University of Minnesota

Bibliography: Human Rights in the African Context.


The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3/Rev.5 (1981), reprinted in 21 I.L.M. 58 (1982), entered into force Oct. 21, 1986.

Documents of the Organization of African Unity (Gino J. Naldi ed., 1992).
[London; New York: Mansell, 246 pp. Contains several important human rights documents including the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, 1982 African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, 1988 Rules of Procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, and 1990 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.]

The International Law of Human Rights in Africa: Basic Documents and Annotated Bibliography (compiled by M. Hamalengwa et al., 1988).
[Dordrecht; Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 427 pp.]

U.N. Centre for Human Rights, The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, U.N. Doc. HR/PUB/90/1 (1990).
[New York: U.N. Centre for Hum. Rts., 51 pp. Contains the Charter and Rules of Procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. An annex contains a list of countries that have signed, ratified, or acceded to the Charter.]


Africa, Human Rights, and the Global System (Eileen McCarthy-Arnolds et al. eds., 1994).
[Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 272 pp. Discusses briefly human rights philosophy, introduces historical background concerning the evolution of human rights in pre-colonial and colonial Africa, and covers extensively national and international efforts to address human rights issues in Africa.]

T. Akinola Aguda, Human Rights and the Right to Development in Africa (1989).
[Lagos: Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, 34 pp.]

Richard Carver & Paul Hunt, National Human Rights Institutions in Africa, Occasional Paper No. 1 (1991).
[The Gambia: Afr. Centre for Democracy & Hum. Rts. Stud., 45 pp. Discussion of national human rights organizations in the Gambia, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zaire, and analysis of emerging efforts to address human rights issues in Africa. Appendix contains a directory of African national human rights institutions.]

Emerging Human Rights: The African Political Economy Context, Studies in Human Rights, Number 8 (George W. Shepherd, Jr. & Mark O.C. Anikpo eds., 1990).
[New York: Greenwood Press, 244 pp. Published under the auspices of the Consortium on Human Rights Development. Scholarly articles in part one discuss theories of human rights in the African context, dealing with such issues as the universality of human rights, underdevelopment, and theological perspectives on African human rights. Articles in part two discuss the link between human rights violations and several issues including development, equality, and justice, militarization, refugees, feminism, and self-reliance.]

Osita C. Eze, Human Rights in Africa: Some Selected Problems (1984).
[Lagos: Published by the Nigerian Inst. of Int'l Affairs in cooperation with Macmillan Nigeria Publishers, 314 pp. Treats human rights theory and examines human rights situations in pre-colonial and colonial Africa, and in independent African states. Discusses self-determination, racial discrimination and apartheid, women's rights, refugee issues, and regional promotion and protection of human rights. Appendices include OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, Monrovia Proposal for the Setting Up of an African Commission on Human Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.]

Rhoda E. Howard, Human Rights in Commonwealth Africa (1986).
[Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Littlefield, 250 pp. Discusses various aspects of African human rights, including economic, communal, political, civil, and women's rights.]

Human Rights and Development in Africa 152-76 (Claude E. Welch, Jr. & Ronald I. Meltzer eds., 1984).
[Albany, N.Y.: State University of N.Y. Press, 349 pp. Discusses general human rights issues in contemporary Africa, regional responses including the work of NGOs and the Banjul Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, and presents several views on the "right to development" and self-determination. Appendices contain the Banjul Charter, a summary of basic human rights guaranteed in the Charter and other major human rights treaties, and a list of major African human rights conferences held between 1961-81. Bibliography also included.]

Human Rights and Governance in Africa (Ronald Cohen et al. eds., 1993)
[Gainesville, Fla.: University Press of Fla., 285 pp. Part I contains scholarly articles that present several theoretical approaches to human rights in Africa, and Part II contains scholarly articles that discuss substantive human rights issues including women's rights, refugees, minority rights, education, and academic freedom.]

Human Rights in Africa: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (Abdullahi Ahmed An- Na`im & Francis M. Deng eds., 1990).
[Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 399 pp. Discusses African human rights in the context of various conceptions of international human rights, including traditional "western" perspectives, Christian and Muslim perspectives, several African cultural perspectives, and cross-cultural perspectives.]

Human Rights Watch, Academic Freedom and Human Rights Abuses in Africa, An Africa Watch Report (1991).
[New York: Human Rights Watch, 153 pp. Details human rights abuses committed against members of academic communities in Cameroon, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zaire, and Zimbabwe. Also presents recommendations for African governments, academics, organizations of academics, NGOs, donor governments, and UNESCO to take action that will "encourage the independence and autonomy of academic institutions and academic pursuits." An appendix lists detained African academics.]

