announce the Establishment of Caucus of Opposition Parties (COP) to present our alternatives for National Dialogue that will result in genuine democratic system.

Therefore, We, the Caucus of Opposition Parties (COP) composed of below mentioned opposition political parties, who are key stakeholders with significant followers and influence in Ethiopia are fully committed to peaceful resolution of all conflicts and political differences that are flaming the current worsening political schisms and deadly hostilities.

Understanding the current dire situation Ethiopia is facing, all political parties, including the ruling party, agreed that the best way to tackle the gargantuan problems is through a National Dialogue. The government taking part in the initiative of the parties organized meetings where the modalities and process of the National dialogue was discussed. However, while the discussions were in progress and the stakeholders were debating the best way to organize the national dialogue, the government unilaterally prepared a bill regulating the process and passed it through the one party dominated parliament ignoring the concerns of the political parties.

Then, the government, exacerbating the matter further, started a dubious process of selecting the commission that will facilitate the National dialogue violating the fundamental principles of a national dialogue which are inclusivity in all facets of the process by all key stakeholders. Furthermore, no provision was put in place to allow commission to reach out to those who are currently banned and are at war with the government.

COP strongly believes that the current toxic political environment that resulted in bloody wars, economic decline and further polarization of the differences between all political forces, including the government could only be resolved through genuine, inclusive National dialogue where all stakeholders are fully engaged and given a chance to take active part in the solution.

Having seen how the National Dialogue process was compromised and misdirected, COP members decided to question their participating in a current format of the National Dialogue and present an alternative formula for organizing a genuine National dialogue in order to confront the culture of conspiratorial politics and heralding political actions that would positively contribute to the development of democratic culture and dissuade the government in a constructive way from taking a wrong direction.

Therefore, COP proposes that The National dialogues intended to address the key issues facing the politico/social and Economic landscape today shall meet the minimum of international standards and practices in order to give the process a chance to succeed include the followings:

An immediate, real cessation of hostilities and Internationally monitored ceasefire in all areas in Ethiopia including Tigray, Afar and Amhara, in Northern Ethiopia, Oromia , Benishangul, and Somali States.

Assurance by the government that it and key stakeholders take steps to restructure a commission and the edit regulating the process in a way that makes the process inclusive, representative and genuine, whereby negotiating parties have a strong support base, credible claim of legitimacy in representing their constituency, the political will and the ability to implement what was agreed upon including shared responsibility of implementation of the outcome of the National dialogue.

In order to ensure transparency, independence and inclusiveness of the commission members, political parties shall have a meaningful presence in the commission and take part in the process and criteria of selection. In addition, any discriminatory clause shall be removed from selection criteria such as holding only Ethiopian passports for people of Ethiopian origin in order to benefit from their expertise.

In the agenda setting process, there shall be a clear and transparent process that accommodates agenda presentation and approval by all stakeholders without discrimination.

Since Ethiopia is not an Island in this intricately interconnected global world and every decision we make is important to the other countries. Therefore, we demand provision that permit involvement and engagement of credible, neutral facilitators or mediators from the international community take part in the National dialogue process when deemed necessary.

Transparent and agreed upon decision making process including consensus and mediation shall be agreed by upon by all key stakeholders.

Adequate confidence building measures, including supplying security of key participants, effective international oversight, release of all political prisoners and lifting of embargo on humanitarian aid to those who are in desperate need of food and medicine.

It’s in the best interest of our people to give a guarantee and safety of all participants in the process and transparent security arrangements whereby Opposition parties leaders are not threatened by harassment, imprisonment and/or extra judicial killings.

