Home | News    Wednesday 16 September 2009

SPLM hints at breakthrough on referendum law


By Ngor Arol Garang

September 15, 2009 (ABYEI )- A leading member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Michael Makuei Lueth minister for Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development today hinted at a breakthrough on referendum law currently under a heated discussion with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

Southern Sudanese soldiers from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) sit on top of a tank during celebrations in Juba (Getty Images)

Speaking by phone from Khartoum, the minister said their discussions with members of the NCP led by Sudan 2nd VP Ali Osman Mohamed Taha today "sounds promising and almost agreeing on a simple majority vote".

"The way we have interacted today while discussing issues shows signs of possible understanding which if it continues will result into the generally applauded outcome," he said.

However, he was quick to say that the SPLM has yet to seal an agreement adding that discussions are in progress with beter understanding than in the past.

South Sudan is scheduled to exercise its right of self-determination in 2011 as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 stipulates.

However, both sides are deadlocked over the referendum law that would set the modalities and logistics required to conduct the referendum.

Both sides disagree over the percentage of votes required to call the referendum a pro-independence, the population of Southerners allowed to participate and the post-independence arrangements including the share of national debt to be carried over by the South.

On the referendum, the NCP insists that 75% votes in the affirmative to declare it favoring independence while the SPLM is pushing for a 51%. It is widely expected that Southerners would vote overwhelmingly for independence.

Last week in Juba, the US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration failed to bridge differences between the NCP and SPLM on the referendum law but vowed to continue to push for an agreement.

Makuei reiterated SPLM’s commitment to peaceful implementation of the comprehensive agreement.

"The SPLM position on pending issues is peaceful settlements than media fabrications and unfounded allegations of return to war," Makuei said.

"Why do individuals run very fast to suggest return to war over issues which can be resolved internally?" he posed adding that is the return to war only alternative to resolving issues.

"Those voices accusing us of wanting return the country to war are they ones returning the country to war themselves", he said stressing that Sudan "has had lots of war good for nothing but destruction".

NCP officials in the past have said that the CPA states that they are to work on making unity the favorable choice for southerners and as such laws should be tailored to make secession more difficult.


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  • 16 September 2009 08:55, by Gatwech

    Makuei Lueth’s phone calls from Khartoum are encouraging. If this joint committee led by Ali Osman Taha and Dr. Riek Machar does not reach a fairer conclusion to the referendum law because of NCP’s reluctance, then let the NCP know that January 2011 is the D-Day. We will declare independence without the referendum law. Better to understand its facilitation by the law.

    • 16 September 2009 09:17, by Dinka Boy

      This time Khartoum must know very well that SPLA/M is the ruling party.
      Its has military hardware and the party knows the tactic of NCP from bottom to top. My advise to our leaders,Southern Sudan did smell nasty smell in 1972; therefore, North must accept the requirements demanded by South.

      • 16 September 2009 09:49, by Deng Thiak Adut

        Gatwech and Dinka Boy:

        I do want to thank you gentlemen for your contributions to this board, however I hope you gentlemen also did read the article carefully. There is nobody voicing the war and therefore you should make a simple comments on the progression of referendum law/s. like how do we achieve "75% votes in the affirmative to declare it favoring independence" if the SPLM is not going to be given "51%"? lets work on that for the time being and I hope you gentlemen could be of great importance.

        • 16 September 2009 10:02, by Dinka Boy

          Thanks Mr Deng for the flavor,
          I believed i already said in most of my commends, but let me mention them again: if Notherners are not fulfiling the requirments needed by the South, then that will be a complete separation.
          Mr Deng requirments are simple majority rule(51%), Vote of only resident residing in the South etc.
          Thanks for flavor.

          • 16 September 2009 10:10, by Gatwech

            Deng Thiak,

            Read my comment carefully. I did not declare war. I just said if the referendum law fails, then the South would declare independence by January 2011, the D-Day.

            Does declaration of independence mean declaration of war? Can’t the declaration be peaceful? I thought war interpretation is the NCP’s interpretation unless you share it with the NCP.

