Niger Delta Avengers and Biafra to divide Nigeria

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  After seven years of relative peace, one of the world’s most oil-rich regions is once again under siege by militants. And though  is well-acquainted with violence on its southern shores, the group behind a new wave of attacks — the Niger Delta Avengers — is shrouded in mystery and sabotaging one of the world’s biggest oil producers. 
The Niger Delta Avengers say oil firms in the Delta are responsible for pollution and
say the poor swampland region fails to reap any benefit from the wealth
on which it sits.
The
militants, whose activities have hammered Nigeria’s crude output,
posted a warning on Twitter to the army and oil firms: “Watch out
something big is about to happen and it will shock the whole world “. 
Nigeria had all the makings of an uplifting tale: poor African nation blessed with enormous sudden wealth. Visions of prosperity rose with the same force as the oil that first gushed from the Niger Delta’s marshy ground in 1956. The world market craved delta crude, a “sweet,” low-sulfur liquid called Bonny Light, easily refined into gasoline and diesel. By the mid-1970s, Nigeria had joined OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), and the government’s budget bulged with petrodollars.
Everything looked possible—but everything went wrong.
Oil fouls everything in southern Nigeria. It spills from the pipelines, poisoning soil and water. It stains the hands of politicians and generals, who siphon off its profits. It taints the ambitions of the young, who will try anything to scoop up a share of the liquid riches—fire a gun, sabotage a pipeline, kidnap a foreigner.
Beyond the city, within the labyrinth of creeks, rivers, and pipeline channels that vein the delta—one of the world’s largest wetlands—exists a netherworld. Villages and towns cling to the banks, little more than heaps of mud-walled huts and rusty shacks. Groups of hungry, half-naked children and sullen, idle adults wander dirt paths. There is no electricity, no clean water, no medicine, no schools. Fishing nets hang dry; dugout canoes sit unused on muddy banks. Decades of oil spills, acid rain from gas flares, and the stripping away of mangroves for pipelines have killed off fish.
“When  a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw” Nelson Mandela.
The same can be said of the case between the people of the Niger Delta and successive government of Nigeria. it is believe that Nigeria can practice true federalism where resources will be controlled  and used for good but the reverse is the case in the Nigeria of today. where the goose that lays the golden egg is killed along with the egg.
The very same factor that brought about the Niger Delta arm struggle is fast resurfacing as the Buhari led administration is poised to exterminate the Niger Delta people for been benevolent enough to allow the nations mono-economy thrive on oil.
Niger Deltans are been oppressed and pushed to the wall on various front hence we (the Niger Delta Avengers) have picked up the challenge to be the worthy outlaws this government will have to contend until the daily production of oil is reduced to zero.
Estimated worth of some oil blocs owned in the Niger Delta regions are;
1.     Apo Well was award to Sapetro Oil owned by Gen Theophilus Y Danjuma .Apo field is capable of producing 300,000 barrels per day and crude reserve of 500 million barrels.
2.     OML 110 Obe oil field own by Alhaji Mai Daribe, Cavendish Petroleum with an estimated 500 million barrel of crude oil that worth $50 billion dollars after tax.
3.     Akpo condensate field was awarded to Sapetro Oil owned by Gen Theophilus Y Danjuma. This field worth $100 billions of dollars.
4.     OML 112 and OML 117 were awarded to AMNI International Petroleum Development Company owned by Colonel Sanni Bello. Son inlaw to former Head of State. Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar. Its worth $150 Dollars after tax.
5.     OML 115 also known as Oldwok field and Ebok field was awarded to Alhaji Mohammed Indimi.  Inlaw to former Head of State Gen. Ibrahim Babangida the two fields worth $200 billion Dollars.
6.     OML 215 was awarded and operated by Nor East Petroleum Limited owned by one Alhali Saleh Mohammed Gambo. The field worth $100 billion Dollars after tax.
7.     OML 108 awarded to Express Petroleum Company owned by Alhaji Aminu Dantata. This field worth $128 billion Dollars.
8.     OML 113 was allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Limited owned by Alhaji W. I. Folawiyo. Net worth is $150 billion Dollars.
9.     Prince Nasiru Ado Bayero cousin to the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanisu, owns ASUOKPU/UMUTU marginal oil fields. It worth $110 billion Dollars.
10. Inter is owned by Atiku Abubakar, Yara dua and Ado Bayero has a substantial stakes in the oil and gas exploration in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.
11. AMNI International Petroleum Company owns OML 112 and OML 117. Former Minister of Petroleum and OPEC Chairman Rilwanu Lukman has major stakes in AMNI International Petroleum Company.
12. OML 67 is operated Afren Plc. Rilwanu lukman also has a major stakes and the field worth $180 billion Dollars.
13. OPL 245 is awarded to Malabu Oil and Gas owned by Dan Etete. Former President Obasanjo and former Vice President Atiku Abukbakar all has major shares. It worth $50 billion Dollars.
14. OPL 289 and OPL 233 was awarded to Cleanwater Consortium, the two fields worth $200 billion Dollars. Former Governor Peter Odili of River State, Obasanjo and Sultan of Sokoto has major Stakes.
15. OPL 288 was awarded to focus Energy Senator Andy Uba, Obasanjo, and Gen Theophilus Y Danjuma are the major stakeholders. The field worth $70 billion Dollars.
16. OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited owned by Emeka Offor. The field worth $100 billion Dollars.
17. Mike adenuga’s Conoil controls and operates Six (6) oil blocs and exports about 500,000 barrels of crude oil daily. These 6 oil bloc worth $500 billion Dollars.