Member Parties

1. AFAR JUSTICE AND DEMOCRATIC PARTY

2. AFAR PEOPLE’S PARTY (APP)

3. ARENA TIGRAY

4. DONGA PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION

5.HIBIR ETHIOPIA (HIBIR)

6. MEDREK

7. OGADEN NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT(ONLF)

8. OROMO FEDERALIST CONGRESS (OFC)

9. OROMO LIBERATION FRONT(OLF)

10. WOLAYTA NATIONAL MOVEMENT (WNM)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

05/06/2022

Ethiopia: PM Abiy wants a Palace fitted for a King

The Office of the Prime Minister is under preparations to construct a new national palace to the tune of 49 billion birr, becoming the second biggest public project next to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which has consumed over 130 billion birr thus far. Situated on a sprawling 503 hectares of land at Yeka Hill, in Yeka Sub-city, the construction touches five woredas, which will harbor the construction of halls, lakes, housing units and road infrastructures, among other facilities. Part of the government’s 10 year perspective plan, the project will see the evacuation of thousands of people. However, the residents will be given a chance to develop their own property on their land, if it fits the standard of the area, where the palace will be built. Sources told The Reporter the UAE government will contribute a portion of the budget needed to construct the palace” (The Ethiopian Reporter – ‘Government inches to build palace for over 49 billion birr’ 21.05.2022).

It seems to be official that the ruler of Addis Ababa and beyond, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali is planning to change his estate and his residence. As there are now plans to spend about a $1 billion United States Dollar on building a new Palace. That will be instead of residing in the Menelik Palace and the Grand Jubilee, which will become a museums.

The OPM and the ruling regime is prioritizing building a lavish Palace for their ruler. Instead of spending money on food security, agriculture or anything that can help the citizens. Because, the state has created a famine in Northern parts of the Republic. While it is having severe droughts in the Ogaden and surrounding areas. It is also possible hurt and suffering in the Afar region and parts of the Amhara region after warfare last year. Also, we have no estimation or idea of the damage, the pain or suffering in the Oromia region as well. Therefore, the state isn’t creating sustainable mechanisms or programs. Instead they are choosing to build a magnificent building for the Prime Minister to reside in.

The state who just received $300 million USD to “rebuild” and “retool” parts of the war-torn regions of the Republic. As the Republic is having a rising inflation hitting around the 40% rise. While also lacking foreign exchange. Meanwhile the Federal Government has also invested and imported more weaponry, tanks and other equipment to further their internal conflicts. Therefore, there is no shadow of doubt. That things will only get worse… before they get better.

As the famines, droughts and steady arrival of conflicts. The use of war to silence to silence dissent and opposition. While spending fortunes on prestige projects like the Palace of the PM. That just shows what sort of mismatched priorities the PM has and he has no ideal of how it is wrecking the economy.

In the last budget the state used 12 billion birrs on food security, 17 billion birrs on job creation, 33 billion birrs on health care and 16 billion birrs on education. So, you can easily see how the Federal Government is prioritizing the Palace over all the other necessities. Yes, some funds will come from the UAE Government, but that’s still a waste of government spending. This is not for developing the Republic or helping the citizens in need. No, this is just to boost the ego of man and his lofty ambitions.

Abiy wants so badly to be seen as a King and be a monarch. Now, his building a grand palace in his name and during his tenure. That just shows his intentions and he has no scruples either. As his government is waging war, been blocking humanitarian aid and been vicious against any critics within his realm.

Now… his starting to build a Palace and soon his trying to figure out who can make him a crown. Peace.

Ethiopia: The Federal Government is cracking down on all critical media…

The latest arrest is now Meskerem Abera, the journalist who has also just been abducted at Addis Abeba airport earlier today on the 21st May 2022. She is following a long line of government critics who has been apprehended, arrested and taken to unknown location. In addition to that, another kidnapping and arrest is of Tadious Tantu as well. Who has been gone missing since yesterday.

This is a grand scale of going after anyone who isn’t following the Federal Government line in the media. That is very obvious, because this a broad-net of journalists taken into custody over the last 48 hours.

Here is some brief reports of others arrested as well.

The Amhara region based Ashara media outlet announced that police arrested 5 of its staff last night & that it cannot establish their whereabouts today. The five are Kelemu Gelagay, Daniel Mesfin (editors/cameramen), Gashaye Negussie, Getnet Yalew, Habtamu Melese (reporters)” (Zecharias Zelalem, 20.05.2022).

News has just broken that Solomon Shumiye current affairs talk show host with a decent following on the Gebeyanu YouTube channel, has just been taken into police custody. We’re at about 10 media staffers detained across Ethiopia in just the past 24 hours” (Zecharias Zelalem, 20.05.2022).