International Commission of Jurists, How to Address a Communication to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (1992).
[Geneva: International Commission of Jurists, 16 pp. Provides a simple introduction to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, and step-by-step instructions for communicating with the Commission. An annex contains lists of states that have ratified the African Charter and members of the Commission, outlines rights guaranteed in the Charter, and provides procedural information concerning communication with the Commission.]

International Human Rights Internship Program & Swedish NGO Foundation for Human Rights, The Status of Human Rights Organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa (1994).
[Washington, D.C.: International Human Rights Internship Program-Institute of International Education, 230 pp. Extensive inventory of human rights organizations in sub-Saharan Africa compiled between November 1993 and March 1994. French language version also available.]

The Organization of African Unity, 1963-1988: a Role Analysis and Performance Review (R.A. Akindele ed., 1988).
[Ibadan, Nigeria: Vantage Pub., 358 pp.]

The Organization of African Unity after Thirty Years (Yassin El-Ayouty ed., 1994).
[Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group, 216 pp. Assesses OAU efforts in such areas as peacekeeping and conflict resolution, regional promotion of human rights, refugees, and environmental issues. Also discusses OAU relations with other organizations, and assesses the OAU's future.]

Fatsah Ouguergouz, La Charte africaine des droits de l'homme et des peuples: Une approche juridique des droits de l'homme entre tradition et modernité (1993).
[Geneva: Publications de l'institut universitaire de hautes études internationales, 479 pp. French language text. Part one examines historical human rights problems in Africa and the processes out of which the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights was created. Part two discusses the Charter's material content, examining provisions for individual and peoples' rights, and individual duties, as well as the juridical implications of the absence of a derogation clause. Part three examines the Charter's institutional provisions, dealing with the organization, functions, and procedures of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, and the related roles of the OAU. Annexes contain the Charter, interior and procedural rules of the Commission, participation of African states in principle international human rights instruments, and a model for communication to the Commission.]

Chris Maina Peter, Human Rights in Africa: A Comparative Study of the African Human and Peoples' Rights Charter and the New Tanzanian Bill of Rights (1990).
[Westport, Conn.; New York: Greenwood Press. Published under the auspices of the Consortium on Human Rights Development, 145 pp. Provides a brief historical background and an extensive comparison of the Tanzanian Bill of Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. Bases for comparison include rights and freedoms, individual obligations, and enforcement mechanisms provided for in the two instruments. Appendices contain the New Tanzanian Bill of Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, Composition of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a summary of rights, freedoms, duties and obligations under the Tanzanian Bill of Rights, the African Charter, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and a table of relevant cases and statutes.]

S.E.M. Pheko, South Africa: Betrayal of a Colonised People, Issues of International Human Rights Law (1990).
[London: ISAL Publications, 161 pp. Provides historical background concerning British colonialism in South Africa, challenges the notion of international law as the "law of civilized nations," and examines both recognition of international law in relation to South Africa and violations of international law in South Africa.]

Nasila S. Rembe, The System of Protection of Human Rights Under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights: Problems and Prospects (1991).
[Lesotho: Inst. of S. Afr. Stud., Nat'l University of Lesotho, 53 pp.]

Albie Sachs, Protecting Human Rights in a New South Africa (1990).
[Cape Town; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 208 pp.]

Issa G. Shivji, The Concept of Human Rights in Africa (1989)
[London: Council for the Development of Economic and Social Research in Africa (CODRESIA Book Series), 126 pp. Discusses several human rights approaches, including universalization, theorization, prioritization, and promotion, prevention, and exposition; also critiques "dominant" human rights ideologies such as philosophical idealism and political nihilism, and proposes a "revolutionary" human rights framework based on the right to self-determination and to organize.]

South Africa: Human Rights and the Rule of Law (Geoffrey Bindman ed., 1988).
[London; New York: Pinter Publishers, 159 pp. Discusses the status -- under Apartheid -- of human rights sub-sets including freedom of movement, speech, association, and assembly, as well as education and access to the professions. Also examines human rights in relation to national institutions such as trade unions, the judicial system, the security system, and the political structure.]

Lorenzo S. Togni, The Struggle for Human Rights: an International and South African Perspective (1994).
[Kenwyn: Juta, 295 pp.]