        • 17 September 2009 18:25, by Onyango

          Thanks Deng,

          Gatwech and Dinka Boy; I would like to thank you gentlemen for your contribution to this site. I am happy now that you guys have come to understand each other and leave all of your differences behind. Criticising each other based on our tribes is nothing and it won’t take us anywhere. please i am begging you and everyone who do comments on this site to be supportive of each other. let first finish with our common enemy which is jallaba and later we can discusses all of our differences after we achieve our common goal. This is not a right time to talks about this tribe did this or that tribe did that. This time is a critical time for all of southern sudanese. Let stand strong and dont let jallaba fool us again. please stand behind each other and support each other.

          thanks you

      • 16 September 2009 09:51, by Mzalendo Mwema

        Congratulation SPLM on your commitment to the Peace.I am encouraging you to be cautious at this time in case they may burst up with anger as losers always do.Soon you will see they leader of SUDANESE PEOPLE LAM is DEAD COMPLETELY
        (SPLM-DC)Kneeling in front of you.NCP and SPLM-DC are dead.



      • 16 September 2009 10:25, by liil

        Dear Gatwech and Dinkaboy:

        It a good and progressive start of negotiations over the referendum law,which we all long for. NCP and SPLM must come to final agreement on this law so as to defuse the tension between the two countrys’main political parties.

        Let’s strungle for this right for the freedom,benefit,wellbeing and prosperity for the people of southern Sudan but not individuals as others dream about.

        • 16 September 2009 10:31, by Dinka Boy

          Question to you lil,
          Do you want UNITY or Separation?

          • 16 September 2009 11:27, by Ajuscommando

            Congratulation to the SPLM delegation that is present in Khartoum for the referendum bill discussion. I encourage you to keep pushing NCP to accept Southerners demands and I appreciate Justice Michael Makuei for his statement due to comments he has made as a professional judge because of diplomatic speech he gave to the public.


            • 16 September 2009 12:11, by Paul David

              War talkers,

              You don’t have to opt for war every time there is an obstacle. Deadlocks are the indispensible friends of politics, and are the elements that makes one understand his/her political capability.

              All the political deadlocks b/n South and Noth Sudan are good political trainings for our leaders. They will now learn how to use the power of political logic to defeat an enemy.

              I am ver optimistic that we are going to be winners on this refrendum law issue.



              • 16 September 2009 12:28, by Gatwech


                I am just curious. In your last sentence you thanked Michael Makuei Lueth for what you said was a "diplomatic speech he gave to the public."

                When did you give that diplomatic speech to public? Which public, which speech? I thought he was just talking on the phone in Khartoum with the journalist Angor Garang in Abyei. Can you forward to the public that diplomatic speech? Or did you just mean the phone call between the two?

            • 16 September 2009 12:14, by Gaafer Nimeiri

              Dear All,

              SPLA Oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
              SPLM Oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
              South Sudanese Oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
              Unity Oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

              • 16 September 2009 17:01, by Deng Akol Agut-tungdoun

                Jaafar Nemairi dead which jafaar are you?

                Sing that song nicely when you means it ok?

                Am not aganst your names and your commants but you ought to be crystal clear in your words, names and deeds.

                Be bless and Sudan "alau yic" or "open" for able bodies from any corner of it so long they think positively about peace and stability.

      • 16 September 2009 22:26, by Tut Kun Nyuot

        Thank a lot Now you are not Dinkaboy , But Southern Sudan boy ,This is the first of kind you show faireness and nationaltionsim in your letter, Please keep up the spirit and never write agian a letter like Dinka but always be Southern Sudaneses like today
        Keep up boy

        • 17 September 2009 15:36, by simon chot deng

          to SPLM/A

          thank alot for the declaration law of refendom
          by january 2011 we southerner we know that it should be the dead day of all sudanese you southern sudan be proud to get independent it will be either by fight /by hand.

    • 16 September 2009 13:01, by korenilo A.

      That is a good progress by SPLM team led by DR.machar,they should keep firm on dealing with this evils called NCP or NCP-DC.I think now they have realizing that time is running out of their delaying tactics and south will declared it independent come 2011 with or without referendum law.so keep the hardwark rolling splm ,that is why you are the party of the marganilies people of sudan.

