Published On: Tue, Mar 13th, 2012

For Somalia, lessons from stable breakaway north

HARGEISA, Somalia — Banknotes in piles the size of desks lie on a dusty street guarded by dozing civilians — money exchange offices in Somaliland, the northern breakaway state of war-torn Somalia.

While war rages in southern Somalia — where regional armies and government troops battle Shebab fighters allied to Al-Qaeda — the relative stability achieved in Somaliland offers a sliver of hope for the rest of the anarchic land.

“We are a peaceful and democratic country,” said Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, president of the self-declared country which broke away from Somalia in 1991, the year the Horn of Africa nation erupted into all-out civil war.

“People have said we are an oasis of peace in the Horn of Africa,” added Silanyo, who took the helm of this nation the size of England in peaceful 2010 polls.

Like Somalia’s capital Mogadishu today, Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa was left in ruins by bombing raids in the bloody civil war.

But while the wreckage of destroyed fighter jets still lies on Hargeisa’s bumpy airstrip, the scars of the conflict are rapidly fading, as bullet-riddled ruins are replaced by a spurt of new buildings.

Traders sell plump melons and bananas from farms outside the city on bustling street corners, while women offer milk from the camels that are key to Somaliland’s mainly rural and pastoral economy.

“It is not always easy, but every year there are improvements in the economy,” said businesswoman Amina Farah Arshe, who runs a fleet of fishing boats and supports women entrepreneurs.

As international diplomatic, military and relief efforts focus on ending the conflict in southern Somalia, Somaliland’s experience offers lessons in how to build peace, Silanyo said.

“It was not imposed by any political group, but by an agreement of all people, clans and leaders, to come together to make reconciliation and restore peace,” Silanyo told AFP in his modest presidential compound.

But while Somaliland is bound together by a unifying ambition for formal independence and international recognition, southern Somalia is riven by brutal land and power struggles fueled by clan divides and religious beliefs.

“Somaliland demonstrates it is possible to build peace and stability in Somalia” if there is a “clear objective” — in this case independence — said Georges-Marc Andre, EU ambassador to Somalia, the largest donor here.

“In south and central Somalia however, for the time being, the interests are too diverse,” Andre added.

Somaliland is certainly not without problems, but does appear to be trying to tackle them.

“The problems of sexual violence are many,” said Aswan Mahmud, one of four female police prosecutors here, who focuses on violent crimes against women and children, a problem in a traditional society struggling to rebuild after war.

“In the beginning, it was tough and there was hostility from the public to my work, but things have improved … I’ll keep going because I am committed to provide better access to justice for women,” Mahmud added.

But Somaliland also suffers from the spillover violence from its violent neighbours, beset by Islamist fighters as well by pirates who threaten shipping far across the Indian Ocean.

Tensions remain high with the neighbouring autonomous Somali region of Puntland over contested border regions potentially rich in oil.

Officers inside Hargesia’s newly-refurbished prison are preparing cells for the transfer of 19 pirates Somaliland has agreed to host — with more expected to follow — captured by international navies and convicted in the Seychelles.

It is a sensitive matter for fiercely independent Somaliland, keen to win favour with the international community by showing its commitment to fight piracy, but also wary since the convicts are from Somalia.

“Their coming … is an issue for political leaders, but we will host them here,” said commander Omar Said Ali Ali diplomatically, as prisoners stared out from behind bars.

Some Western countries argue Somaliland deserves to become a fully-fledged country and thus gain access to more aid, but the African Union is wary of setting a precedent that may spur secessions across the continent.

“Even if we do not yet have the recognition of the international community we engage with the world, and we hope and expect recognition will come to Somaliland,” the president added.

By Peter Martell (AFP)

Displaying 61 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Farhaan Faarah says:

    An infidel opinions can not help Somaliland's dream of breaking away. Somaliland needs to achieved it democratically which is process to get recognition from the Somali government.

  2. Gobaad says:

    " … the African Union is wary of setting a precedent that may spur secessions across the continent." That is a bull! Somaliland's has nothing to do with the so-called pandora that may release all evils. Somaliland is not that category and our situation is different. We are not one country being divided but two different countries united as one. Many countries have united together and then retreated to their original statehood, why Somaliland is different and how is that fair?