Earlier in the month another arrest was also done:

Journalist Gobeze Sisay accused Ethiopia Government of crackdown on dissent media

Gobeze says his arrest is similar to the Tamerat Negera case, where Oromia police censor media, claiming “Oromophobia”

Tamera is #Oromo but opposes ethnic-federalism policy of Abiy’s OPP” (Awasa Guardian, 10.05.2022).

We can easily see that this is deliberate acts of silencing everyone and only get out the message of the state. A way of taking away anyone who speaks, thinks or even considers to question Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed Ali and his Prosperity Party. His party and Federal Government is aiming at anyone who blinks their eyes twice and thinks about questioning his actions.

That’s why these mass-arrests are happening. The sudden kidnappings of journalists, activists, civic leaders and advocates are targeted as well. This is all deliberated and by taking out the journalists the media will not report on it and neither will there be a media who questions these violations of people’s rights.

The PM and his party can rule with their tyranny, as there is no voices of reason. There is only incarceration and detention of anyone who dissent. The government is certainly showing it’s vicious side and instead of settling grievances with words. They are instead using it’s authority to silence it’s critics. That is not a shocker, as unity is spread to the sound of guns and ammo. Therefore, it follows a pattern of violence as a means of solidifying power. Peace.

Ethiopia: If Ethiopians are joining the war in Ukraine – They are dying for a War that isn’t theirs to begin with…

Everyone now clearly understands that Russia and all Russians lie. Trying to recruit Ethiopian Youth, Russians do not tell anybody that as of April 18, 2022, over 20000 of RU invaders has already met their Death in Ukraine. Felt defeated in Ukraine, Russia insidiously tries to mislead and play its dirty games” (Embassy of Ukraine in Ethiopia, 18.04.2022).

Today in Addis Ababa there been long lines and queues outside of the Russian Embassy. As there are reports of a total of 2000 Ethiopian citizens that has signed up to fight on the Russian side of the Ukrainian conflict.

That is only mere reports that has been refuted by the Russians, but they are willing to lie about everything. While the Ukrainian Embassy in Addis Ababa says they are recruiting. The Ukrainians are the ones who is defending their territory and nation against the Russian-Belorussian invasion, which has lasted for over 50 days now.

It is very unique, if these Ethiopians join this war. This isn’t a world war and neither is a conflict that has spiralled outside of the borders of Ukraine. No, for now it is a Russian-Belarus-Ukraine thing for the most part. The Russians warns everyone else of not to move, think or coordinate. While the Russians has already gotten Syrian mercenaries and could easily try to conscript Ethiopians to fight their battles.

There is already reports that the Russians needs reinforcement badly. As on Job-Sites and Work-Offerings the Ministry of Defence is offering unique and patriotic-based contracts for the ones who is willing to sacrifice and fight for Russia in Ukraine. The Russian Federation and it’s army needs recruits. That is evident after all the losses and the total failure of the swift invasion, which was supposed to happen within 48 hours or three days…

However, here we are and Ethiopians are queueing outside the Embassy. Some is said to have with them a passport and documents to prepare visa’s and signing up to participate in the conflict. That means Ethiopians would fight on the Russian side of the conflict.

The ones that queueing today is supposed to part of Amhara Para-Military Group “Fano” which is supported by Amhara Regional State and been vital in the war against Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Fano is the extremist and fascists of Ethiopia who has fought for Amharian supremacy and a Greater Amhara. So, they will fit well in with the Z brigade of Moscow and be in-line quickly with the Russian propaganda of Kremlin. Therefore, if that is true. It is a match made in Hell and not in Heaven.

Nevertheless, the Ethiopian mercenaries or conscripts is signing up for a war that isn’t theirs in the first place. They will not be honoured and be respected for their efforts. These will be cannon-fodder and die like flies on the front-line. The Ethiopian soldiers will not conquer or overcome Ukrainian forces. They will only be a temporary fix and a possible strategy of cutting the losses of the Russians own brigades.

The Ethiopian Youth and “Fano” might see this as a possible way of training, expertise and a possible pay-check. They rather fight a war far away and get credit for it. In such a way of leaving desperation at home to flee to “greener” pasture in Eastern Europe. However, they will bleed and die for nothing. The Russian will not honour their sacrifice or write tales of glory for their participation. No, they are just useful pawns on the chess-set and the first to catch a bullet for them.