    • 16 September 2009 13:21, by Matur Majok

      Yes Makuei! we are behind you in whatever step you take concerning the matters related this our Country. if at all you are progressing well, then that will be the very welcoming news on your side but let me hope Arabs will not take an U-turn on this case because they are well known of giving something in return of something. perhaps, with out puting much hope on that agreement yet we shall be looking forward to get more on that matter.

    • 16 September 2009 16:52, by Deng Akol Agut-tungdoun

      I trust Makuei for his honest characters.
      Go a head and tell them (NCP) that what we need is a Sudan for respects of others digneties and not the opposite. Never come back without concrete agreement close as done by our brother Dr. Riek Michar but remember it was not Riek faliur but NCP sturborness.

      To: Gatwech,

      Thanks you for the reforms done in you, I therefore appreciate the way you have commanded today, although I have been off this web for long, your commands used to be different with others in those days. Let’s forget the past and focus on our future as Southerners.

      Be bless.

      Deng Akol Agut-tungdoun, a man far away from tibalism.

      • 16 September 2009 17:49, by Gatwech

        Deng Akol,

        Yes, continue to keep yourself far away from tribalism if you really mean it. I will appreciate that as I see you commenting next time.

      • 16 September 2009 22:28, by Tut Kun Nyuot

        Thank alot guys for knowing that dangers of triblism

        • 17 September 2009 15:46, by simon chot deng

          tribalism is danger! danger! danger!

    • 17 September 2009 04:54, by Nile Flame

      You guys should learn the basic norms under the international law of when and how the state can be delcared or recognize as sovereign. There are many things to be considered for southern sudan to a recognize sovereign state. Despite your lunatic impeding of the simple facts it may turn against the people of southern sudan in years to come. No, doubt that the people of southern sudan are suffering with un curable disease which tribal and lack of envision the future. Under the international law, southern sudan does not qualify to a state due to the population stake, lack of good governance, corruption, nepotism, lack of wisdom to lead and so forth. first and foremost, People of southern sudan should unite before they even dream of self-determination as a solution.

  • 16 September 2009 13:02, by Critic_Ngueny

    I would like to encourage Dr.Riak Machar Teny ,the vice president of government of Southern Sudan and Minister for legal affairs Micheal Makuei Lueth to be brave enough.

    Your positions are really recognised in the South but he who is going to be brain washed and deceived should no longer be respected any more otherwise we are just watching at you people.You have to do our interests instead .Your being in Khartoum should be a way forward to all the Southerners and not destruction,and if they government of Bashir does not respect your proposals then we have right to tune to the language that they understand better.

    Be brave enough,we the youths are with you though we are not contributing anything at this movement.Don,t worry about whatsoever they say,We are ready with our Ak47 any time if they need.

    Critic_Ngueny from Bor town

    • 16 September 2009 13:58, by Gatwech


      Good comment. Long live self-determination for the people of South Sudan and Abyei.

      Long live the South Sudan independence by January 2011.

      Unity of the people of South Sudan oyeee..........

      • 17 September 2009 07:30, by deng ngang

        Dear Gatwech, Ngueny, Akol, Tut, Jaafar and every participant

        I am touched by all the constructive discussions you guys

        have had here. It gives me hope of the future of this

        country. It shows the level of maturity and

        intellectuallity this great nation is going to achieve.

        Please keep it up and you will be great.


  • 16 September 2009 14:16, by Tribe

    If i need to free myself and i mean "I individually" , what percentage do i need to free myself? partly to Northerns but anybody interesting could answer.

  • 16 September 2009 14:50, by Gatwech

    Dear readers,

    This is just for clarity because it appears that some people use foreign words of which meanings they don’t even know. And especially when they use it as an insult on others.

    What does the word ’Nyagat’ mean? From where does it originate in the 1980s? For those of us who were in Ethiopia, the word ’Nyagat’ came from the Ethiopian Amharic language word ’negade’ which means capitalist, business people, traders, etc.

    It was used by the SPLM/A at that time because of influence from communist or socialist Ethiopia that rejected capitalism. They called them bourgeousie.

    But does the SPLM still believe in the sytem of communism and hate capitalists to still call them with the twisting tongue, ’Nyagat.?’ I thought we have already gone capitalist.

