Tag Archives: U.N.

Iraq urges U.N. council to demand instant Turkish troop withdrawal

UNITED NATIONS Iraq appealed to the United Nations Security Council on Friday to demand an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Turkish troops from northern Iraq, calling Turkey’s military incursion a “flagrant violation” of international law.

“We call on the Security Council to demand that Turkey withdraw its forces immediately … and not to violate Iraqi sovereignty again,” Iraqi Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said in a letter to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, president of the Security Council this month.

“This is considered a flagrant violation of the principles of the U.N. Charter, and a violation of Iraqi territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state of Iraq,” the letter said, according to an unofficial translation of the Arabic original.

The letter, which was seen by Reuters, was sent after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi instructed the Foreign Ministry to lodge a formal complaint at the United Nations.

One diplomat on the 15-nation Security Council said on condition of anonymity that there were no immediate plans to convene a special meeting during the weekend in response to the Iraqi letter.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that he would not bow to Iraqi demands to withdraw Turkish troops from a camp close to the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

Alhakim made clear that bilateral diplomacy had failed so far to end the dispute between the two neighbors.

“Iraq worked on containment of this issue by diplomatic means and bilateral talks, but these efforts did not succeed in convincing Turkey to withdraw its occupying forces from Iraqi territory,” Alhakim wrote to Power, noting that the Turkish incursion was an “aggressive act.”

He added: “Assistance with military training and advanced technology and weapons to fight the Islamic State terrorist entity must be based upon bilateral and multilateral agreements and in full respect of the national sovereignty and Iraqi constitution, and in coordination with the Iraqi armed forces.”

The dispute over the deployment has soured relations between Ankara and Baghdad, which denies having agreed to it. Ankara says the troops were sent as part of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State, which has seized large parts of Syria and Iraq.

The Turkish military is helping to train local Iraqi volunteers and Kurdish peshmerga who are preparing for a long-anticipated offensive to retake Mosul, a major northern city seized by Islamic State more than a year ago.

(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Sandra Maler and Ken Wills)

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Turks maintaining troops in Iraqi camp, Baghdad turns to U.N.

ISTANBUL/BAGHDAD President Tayyip Erdogan declared on Friday he would not bow to Iraqi demands he withdraw Turkish troops from a camp close to the Islamic State-held city of Mosul, and Baghdad stated it would ask the U.N. Security Council to order them to leave.

A row over the deployment has soured relations between Ankara and Baghdad, which denies possessing agreed to it. Ankara says the troops were sent as component of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State.

The newest comments indicated continuing tensions in spite of the Turkish prime minister’s office saying agreement was reached in talks with Iraq to deepen security cooperation and “reorganize” military personnel at the Bashiqa camp.

“There is no way we can withdraw our soldiers from northern Iraq now,” Erdogan told a news conference. “There was a deployment, not for combat, but to defend soldiers providing instruction there.”

“We will continue the education method decisively,” he stated.

Turkish military are assisting to train nearby Iraqi volunteers and Kurdish peshmerga who are preparing for a long-anticipated offensive to retake Mosul – a significant northern city seized by Islamic state over a year ago.

In Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi instructed his foreign ministry to lodge a formal complaint at the U.N. Security Council over the presence of the Turkish forces, asking it to order Turkey to withdraw its troops from Iraq instantly.

Erdogan said in an interview with Al Jazeera that the complaint was not an “honest step”.

“They can resort to the U.N. Safety Council, that is their all-natural correct, but this is not an truthful step and we believe that Iraq’s actions are related to the latest developments in the area, that is, the steps taken by Russia and Iran.

“I believe that the Safety Council at the United Nations knows that this step is not sincere and will issue its decision accordingly,” he stated.

Earlier, Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, urged the government to show “no tolerance” for any infringement of the country’s sovereignty. Sistani’s spokesman, Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Karbala’i, did not explicitly name Turkey.

Sistani also mentioned Iraq’s neighbors need to not send any troops to Iraq “below the pretext of fighting terrorism”, except with the approval of the Baghdad government.

“The Iraqi government is responsible for guarding Iraq’s sovereignty and have to not tolerate any side that infringes upon on it, what ever the justifications and necessities,” Karbalai’i stated in a weekly sermon.


Sistani urged citizens to show restraint toward foreign residents of Iraq, following Shi’ite paramilitary groups threatened to use force against Turkey and target its interests to force it to pull out.

In Ankara, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s workplace mentioned in a statement that Turkey had decided in talks with Iraqi officials to “reorganize” its military personnel at the Bashiqa camp

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and National Intelligence Agency (MIT) head Hakan Fidan visited Baghdad on Thursday for talks with Abadi on the situation.

