SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD OF DETERIORATING HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO; RELIEF EFFORTS IMPAIRED20001128
Human Rights Violations Said to Continue; Speakers Urge Cooperation By All Parties with Aid Workers, Ceasefire Observance, End to Violence
Briefing the Security Council this afternoon on the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Carolyn McAskie, Emergency Relief Coordinator ad interim, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that so far all diplomatic and military efforts to end what had been described as Africas first world war had not produced results.
She said the humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate. United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations had been forced to suspend activities due to insecure conditions. In the three years of civil war, the number of those affected by conflict had soared to 16 million people. Flagrant human rights violations prevailed throughout the country, and civilians were afforded little or no protection and systematically targeted by the parties to the conflict.
She said humanitarian agencies found it difficult to operate in the current environment, and provide the level of assistance needed to save lives. The international donor community must recognize the crucial symbiosis between peace and humanitarian assistance. Increased donor funding for the Consolidated Appeals 2001 would reinforce common objectives of life saving, rebuilding livelihoods, and promoting peace and security. The international community must be even-handed and increase support to humanitarian assistance regardless of progress in the political domain.
The President of the Council, Peter van Walsum, speaking in his capacity as the representative of the Netherlands, said that ever since the Council had been invited to endorse the Lusaka Agreement, some delegations had referred to invited and uninvited troops, while glossing over President Laurent Kabilas lack of cooperation. Every delegation was entitled to its position, but if the distinction between invited and uninvited troops had been made in Lusaka, the ceasefire agreement would not have been concluded.
Speaking in reply, the representative of Namibia said the reality was that there was aggression against the Democratic Republic of the Congo; there were forces that were invited, and there were forces that were not invited. He foundSecurity Council - 1a - Press Release SC/6962 4237th Meeting (PM) 28 November 2000
it incomprehensible to hear a defence of the aggressors instead of a defence of the victim. He said he was flabbergasted by the way in which the Council President and his delegation were approaching the situation.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina, France, United States, China, Russian Federation, Tunisia, Jamaica, Malaysia, and Mali.
The meeting, which began at 3:15 p.m., was adjourned at 5:18 p.m.
Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6962 4237th Meeting (PM) 28 November 2000
Council Work Programme
The Security Council met this afternoon to receive a briefing on the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Briefing the Council on the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, CAROLYN McASKIE, Emergency Relief Coordinator ad interim, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that thus far all diplomatic and military efforts to end what had been described as Africas first world war had not produced results, while the humanitarian crisis remained one of the worst in the world, in terms of intensity and magnitude. It continued to deteriorate with skirmishes often developing into full-fledged battles.
She said United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) had frequently been forced to suspend their activities because of insecure conditions. In the three years of civil war, the number of those affected by conflict had soared to 16 million people -- 33 per cent of the population. Up to 1.7 million people were likely to have died due to the war in the eastern part of the country alone. There were flagrant human rights violations throughout the country; civilians were afforded little or no protection and systematically targeted by the parties to the conflict.
The economy of the country, she said, had all but crumbled, leaving the vast majority of the population to face dire financial hardship. The civil war, compounded by deep-rooted economic and social problems that stemmed from decades of mismanagement and neglect, had rendered food shortages commonplace, and sparked a devastating increase in malnutrition rates among children and adults.
With regard to constraints, Ms. McAskie said humanitarian agencies found it increasingly difficult to operate in the current environment, and to provide the level of assistance needed to save lives. The war had the twin effect of creating new populations in need while, at the same time, creating untenable security environments that impeded access to those same populations. That was further exacerbated by logistical constraints, which rendered the delivery of assistance to many remote areas extremely difficult, and occasionally impossible.
Despite those problems, she continued, the United Nations continued to make every effort to respond to the situation at hand. That had resulted in, for instance, a number of breakthrough operations in some of the most critical conflict-affected areas, including Kasai, Northern Katanga, Equateur, Ituri and South Kivu. This year, significant success was achieved through the successful implementation of a nationwide polio eradication campaign that reached over 10 million children under five.