    The description was originally aimed at those of Samuel Gai Tut who rejected socialism as a system the movement would follow and also demanded separation of the South from the North as the objective that the SPLM/A would have followed from the beginning. They didn’t like new Sudan idea which was copied from new Ethiopia of President Mengistu’s slogan.

    It is very interesting that the word ’Nyagat’ has become a frequently used insult by those who do not even know its meaning. I love the origin of the word despite its intention by users.

    • 16 September 2009 15:44, by DASODIKO

      Please my brothers do not blame me if I call some of SPLM leaders stupids. Its because they can easily be deceived by sweet words from the mouth of Northern Arabs.How can you make an statement on issues that have not yet been settled. This is hundred times where such offecials make such stupid statements and after only two or three days we discover that they are cheated by Jalabas and again start bleating Baaa, baaaaaaaaa. I am wondering when will you learn?

    • 17 September 2009 06:38, by Covert

      I believed those who used the word “Nyagat” know its meaning very well.
      If you think the users of the word don’t even know the meaning of the word, then why do you people make it an issue?

  • 16 September 2009 15:57, by James Okuk Solomon

    The NCP and their SPLM counterpart politicians are joking on Referendum. Eyes of Southerners in this 21st Century have become wide opened not to be cheated by Northerners again in the struggle for South Sudan Independence.

    It is not the political parties who will decide the fate of the interim old united Sudan with its caretaker government; the NCP, the SPLM and other political parties with minor percentages of representation of the CPA power sharing. It is the people of Southern Sudan who will be eligible to vote in the plebiscite for their self-determination. It will also be the very people of Southern Sudan who shall take their right to independence with their own force once the democratic means has been blocked by Northerners or Anti-South Sudan independence like Mr. Malik Aggar who is for confederation rather than self-determination, Dr. Monsour Khalid and Mr. Yesser Arman who are for a United Secular Socialist New Sudan (where Muslim ladies shall be free to walk naked in streets of Khartoum without punishment by hippo whips or monetary fines), Mr. Ali Osman, Dr. Ghazi Sulaeddin and Dr. Qutbi Al Mahadi who are for Islamic United Old Sudan, and etc.

    The positions of Dr. Lam and Dr. Riek are very clear on the right of Southerners for Self-determination. These two great sons of Southern Sudan have managed to push the right of Self-determination into Sudanese politics and convinced late Dr. Garang to endorse it into the CPA and Interim Constitutions in the Sudan as the corner stone of the agreement that ended the 22-years civil war.

    Now the right of Southerners to self-determination has become a pricking thorn in the throats of unionists within the SPLM, the NCP and family dynastic political parties of Northern Sudan (UMMA, DUP, etc. Those of Dr. Lam and Dr. Riek are just laughing at them and keen on how they will deny this right to the people of Southern Sudan without new troubles and war in the Southern part of the country.

    It is Dr. Salva Kiir who is ambivalent and a chameleon on the case of South Sudan independence because of his contradictory speeches in Catholic Cathedral in Juba where he wanted to please Southerners on separation, and in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States where he wanted to please the Nuba and Funj on unity from public relations basis. It is Dr. Salva Kiir and Mr.Pagan Amum who accepted to sign MOUs with Northern political parties who are Anti-South Sudan’s independence. Shame on this unwise move against the Southerners right destiny!!!!

    • 16 September 2009 18:03, by Gatwech


      People are preparing to write books about how self-determination was being championed and by whom. So let us put it to rest for now.

      Some of the SPLM conspirators want to nominate Malik Agar, the man known for his stance against independent South Sudan, to be the flagbearer. Well, let him go to Khartoum and contest if he wants. But he should be warned not to temper with the right of self-determination for independence in the South.

      I believe the SPLM debaters on referendum are doing their utmost to make sure that a fair law is secured. It is equally important for them to seek a consensus on the referendum law with the other political parties’ leaders in the South.

  • 16 September 2009 19:00, by Gatwech

    On the meaning of the word ’Nyagat’:

    Moses Kur Akech RESPONDED:

    With nothing 2 add 2 such obsolete, worthless, tribalist and childish squabbling, the contemporary meaning of ‘Nyagat’ in Dinka is traitor but I have no idea of its origin sorry.