U.N. Dep't of Pub. Info., The United Nations and Apartheid, 1948-1994, U.N. Sales No. E.95.I.7 (1994).
[New York: U.N. Dep't of Pub. Info., 565 pp. In section one Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali chronicles the U.N.'s historical dealings with the issue of Apartheid in South Africa between 1948-94. Section two contains chronologies of events in South Africa and U.N. conferences and seminars on South Africa, a bibliography of related U.N. documents, and 221 full or annotated texts including General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, reports of Secretaries-General, the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, the Freedom Charter of the African National Congress, and statements by South African President Nelson Mandela and other prominent figures.]

Claude E. Welch, Jr., Protecting Human Rights in Africa: Strategies and Roles of Non-Governmental Organizations (1995).
[Philadelphia, Penn.: University of Pennsylvania Press, 356 pp. Part I provides a backdrop for the entire work by describing human rights situations in Ethiopia, Namibia, Nigeria, and Senegal, and discussing strategies with which non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promote and protect human rights in Africa. Part II presents examples of successful employment of the strategies discussed in Part I, including efforts of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, the Oromo Liberation Front, the Mouvement Démocratique des Forces Casamançais, and the Legal Assistance Center. Part III assesses the future of African Human Rights NGOs and proposes that NGOs expand their impact to areas such as development and documentation of human rights problems.


Akwasi Aidoo, Africa: Democracy Without Human Rights?, 15 Hum. Rts. Q. 703-15 (1993).

Bård-Anders Andreassen et al., Assessing Human Rights Performance in Developing Countries: The Case for a Minimal Threshold Approach to the Economic and Social Rights, in Human Rights in Developing Countries 1987/88: A Yearbook on Human Rights in Countries Receiving Nordic Aid 333-55 (Bård-Anders Andreassen & Asbjorn Eide eds., 1988).
[Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag. Prepared by a Project Group with participation from Chr. Michelson Inst., Danish Center of Hum. Rts., and Norwegian Inst. of Hum. Rts., 372 pp.]

Evelyn Ama Ankumah, Universality of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, in Universaliteit van Mensrenrechten 25-38 (1992).
[Leiden: Stichting NJCM-Boekerij, 73 pp. The sole English language contribution contained in the proceedings of a 1990 conference held in Maastrict.]

Alice Armstrong et al., Uncovering Reality: Excavating Women's Rights in African Family Law, 7 Int'l J. L. & Fam. 314-69 (1993).

Wolfgang Benedek, The African Charter and Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights: How to Make it More Effective, 1 Netherlands Q.H.R. 25-40 (1993).

Lynn Berat, Prosecuting Human Rights Violators from a Predecessor Regime: Guidelines for a Transformed South Africa, 13 B.C. Third World L.J. 199-231 (1993).

Nana Kusi Appea Busia, Jr., The Status of Human Rights in Pre- Colonial Africa: Implications for Contemporary Practices, in Africa, Human Rights, and the Global System 225-50 (Eileen McCarthy- Arnolds et al. eds., 1994).
[Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 272 pp. Examines the structures and social forces of pre-colonial Africa and their role in shaping the protection and violation of human rights in contemporary African states.]

Richard Carver, How African Governments Investigate Human Rights Violations, 1988 Third World Legal Stud. 161-83 (1988).

Francis M. Deng, The Challenge of the African Experience, in Protecting the Dispossessed: A Challenge for the International Community 109- 20 (1993).
[Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 175 pp.]

John Dugard, Human Rights, Humanitarian Law and the South African Conflict, 2 Harv. Hum. Rts. Y.B. 101-10 (1989).

Jan Egeland, Strengthening the First Line of Defence: Third World Human Rights Groups, in Human Rights in Developing Countries 1987/88: A Yearbook on Human Rights in Countries Receiving Nordic Aid 303- 16 (Bård-Anders Andreassen & Asbjorn Eide eds., 1988).
[Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag. Prepared by a Project Group with participation from Chr. Michelson Inst., Danish Center of Hum. Rts., and Norwegian Inst. of Hum. Rts., 372 pp.]

Cees Flinterman & Evelyn Ankumah, The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, in Guide to International Human Rights Practice 159-69 (Hurst Hannum ed., 2d ed. 1992).
[Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pa. Press, 308 pp. Edited for the Procedural Aspects of International Law Institute in collaboration with the International Human Rights Law Group.]

Alan Goldfarb, A Kenyan Wife's Right to Bury Her Husband: Applying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 14 ILSA J. Int'l L. 1-21 (1990).

John Hatchard, Reporting Under International Human Rights Instruments by African Countries, 38 J. Afr. L. 61-63 (1994).

Rhoda E. Howard, Is there an African concept of human rights?, in Foreign Policy and Human Rights: Issues and Responses 11-32 (R.J. Vincent ed., 1986).
[Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 283 pp.]