“Taking into account the Iraqi government’s sensitivity, the selection was taken to reorganize the military personnel in the protection force at the Bashiqa camp,” Davutoglu’s workplace mentioned.

It did not say what the troop reorganization would involve, but said agreement was reached to start off perform on making mechanisms to deepen cooperation with the Iraqi government on security concerns.

Davutoglu stated on Wednesday the soldiers had been sent to northern Iraq right after a threat from Islamic State militants to Turkish military trainers in the region improved.

(Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz, Ercan Gurses and by Tom Finn in DOHA Writing by Daren Butler Editing by Nick Tattersall, Ralph Boulton and Louise Ireland)

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U.N. hopeful of Yemen aid boom, helped by new shipping verification

GENEVA Yemen’s peace talks subsequent week are an chance to bring in urgent humanitarian aid for millions of people who have been deprived of essential supplies considering that the war escalated nine months ago, the U.N. humanitarian chief stated on Thursday.

“In Yemen I’m very hopeful that Dec. 15 will herald a new peaceful context in which we can quite a lot extend (aid) – both swiftly and in volume – to all the individuals in need,” Stephen O’Brien mentioned in an interview.

“While just over 21 million individuals have some form of humanitarian need to have across Yemen, the quick important demands encompass anything in the area of 5 million individuals for meals, water, shelter and urgent medical care on all sides of the conflict lines.”

The United Nations will launch peace talks in Switzerland on Tuesday, when a seven-day ceasefire is expected to begin.

Gulf Arab states known as on Thursday for an international reconstruction conference for Yemen following any deal to end its civil war, which has killed six,000 men and women and triggered widespread harm to the economy and infrastructure.

Yemen relies on imports for virtually all its meals and all of its medicine, but a near-total blockade slowed shipments to a trickle for months this year, as a coalition led by Saudi Arabia inspected shipments in a bid to thwart any arms deliveries to Iranian-linked Houthi rebels.

The most recent flashpoint, the city of Taiz, has been largely cut off by fighting for many months. Taiz governorate and nine other of Yemen’s 22 governorates are in an “emergency” food situation, one step under famine on a five-point scale.

But the U.N. World Food Programme stated on Thursday it had managed to send two convoys of trucks into the city, a total of 31 trucks with sufficient meals for 145,000 folks for a month. A third convoy is on its way, WFP stated.

O’Brien stated there had also been a substantial increase in access for humanitarian supplies arriving at Yemen’s Hudaydah port, and a new U.N. verification and inspection mechanism would soon commence up, permitting unfettered access for industrial ships.

Aid workers have extended said only a return of industrial shipping can bring the volume of supplies required for Yemen. Fuel has been in specially brief supply, with a knock-on effect on electrical energy supplies, water pumping, hospitals and inflation.

O’Brien said the new system, which involves the United Nations checking any suspect cargoes, would be up and running “in days or weeks, not months”.

“It is a self-assurance measure, in compliance with the (U.N.) resolutions, in order to allow the industrial shipping supplies to get back to volume,” he said.

(Reporting by Tom Miles Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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France says ‘very attentive’ to Iran U.N. ballistic missile curbs

PARIS France will pay close consideration to guarantee Iran respects a U.N. Safety Council resolution banning it from ballistic missile tests, the Foreign Ministry mentioned on Tuesday soon after U.S. officials mentioned Tehran had performed a new launch in November.

Iran tested a new medium-range ballistic missile on Nov. 21 in a breach of two U.N. Security Council resolutions, two U.S. officials stated on Monday, the second since October. France’s view is crucial as it is one of 5 worldwide powers that are permanent, veto-wielding members of the Council.

“France will be very attentive that Iran respects its international obligations in line with U.N. Safety Council Resolution 1929,” ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said in response to a query on the test.

He did not especially confirm the launch and officials declined to comment when pressed.

All ballistic missile tests by Iran are banned below a 2010 Safety Council resolution that remains valid till a deal between Iran and six globe powers meant to restrain its nuclear system is implemented.

Beneath that deal, reached on July 14, most sanctions on Iran will be lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear activity aimed at guaranteeing it can’t be put to developing bombs. Sanctions are due to start becoming lifted at the begin of 2016.

According to a July 20 resolution endorsing that deal, Iran is still “called upon” to refrain from operate for up to eight years on ballistic missiles that could be developed to deliver nuclear weapons.

In October, the United States, Britain, France and Germany known as for the Safety Council’s Iran sanctions committee to take action over a missile test by Tehran that month that they mentioned violated U.N. sanctions.

