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Why the British Looted Eritrea During Its Occupation

Asmara during the British occupation of the 1940s. Eritreans are calling on the Government of Eritrea to sue the British government for billions of dollars of theft from Eritrea during its administration between 1941-1952.

Why the British Looted Eritrea During Its Occupation

By Barnabas Araya Yohannes,

In the years to come, after winning Eritrea, the British became obsessed with it. Those who claim that they were entrusted by the Europeans to care for Eritrea, were not sitting idle.

According to Sylvia Pankhurst (in her book, Eritrea on the Eve), the naval base in the port of Massawa, built to hold 1,000 sailors, had been bulldozed to the ground. Navy headquarters, a 500-bed hospital with its air-conditioning plant, the oil storage tankers, main water supply tanks, electricity units, naval warehouse, customs offices –more than 75 building in all –had been reduced to dust and rubble.

She alleges that they spared no time in dismantling industrial equipment and stripping wood, iron, steel, and gone to benefit British-run territories in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

She said, in Massawa, they dismantled cement factories and sent to Sudan, an aerodrome (a small airport) had been sold to Egypt. A dredger (machinery that works from inside the sea) had been sold; a floating dock and two giant cranes had been dispatched to Pakistan, Egypt and Malta; while 500 oil reservoirs had been razed and 20 radio stations dismantled. Furthermore, along the coast at the town of Zula, 400 Italian officers’ houses had been demolished; in Fatma Dari, a potash factory sold

In Zula, 5.7 km of rail tracks 850 railway points, 3 tons of bolts, 20 turntables and 71 trucks had been sent to Kenya. Another 1,500 m of barbed wire, 3 small cranes, 1 steel Jetty, 1 steel signal, and 1 steel hut had also been sold back to Italy.

In Asab, she claims, a radio station had been transported to Kenya, salt factory dispatched to Aden and the motors of scuttled ships removed for sale. Three hundred railroad wagons, plus rail construction material imported by the Italians to connect Agordat with the Ethiopian town of Gonder, had been sold off, as had the motors running Eritrea’s remarkable 75 km (47 mi) 1937–1941 Asmara – Massawa aerial ropeway (La Teleferica).

In Gora, another aerodrome (small airport) had been demolished and exported to India.

In total, they have dismantled and exported more than 600 heavy and light industries. Trevaskis, who served as a British colonial officer in Eritrea, in his book Eritrea: A colony in Transition, lets slip the fact that Eritrea’s gold production in Bisha had been crippled and the allied forces removed the mining equipment, whose replacements were difficult and often impossible to obtain. The Eritrean fishing industries were similarly crippled by the acquisition of irreplaceable equipment. He estimates that the total lost assets were anyway: 1,700-million African shillings (the equivalent of 2.26 million British pounds or 3.84 million US Dollars.)

Did the British act legally? Appointed by the UN as care takers, the British administration had the duty to preserve and cherish assets in situ. Obviously, it has abused that trust. The reason behind all these hideous sabotages appears to make Eritrea crippled; and then, once crippled, they could make their case that Eritrea is unable to stand on its own; therefore, it must be annexed with Ethiopia --and that is exactly what they did. The evidence is the British government received from Ethiopia a sum of £950,000 (a hefty £1.2-million or 2.01-million dollars in today’s currency) when it finally ceded control of Eritrea.

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Why the British Looted Eritrea During Its Occupation Reviewed by Admin on 2:43 AM Rating: 5



  2. EritreaForEritreansByEritreansJuly 27, 2014 at 3:53 AM

    Through out all our enemies plotting on ways to weaken & conquer Eritrea. We are still marching towards prosperity. Against all odds, Eritrea lives on & shines.

  3. Yes! so is life. Hitler destroyed the whole Europe for his ugly nature and look at it now, because of the hardwork of each and every country's nationals the whole Europe is the living example that a country can be reborned and grow. nKHid Tray deqi Erey ! we are on the right path.