    • Xarago says:

      Say what ever you want but African Union, Igad. Arab league, United Nation they will not recognize region with in Somalia. And Sool, Sanaag, and Cayn will not accept that they want with their brother and sisters from South. Somalia will not be divide never, north Somalia will you will isolate from rest of the world.

      Somalia will be peace inshaallah north Somalia want come to the table and talk negotiate but there is noo separation western they already divided our country noo more.

      • saalax ali says:

        @xarago
        As They said They are two Things certain
        Death & taxation,The Third Thing is NO Recogntion any states in somalia UN,AU..
        They don’t want to see spread This sort Of virus all over africa,an less does People who are narrow minded.

      • saalax ali says:

        @xarago
        As They said They are two Things certain
        Death & taxation,The Third Thing is NO Recogntion any states in somalia UN,AU..
        They don’t want to see spread This sort Of virus all over africa,an less Those People who are narrow minded.

      • Gobaad says:

        Xarago, that is your wishful thinking, but that will never happen negotiation or not. All we need is your blessings and good neighbourhood nothing more and nothing less. Anything else is an aggression on our statehood and violation of our territorial integrity.

        • ahmed maxamuud says:

          There is nothing to be negotiated,one is
          Interesting your internal affairs,god Gives blessing not a human every somali State is expecting The some status—– Including khaatumo & awdal states.

        • ahmed maxamuud says:

          There is nothing to be negotiated no one
          Interesting your internal affairs,god Gives blessing not a human every somali State is expecting The some status—– Including khaatumo & awdal states.

  3. HMObsiye says:

    It is a shame for African Union for dragging it's foot on the issue of Somaliland recognition. Instead of thinking for themselves these so called African leaders were humbly waiting for their masters to impose upon them the recognition of Somaliland, just the way they imposed upon them the recognition of South Sudan.

    These so called leaders know full well the case of Somaliland is unique and very different from any movement in Africa and they know full well too that it will not open a pandora box as they try to tell the world. Who do they think the Somaliland people is? The people in Somaliland knows very well their case is very different and should be treated as such.

  4. ComeAgain says:

    The African Union has no business telling anyone what to do let alone Somaliland!

    The African Union is the most corrupt body, actually its a farce! Filled to the brim with despots. The African Union and Somaliland can be compared in the following statement "who cares what a theif and a liar thinks of a decent man" They can close their eyes to the wonder that is Somaliland but we will attract people with the same beliefs of building a democratic republic and actually being accountable to the people and nation they have been elected to serve!

    We should continue building our insitutions and our infrastructure and believe me in 10-15 years we Landers will be an example to the African Union itself, in many ways we already are!

  5. M M Hassan says:

    SLpresss used to be my favorite website, but no more. Please look at the comments on Dahabshiil Vs Sahil . This media outlet is reduced to a one clan den. It has to be renamed something else and not be associated with the good Somaliland name. One Qarannews is enough.

    • Aw-Gass says:

      Mr. Hassan: Do not throw the towel. Somaliand needs you; and there is always differing views on issues. If you have an issue with comments in an article, you can write about it and share with us – you may be able to change minds in your favor! God knows all!

    • inayuusuf says:

      M M Hassan, please let’s forget that shameful article and the horrible comments thereto. Let’s unite again for our national cause. Period.

  6. barwaaqo says:

    Shame on you Somalilandpress. How come someone posts more than 100 comments oo cay iyo aflagaado ah. Please check comments on Dahabshiil Vs Sahil.

    • inayuusuf says:

      bawaaqo, the webmaster (or gatekeeper) rarely reads posts of commentators. The deletion of comments is automated and built into the site which savvy surfers can tactically dodge.

      If you have a problem with a particular comment, you may report by clicking the “Report” word place at the lower right corner of each comment (post). By doing so you will forcefully and unavoidably alerting the webmaster.

  7. ComeAgain says:

    I will said it once and I will say it again, something is fishy with Somaliland press last time until I said something they never used to moderate for fa qash comments now they atleast try.

  8. Omer Hussein Dualeh says:

    Why and why million times that we Somalilanders label Qabiil, whoever has a different opinion? I have discovered the die-hard fighters against clan are now themselves turn to be the worst tribal believers, like Dhugtame and Ali1234. You have been exposed un-intentionally, when Dhiigshiil issue come to the surface. You lost the trust of those who use to read your comments, and I hope [as Dhugtame] said you will disappear from this forum forever.