So far, no action has been taken by the committee.

Nadal mentioned at the time that the October test sent “a worrying message” to the international neighborhood.

Paris took 1 of the hardest lines of the six powers negotiating the nuclear agreement with Iran.

(Reporting by John Irish Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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China, Russia oppose U.N. council meeting on North Korea

UNITED NATIONS China and Russia oppose U.S. plans to hold a unique meeting this week on human rights in North Korea, which has been accused by a U.N. inquiry of abuses comparable to Nazi-era atrocities, council diplomats said on Monday.

The United States, president of the Security Council this month, mentioned final Friday the meeting would take place on Thursday at two:30 p.m. (1930 GMT). Senior U.N. officials are anticipated to brief the council.

Numerous diplomats told Reuters each China and Russia had informed the council of their opposition to the meeting, which has the backing of nine of the 15 council members – Chile, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, Britain and the United States.

“China informed council members that the Security Council has no company with human rights but must appear at matters of international peace and safety,” one particular diplomat said, summarizing the Chinese complaint.

Russia, diplomats stated, raised a procedural complaint, noting the United States had not raised the problem in the course of a formal discussion final week on the council’s plan of perform for December.

The Security Council final discussed the concern a year ago.

Final month, China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said it would be a “undesirable thought” for the Security Council to hold such a meeting, adding the council “is not about human rights.”

The Safety Council added human rights in North Korea to its agenda final year, in spite of objections by China that led to a uncommon procedural vote. Beijing is a sturdy ally of Pyongyang.

Two diplomats mentioned a new procedural vote was probably offered the objections of China and Russia to the scheduled meeting. They stated Russia and China would most likely lose any procedural vote simply because they can’t use their veto energy in such circumstances.

The missions of China and North Korea have so far not responded to requests for comment on the planned meeting. A spokesman for Russia’s mission declined to comment.

North Korea has denied allegations of systematic human rights abuses, saying such charges are portion of a U.S.-led plot to destabilize the country.

A year ago this month, the 193-member U.N. Basic Assembly urged the Security Council to take into account referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court soon after a U.N. Commission of Inquiry detailed wide-ranging abuses in the hermit Asian state.

China is likely to veto any Safety Council bid to refer North Korea to the ICC, diplomats said.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau Editing by Peter Cooney)

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U.N. council to meet subsequent week on human rights in North Korea: U.S.

UNITED NATIONS The United Nations Safety Council will meet subsequent week on human rights in North Korea, which has been accused by a U.N. inquiry of abuses comparable to Nazi-era atrocities, the United States mentioned on Friday.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, Dec. ten at two:30 p.m. (1430 ET), the spokeswoman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Hagar Chemali, stated in a statement. She added that senior U.N. officials would brief the council.

    The other eight council members who supported the U.S. choice to revive discussions on alleged rights abuses in North Korea are Chile, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Britain, Chemali stated on Thursday.

The Security Council last discussed the problem a year ago.

Last month China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said it would be a “negative thought” for the Security Council to hold such a meeting, adding that the council “is not about human rights.”

The Safety Council added human rights in North Korea to its agenda final year, in spite of objections by China that led to a rare procedural vote. Beijing is a powerful ally of Pyongyang.

When speaking to reporters final month, Liu did not rule out a new procedural vote, even though Western diplomats say they have adequate votes to overcome Chinese objections.

China’s and North Korea’s U.N. missions did not respond immediately to requests for comment. North Korea has denied allegations of systematic human rights abuses, saying such charges are portion of a U.S.-led plot to destabilize the country.

A year ago this month the 193-member U.N. Basic Assembly urged the U.N. Safety Council to take into account referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) following a U.N. Commission of Inquiry detailed wide-ranging abuses in the hermit Asian state.

China is probably to veto any Safety Council bid to refer North Korea to the ICC, diplomats said.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Islamic State in Libya hampered by lack of fighters: U.N. professionals

UNITED NATIONS A bid by Islamic State to expand its territory in Libya has been hampered by a lack of fighters and the militant group is struggling to win local support due to the fact it is viewed as an “outsider,” according to a report by United Nations authorities.

Islamic State in Libya has amongst two,000 and three,000 fighters and is the only affiliate recognized to have received support and guidance from the extremist group’s stronghold in Syria and Iraq, said the U.N. experts, who monitor Islamic State (ISIL) and al Qaeda-linked groups for the U.N. Security Council.

In a 24-page report circulated to reporters on Tuesday, they said most Islamic State fighters are in the city of Sirte and while the group has “clearly demonstrated” its intention to control far more territory in Libya, it appears “restricted in its potential” to expand speedily.