Mark R. Hutchinson, Restoring Hope: U.N. Security Council Resolutions for Somalia and an Expanded Doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention, 34 Harv. Int'l L.J. 624-40 (1993).

Richard N. Kiwanuka, Developing Rights: The U.N. Declaration on the Right to Development, 35 Netherlands Int'l L. Rev. 257-72 (1988).

Richard N. Kiwanuka, Note, The Meaning of "People" in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, 82 Am. J. Int'l L. 80-101 (1988).

Winston Langley, The Rights of Women, the African Charter, and the Economic Development of Africa, 7 B.C. Third World L.J. 215-21 (1987).

Sakah S. Mahmud, The State and Human Rights in Africa in the 1990s: Perspectives and Prospects, 15 Hum. Rts. Q. 485-98 (1993).
[Revision of paper delivered at the Conference on Africa and Global Human Rights, "A Conference in Honor of George W. Shepherd and Edward Hawley."]

Mahmood Mamdani, The Social Basis of Consitutionalism in Africa, 28 J. Mod. Afr. Stud. 359-74 (1990).

Ali A. Mazrui, Comment Africa: In Search of Self-Pacification, 93 Afr. Aff. 39-42 (1994).

Ziyad Motala, Human Rights in Africa: a Cultural, Ideological, and Legal Examination, 12 Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 373-410 (1989).

Makau wa Mutua, The Banjul Charter and the African Cultural Fingerprint: an Evaluation of the Language of Duties, 35 Va. J. Int'l L. 339-80 (1995).

Makau wa Mutua, The African Human Rights System in a Comparative Perspective: the Need for Urgent Reformulation, 5 Legal F. 31 (1993).

Winston P. Nagan, African Human Rights Process: a Contextual Policy-Oriented Approach, 21 Sw. U. L. Rev. 63-103 (1992).

Ved P. Nanda, Civil War in Liberia: A Reexamination of the Doctrine of Nonintervention, in Africa, Human Rights, and the Global System 61-80 (Eileen McCarthy-Arnolds et al. eds., 1994).
[Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 272 pp.]

Stephen C. Neff, Human Rights in Africa: Thoughts on the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights in the Light of Case Law from Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, 33 Int'l & Comp. L.Q. 331-47 (1984).

Ronald Thandabantu Nhlapo, International Protection of Human Rights and the Family: African Variations on a Common Theme, 3 Int'l J. L. & Fam. 1-20 (1989).

Peter Nobel, The Concept of `Peoples' in the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, in Refugees and Development in Africa 9-18 (Peter Nobel ed., 1987).
[Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 121 pp.]

Kathryn Nwajiaku, The National Conferences in Benin and Togo Revisited, 32 J. Mod. Afr. Stud. 429-47 (1994).
[Discussing the Conférences nationales held in Benin from 19-28 February 1990 and in Togo from 8 July to 28 August 1991.]

Joe Oloka-Onyango, Beyond the Rhetoric: Reinvigorating the Struggle for Economic and Social Rights in Africa, 27 Cal. W. Int'l L.J. (forthcoming 1997).

Joe Oloka-Onyango, Constitutional Transition in Musveni's Uganda: New Horizons or Another False Start?, 39 J. Afr. L. (forthcoming 1995).

Joe Oloka-Onyango & Sylvia Tamale, "The Personal is Political," or Why Women's Rights are Indeed Human Rights: An African Perspective on International Feminism, 17 Hum. Rts. Q. 691 (1995).

Joe Oloka-Onyango, The Place and the Role of the OAU Bureau for Refugees in the African Refugee Crisis, 6 Int'l J. Refugee L. 34-52 (1994).

Joe Oloka-Onyango, The Plight of the Larger Half: Human Rights, Gender Violence and the Legal Status of Refugee and Internally Displaced Women in Africa, 24 Den. J. Int'l L. (forthcoming 1996).

Joe Oloka-Onyango, Police Powers, the State and Human Rights in Kenya and Uganda: A Comparative Analysis, Third World Legal Stud.- 1990 1-36 (1990).

Francis Regan, Legal Resources Development in Uganda, 22 Int'l J. Soc. L. 203-21 (1994).

Medard R. Rwelamira, Editorial, Two Decades of the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of the Refugee Problem in Africa, 1 Int'l J. Refugee L. 557-61 (1989).

B. Rwezaura, The Concept of the Child's Best Interests in the Changing Economic and Social Context of Sub-Saharan Africa, 8 Int'l J. L. & Fam. 82-116 (1994).