    The only place left for you to visit is the psychiatric hospital that treats tribalism. It's end of you guys, because your true face has been unveiled.

    • inayuusuf says:

      Dear Omer,
      Considered this post, you seem very much civilized but what about your hundred fifty plus useless posts you have posted on the very article. Your screen name was "Somalilander" at that time in case you messed them up.

      • Hassan Mohamed Farah says:

        @ inyusuf,

        Please do not waste your time on this revolting person with multiple IDs. He his not worthy of responding to.

        • amal says:

          Somaliland has no time for tribalism sh*t like this. We've only just stood on our two feet and would be a shame to go backwards. Somalilanders are whining all the time everywhere, I guess we are just typical Somalis after all

          • Sabah says:

            All was well until this nonperson with many names join the discourse. How can we get rid of this curse, any ideas?

          • inayuusuf says:

            Just report him by clicking the “Report” word placed at the lower right corner of each comment (post). By doing so you will forcefully and unavoidably alerting the webmaster. If your argument is strong enough, he might be denied any future posts using the same name.

  9. M M Hassan says:

    Aw-Gaas,

    Thank you for your kind advice. However, it is sad to see Somalilandpress joining the cheap clannish confrontations and siding with one group against another. Why I say so ? because I read the comments made yesterday on Sahil Vs Dahabshiil and to my astonishment found out that all the positive and impartial contributor's comments were deleted. This happened, while one person's over hundred obscene comments remain untouched to this minute. Isn't that a shame?

  10. Berri says:

    Part # 3

    What impressed me to comment is, the Author's legally valid paragraph of "Sheikh Sharif’ is trying to bring Somaliland into the 21 years old chaos of “Somalia”. This is clear violation of London Communique".

    The short answer to that is, neither Sheikh Sharif nor anyone else can't stand against Superpower's strategic ambitious of separating Somaliland from Somalia as two independent states period. And time will tell in short term ( Iranian bombardment from Berbera). Just wait two or three rounds of dialogues on Article # 6 starting from the next Istanbul meeting.

    Farther, careful cautions is always award based on the big agenda of Augustine Mahiga to threaten Somaliland's democratically elected leadership and peace stabilization is non existence e delusions.

    Who is Augustine Philip Mahiga?; who trained by evil dictators Jilius Nyerere of Tanzanian swallowed and colonized the whole Muslim nation – Republic of Tanganyika in form of Tanzania Federation of Cooperatives. Some of the most documented and proven history of Augastia have been listed for Augastia Mahiga' ambitious to threaten Somalia, let along Somaliland.

    Augustine Philip Mahiga, was s poor Canadian Immigrated and now Special Representative for Somalia: He is a provenance of socially and professionally corrupted cultural background of as his services with socialism oriented Nyereere system ( Bribery from top –down was officially legal, but where he lives in Canada bribery is like death penalty case.

    Way of his life, he has been training and grew for a long period of time a country under Tanzania ruler of former dictator the mania political leadership of oppressive structural rulings, and who was plotting against democratization and stable countries in all whole African countries along 1960's.

    All his diplomatic life experience full of Hippocratic slogans with hidden agenda as Nyerere type of plotting agendas towards Somalia. He worked already in many terribly failed States without any solutions, such as Darfur, Rwandan and Afghanistan.

    He made no secret in several public appearances at Hargesia of delighting at any setbacks to Somaliland recognition ambitious program that he fears may soon become a threat to whole Somalia existence.

    With these failed undemocratic and failed background, the virtual question is how come he will deliver a productive democratic institutionalized government in Somalia. Many observers answered that both Sheikh Sharif and Mr. Augustine Mahiga's hiring as UN Envoy was another too late assignment and could be last game that will not be more valuable than educational materials to be studied in Academic Colleges for future generation students as failing assignments reference paper.
    PROOF!!!!
    Most likely Somalia current situation seemingly will end up trusteeship as Al- Mutairi envisaged couple years ago. Echoed by Afyare Abdi Elmi,Somalia: Manifestation of stealth trusteeship Somalia is being run by many masters with irreconcilable agendas, but this exploitation must end if peace is to prevail. Read more … http://aje.me/z8jW4a

    A hatred of success has always been part of their human nature. They have general signs of Propaganda use, such as slight fold separation and fold wear, pinholes, or very minor tears views.