‘Very effective’

The Avengers claim on their website to be young, educated and well-traveled. They say they are better armed and more civilized than past militants. One thing’s for sure: They are making an impact.
Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu this week said the country’s oil production has fallen by 800,000 barrels per day — to 1.4 million barrels per day — due to attacks on the nation’s infrastructure, local reported, many or perhaps most of them at the hands of the Avengers.
“We don’t see this being a huge group, but at the same time, they do seem very effective,” said Matthew Bey, energy and technology analyst at geopolitical research firm Stratfor.
 When they(politicians) are elected or appointed into any political office. Their primary aim is to enrich themselves and influence infrastructural projects to their region. Clear example is the present administration where Fulani herdsmen whom are the kinsmen of President Buhari are above the law despite the killing and atrocities they have committed against farmers in the south and middle belt but the president can give a shoot on sight directive to military against the peaceful protest of the Indigenous people of Biafra. Other one is the 2016 budget where nearly all the major projects are channeled to the North even though the creeks of the Niger delta are in dear need of development to improve the standard of living.
The allocation of mining license is other crime this country is committing against its Niger Deltans. Where 80% of the oil blocs are allocated to northerners and the rest 20% is spread among the Easterners and westerners. THIS IS A CRIME AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF THE NIGER DELTA.
The duty of the Nigeria military is to protect Territorial integrity of Nigeria but instead the reverse is the case, Where politicians use them(Military) as thugs. Clear example is the Bayelsa state governorship election, River state federal and state house of Assembly election. Where soldiers and other security agencies are more interested in the money given to them by the politicians. As a result whenever there is change in the military high command instead of them to focus on their duty all they do is to joggle or make their way to Niger Delta region to make money for themselves and then forgetting their primary duty. Most of the top ranked military officers in this country are billionaires because they are out to make money for themselves by interweaving themselves with pipeline vandalizers and crude oil thieves.
Immediate past president Jonathan Goodluck is the only leader who believes in the unity of the Nation. He was deceived that the entity called Nigeria can be saved. He wasn’t after channeling infrastructural projects to his people the Niger Deltans despite they are in dead need of infrastructural and human capital development. A man who was there to serve, he wasn’t after his own people but for the betterment and togetherness of this country Nigeria.
If President Buhari can emulate the nationalist ideology of his predecessor, which we know is impossible because the shoe is too big for him. The nation won’t be having economic crisis, there won’t be pipeline vandalization, and our best brains won’t be seeking greener pasture oversees.
The present administration infringe on the fundamental human rights of its citizens with impunity with no respect for the constitution of the country. What kind of government treats her citizens like that?
The present administration has no respect for the constitution of the federation and run the country as if we in military regime. No freedom of speech, incarceration of innocent citizens and those against the government policies in the name of fighting corruption.