As the humanitarian situation became increasingly more grave for growing numbers of Congolese, she said, the efforts of the United Nations and its implementing partners were being hampered by the lack of security, limited access to those affected populations, and critically few resources for life-saving interventions. Without a genuine commitment by all parties, access for humanitarian agencies was impossible. She urged Council members to impress on all parties to the conflict the need for cooperation to ensure full access to all areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
She went on to say that the international donor community must recognize the crucial symbiosis between peace and humanitarian assistance. She referred to the Consolidated Appeals for 2001 being launched by the Secretary-General. Increased donor funding in response to the appeal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo would reinforce common objectives of life saving, rebuilding livelihoods, and promoting peace and security. To that end, the international community must be even-handed and increase support for humanitarian assistance regardless of progress in the political domain. Particular attention should be given to the security of aid workers operating in highly insecure and volatile areas of the country.
For the humanitarian community in the Democratic Republic, she said, the year 2000 was a year that signified the departure from a passive to a more challenging and result-oriented response to tackling the devastating effects of the war. Despite enormous difficulties, the achievements of the humanitarian community were significant. But it was obvious that the United Nations and its partners would require a much more positive response from donors to continue to address emergency needs for the foreseeable future. The low level of funding meant that humanitarian operations remained on a hand-to-mouth basis.
A commitment from the international community to address the humanitarian situation would not single-handedly solve the conflict, she added. The Council must continue to seek lasting solutions to address the military and political issues, in concert with humanitarian efforts. While the humanitarian situation was extremely grave and a more favourable response to funding needs was essential, that should not be viewed as a substitute nor should it preclude the search for a long-term solution.
ANWARUL KARIM CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh) said the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continued to deteriorate. The number of displaced persons had increased, more people were being driven from their homes, and there was renewed fighting. It was appalling that 16 million people, or 33 per cent of the countrys population, remained in critical need of food, and a large number of people suffered epidemic outbreaks of cholera, meningitis, dysentery, and haemorrhagic fever. Women and children were the most affected by that crisis. About 150,000 internally displaced persons were in critical need of humanitarian relief near Fizzi, and at Shabunda people were facing famine.
He said Bangladesh called on all parties to immediately halt all military action and open humanitarian corridors. Member States of the United Nations with influence on the parties should secure necessary humanitarian access to the affected areas. It was unfortunate that all actors, internal and external, continued to justify the war by insisting that they had their stakes in the situation. The failure to recognize the human cost of war was demonstrated by the continued ceasefire violations by all parties. The dire humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as in other conflict zones, was the direct consequence of the fighting. The long-term solution of the humanitarian crisis lay in a political settlement.
He said the Council would have to take a serious decision on continued United Nations engagement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as the mandate of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) came to an end. Progress on the diplomatic side had so far been elusive, but his delegation continued to believe that the United Nations must remain engaged in the Democratic Republic while efforts continued to create conditions for the full deployment of MONUC. The Lusaka Agreement represented a package. The United Nations had welcomed it, and remained committed to help with its implementation. If the parties so required, his delegation would have no problem with a Lusaka II or Lusaka III. All Member States should support all serious efforts that advanced the prospects of peace.
Sir JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said he was glad to hear that there was good coordination between the Special Representative for the Secretary-General and the humanitarian agencies on the ground. The Lusaka Agreement and the relevant Security Council resolutions had not been implemented, as they should have been by the parties. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was perhaps the greatest challenge in Africa to be faced by the Council, even more complex than Sierra Leone. He hoped that the right leadership to address the situation would be found from both within the region and outside.
The first indications from the Maputo II meeting, he said, had been continued weariness and impatience from the groups within the region. The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo had indicated their willingness to work with MONUC to make things function better on the ground in order to achieve the objectives agreed to. He paid tribute to the work of the humanitarian groups on the ground, who faced the most awful conditions in the country, with a dire lack of infrastructure and support. It was vital for them to receive help from all those concerned for their security and their ability to do their job.