    Hatred Quote Says: A nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and by common hatred of its neighbors … BY William Ralph

  11. Berri says:

    To SLPress / dear audience: I'm very very sorry by posted this comment in wrong location,as it was conceing about the Article titled: Sheikh Sharif of TFG short-circuited Somalia London Communiqué: By:Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi. So, please see also the comments too.

  12. inayuusuf says:

    @Berri
    Never mind!
    Yes, your comment is long but informative. But how you are allowed to post such a long comment. Just wondering!

  13. Hassan Mohamed Farah says:

    @Omer Hussein Dualeh,

    You are the most deceptive, insincere and pertinacious person this site has known. To your admission you have used different names and blatantly violated every rule of decency. I hope you will show your tail and disappear, no one likes liars and cheap shots like. May you go to hell, cheap shot.

  14. Derie says:

    @ Sabah,

    May be we should ask Dhuktame to come back. To those who know Dhuktame, please ask him to come back.

    • Faysal says:

      How about getting Keyse back as well? I'm sure with the presence of Dhuktame and Keyse the so-called Mr.Omar Hussein Dualeh/Somalilander/ Boqoljire/ Dr. Mohamed Abdillahi Omer/ / / /………….will not dare to comment.

  15. Omer Hussein Dualeh says:

    Hassan Mohamed Farah.
    I am not the one who did that and I swear that I am not. Period. This could be some one else. Don't just through insults without proof.

    • inayuusuf says:

      @Omer Hussein Dualeh
      “I use more than what you know. Boqoljireh, Omer, Somalilander, Wadani…” These are your own words to “Dhugtame” and you cannot retrieve it now.

  16. Hassan Mohamed Farah says:

    Omer Hussein Dualeh,

    After all your falsifications and undignified actions, no one will ever believe you. Once a liar is always a liar, you used many different names and insulted people more than once. you could have put your point across without resorting to slander and direct personal attacks, but instead, you chose to become a bully and a deceptive liar. The only thing that will restore your dignity back is to apologize to all the people you ruthlessly hurt and lied to, one by one and admit and promise that you will never repeat you disgusting actions ever again.

  17. Omer Hussein Dualeh says:

    Listen my fellow citizen do not give your verdic before you investigate and reach the truth. I am not the person who put that insult to the website. I cannot do it, and that is the truth. I use different names because of reason and you will not ever find that I insult people or talk badly about people.

    I am responsible person, therefore stop accusing me of sothing I did'nt do it. I am here to clear my name, but to tell you the truth.

    • amal says:

      I guess imposter was using one of your names to further fuel the fire then. Maybe SomalilandPress should only allow one id per person, too many impersonation or duplicate usernames.

      • Asha says:

        Amal,

        Look you gave this man a way out of the trouble that he is in, but he did not make use of you bailing him out, but continued to uncover yet another screen name that he deceptively uses. I think the reason he based his argument upon using many names is valid if he his the public official we all think he is. What a poor guy?

        • Ali says:

          I ask Dhuktame to defend him, if he is charged with the corruption allegation. the man will put himself in trouble in court, if he is not helped out kkkkkkkkkk.

        • Gobaad says:

          I think Mr Omer Hussein Dualeh is being honest and telling the true the use three different names. Being on this forum for quite sometime, I know his name is Omer Hussein Dualeh, his nick name is Boqoljire or perhaps, Boqoljire is the area that his family live, but I don't know he also use Somalilander. Although I would rather use one name, I think he is genuinely telling the true. I mean, how many times have we seen people saying I use three names.

  18. Abdi1234 says:

    @ Omer Hussein Dualeh

    Isn't this your last post? please read carefully:

    Why and why million times that we Somalilanders label Qabiil, whoever has a different opinion? I have discovered the die-hard fighters against clan are now themselves turn to be the worst tribal believers, like Dhugtame and Ali1234. You have been exposed un-intentionally, when Dhiigshiil issue come to the surface. You lost the trust of those who use to read your comments, and I hope [as Dhugtame] said you will disappear from this forum forever.