While Nigerian soldiers battle Boko Haram
militants in the north, the new radical group has emerged from the
southern swamplands, threatening to wage war on one of the world’s
largest oil supplies.
The
group calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers, and it has claimed
responsibility for a spate of recent attacks and bombings on oil
pipelines and terminals in Nigeria’s southern region, the Niger Delta, a
top oil-producing region.
The
group has targeted major platforms belonging to Shell and Chevron in
the past few weeks, and its attacks have driven the country’s oil output
to a near 22-year low.
Not
much is known about who is behind the Niger Delta Avengers. But the
militants are making their mark on Nigeria’s southern infrastructure,
and there are calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to take steps to
prevent the militant group from growing.
“The
Niger Delta Avengers have obviously proven themselves to be very
effective in this one area of Niger Delta,” said Matthew Bey, an
energy analyst at Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence firm in Austin, Texas. “It seems to be a new generation of militant groups.”
WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?
The
Niger Delta Avengers emerged in February, after claiming responsibility
for an attack on an underwater pipeline run by Shell, forcing the oil
giant to halt its 250,000-barrel-per-day Forcados terminal for weeks.
The militant group has since taken responsibility for several other
attacks in the southern Delta state, including one earlier this month at
an offshore oil platform run by Chevron, which produces tens of
thousands of barrels a day.
The
attacks showed a level of sophistication and technical expertise,
raising speculation that the new group consists of former members of the
long-running and powerful rebel group Movement for the Emancipation of
the Niger Delta (MEND).
“It’s
hard to say whether these guys are former militants, but they’re
definitely tapping into the established knowledge base,” Bey told ABC
News.
MEND
wreaked havoc on the six states in the Niger Delta from 2006 to 2009,
costing the nation roughly one-third of its oil production, until
then-President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua offered a multimillion-dollar amnesty
program that had thousands of rebels agree to lay down their arms in
exchange for an unconditional pardon and stipend.
WHAT DO THEY WANT?
Like
MEND, the Niger Delta Avengers demand greater ownership of lucrative
oil resources for residents in crude-producing areas. The new group also
seeks environmental restoration, compensation for damage caused by oil
producers and sustained government funding for the amnesty program. The
group has threatened to shut down the West African nation’s production
of oil and gas if its demands are not met.
The
Niger Delta Avengers’ attacks have led Nigeria’s oil output to plummet
by nearly 40 percent since before the campaign began, the country’s Oil
Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said while addressing parliament last
week, according to Reuters. The loss dethroned Nigeria as Africa’s top
oil producer.
Another
group, the Red Egbesu Water Lions, which emerged last Wednesday, has
vowed to join the Niger Delta Avengers if their demands are not met
within the next seven days, local media reported.
MEND,
on the other hand, has distanced itself from the Niger Delta Avengers
and the recent attacks on the region’s oil installations. In a statement
reportedly signed by its representative and published by local media,
MEND said Sunday it “wishes to condemn and dissociate itself from the
recent activities carried out by the group known as the Niger Delta
Avengers.”
“Their
sudden emergence has absolutely nothing to do with the Niger Delta
struggle but is rather a tool by certain elements to destabilize the
current government,” MEND continued.
MEND’s
condemnation of the Niger Delta Avengers came as no surprise to Akin
Iwilade, a research student at Oxford University who studies youth,
violence and the politics of amnesty in Nigeria’s oil-producing region.
The newly formed group threatens to disrupt the profitable amnesty deal