He was interested to hear about the present state of the humanitarian agencies with the Government, as well as with the factions that operated in the areas covered by the agencies. He asked for details on the state of relations, the obstacles faced and where help was needed. He also wanted to know whether the agencies were developing coordinated aid strategies to respond to the humanitarian situation.
HEIN BECKER (Canada) said the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had caused unspeakable suffering to the people of that country, as well as enormous loss of life. The fact that it had lasted more than three years was intolerable. Canada condemned all violations of the ceasefire. It also urged all the parties concerned in the region to cease immediately all military activity and to implement fully the Lusaka Agreement and the Kampala disengagement plan.
Canada, he said, called on all parties to the conflict, and in particular the Government, to respect their obligations, particularly ensuring the safety and freedom of movement of the United Nations and humanitarian personnel. He looked forward to the report from the field mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. He hoped that mission would identify gaps, and ensure cohesion and coordination of efforts of all actors in the field. All United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations at present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo must work closely together in developing an effective and holistic strategy to address the urgent humanitarian needs of civilians. He said Canada condemned all violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed both in government and rebel-controlled areas. Those responsible for those violations, including crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and all other grave violations of humanitarian law, must be brought to justice.
His delegation was also greatly concerned with continuing official infringement on the right of free expression, which was in violation of the Lusaka Agreement. Of particular concern was the recent announcement by the Democratic Republic of the Congo Government that to criticize the State was to be an enemy of the State. Freedom of opinion and expression was essential as a peace and confidence-building measure.
LUIS ENRIQUE CAPPAGLI (Argentina) said the humanitarian situation and the political and military situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo could not be seen separately, because the first was, in large part, a consequence of the other. The humanitarian crisis was causing a gradual deterioration in the living conditions of the Congolese population. The armed conflict was also affecting the conditions in which humanitarian personnel were carrying out their work. The parties to the conflict had repeatedly violated the ceasefire, particularly its humanitarian clauses.
He said humanitarian personnel faced grave security risks and obstacles in reaching the populations in need. The parties must bear responsibility for limiting access to vulnerable groups. It was crucial to respect the principles enshrined in the 1994 United Nations Convention on the Security of United Nations and Associated Personnel. He said crimes against humanity had been committed in the eastern part of the country. Those massacres could not go unpunished. An international inquiry was necessary to bring the perpetrators to justice. Humanitarian action was not a substitute for the political decisions that had to be taken by the parties to the conflict.
The deployment of MONUC, once reasonable security conditions were obtained, would be a factor of stability, which would facilitate the work of humanitarian personnel, he said. The political and military situation could not be analysed in isolation, but within the context of the Great Lakes region. He supported the idea put forward by France to convene an international conference on the Great Lakes.
JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France) said Ms. McAskie had rightly emphasized that the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was both tragic and dramatic. In fact, the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Democratic Republic had underscored that the essential right to life had been violated, especially in the eastern part of the country. The information provided by NGOs, particularly the report last June by the International Rescue Committee, had to be borne in mind.
He recalled that victims had been counted in the hundreds of thousands, and deaths took place because of violence committed against civilians, who were then cut off from receiving aid. The crisis was a political and military one, which had deep roots in the dramatic situation in the Great Lakes region during the last decade. Its immediate cause was the crisis of August 1998. He said that humanitarian aid must be provided to the Congolese people, and he encouraged action by the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and NGOs. France and the European Union were providing assistance through the European Humanitarian Office. At the same time, the responsibility of the Council was to contribute to a political settlement. Efforts to implement the Lusaka Agreement had encountered many difficulties, but the United Nations must pursue its efforts. We must not give up, he said.