  4. I agree with the writer on the distraction of Eritrean capital by the fascist British. For the question "why", the answer is simple; it is what they are good at. They are the experts of destruction, divide and rule, and all evil things you can mention. But lets look at what happen after they left. Did our grandfathers became beggars, killers, robbers...? Thanks to our grandfathers commitment to send their kids to school, to work hard, to maintain their values, ethics, morals, customs and dignity- Eritrea maintained to be the wealthiest out all provinces in Ethiopia. Our grandfathers had decency, high moral and strong work ethics. These was not built over a night, it was there for generations. We were never known for torchering, smuggling, deceiving people. They hade the so called "FirHate IgziAbiher". This culture was continuing until the early 90's. Not short after independence this rich culture slowly but surely start to diminish. Moral, ethics, respect, values start to disappear. The calling of our ealdery "atta Sebay, Atti Sebeyti" becomes a norm. Children start disrespecting older, TEGADELTI disrespecting the civilians, and the president disrespecting the whole people.... This was the time when our president spend more time in Warsay Club or Shamrock than in his office. Today we are in the last phase of this destruction "the destruction of what is left" - mass smuggling and trading organs.
    Welcome to Eritrea!

  5. Madote recently posted an article related to the British wrong doing to Eritrea and Eritreans to sue the British and U.S government.

    I agree with Madote 100%. However, the question is, do you have any leverage that will help you in getting restitution from the British & U.S? ....and the Eritrean government at this point does not have the appetite to sue those bastards.... Eritrea has enough legal battles on its plate.. i'm talking about the demarkation of the border. Having another turmoil in regards of suing the British etc... will divert the attention from the current topic... the border.

    When the border is demarcated, then you can unleash your lawsuit on any imperialist fucker and sue their ass with no mercy.... and for leverage, use the British cemetery at Keren and unearth the remains of the 440+ British "terrorists" not soldiers that are buried there illegally without the permission of the Eritrean people or government and have their dirty remains in a trash-bag, and then have the British imperials government collect their filthy remains at $10,000,000,000 per one person's remains.

    Otherwise, we will bulldoze the cemetery and turn it into wasteland and burn their remains and flush their ashes down the toilet of a fishing boat into the Indian Ocean, cause the Red Sea is too Holy to bear filthy ashes.

  6. whatever you say makes it clear to Eritreans that you are enemy of Eritrea Mr.BIGMOUTH

  7. The point is clear and I am sure it penetrated in your thick head. If you have anything to prove me wrong i am open to hear it. If you don't have none, then go and watch desperate house wives .

  8. I am disappointed that you can't see the similarities on how Hitler destroyed Europe and how HGDEF are destroying Eritrea. nikid Tray without knowing where we are heading.

  9. These assets were not Eritrean anyway. They were Italian assets owned by the fascist Italians. And yes, the British are number one thieves.

  10. Ato Barnabas thank you for a good article.
    The question is to sue or not to sue United Kingdom and USA?
    I am not sure why USA is implicated. I don't think it should.
    So do we have a convincing case and evidence against United Kingdom? YES
    Is it the right time to sue? NO
    Eri currently is are her weakest especially financially. Lawyers bill can be very expensive siphoning money that can be better used somewhere else as lawsuit victory is not guaranteed and may take years. Secondly, most of the time countries powerful countries only listen to you and respect you when you are powerful.
    Eg. 1. China was able to wrestle Hong Kong from United Kingdom in 1997, after over 100 years of British rule, when it started to become a powerful country.
    Eg 2. Japanese Americans who were placed in internment camp by US gov during world war 2 were able to get a compensation pay from US gov after Japan's and its people power reached its peak in the 1980's.
    So bros and sisters let us work very hard, educate ourselves to the highest level, invent, innovate and create a very prosperous eri. Then make a list of countries to sue, those who looted/pillaged and destroyed eri, in order to finally bring justice and in the process collect billions of dollars owned to us.
    I would not mess with the cemetery. Let the souls of the dead rest in peace. Front line lower enlisted British soldiers are not the enemy. They are also a victims of British elite. The elite such as kings/queens/prime ministers/members of parliament/generals are the ones that come up with evil plans. The foot soldiers are expendable tools like objects who take orders from the elite or else get severely punished.

  11. I think you have strong hate to wards tegadelti and the 1990 event which birth the Eritrean independence.
    You try to be Eritrean on other hand you hate Eritrean
    Those you mentioned tegadelti they are our brothers & sisters fathers.
    What are trying to tell us?
    Is that you born unplanned from Amhara solidier or tigrayan so you confuse which way to go
    Honestly go to sycologist they will help you what ever sykness you have to mentain your ground.