the former militants currently enjoy.
“The
top leadership of MEND benefited from the patronage that came with the
amnesty,” said Iwilade, who has spoken with a number of former oil
militants in recent years. “It is very logical and, frankly, expected,
that they would condemn a group they obviously have little control
over.”
WHAT IS THE THREAT?
Buhari,
who took office in May last year, extended the amnesty program for two
years in February, shortly before the Niger Delta Avengers announced
themselves. But the former military ruler, who hails from the north,
angered former oil rebels by ending generous pipeline security contracts
and reducing the monthly stipends. Now he is faced with the possibility
of a revived insurgency in the south while fighting Islamic militant group Boko Haram, which has killed and displaced millions of people in the north in the past seven years.
“It
is difficult to imagine that ex-militants have no hand whatsoever in
this,” Iwilade told ABC News. “There are very clear similarities in the
way the Niger Delta Avengers operates with what we knew of groups like
MEND.”
While
there are parallels between the two groups, such as language and
tactics, there are several differences. The Niger Delta Avengers have
criticized MEND and other older groups for killing Nigerian troops,
taking foreigners hostage and allegedly enriching themselves through the
amnesty payments.
The
Niger Delta Avengers have not yet shown whether they will wield the
same political influence that helped MEND become the most powerful
militant group in its time.
“If we see start to see that link, then yes, we could definitely see this insurgency rise,” Bey said.
The group announced
its latest assault on Friday, saying it blew up a gas and crude trunk
line belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in
Warri, Delta State, late Thursday.
The Avengers announced the attack via its Twitter handle.
The group said that
the facility was “heavily guarded” by the Nigerian military, in an
apparent attempt to mock the Nigerian armed forces’ capacity to check
its activities.
“At 11:45pm on
[email protected] blew up other #NNPC Gas and Crude trunkline close
to Warri. Pipeline that was heavily guarded by Military,” the group
tweeted.
The group rejected a
meeting recently convened in Abuja by the federal government, warning
of its readiness to carry out an attack that will “shock the whole
world”.
“The Niger Delta
stakeholder’s meeting is an insult to the people of Niger Delta. What we
need is a Sovereign State not pipeline Contracts.
“To the IOC’s,
Indigenous Oil Companies and Nigeria Military. Watch out something big
is about to happen and it will shock the whole world,” the group said.
The new group has
launched several attacks on oil and gas infrastructure since February
2016, demanding a sovereign nation of the Niger Delta people.
On Thursday, the group claimed responsibility for another attack on a gas pipeline belonging to Chevron in Delta state.
“We warned Chevron, but they didn’t listen. NDA just blew up the Escravos tank farm main electricity feed pipeline,” it said.
The militants said
the oil facilities were sabotaged following attempts by Chevron to carry
out repairs of main Escravos crude oil pipeline it blew up earlier.
A spokesperson for
the group, Mudoch Agbinibo, had earlier this month warned the Nigerian
government of further attacks if their demands were not met.
Last week, Chevron’s Makaraba crude oil line was attacked on the offshore Okan manifold in the region.
The attack followed
previous ones on the company’s facilities at Abiteye, Utunana and
Makaraba platforms in Warri South-West area of Delta State resulting in
the loss of over 40,000 barrels of oil per day.
The Management of Chevron Nigeria Limited declined comments on Wednesday’s attack.
Sola Adebawo, manager communications and government relation at CNL said the oil firm would not immedaietly comment.
“We are not able to comment at this time,” Mr. Adebawo said in a text message on Thursday.
Residents in the area said that an explosion occurred on Wednesday night.
Eric Omare, Spokesman for Ijaw Youths Council confirmed the incident but did not provide details.