He said the United Nations Mission -- MONUC -- must maintain the resources envisaged last February so that it could fully play its role. In light of todays debate, it would also have to be considered whether MONUC could also play a role in assisting the humanitarian effort. In several conflict situations, he added, the United Nations had deployed a civilian mission alongside a military one, as in Afghanistan. Such a civilian observer mission was distinct from a military one, and could shed light on the humanitarian situation, as well as liaise with civil society. Of course, the security conditions for that would have to be examined carefully. He posed the question of including civilian observers within MONUC.
MARTIN ANDJABA (Namibia) said the briefing had confirmed his worst fears about the suffering of the Congolese people in the senseless war of aggression. The Councils objective should be to address and put an end to the situation of the men, women and children who continued to be uprooted from their homes, killed and raped. The way to do that was to address the causes of their situation, which was the aggression of Uganda and Rwanda against the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Council must ensure that Congolese civilians lived in dignity. Violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular the deliberate targeting of civilians and their communities in the eastern part of the country, must stop. The Council must do more to end the culture of impunity in the country.
He said the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had implications beyond the central African region and could have repercussions on the rest of the continent. It vividly underscored the fact that women remained the worst affected of all groups. They were subjected to all forms of atrocities of war. Soldiers preyed upon them, they were humiliated and raped, sometimes in the presence of their husbands or children, and ran a high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. The burying alive of 15 Congolese women in South Kivu was still fresh in his memory, and he was still awaiting the findings of the investigation of that barbaric act.
Continuing, he said the international community could not allow the continued mass displacement of people and major breaches of international humanitarian law to persist with impunity. Humanitarian needs could not be met while failing to address what caused them in the first place. The Council must exercise political will to address the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo if humanitarian agencies were to effectively bring relief to the suffering masses. Parties engaged in the current fighting were taking advantage of the minimal presence of MONUC in the country. The presence of MONUC on the ground would act as a deterrent and would improve the humanitarian situation, thus preventing further loss of life, displacement and misery.
NANCY SODERBERG (United States) said that the Governments of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the various armed Congolese and foreign rebel factions, were to blame for the humanitarian situation that had been described by the Council. The goal today was for all parties to hear the opprobrium of the international community.
In surveying the man-made misery in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she said, the conclusion of the United States was a broad indictment of those who sought to win or retain power by force of arms. The withdrawal of foreign forces, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1304 (2000) and the Lusaka Agreement, would greatly benefit the human rights and humanitarian situations in the country.
She said the man-made misery being suffered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo could be repaired with three ingredients: political will, resources and time. Thus far, the Governments concerned had failed to demonstrate the political will. The international community had failed to marshal the necessary resources. And the lack of a functioning peace agreement had meant that the time for recovery continued to be delayed. The deadly combination of foreign aggression, internal armed rebellions, and unaccountable government had brought the Democratic Republic to its present state. The international community must work together if the country was to be rescued from its desperate condition. The leaders involved must strive to implement a viable ceasefire, part of which should include reopening of the Congo River to civilian traffic.
She said the Council was united in its support and admiration for the work of the humanitarian agencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Under difficult conditions, at great expense, and often at considerable risk, the men and women of the United Nations and non-governmental communities had tried to alleviate the suffering caused by callous political leaders. Until the parties could arrive at a political solution, Member States must continue to support the humanitarian community in its efforts. Short-term emergency humanitarian assistance must not be mistaken for the ingredients of a lasting political settlement.
CHEN XU (China) called on the parties concerned to comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions to end the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The conflict was the direct cause of the current humanitarian crisis in that country, he said, and only by solving the conflict could the humanitarian crisis be resolved. He encouraged the search for a political solution to the conflict and hoped the parties would implement the commitment they had made in good faith. He also hoped that MONUC would continue to work for the peace process in the Democratic Republic.