  12. There are bad apples and good apples. My apology for putting all apples in the same basket. The good apples slowly become powerless as the year went by. The bad apples are the one who slowly changed our norms, morals, and ethics. We become a loughing stk, from the proudest people in Africa. Our people are dying in deserts and their organs are trading in black market.
    Now Mr. Brother,what are you saying about that ???

  13. I accept your commnets but i wish you give a respect to the deseased hence they talk back!!!

  14. Z curse,
    you have a forked tongue, in one hand your are talking about respect and on the other hand you re belittling our sister! shall we call you a hypocrite or a sell out with nice words but coated in venome !!!!


  16. We understand the time to sue may not be now, but when the right time for suing comes, then using the British cemetery as a leverage is a must. The objective is to humiliate them on the international arena, to treat them as "terrorists" and "terrorist sponsoring nation(s)" for sending their armed thugs into our land and eventually to be buried. Play a dirty game with them as they are plying a nasty policy with us now.

    We have to make some noise on the media when the time comes and exploit the "cemetery card" to the max, and we may even inspire other movements elsewhere in the so called "Third World" through social media to do the same.

    I'm sure the British will feel the heat and pressure at their home from their people to do something about saving their "fallen thugs". This will be a "hot potato" they can not simply ignore or drink their way out of the situation at their local "pub".

    Remember what one British said in 1945 as he marched on our soil with his fellow thugs.... he stared down to an Eritrean mother and opened his filthy mouth to say "I didn't do it for you nigger". Well Mr. British thug, we the "niggers" will do to you what our "nigger" mother did not do to you in 1945.

    We will unearth the British cemetery at Keren, remove the remains of the 440+ British "terrorists" not soldiers that are buried there illegally without the permission of the Eritrean people or government and have their dirty remains in a trash-bag, and then have the British imperials government collect their filthy remains at $10,000,000,000 per one person's remains.

    Otherwise, we will bulldoze the cemetery and turn it into wasteland and burn their remains and flush their ashes down the toilet of a fishing boat into the Indian Ocean, cause the Red Sea is too Holy to bear filthy ashes. NO RESPECT NO MERCY TO ANYONE WHO FUCKS WITH ERITREA AND ERITREANS !!!!

  17. The 2.26 million pounds is equivalent to more than 8 million pounds in today's money if calculated at 2% of interest rate. It is over 17 million pounds at 3% of interest rate. Mind you, this calculation does not include what all that machinery could have produced and the re-investments that it could have made possible!

    Why did the British loot Eritrea? They may have claimed "war reparations," but have you ever heard this?

    እንግሊዝ ሲ ንስርቂ ራስያ ንሓሶት ከኣ ፖለቲካ ኢሎሞ! This was how Eritreans of the time saw it!

  18. Sexist! Whenever a woman opposes your outlandish statements, you tell her, go and ["W]atch [D]esperate [H]ouse [W]ives,"" "wait for your child support," "wait for your welfare check," and things of that sort! Then you talk about respect!

    You don't see how quickly jump to conclusions! People see a hypocrite, an arrogant know-it-all. One who claims to love his country, but has no qualms about telling its citizens that there is nothing to fight for, to give up, to surrender.

    Here is something to think about from the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius: "One who knows is one who knows that he/she does not know."


  20. You are confused stonehead. You do not even know where you stand. I am Eritrean and I always encourage my people for the little work well done. You are opposite of me. You love belittling, demoralising, my young generation and ask them to leave whatever they have to nowhere, encouraing them to endup as shark gourmage food. You are disrepecting our fallen heroes mothers and fathers who working hard to make their childrens dream come true, by building the country brick by brick. Tell me what have you done to help except bigmouthing from afar? You are born NEGATIVE and as woyane tool.what you do is discourage Eritreans.
    Nobody do that to my people from whatever the people (young as old) do hand on hand to build the country. Your nonesense would not stop us from that, keep barking from inside your ratehole, as if you save Eritrea from her own blood at home. You are belittling everybodies contribution and intelligence when you talk shit about everything Eritrean as if it is only you who know better about Eritrea and not a single Eritrean that is sweating day and night. Looser !
    Yes we will march forward to build our country, you like it or not ! Wedo Geba, Isepa, Nay Sirnay soldiers never stopped our fight and you will never discourage or dismantle me from my dedication. I do my utmost to contribute and help my people no matter what and NEVER SPIT DIRT ON THE COUNTRY THAT I LOVE FROM DEEP INSIDE MY HEART, NOR TO THE PEOPLE AS IF I DO BETTER THAN THEM LIKE YOU BLABBERING 24/7, SENEF !