Nigerian Army has described the Niger Delta Avengers as criminals, vowing to crush them.

The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai who spoke after
commissioning an apartment for soldiers and a giant size generating set
at the 2 Amphibious Brigade in Port Harcourt said the army will not fold
its hands and allow the groups to continue to kill its soldiers on
locations in the region.
Major General Buratai also called on communities in the region to
help the military fish out members of the Niger Delta Avengers in their
midst.
“They have been attacking our troop locations, killing our soldiers.
We will not tolerate them. We will deal with them according to the
law. We will look for them wherever they are. They are not agitating for
anything , they are just into crime. Communities should be patriotic
enough to expose these criminals. They have noting to fear.
They should help fish out these criminals  killing our soldiers, we will
not tolerate that. They must come out to help. They have noting to
fear. Everybody, every Nigerian should expose these criminals. They have
noting to fear,“ he said.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, had
commissioned 12 refurbished gunboats at Okrika local government area and
a 40 bed space apartment for soldiers in the area.

General Olonisakin who was accompanied by other service chiefs to the
exercise said security agencies will no longer allow criminals destroy
national assets in the region.

  The attacks present a serious challenge for President Muhammadu Buhari, who entered office last year in the midst of a global oil price
downturn that has plunged Nigeria into economic crisis and stoked
runaway inflation. Now, assaults by the Avengers have helped send the
country’s crude output to its lowest level in decades.

Nigeria is home to Africa’s largest economy and one of the world’s biggest populations. Before this year’s supply disruptions, the OPEC member was also the continent’s top crude producer. The oil industry accounts for about 70 percent of government revenue.
The Niger Delta Avengers are in
the business of destroying oil infrastructure — working in teams,
carrying small arms and explosives, blowing up pipelines and sabotaging
facilities — taking advantage of the Delta’s complex, creek-filled
terrain to stay one step ahead of the Nigerian soldiers chasing them.

They’re driven by economic and
environmental grievances, and until those issues are addressed, the
Delta will remain in a cycle of sabotage, experts told CNBC. And
Nigeria’s oil output will remain under pressure.

Members of the Nigerian militant group the Niger Delta Avengers have
shut down facilities owned by one of the world’s biggest oil companies.
People living near Chevron’s Escravos terminal in the oil-rich
southern Nigerian region of the Niger delta reported hearing a loud
blast during the night. Chevron
confirmed on Thursday morning that the attack, which was on its main
electricity power line, had shut down all its onshore activities.
“It is a crude line which means all activities in Chevron are grounded,” a company source told Reuters.
It was the latest in a string of attacks by the Avengers, who have
demanded that foreign oil companies leave the Niger delta before the end
of the month, and say they are fighting to protect the environment and
to win locals a bigger share of the profits.
The group has helped push the country’s oil output to its lowest
level in decades. According to Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, head of the
state-run oil company, the attacks have reduced the number of barrels
produced a day from 2.2m to 1.4m. As well as hitting Nigeria’s economy –
which, analysts have warned, is headed for a full-blown crisis – the
attacks on Africa’s biggest petroleum producer have led to a rise in
global oil prices.
The latest attack comes as Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari,
prepares to celebrate a year in office this Sunday. He won the 2015
election on a promise to fight corruption and the bloody conflict waged
by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram in the country’s north-east,
and took over when Nigeria
was in the midst of an economic crisis largely caused by the then
falling price of oil, which the government relies on for 70% of its
revenue.
Although he said Boko Haram had been “technically defeated” and claimed the recent escape of one of the kidnapped Chibok girls as a victory for his government, Buhari has been struggling to revive the flailing economy.
Under an amnesty deal reached in 2009 with other militants who were
attacking oil facilities, the government paid millions of dollars to the
leaders to “guard” oil companies’ infrastructure – in effect paying
them not to attack it. Buhari has extended the deal, but cut its budget,
giving rise to a potential source of anger in the region.
It is not known who finances the Niger Delta Avengers, but it has issued threats via its website and social media.
“Be informed that if we decide to strike it [is] going to be bloody
… If you continue to undermine us and go ahead with the repair works
you won’t see us coming but we are coming for you,” the group’s
spokesman, Murdoch Agbinibo, said in a statement entitled “Chevron,
don’t dare the Avengers” two weeks ago.
In a follow-up tweet, the group said on Thursday: “We warned Chevron
but they didn’t listen. The Niger Delta Avengers just blew up the
Escravos tank farm main electricity feed pipeline.”
On its Twitter account, Nigeria’s main opposition party, the People’s
Democratic party, which was in power for 16 years prior to the 2015
election, accused Kachikwu of giving representatives of the Avengers a
$10m bribe and appealing to them to stop the attacks. These allegations
have not been substantiated.