He went on to say that he appreciated the efforts of humanitarian personnel in a difficult environment to improve the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He hoped the Council would continue to support the work of the humanitarian agencies and of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
ANDREI E. GRANOVSKY (Russian Federation said the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was close to catastrophic. Further deterioration could not be allowed. A political settlement was the only solution, and that had to be based on the Lusaka Agreements.
The Security Council had sent out an adequate signal on the need for a cessation of hostilities. Based on the lack of any political solution, however, there was a need in the interim for long-term cooperation by all parties with the United Nations mission. It was also important not to make any rash decisions.
MOHAMED SALAH TEKAYA (Tunisia) said the war had caused an upheaval in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with harsh effects on the economy of the country and the daily life of the people. The Security Councils mission had been able to assess the depth of the crisis last May, a crisis which had worsened since then. The condition of the eastern section of the country remained particularly volatile. The displacement of refugees towards neighbouring countries made for further worrying humanitarian concerns. The Democratic Republic was also facing a serious health crisis, particularly among displaced persons and refugees. Food shortages were serious. Education was harshly affected by the war.
He said the situation presented many challenges to the international community. Humanitarian workers faced many obstacles, making it impossible for them to achieve their mission. The international community should mobilize to increase its assistance to affected populations in the country and the region. Last January, the parties to the Lusaka Agreement had reaffirmed their support for the Agreement and undertook to respect its terms. Since then, the peace process had been jeopardized. The deployment envisioned for MONUC had not taken place and the foreign forces had not withdrawn.
The declarations of goodwill must now lead to action, he said. Security Council discussion of the next mission would provide an opportunity to take stock of the situation. In light of the close relation of the problems in the Great Lakes region, the adoption of a comprehensive regional programme was becoming increasingly necessary.
CURTIS WARD (Jamaica) said the prevailing deadlock in peace negotiations made it easy to overlook the real tragedy of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- the grave humanitarian situation. Minimal humanitarian assistance was being provided to populations in need. In fact, many had to fend for themselves in a country that was in the grip of war. It was a tremendous catastrophe, which warranted a comprehensive approach.
He said the targeting of civilians by armed rebel groups had led to human rights abuses on all sides. Humanitarian workers had to be commended for their activities in extremely difficult circumstances. He urged the international community to respond to the consolidated appeal for 2000, and that for 2001, which would be announced shortly.
The only way to permanently alleviate the humanitarian situation was to finalize the peace agreements. Jamaica was disappointed that that could not yet take place as yet. It was welcome news that ministers from six governments and two rebel factions were meeting in Maputo on Wednesday, to try to revive the peace process.
He said the situation in the Congo was yet another stark reminder of the outcome of conflicts. Those with responsibility for peace who failed to secure it must accept responsibility for the suffering of their citizens. It was even more reprehensible that all parties to the conflict had failed to provide access for humanitarian workers to provide assistance to people under their areas of control.
MOHAMAMD KAMAL YAN YAHAYA (Malaysia) said war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had virtually devastated the country. The infrastructure was non- existent, extreme poverty had reached catastrophic levels, and there was an effective partitioning of the country, with its wealth being exported and leaving environmental devastation. It was critical, he said, for the parties to respect the ceasefire agreement, and to permit access of humanitarian personnel to all parts of the country. All parties had an obligation to ensure the safety, security and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel.
He said the vast majority of displaced persons were from the eastern part of the country. The increasing number of Congolese refugees had serious ramifications not only for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but for the neighbouring countries. He recognized the difficulties and complications, but the suffering of the people required the Council to put an end to their miseries. There must be immediate cessation of hostilities, with respect for the territorial sovereignty of the Democratic Republic. He regretted that the parties continued to ignore the Council and the international community. The timely deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force was crucial. That would be a test of the Councils political will and determination.
SEKOU KASSE (Mali) said that the return to regional peace and stability required the re-establishment of respect for fundamental principles reaffirmed by the signatories of the ceasefire agreement. The aim of the agreement had been the territorial unity and integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the respect of its borders, and with national reconciliation. By the same token, neighbouring countries would also have the right to live in security within their borders, without destabilizing actions from Congolese territories.