  21. MelHasegna !
    kndi zHigiza bkhefer yHgiza bkhenfer tebahilu qedem.

  22. But it was built in our country by our people by our resources!

  23. Barnabas Araya YohannesJuly 28, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    Thank you folks. There is nothing that could make me happier than to see my writings well received. I'm very honored.

    In Asmara, you can hear a lot of radios from around the world with shortwave, medium wave, and long wave radio signals.

    During the Second World War, the British defeated the Italians in
    Eritrea. As soon as they reached Asmara, the Allied forces immediately found out the City’s vital importance in their strategies. Asmara is located on a top hill. When they finally reached Asmara (1941), for the first time, they started to hear the radio signals of their enemies.
    That’s when they decided to use Asmara to spy on their enemies with dishes. Asmara exposed all strategies of the Germans. From there, they followed every movement of the Germans and ambushed them unexpectedly.
    In October 1943, when the Nazis were bracing themselves for an
    anticipated Allied invasion of the European mainland, the unified armed forces of Germany (the Wehrmacht), gave the Japanese ambassador to Germany a tour of its defense lines. Boron Hiroshi Oshima’s long report
    giving priceless details to Germany’s military disposition, was radioed
    back to Tokyo. On the way, it was picked up by the Americans in Asmara.
    After the information was Decoded, it was immediately sent to General
    Eisenhower. That information was used to plan the Normandy landing.

    Using the information taken from Asmara, the Allied forces won their
    most conclusive battle of World War II. The war was fought with the
    largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the invasion
    of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French
    Republic, and contributed to the allied-forces' decisive victory of
    World War two (June 6, in 1944).

  24. Qomal I have nothing to say sahsah

  25. Thank you for posting this history! Let the Ethiopians learn what Eritrea used to be. The Ethiopians boasted that we are in capable of producing enough food or are not capable of preparing food, we learnt coffee preparation from them, the national dress is theirs etc etc. For me this is immaterial. Eritrea was the most civilized country of those days. Our forefathers were forced to leave their country and tried to modernize Ethiopia, restarted living again but Eritreans were deprived of many rights. To the extent a letter from the Emperor was written to watch Eritreans not to hold important positions. Eritreans were highly educated that time but very few were positioned! It was by the provocation of Ethiopians we were forced to war. The Weyane werar and deportation is the extension of their another evil deeds. Therefore we should try our best to minimize our differences and try to be competent to build our country, to teach our young what Eritrea was and to prepare them for the future responsibility 'hedri kebelu' Our focus should be how to shape up them.

  26. You mean like Badme is Eritrean but been stolen by woyane thugs, right?

  27. Two HIGDEF trolls are cursing each other lol.

  28. You talk like you are living in Eritrea ms. Welfare queen. It is easy to say what you said from where ever welfare office you are at. You want to build Eritrea brick by brick, go back and show me. I know you wouldn't do that and neither your kids. All your talk is garbage and empty. My stand is clear unlike yours who barks like a mad dog. I don't want any Eritrean to be a slave of the government. The law says 18 month of service and that is it. You can't hijack people's like forever like what they are doing now. Why don't you send your kids??? But you are happy to see someone's else kids to be slave for the government. Or why don't you go there and work for free??? As a woman you should be more sympathize to other women like yourself. But you are soul less, empty individual who barks like a mad dog. nay men dea Kitwesdi !
    Now go back to the welfare like!

  29. And there is a physics law that says . For every action, there is an equal and opposite action-reaction.
    So mrGasha, I was applying Newton 3rd law against Gual Ery that said I am Agame, Woyane, Sell out.