It is pertinent to know that Biafra is on the other side agitating for secession. Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, an ancient
Kingdom in today’s Eastern Nigeria, Kingdom of Biafra was amalgamated
into Nigeria – Niger area, by Fredric Lugard during British conquest or
colonial rule in 1914, and was given 100 years to break away if the
people of Biafra desire, and 100 years of amalgamation expired 2013,
though the Republic Of Biafra was later re-declared and existed from the
30th of May, 1967, to January 1970. The inhabitants were mostly the
people of today’s Eastern Nigeria led the secession due to economic,
ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of
Nigeria. Other ethnic groups that constituted the republic were the Efik, Ibibio, Annang, Ejagham, Eket, Ibeno and the Ijaw among others.
The secession of the Biafran region was the primary cause of the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War. The state was formally recognised by Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, and Zambia. Other nations which did not give official recognition, but provided support and assistance to Biafra included Israel, France, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa and the Vatican City. Biafra also received aid from non-state actors, including Joint Church Aid, Holy Ghost Fathers of Ireland, Caritas International, MarkPress and U.S. Catholic Relief Services.
After two-and-a-half years of war, during which over three million
Biafran civilians died in fighting and from starvation occasioned by the
total blockade of the region by the Nigerian government. Biafran forces
under the motto of ‘”No-victor, No-vanquished”‘ surrendered to the Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG), and Biafra was reintegrated into Nigeria.
Today, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is leading IPOB – Indigenous People Of Biafra
to restore the Republic Of Biafra, though he have been arrested and
charged illegally for treason by Muhammad Buhari led APC – Nigerian
government, the group with International directorate office in Spain
continue to lead the struggle like never before with the slogan, ‘
Biafra or death.

The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) advocates a separate country for the people of south-eastern Nigeria. They accuse the state of marginalising the Igbo people. MASSOB says it is a peaceful group and advertises a 25-stage plan to achieve its goal peacefully. There are two arms to the government, the Biafra Government in Exile and Biafra Shadow Government. The Nigerian government accuses MASSOB of violence; MASSOB’s leader, Ralph Uwazuruike, was arrested in 2005 and is being detained on treason charges; MASSOB is calling for his release. MASSOB is also championing the release of oil militant Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, who is facing similar charges. In 2009, The MASSOB launched “the Biafran International Passport” in response to persistent demand by Biafrans in diaspora. On June 16, 2015, the Supreme Council of Elders of the Indigenous People of Biafra sued the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the right to self-determination within their region as a sovereign state.

Another group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Led by a United Kingdom-based Biafran, Nnamdi Kanu, has reinvigorated the quest for Biafran realisation since 2012. He recently set up a registered radio station, Radio Biafra, which has been broadcasting at various frequencies around the world. The Nigerian Government, through her broadcasting regulator, the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigerian and Nigerian Communications Commission, has sought to clamp down on the UK based Radio Station without success. on November 17, 2015 the Abia police command seized an IPOB’s radion transmitter in Umuahia North, Abia State.

On October 19, 2015, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) disclosed that the Director of Radio Biafra and Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, does not belong to the movement and was sacked for indiscipline and for inciting violence among members.

During November 2015, Biafran independence protests have erupted in cities across Nigeria’s south-east; analysts believe the scale of these protests is unprecedented. Though peaceful, the protesters have been attacked by the Nigerian Police and army. Scores have been reportedly killed. Many others have been injured and others have been arrested.

On December 23, 2015, the federal government charged Nnamdi Kanu with treasonable felony in the Federal High court in Abuja.

There is an ongoing renewed killing of peaceful pro-Biafra agitators by Nigerian security agencies. According to the South-East Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs), security forces under the directive of the Federal Government has killed 80 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their supporters between August 30, 2015 and February 9, 2016.

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