He said the intensity of the many conflicts was intolerable, and it prevented humanitarian organizations from having access to several regions, in particular in the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He added that the humanitarian aspect could not be ignored in a peace accord, and pointed out that the Lusaka Agreement consisted of provisions allowing the protection of the civilian population, as well as human rights and humanitarian aid. Similar features could be identified in Security Council resolutions. The gravity of the situation in the country and the humanitarian consequences that followed meant that the peace process was needed more than ever. Better coordination of the United Nations mission would lead to an improvement in the efficiency of much- needed humanitarian aid.
The President of the Council, PETER VAN WALSUM, speaking in his capacity as the representative of the Netherlands, said that apart from discussing the misery being heaped on the Congolese people, speakers in today's meeting had referred to the appalling situation of the humanitarian workers and the dangerous conditions in which they had to do their work. The Council had first addressed that issue in February this year. In view of the present deterioration of the situation of humanitarian personnel, he would circulate a petition sent to him by the Coordinating Committee of the Staff Union and the Federation of the International Civil Servants Associations (FICSA), which appealed to the Council to look into the situation further.
He said it was difficult to respond to the humanitarian situation without talking politics. Ever since the Council had been invited to endorse the Lusaka Agreement, some delegations had tried to give the Councils participation a slightly different stance by referring to invited and uninvited troops, and glossing over President Kabilas lack of cooperation. Every delegation was entitled to its position, but if the distinction between invited and uninvited troops had been made in Lusaka, the ceasefire agreement would not have been concluded. It was possible that the Lusaka Agreement might need updating, but the consensus that the task allotted to United Nations by the Lusaka Agreement was to track down the Interhamwe faction was unrealistic.
Ms. McASKIE, replying to questions, said there had been greater donor interest in the coordinated aid strategy. Donors had even urged mounting a more aggressive programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There was definitely an interest in a broader, more strategic approach.
She said there was also much closer NGO/United Nations cooperation. There had been a gradual breaking down of the them and us attitude which had characterized relationships in the past.
On relations among the United Nations, local authorities, the Congolese Government and parties to the conflict, she said access was constrained and sometimes hampered. Yet, at other times, it was assisted. There was obviously good and bad in every situation, she noted.
She said rebel groups welcomed humanitarian assistance, but were unable to guarantee security. Lack of access did not mean that roads were deteriorating, but that they were non-existent. Much transport was by river routes, which tended to be dominated by armed rebel factions.
One area where MONUC could assist was obviously in security for access. Another specific area where the Council could take action related to funding for peacekeeping operations. Such funding tended to be activity specific. A case in point had taken place in Kisangani, where the Mission had provided transport to humanitarian workers. However, because that activity had not been included in the budget, the transport had been charged at cost. That was substantially more than the cost on the local market. But the choice had to be made between the safest and the cheapest; obviously, the safest had been chosen
She said the greatest security threats varied with the changing military situation. At the moment, it was in Katanga.
She also believed that MONUC's presence would facilitate humanitarian assistance. Even though the presence of the United Nations was seen as controversial and questions had been subsequently raised as to whether humanitarian workers should go it alone, by and large, the Mission presence was a welcome one.
Mr. ANDJABA (Namibia), taking the floor again, said the usefulness of todays meeting was disturbed by what the President had said in his national capacity. You can distort the reality, but the reality remained as it was on the ground, he said, and that was that there was aggression against the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That was a fact that could not be changed. There were forces that were invited, and there were forces that were not invited. The
Councils resolutions were clear on that matter and made a clear distinction between invited and uninvited forces.
He said it was incomprehensible that he should hear a defence of the aggressors, instead of a defence of the victim. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was the victim of aggression. He was flabbergasted by the way in which the President and his delegation were approaching the situation. He reserved the right to speak again in the meeting.
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