  30. And there is a physics law that says . For every action, there is an equal and opposite action-reaction.
    So Wedi Nakfa , I was applying Newton 3rd law against Gual Ery that said I am Agame, Woyane, Sell out.
    You respect someone when he/she show you respect. Have you ever seen me saying anything bad or disrespecting CaneLibero?? Despite our differences I have all love for him. When ever he replies he shows civility and politeness. I often disagree with him but I totally respect him.
    But this welfare queen doesn't deserve respect.
    Anyone is welcome to attack my opinion but not welcome to attack me personally.

  31. Hmmm let me ask you then- nimintay thigziyo aleki n Mengsti Eritra???

  32. Gual Erey kab Himrti EritreaJuly 28, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    You are born idiot to judge me without having a hint about me at all. I am in Eritrea together with my people. I have no any place to hide like you and your likes. I am confortable and do the job pleasantly together with all my people. The walfare is for you and your likes. My welfare is my home sweet home ERITREA!

  33. Hagerun hzbun sle zHageze, zeykemakha. nmen dia mo kHigiz? nAkha nay maEdo wereja? lol

  34. Kkkkk you are in Eritrea lol, I bet only you have a high speed Internet and electricity kkkkkk
    Last time I was in Eritrea, which is 2 weeks ago, there was no electricity in the country. Even when electricity is working, the Internet connection is slower than snail that would take you 10 min. To open you mail box. So tell me exactly where you are. I bet you are in Europe or US.
    Go back now to the line!

  35. Thanks Barnabas for filling in the details in the history. It deepens our understanding!

  36. You mean like the Weyane are number one thieves, right?

  37. Do you agree with the following statement??

    The logic is: before democracy development comes. It is not realistic. Development only comes by creating a democratic political atmospher. It is putting the cart before the horse to say "development before democracy"

  38. Thats what i mean, you are not Eritrean at all. You never been to Eritrea and never know how our land look like. You are self appointed warrior with no aim. Even our enemies make fun of you because you do not know where you belong.

  39. You got it right Gasha

  40. Kkkk Gual Adey, nski Eritrea bmaido iki Tfeltya. You are in comfort, watching desperate how wives, getting welfare check, raising your kids with tax money and enjoying life. I am sure you have been to Eritrea but not for more than 2 months. Vacation vacation vacation then go back to your comfort zone and bark like a mad dog. Do you know we are number one in exporting refuggees? Do you know we are number one in jailing religious leaders, journalists, free thinkers......
    Where are heroine such as Aster Fitshazion (Sheriffo's ex wife), Aster Petros Solomon? They are women like you with kids. As a woman you should fight for them. Their every human right is violated. Their kids are growing without mothers. Fighting for them supposed to be your job as a woman.
    I am sorry I hit your nerv.

  41. Two wrongs don't make right. Just because they mistreated our ancestors, it does not mean we have to mistreat them. An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. We are civilized people with the utmost ethical and moral standard. It is better and wise to take care of Britain's loot and pillage of eri in a court of law. We are law abiding people and we have good case with solid evidence. Also, you have to imagine what eri/ethio and the whole east Africa would have been like had the Italians remained there. All of eri/ethio and Somalia would still be in 2014 a colony of Italy. Therefore, the presence of brits in eri had unintentionally made a positive contribution regarding the elimination of Italy from the region.

  42. WhereIs Z Cruise,

    How much are the woyanes paying you for one night? Do you sleep with only one woyane
    in one night or you get to sleep with more of them? Do they know you are a guy? Are you now pregnant? Please tell me how everything happens. I couldn't wait!!!

  43. WhereIs Z Cruise,

    How much are the woyanes paying you for one night? Do you sleep with only one woyane in one night or you get to sleep with more of them? Do they know you are a guy?
    Please tell me how everything happens. I couldn't wait!!!

  44. Abraham - I think you are the abraham (in our neighborhood ) we used to call "affaf".
    Affaf, answer my simple questions
    1. Why don't we have electricity after 20 plus years of independenc?
    2. Why don't we have drinking water.....
    3. Why don't we have reliable Internet network....
    4. Why don't we have reliable air transportation
    5. Why don't we have proper public service...
    6. Why don't we have constitution....
    7. Why are our people immigrating all over the world through dangerous path
    8. Why don't we have elected government....
    The list goes on

    Now go back to line with your baby mama Gual Eray.