    The only place left for you to visit is the psychiatric hospital that treats tribalism. It's end of you guys, because your true face has been unveiled.

  19. Jambazi says:

    To all whom it may concern!!!!!
    In the aricle about "Dahaabshil vs Saxiil community" Someone by the screen name posted more 100 post, some of these posts had a one sentence catch to which this person has plagiarized from post.
    I would like to bring into the attention of all contributors in this forum, the person with the screen name "Somalilander" is an imposter and a plagiarizer. The person with the screen name "Somalilander" copied the following one sentence catch phrase "Dhigshil is a leech who want suck blood from people of Somaliland" from my post, then he pasted into his post to create the impression that posters using screen names Somalilander and Jambazi to be the same person. But this is far from the truth. First and foremost Jambazi and Somalilander are two totally different individuals. Because, as you might check and confirm that, I havent posted a lot of post and I am not an avid poster of post due to my limited time. Secondly, as I have mentioned earlier, my time is so limited and due to this paucity of time, I am not in a position to post more than 100 post within a short time span. And finally, my position against dhigshil or dahaabshill is not about his clan, to me his is irrelevant, and I havent got any grudges against that esteemed clan who are my relatives too. But, my opposition against dhigshil was ignited by dhigshil's pompous arrogance which stems from his enormous wealth and his uncle being president.

    • Abdi1234 says:

      Jambazi,

      I think you now shot yourself badly on the foot.

      "I havent got any grudges against that esteemed clan who are my relatives too. But, my opposition against dhigshil was ignited by dhigshil's pompous arrogance which stems from his enormous wealth and his uncle being president."

      if your opinion is not colored by clannish hatred, than the sky is green.

  20. Roble says:

    Jambazi / Omer Hussein Dualeh/ Boqoljire? Mohamed Abdillahi Omer…………

    You are not answering the legitimate questions you were asked by Abdi1234 and you continuously in denial. No one in this forum will respect you, unless you you admit and apologize for your nuisance. Look how long your above post is and you tell use that paucity of time is your problem.

    To all, I suggest that we do not respond to the comments of this man with multiple personalities unless he apologizes to all the people he insulted.

    • Jambazi says:

      My post are deleted so how can give you answer. I think SP is censoring my comment by blocking all post coming my IP

      • Jambazi says:

        Whenever one cretisizes silanyo and dhigshil are branded hating their clan. Then how are we going to have a civilized discussion. And this forum is censoring my post, how are my going to respond to any accusation level against me.

      • Layla says:

        you deserve it and good for SLP!!!!

        • Jambazi says:

          You said that because I critisize an incompetent president, may be, he happened you share same qabil. As for SP, nothing good will they will achieve by stiffling peoples oppinion. In fact, SP will loose image and visotors. And it will turn into a gutter forum.

  21. Samotalis2 says:

    ? Omer Hussein Dualeh,

    I just found out that you are coming to Europe this weekend on important business trip. I will come and meet you in your hotel and will also bring a copy of the Quran, si aan kuu dharyo. This is the only way we can bring this issue to resolution. I hope you will respect the Quran and tell the truth.

  22. barwaaqo says:

    We should have been commenting on the above article.

  23. mohamed cheers says:

    In as much as good reprting is concerned this author is too far controversial.
    Cheers.

  24. mohamed cheers says:

    In as much as good reporting is concerned this Author is too far controversial.
    Cheers.

  25. Jambazi says:

    You said that because I critisize an incompetent president, may be, he and you happen to share same qabil. As for SP, nothing good will they achieve by stiffling people's oppinion. In fact, SP will loose image and visotors. And it will turn into a gutter forum.