    However, I genuinely beg any decent and futuristic being 2 keep away from this tribal wrangle. It is time for people with sense of one national identity 2 close the dark/controversial part of history and jointly work 2gether for the betterment of the South. What the future holds for all of us is greater than this primitive argument. The country requires us to argue rationally, maturely and respectfully should u want to make reference whatsoever.


    Moses Kur Akech,

    I thank you for being an honest person among other many honest people among the Dinka community. As you rightly put it, you didn’t know the origin of the word "Nyagat" but you "contemporarily" thought it meant ’traitor’ as people continued to use it since 1980s.

    I agree with you because when I read people writing it, it becomes clear to me that they use it as an insult to mean somebody who is a traitor. Since the word has been used since 1984, it has become implanted in people to mean traitor when its original and true meaning does not.

    I myself I speak Amharic since I was in Ethiopia during the liberation struggle as a red army. I knew how the word was used by Ethiopians against capitalists. Ethiopia was a socialist country and their slogans were against capitalists calling them bourgeoussie which became ’Nyagat’ in the SPLM. That was how the word Nyagat originated. For capitalists like the present SPLM, it is sweet, not an insult at all.

  • 16 September 2009 19:22, by monychol makuei

    Dear brothers in blood, I think what you have done is very excellent to the people of the south,but is not yet done,because the (NCP)are hyenas that could break into luak and eat all the sheeps,but they don’t know what they will survive to morrow. why did I told you that,it is because we better to watch out too, about what they are going to plan next.keep knowing them well.in my opinion,if we are going to win this law or not,we better to leave those with the arabs in the north,so they can succeed their taitor carreer,but betraying your people won’t be the way.let those who are helping the arabs fight for their own freedom later on,so they should know that,fighting for freedom is not easy. I’m talking about those who called themselves the SPLM-DC as lam akol and his alies.how many SPLMs that lam akol is going to run,trillion may be. this man is a poisoned to the people of the south, you need to be careful about him.

    • 16 September 2009 20:30, by black man world

      Gatwich what i think myself in you is totally clear, i can read your mind bro if some one commented about Lam you dont resisted, okay as true son of south sudan who is not tribalistic as you pretend, why dont you convince James Okuk or what ever his name is, That his mate LAM MAKOL is worse then those northerners of Malik, yasir Araman, and who ever been in this movement my friend. Late me tell you some thing, if we were fighting for self determination we would never win this war trust me Garang Idea was not Whole Sudan but Sudan with Marginalize people my friend, and that was possible if we stoped being selfish my friend. You talked of who is going down in history that make the independanc eof Southern Sudan possible, wow my friend i know what is on your mind folks, i can tell you might be one of the worst tribalis on this web gatwich. we all know the past was rough Garang brought all most every kind of guns on his own, he made many allies because of his NEW SUDAN solgon. Gatwich you favor Dr Raik more then he favor him self my friend, am Dinka but i dont agree with Dr Garang on every thing as you know Dinka have alot of Educated forks in the movement like Arok Thon Arok, Martin Majer Gai, and alot you can imagine my friend, smarter then DR, Gaarang and Dr Raik. But the different was Dr, Raik only convice all of Nuer and he dont have alies with other southern tribes, unlike in SPLA almost everyone was there. The war doesnt last a movement of years it goes beyond your beleive, if him Dr, Raik was a commited Southerner in the begining not let his white lady fool him here and there, do you have any idea how sudan would have been looking like right now? It would have been totally different and i beleive my dear. Let say John Garang broke out the movement and kill some of NUER tribes innocence people and join the enemy, how will you forgive him>? and how will you trust him to rule your same people he kill and the land that he left for enemy? Brother in this world we judge you with your charaters, if they good you are a good person if they not, you are a bad person because we dont really know what is on your mind. So please you need to know that we are now all educated and no one wants to die as we all know, Genocide is few miles away my brother if we kept repeating the hate between majority, we need this hate to stop with in individual that how we will maybe succeed as Southerner, but if we going to take side as majority like back in those dark days my friends. You are DINKA, you are NUER, Sulluk, Anyuak, and all of tribes, i know is hard but we need to follow our problems with indeviduals believes not majority supports of hate ideas.