  45. are you out of your freaking mind ???????????? an eye for an eye works like a good medicine, if it wasn't for our AK47 and fearless vengeful heroes, your mother and sister would still be getting raped by Amhara/Agame today Mr.Unity. for "Eri still be Italian colony in 2014" if that was the case ... holy mother of god.... we would have been spared of the invasion by the Bantu niggers from the south (Agame/Amhara), we would have lived post WWII era without wars, spared from British looting, spared from all the hardship. We would have been protected as a colonial subject by Italy and EU and maintained the already existing and progressing infrastructure of our nation plus continuous development rather than bombardment and destruction by those illiterate niggers Agame/Amhara. Keep in mind, the Italians are NO angels but they built and invested on Eri like no one, but the British together with their niggers Agame/Amhara, they looted and turned our land and lives into living HELL... even now. So dude.... please do not post this bull shit crap lecture on this website. Dude ... you're on some kind of shit drug.

  46. cruse,
    You are a lazy fuck, woman like. You must have a mix blood. You are one of those people when your friend is weak you would attack him yourself, basterd!
    You are talking as if you can run Eritrea better. Eritrea has an astute nation, but you are not one of them. We will make sure that you behave yourself.

  47. Where is Z Cruise is telling you the truth. Million, the TRUTH HURTS DOESN'T IT? CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE? ONCE ONLY ONCE PLEASE? ERI IS RUN BY MORONS, HARDHEADED, CORRUPT AND SADISTIC FOOLS. That is what bro, Where is Z Cruise, is telling you. Can you answer any of his questions or you are unable because you are retarded and clueless like you stupid MASTERS.

  48. Bro Fadayeen. Thanks for the reply. How did you know that I am on "some kind of shit drug." You must be a psychic. I am on MIND/BODY/SOUL damaging drug called KHAT exported to me by DEVIL ethio gov, THE ONLY GOV ON EARTH THAT ENRICHES ITSELF BY EXPORTING ILLEGAL DRUG. Can you imagine how angrily the world leaders and people will react if tomorrow either Columbia and/or Mexico declare that starting tomorrow they will export COCAINE, MIND/BODY/SOUL damaging drug. Why is there no outrage at Ethio gov.
    You said:
    "Had Eri still being Italian Colony in 2014, we would have been spared of invasion by the bantu niggers, we would have lived post WW II era without wars, spared from Brit's looting, and spared from all the hardship."
    Regarding bantu niggers, it also includes you, myself and I.
    I agree we would have been spared invasion by over neighbors south of border and brits loot. However, would not have been spared from hardship.
    2. Eri independence would not have been possible. How are you enjoying 23 years of ERI independence? I PARTICULARLY LIKE THE 24/7 FESTIVAL B/C ERI IS THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY AND HOME OF FREE AND BRAVE.

  49. Dude.... don't want to waste my time on retard and pointless chat with you. ...and speak for your self when you identify your self with "Bantu" tribe, cause I'm not... you don't even know me at all.. and apparently you don't know the history of Eritrea or its gene pool. So that said.... let's put our discussion to rest.

  50. You are telling millions/billions of people who surf the internet that you RATHER BE A SLAVE THAN BE FREE. You are bragging that your #1 aspiration in life is to be OWNED, like a piece of property, by an ITALIAN MASTER. SLAVE/PROPERTY Fadayeen, do you also want your kids and spouse to be SLAVES of your MASTER? They will be as long as they reside inside an Italian colonized Eri. That means no education for your kids and daily rape of your wife by your master while you watch and sing the song, "MY MASTER IS MY GOD AND I EXIST IN THIS WORLD IN ORDER TO SERVE HIS NEEDS, WISH, FANTASY AND SADISTIC DESIRES. PERIOD. LONG LIVE MASTER and MADAM SALVATORE MARCONI.

  51. Say what you want about the Italians. They left behind an incredible amount of infrastructure throughout Eritrea. The criminal British 'caretaker' government had no right to remove or destroy any of it. The result was that the potential growth of the country was retarded for decades. They still suffer because of it.


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