  26. Ali Mahamoud says:

    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((KNOW THE TRUTH}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
    PLEASE WATCH THIS….THIS IS WHAT DAHABSHIIL REALLY IS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7hNh3khUz4

  27. safiya says:

    Asalaamu calaykum waxaan arkayaa in idinka mid ahi aad haysataan MR.omer hussein ducaaleh kuna eedaynayseen wax aanu qorin oo uu qoray qof doonaya in uu muwaadinkaa dhabta ah ku qaloociyo afkiisa waxaanan taa ku cadaynayaa maaha markii u horaysay ee aynu ku aragno mr.omer websitkankan waligeena kumaynu arag isaga oo qof shakhsi ku waxyeelaynaya halkan laakiin waxaynu ku naqaanaa raganimadiisa iyo in aanu rayigiisa uga gaban cidna marka ay arintu timaado difaaca dadkiisa iyo dalkiisa somaliland waxaanan odhan karaa waa mujaahid waana raga aad ka u yar ee isticmaala magaciisa oo dhan taasina waxay ku tusaysaa inuu yahay qof runsheeg ah oo aan waxba qarinayn imikana waxaan arkayaa inuu idiin dhaartay ee waa inaad rumaysataan ,qofka somalilander isticmaalayna waxaan leeyahay waa wax aad u foolxun oo aanu illaahay (swt)kama raali noqdo quf ku kaca waxaas oo kale hadii uu yahay nin muslim ah oo og qaladkiisa waanu is garanayaa waxaan leeyahay isa soo cadee si uu illaahay kuugu dambi dhaafo waayo waxaa ina sugaysa xisaab eebe inaad qof muslim ah oo dambi aanu galin saartaanaa waa wax aad u xun waxaanan idinkula talinayaa umadayda reer soomaalilaan inaad illahy ka yaabtaan oo aad qabyaalada iska ilawdaan oo aad ka shaqaysaan danaha umadiina iyo dalkiina.

  28. safiya says:

    waxay ilatahay qof wal oo caqligiisa isticmaalaa wuu garan karaa qofka isticmaalay magaca somalilander inaanu ahayn MR.omer waayo waxaan u arkaa sida uu ugu celceliyay xumaanta inuu yahay qof aan masuul ahayn oo ciyaala wakhtina u haya ku celcelinta xumaanta waxaan leeyahay illaahaaga kabaq.

  29. Omer Hussein Dualeh says:

    Gacaliso, Safiya, waad mahadsan tahay difaaca aad iigashay si aad ugu sheegto kuwa eedda aan xaqqa ahayn igula kacay ee caydana ii raaciyey. Jasaaka Allahu Khayran. Anigu waxaan ahay qofka Ilaahay uu ka mayday Qabyaalad, jecelna Ummadda reer Somaliland dhammaanto.

    Maaha in aan halkan iska daafaco, waayo wax aan sameeyey habayaratee majirto, waxaanse jeclaystay in aan kuu mahadnaqo Gacaliso, sidaad arrintan uga hadashay. Thank you once again. Just google the article I wrote about Tribalism which says MAXAA INNOO DIIDAY IN CAQLIGU SHAQEEYO.

  30. Omer Hussein Dualeh says:

    Correction: CAQLIGU INUU SHAQEEYO MAXAA INNOO DIIDAY

  31. mohamed cheers says:

    Is Safiya & Dualeh same individual?..Style signifies similarities!..Could be wrong though.
    Mohahahaha.
    Cheers.

  32. safiya says:

    waad qaldantahay mr.mohamed waxay illatahay qofka wayni wuu fahmikaraa inaan ahay qof dumar ah waxaanan ahay qof waayeel ah oo neceb dulmiga laga galo qof wal oo muslim ah wuxuu doono ha ahaadee waxaanan arkay inaad kala hadhi garan waydeen oo aad qaladka isku wada raacdeen intiina badani waxaanan filayaa dadkayaga reer soomaalilan inaanay dhaqan u lahaan jirin inay xumaanta isku wada raacaan ee la arki jiray qaar wanaaga ka taliya waxaan illahay idiinka baryayaa inuu wanaaga idin garansiiyo qabyaaladana idinka maydho.

  33. inayuusuf says:

    @mohamed cheers

    I firmly believe Safiya and Omer Hussein Dualeh are the same person.

    These are Safiya words "waxaanan taa ku cadaynayaa maaha markii u horaysay ee aynu ku aragno mr.omer websitkankan waligeena kumaynu arag isaga oo qof shakhsi ku waxyeelaynaya halkan laakiin waxaynu ku naqaanaa raganimadiisa iyo in aanu rayigiisa uga gaban cidna marka ay arintu timaado difaaca dadkiisa iyo dalkiisa somaliland waxaanan odhan karaa waa mujaahid"

    But this is the first time safiya commented on this cite. No record for safiya at all.

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