The Ethiopian mercenaries will not linger much hope. When the Russians themselves has struggled and lead to many tactical defeats for the last 50 days. Why would Ethiopians make a huge difference? No, I don’t think so. Not because they are not warriors and cannot fight a battle. No, it is because of the conflict they would enter and the enemy they are meeting. It is not like it will be easy and be friendly. No, it will be brutal and they spare no one. Especially, the soldiers and the ones who is representing Russian invasion force.

That’s because the Ethiopian or “Fano” will be part of the invaders and an invasion. They are not part of the defence or the ones who is defending their homeland. No, they are going after Ukraine and on Ukrainian soil. That is a death wish and they will not return home as heroes. They are joining an imperial power and partaking in unjustified war. This is why nothing good will come out of it.

The ones signing up for this… is signing up for a death sentence and Moscow will not repay them. They are just taking a bullet for Kremlin and no love will ever be lost. These youths and Ethiopians will not return or be able to tell about the war they entered. Because, the Russians wouldn’t spare them. They are the ones they can risk and send to the front-line without any costs. Since, they signed up for it and they got to fight. There will be no option to flee or seek shelter. No, they are there to fight the cause of Russia.

A cause that will end up in caskets or not even that. They will be left behind on the battlefield and forgotten. A bloodshed and a sacrifice of a willing. Youth and Amhara militia members who fought a war that wasn’t theirs. The tears and losses will be felt by their families and loved ones. Who knew that they went and never heard from them again. Families and villages who saw their sons leave for war in Eastern Europe. Where they never returned from and only got a mantle or a signed off on war-grave. However, they will not return with stories of greatness or of adventures. No, they will be scorn, torn and bleed for a conflict, which wasn’t theirs and never will be theirs to begin with. They will be the lost souls and the sons of far away who could have lived life in peace and created a future in Ethiopia. Instead they sought after glory and a pay-off from Russia. A pay-off they will not receive. Since most of them will die before the Russian Federation or Ministry of Defence has to even care about their salaries. Peace.

BTW: It would make a difference, if the Amhara or Ethiopians joined the Ukrainian side either. This is a war for the soul of Europe and a war against European imperialism. Where the NATO/EU and Russia are on each side. As the Ukrainian are fighting for its own independence and sovereignty to join whatever entity or alliance it see fit. While Russians wants to have control of their neighbours. Which is why there is no natural reason or argument to defend the participation of Ethiopian Youth or “Fano” in either sides of the conflict in Ukraine. They will not be remembered or written tales of glory. No, they are mercenaries who will die in unmarked graves, which is undignified for their sacrifice, but an end, which is most likely to happen.

BTW II: Don’t say nobody didn’t warn you or didn’t write about it. Because, I did and I am concerned, because their lives matters. Just like all lives does and this was a death that could have been avoided. However, decisions are made and there is always consequences to the actions we make. Peace.

Opinion: It seems like Abiy don’t need Hailemariam Desalegn anymore…

There is now reports that the former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has an arrest warrant on him. There is a pending corruption case, which questions missing funds $50 million, which was misused and not spent as promised on agricultural equipment from Poland. Therefore, an old case is suddenly appearing and haunting the former Prime Minister.

When these sorts of things happens years after. As we have seen the succession of Abiy and the years in power. This seems like a sting and operation to take down a former ally who paved the way for Abiy to get into office. That is how it seems to me.

The money is most likely eaten and the ones in office is doing the same. If not they are misusing funds to combat it’s own people and asking for donors for military equipment to kill their own. Surely, the former PM have to answer for his own grievances.

However, this is a political game, as Abiy is safe and has the throne. He feels superior and untouchable, as the warfare haven’t hit home and neither has the crippling economy. So, as long as the gig is working. He can focus on consolidating all power and this way go after someone who can put him in a bad light.

Which just happens to be the former Prime Minister. A man who did the noble thing and resigned after failing. A PM stepping down after misusing his office and suspending the rights of his people. Using the Command Post and the State of Emergency to further the plight of the demonstrating youths. Alas, the former PM did the graceful thing and bowed out.