  • 16 September 2009 20:04, by Dauson Gieth


    It’s really great to see everyone commenting i a very mature way in this web which has for long been used a source of tribal campaigns and hatred. Thank you all for turning it sudan tribune into a noble arena

    The Independence of the South is a must!!

    Okuk and Gatwec,

    Great comments. There is always a person or two who come up with an idea (s) or a theory (ies) and can be embraced by all. No matter who penned the term self determination for Southerners, we need to appreciate them

    We also need to underscore that all Southerners pick arms with aim of independence (separation). That was made very clear during Anya nya I and II.
    Same Southerners had to change strategy as summarized by Dr. Garang: We made strategic era during Anya Nya I struggle by declaring that we were fighting for separate South Sudan and as such, mobilized everybody in Sudan against ourselves including those who had problems and equally marginalized by the government
    So, SPLM itself as well as the New Sudan idea were a strategies but not ideologies, otherwise we could have had SSPLM/SSPLA

    There is no question; Dr. Garang, William Nyuon, Kerbino, Dr. Riek, dr, Lam, dr. Salva Kiir and all other Southerners who sacrificed the most precious gifts they had (their lives) have done their best to bring us this far. I sometimes question my self if our generation would be as steadfast as them

    Sometimes, people holding constitutional posts can be under siege to declare their real positions and their view could be taken negatively. Dr. Lam was a victim as a foreign affairs minister. Salva Kiir, Dr. Riek, Pagan and others While in blue Nile, Nuba mountains have to be victims of same criticisms especially from those who could not see the insight

    The people of Southern blue Nile and Nuba mountain have fought gallantly alongside us and we cannot afford slapping them on the face. This does not mean we go for Unity at the expense of the South. We have to make sure they reap the fruits of their struggle by finding a breathing space in the Sudan too

    Otherwise I really enjoy reading everyone’s comments


    Stop one sided politics. Your comments favour Dr. lam so much that some of other Southerners who had high regard for him are being pushed off by some of your comments. Besides, It does not allow you to look at issues in the Country wholly. Yes you have your rights but that sound too local and traditional. You are well above that

    • 16 September 2009 21:57, by black man world

      Thank you brother you really tell them how NEW SUDAN works and what is was about, Gatwich and likes be sayign SOUTHERN SUDAN but they dont look other side what will the consiquences be, if we were fighting for Southern sudan beleive me, we would never ever win shit and i swear if you dont beleive that you need to go down and learn more. IF Southern declared that they were fighting for self determination but not marginalized people of Sudan, believe SPLA or any army formed by Southerner would have been weak forever, why? because we would have never make any alies and if i mean ilies am talking of Ereatrea, Ethiopia, and Internationals, why because they will asked what is the agenda of the war? Answer will be religion and guest what there are muslim in South and there are Muslim in some part of Sudan. That why John Garang opposed it he looked on the other side of the card and it was empty. Tell me my friend gatwich you always bring back this weak aguement about who say and who do southern sudan self determination? Brother John Garang love South to be a country but he know it wasnt possible my friend, why because all muslim in Sudan will fight against Southerner believe me my friend we would have never win never win like we done today. SPLA force the Arabs to the point that they cant resist harder like they do in the past. Check this is not impossible for two religion to be together but what we need is law of the learn and who is really from Sudan. Brother if you know that Whole Sudan is ours not just South all sudan belong to us black forks, so John Garang didnt settle for least but do what will works and right. Peace would have never possible if it wasnt a war for marginalize people, from Nuba mountain, blue nile, eastern sudan any where with desperate live John Garang is a hero. I doubt that they know who Raik Machar is? Nothing against Raik but selfishness is not Good on God eyes my friend.

      • 17 September 2009 22:10, by Jok Biong

        South Sudan must be free and leaves arabs in the north with Islam. We know, there may be some problems with the new state, but Southern tribes must learn how to live in one nation where they respect one another in peace.

      • 18 September 2009 01:30, by The Nuer Man

        Hey comrade this is a new member that will contribute some valuable ideas. Please I’m very happy to join you gugs
        The Nuerman.

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