“According to numerous (U.N.) member states, whilst ISIL is in a position to perpetrate terror attacks in any component of Libya, its limited quantity of fighters does not allow for speedy territorial expansion,” the report mentioned.

“In contrast to Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, the relative sectarian homogeneity in Libya prevents ISIL from taking benefit of sectarian rifts and societal discord to speedily improve its domestic recruitment base,” it said.

Libya is caught up in a conflict amongst rival governments and their armed factions, leaving a security vacuum that has allowed Islamic State to obtain a foothold. The group controls swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq and sees Libya as its “ideal chance” to expands its caliphate, the U.N. specialists mentioned.

They stated about 800 Libyans fighting with Islamic State in Libya had previously fought with the group in Syria and Iraq.

“ISIL in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic continues to send emissaries with directions, albeit infrequently, to ISIL in Libya,” the report said. “The travel of these emissaries distinguishes the ISIL affiliate in Libya from other ISIL affiliates where travel of emissaries has not been reported.”

The group is viewed as an outsider in Libya and “is not embedded in neighborhood communities and has not succeeded in gaining the population’s assistance,” but it has attracted foreign fighters, mostly from elsewhere in North Africa.

“ISIL is only 1 player among several warring factions in Libya and faces sturdy resistance from the population, as nicely as issues in developing and preserving regional alliances,” the U.N. authorities mentioned.

Islamic State in Libya has massacred Christian Egyptians on a neighborhood beach, publicly flogged criminals in Sirte, stormed oilfields, and attacked a 5-star hotel in Tripoli.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Boko Haram expanding, possibility to cease it is now: U.N. official

GENEVA West Africa’s Boko Haram Islamist militant group is expanding and there is only a modest window of opportunity to cease it, the top U.N. aid official in Cameroon mentioned on Monday.

Najat Rochdi, U.N. Resident Coordinator in Cameroon, stated the group’s method was to demonstrate its power by practically everyday suicide bombings, usually by young girls, whilst trying to acquire territory.

Its offensive was bankrupting Cameroon’s economy and destroying a fragile society, specially influencing the young.

“Boko Haram is giving them a sense, since they are convincing them that it is a sacrifice for the greater. So we have to show them that they never have to die to have a better life,” Rochdi told Reuters.

There was a chance to do so in Cameroon due to the fact Boko Haram recruits were driven by poverty and marginalization.

“If it was Jihadism, we all know, it really is very difficult to compete with God. But simply because it’s just about obtaining a voice and empowerment and financial opportunities and believing in a future, that’s anything we know how to do.”

Boko Haram declared allegiance to the Islamic State group in March and stepped up its suicide bombing campaign, much more than tripling Cameroon’s number of displaced folks to 158,000.

The group emerged in Nigeria, but it now straddles the borders of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, with numbers estimated at 40,000 and ambitions to set up an oil-wealthy Islamic state around Lake Chad, Rochdi stated.

“We used to have pockets of Boko Haram, it really is certainly expanding. It appears like they are trying to break via inside the nation but also towards the borders in the east, the borders with Central African Republic.”

The effect on farming and markets had far more than doubled the quantity of food-insecure folks to two.2 million individuals, and much more than 15 % of kids had been acutely malnourished, she said.

The U.N. is attempting to counter Boko Haram by re-establishing markets and the jobs that go with them, and obtaining kids back to school. The danger is that Boko Haram could grow and hyperlink up with other Islamist groups, potentially triggering a worse refugee crisis in Europe than the a single observed this year, Rochdi said.

“Investing in nowadays and reversing the trend is investing in a much better safety and stability of Europe tomorrow. And tomorrow is genuinely tomorrow, not 2030,” she mentioned. “It is doable. But it is truly a quite small window of opportunity. If you ask me the identical question next year, the answer will be no.”

(Reporting by Tom Miles editing by Andrew Roche)

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Myanmar military releases 53 underage recruits: U.N.

YANGON Myanmar’s military released 53 youngsters and young folks from service on Monday as part of an effort to rid its ranks of underage soldiers, the United Nations mentioned.

Human rights groups have long accused Myanmar’s military, recognized as the Tatmadaw, of abuses such as using child soldiers, forcibly recruiting conscripts and confiscating land.

Because the military handed energy to a semi-civilian government in 2011, it has taken some methods to professionalise the armed forces, including the release of soldiers recruited whilst under the age of 18.

“Today’s release is the outcome of continued efforts of the Government of Myanmar and the Tatmadaw to place an end to the harmful practice of recruiting and making use of youngsters,” said Renata Lok-Dessallien, the U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, in a statement.