Nevertheless, Abiy rather silence and get rid of his critics. That’s why this fits a pattern and now he seeks a former ally and a predecessor. In such a way to silence and stop him too. To use the past and the courts to go after him. It is just so fitting and a political move, as the same courts has been used against high profiled opposition. Therefore, we know the drill and the motivation for it now.

Just like Abiy have gone after and gotten rid of the ones that made him like Lemma Megersa. It seems like he has put the target on Hailemariam now. The one who was before him and to signal that anyone can be touched. That is how it seems… and it wouldn’t be shocking. As there are plenty of political prisoners lingering in jail and the former PM would maybe even join fellow jailbirds who he put behind bars during his reign.

Therefore, this is just a sign of cleaning the house and furthering his consolidating of power, which is a enterprise, which doesn’t seem to slow down. However, it just takes new forms and the PM isn’t done with doing so. Peace.

Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta – An appeal to the Government and the People of Ethiopia (03.11.2021)

Ethiopia: Venable LLP hired to clean Abiy’s tarnished image

It is now reported that the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) have hired the lobbying firm Venable LLP to promote Ethiopia in the United States of America (USA). This is not the first time an African Warlord or President with conflicts is hiring lobbyist to “clean-up” their image abroad. It is all done to sway the U.S. Congress and get a favourable tune from the White House. Because, the broken Washington D.C. is for sale and everyone can be bought, apparently.

Venable LLP had 81 clients in 2020 and spent $7,400,000 in lobbying fees for various of causes. The Venable LLP had 44 lobbyist working for them last year.

What is striking is the two fellas that is representing Ethiopia in Washington D.C. is Thomas Quinn and Loren Aho. Open Secrets says Quinn speciality is Taxation by a vast margin and Defence. While Aho have also Defence as speciality. This is not government affairs or foreign affairs, which is where the Ethiopian government needs help to sway public opinion about the war in Tigray and all the other atrocities across the Republic.

On a FARA form filed by Quinn on the 4th February 2021. Quinn is an attorney and a partner in the company. It states that he has three foreign principals his working for as a foreign agent. In his filing, these are: “Embassy of Ethiopia, Embassy of the State of Qatar & Hong Kong Trade Development Council”. This means that works for these others as well. While banking the thousands of dollars per month from Addis Ababa. We can wonder how much Qatar and HKDC is paying him too.

The Ethiopian Embassy is paying Venable LLP US$35,000 per month. When they have a taxation expert and minor lobbyist on his payroll. The company has an outreach and has a big team. Though, the two who is handling this has this history. This is information in the public domain from ProPublica and OpenSecrets. It is not like the American lobbyists isn’t looked into, as a public oversight to their actions and how they influence U.S. Congress.

That Quinn and Aho is hired to this is to whitewash and make Abiy’s government look good in the public eye in the US. It is to get Committee’s to act in favour of Addis Ababa. That is why they have hired these fellows. Where they are trying to sway and swing things in their direction. So, that they are not sanctioned or embargoed in any way. Especially, now that they are going into an election, warfare in Tigray and other lingering conflicts across the Republic.

Prime Minister Abiy has hired these guys to look good. That is the reason. As his team isn’t able to get positive headlines in Western Media and the use of this as a platform to get that. This is why regimes like this uses lobbyists to become “cleansed” from the “bloodstains” abroad. Also, to ensure their leadership and legitimacy across the board. In a manner, which they get vouched for by the International Community.

It is ironic that Abiy does this, as he holds a grip on local-media and accreditation of foreign media houses too. Just give people a pass, if they follows his guidelines and writes his stories. If they don’t, then they are banished from the Republic. Peace.

Teff-Flour Patent Belongs to Ethiopia: Sanction Roosjen and his businesses now!

It is now revealed that someone named Jans Roosjen of the Netherlands has a United States Patent on the Teff Flour, the tradition food source backing done thousands of years. Roosjen is officially a pre-historical human being, he is back-to-future, he is the mirage and the answers of all things. Since he can patent something that has been part of Ethiopian culture and their practices, without their consent and without consideration. He is not the owner of Teff Flour. The United States Patent Office shouldn’t accept this, because this is taking someones national pride and food culture and stamping their ill-gotten name on it.

This is a mockery of invention, this is cultural and staple food theft. It would be like stealing french-fries from Belgium, the Kimchi from South Korea or the Feijoada from Brazil. No one owns that invention, but you cannot patent it too. This is made for the people and owned by the people, secondly, as a foreigner you should appreciate the culture, not steal it. That is what this man has done with the Patent of Teff Flour milling. Like he invented it, he didn’t invent it, he just served a document and filing to the Patent Office. They should have dismissed it as a insane thinking of a European man, who has no ownership to the food cuisine of Ethiopia. 

Teff History:

Teff (Eragrostis Tef) is a cereal crop of Poaceae or Gramineae family with small grains. It is believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000 and 1000 BC [1]. Teff seeds were reported to be discovered in a pyramid which is thought to date back to 3359 BC [1]. It is a primarily cultivated cereal crop in Ethiopia with high market price and socio-economic values. Its center of origin and diversity is Ethiopia” (…) “The cultivation of teff as a major cereal crop in Ethiopia was started thousands of years ago. As mentioned in the Introduction, some researchers have indicated that teff production in Ethiopia has a history of more than 4000 years. Teff is a primarily cultivated cereal crop in Ethiopia with high market price and socio-economic values” (Daba, 2017).

Encyclopedia of Life (eol.org) states this:

Between 8,000 and 5,000 BC, the people of the Ethiopian highlands were among the first to domesticate plants and animals for food and teff was one of the earliest plants domesticated.[4] Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia and Eritrea between 4,000 BCE and 1,000 BCE. Genetic evidence points to E. pilosa as the most likely wild ancestor.[5] A 19th century identification of teff seeds from an ancient Egyptian site is now considered doubtful; the seeds in question (no longer available for study) are more likely of E. aegyptiaca, a common wild grass in Egypt.[6]” (eol.org – ‘Eragrostis tef’).

That Roosjen own business, which is on his page teff-grain.com, where he states: “given the fall-numbers the mixing of teff-grain or flour with other flours/seeds is patented”. That is very insane, that a man from Netherlands or Holland is thieving a 1000 year old tradition and trying to keep it to himself. That is disgusting, it would be okay if he imported it through Prograin, the company he is owns and serves, but patenting it, is taking it a bit to far.

So the Roosjen started a shop in 2004, patent it in 2006 and has forgotten the tradition of the food. It is time for the world to patent everything for Nethlands, the wind-mills and when coming to foods. It is time for Ethiopians to patent Dutch tradition food, to retaliate like Pannenkoeken, Erwtensoep, Poffertjes and Stroopwafels. Because if a random Dutch man can patent food for centuries and get away it. The Ethiopian and government, should do similar acts until the Dutch retract this nonsense. This is demeaning and insulting of all humanity. Its like patenting human life itself, Roosjen next project could be to patent one of the pyramids of Egypt. Since he could already has stolen, the pride and staple food of injeera of Ethiopia.

Roosjen, you do not own an African Cuisine, you don’t have the rights to patent 8000-year old tradition food from Ethiopia. How dear you, you should retract it and be glad to mother, that you can still import this food and the flour itself. The Ethiopian partners of yours should stop selling to you. Since, you have betrayed their tradition and their cuisine, they should boycott you and yours families business.

A Dutch Company and a Dutch Man is lucky to be able to trade the commodity, they should sanction the man. The farmers, the traders in Addis Ababa, the ones who has traded with his company and the ones licensing sale to him. Should stop immediately, he doesn’t deserve it. Because he has stolen part of the pride of Ethiopia. No one has the right to do so. No-One has the right to do so, it is insulting and demeaning.

Peace.

Reference:

Daba, Tadessa – ‘Nutritional and Soio-Cultural Values of Teff (Eragrostis tef) in Ethiopia’ (May 2017)

South Sudan: Entebbe Declaration on the Operationalization of the Arusha Agreement on the Reunification of the SPLM (27.07.2017)

South Sudan: SPLM/A-IO claims the TGoNU are “Forum Shopping” the Peace Process (27.07.2017)

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