“I am delighted to see these children and young folks returning to their properties and families. We are hopeful that institutional checks that have been place in spot and continued efforts will make certain that recruitment of kids will exist no a lot more.”

The military has released 146 underage recruits this year and 699 considering that it signed a joint action plan with the U.N. in 2012 to finish the use of young children in the military.

The U.N. it had no estimate for the quantity of underage soldiers in Myanmar. Specialists believe Myanmar’s military to be among 300,000 and 350,000 robust, but the military does not release information on its size.

Lok-Dessallien also named on armed ethnic groups to cease recruiting youngster soldiers.

The U.N. Secretary-General has listed seven such groups as getting “persistent perpetrators” in the recruitment and use of young children in their operations.

They contain the strong Kachin Independence Army, which controls massive swathes of Myanmar’s northern Kachin State, and the United Wa State Army (UWSA). Operating on the Myanmar-China border, the UWSA is regarded as the biggest and ideal equipped of Myanmar’s armed ethnic groups.

The announcement of the release comes amid fighting between the military and ethnic groups in the eastern Shan State, as effectively as in Kachin.

Activists from Shan State last week accused the military of bombing schools and Buddhist temples, firing on civilians and raping girls in the course of its recent offensives.

The U.N. Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that up to six,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Shan and yet another 1,200, which includes 500 children, in Kachin.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin Editing by Simon Webb and Sanjeev Miglani)

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From penguins to Pope’s footwear, climate rallies pressure U.N. summit

PARIS Tens of thousands of men and women from Sydney to London joined a single of the greatest days of climate change activism on Sunday, telling planet leaders gathering for a summit in Paris there is “No Planet B” in the fight against global warming.

In the French capital, exactly where demonstrations had been banned by the authorities right after attacks by Islamic State militants killed 130 men and women on Nov. 13, activists laid out far more than 20,000 pairs of shoes in the Place de la Republique to symbolize absent marchers.

Amongst the high heels and sandals were a pair of plain black footwear sent by Pope Francis, who has been a vocal advocate for action to stop dangerous climate modify, and jogging shoes from U.N. Secretary-Common Ban Ki-moon. One activist, dressed in white as an angel with huge wings, held a sign saying “coal kills”.

About 10,000 individuals also joined arms to kind a human chain by way of Paris along the three-km (2-mile) route of the banned march, organizers said.

“This is a moment for the complete world to join hands,” mentioned Iain Keith, campaign director for Avaaz, 1 of the organizers.

Elsewhere, a lot more than two,000 events have been being held in cities like London, Sao Paulo and New York, producing it possibly the most significant day of climate action in history on the eve of the Paris summit which runs from Nov. 30-Dec. 11 and will be attended by about 150 heads of government.

Around the world, activists marched, dressed as polar bears or penguins at risk from melting ice, or chanted slogans such as “climate justice”.


In Sydney, about 45,000 folks are estimated to have marched by means of the central company district towards the Opera Home. Protesters held placards reading: “There is no Planet B,” and “Say no to burning national forests for electricity”.

U.S. President Barack Obama and China’s Xi Jinping will be among the leaders attending the start off of the summit, which organizers hope will produce a first legally binding agreement to commit each rich and developing nations to curbing emissions of greenhouse gases, blamed for warming the planet, beyond 2020.

Hopes are higher that the Paris summit will not fail like the preceding such meeting six years ago in Copenhagen.

But all sides say pledges made in Paris will be insufficient to limit a rise in global temperatures to two degrees Celsius (three.six Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, extensively viewed as a threshold for unsafe alterations in the planet’s climate program.

Practically all the demonstrations had been peaceful but, right after the human chain protest in Paris, riot police fired tear gas and clashed with about 200 protesters, some wearing masks, in the Spot de la Republique.

Demonstrators carried banners calling for the defense of the climate and democracy. The square has been a gathering spot for Parisians considering that the Nov. 13 attacks.

Utilizing the state of emergency guidelines, police place 24 green activists below property arrest ahead of the summit, saying they had been suspected of arranging violent protests.

In Berlin, about 5,000 individuals marched with some dressed as penguins. A single carried a massive “There is no planet B for penguins,” banner.

In London, hundreds of marchers were joined by fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and actress Emma Thompson. “This is our planet and we are in deep, grave danger,” Thompson told Sky television.

In the greatest single march on climate adjust ever staged, final year organizers estimated 310,000 folks took component in New York.

(Added reporting by Michael Shields in Vienna Elizabeth Piper in London and Morag MacKinnon in Perth Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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