Malcolm Shaw, International Law and Intervention in Africa, 8 Int'l Rel. 341-67 (1984).

George W. Shepherd, Jr., The Denial of the Right to Food: Development and Intervention in Africa, 15 Cal. W. Int'l L.J. 528- 41 (1985).

Ibrahim F.I. Shihata, The World Bank and Human Rights: An Analysis of the Legal Issues and the Record of Achievements, 17 Denv. J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 39-66 (1988).

Sigrun I. Skogly, Structural Adjustment and Development: An Agenda for Change, 15 Hum. Rts. Q. 751-78 (1993).

Anton J. Steenkamp, The South African Constitution of 1993 and the Bill of Rights: an Evaluation in Light of International Human Rights Norms, 17 Hum. Rts. Q. 101-26 (1995).

Julia Swanson, The Emergence of New Rights in the African Charter, 12 N.Y.L. Sch. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 307-33 (1991).

Sylvia Tamale, Law Reform and Women's Rights in Uganda, 1 E. Afr. J. Peace & Hum. Rts. 164-94 (1993).

Katarina Tomasevski, The World Bank and Human Rights, in Human Rights in Developing Countries 1989: A Yearbook on Human Rights in Countries Receiving Aid from the Nordic Countries, the Netherlands and Canada 75-102 (Manfred Nowak & Theresa Swinehart eds., 1989).
[Kehl; Strasbourg: N.P. Engel. Prepared by a Project Group with participation from the Norwegian Inst. of Hum. Rts.; comp. by human rights institutes in Norway, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Canada, 449 pp.]

Jennifer L. Turner, Note, Liberian Refugees: A Test of the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, 8 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 281-301 (1994).

David Weissbrodt & Georgina Mahoney, International Legal Action Against Apartheid, 4 Law & Ineq. J. 485-508 (1986).

Claude E. Welch, Jr., Human Rights and African Women: a Comparison of Protection Under Two Major Treaties, 15 Hum. Rts. Q. 549-74 (1993).
[Consideration of the Banjul Charter and the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.]

Claude E. Welch, Jr., The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights: A Five-year Report and Assessment, 14 Hum. Rts. Q. 43-61 (1992).

Auwalu H. Yadudu, Colonialism and the Transformation of Islamic Law in the Northern States of Nigeria, 32 J. Legal Pluralism & Unofficial Law 103-39 (1992).


Africa Report (1960- ).
[New York: African-American Inst., (vol. 5- , no. 10- , 1960- ). Continues Africa Special Report (vol. 1- , 1956- ).]

Africa Today (1954- ).
[Denver: Africa Today Associates, (vol. 1- , 1954- ), quarterly as of 1975.]

African Human Rights Newsletter (1990- ).
[K.S.M.D., The Gambia: Afr. Centre for Democracy and Hum. Rts. Stud., (vol. 1- , no. 1- , 1990- ). Each issue contains both English and French language text. French language version presented under separate title: Bulletin africain des droits de l'homme.]

African Journal of International and Comparative Law (1989- ).
[London: Afr. Soc'y of Int'l and Comp. L., (vol. 1- , pt. 1- , 1989- ). Also published as Revue africaine de droit international et compare.]

The African Journal of International Law (1988- ).
[London: Int'l Soc'y of Afr. Lawyers, (vol. 1- , no. 1- , 1988- ), semiannual.]

African Yearbook of International Law (1993- ).
[Dordrecht; Boston: Martinus Nijhoff; Norwell, Mass.: Sold and distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Kluwer Academic Publishers, (vol. 1- , 1993- ), annual. Also published as Annuaire africain de droit international.]

East African Journal of Peace & Human Rights (1993- ).
[Kampala, Uganda: Makerere University, Hum. Rts. and Peace Centre, (vol. 1- , no. 1- , 1993- ), semiannual.]

HRC Monthly Report (1994- ).
[Braamfontein, South Africa: Hum. Rts. Committee of S. Afr., (1994- ).]

Human Rights Watch, Africa.
[Washington, D.C.: Hum. Rts. Watch/Africa. Continues Africa Watch Newsletter.]

Journal of African Law (1957- ).
[London: School of Oriental and Afr. Stud., University of London, (vol. 1- , 1957- ), semiannual as of 1977.]

South African Journal on Human Rights (1985- ).
[Braamfontein, South Africa: Ravan Press, (vol. 1- , pt. 1- , 1985- ), three issues yearly.]

South African Yearbook of International Law (1975- ).
[Pretoria, South Africa: VerLoren van Themaat Centre for Int'l L., (vol. 1- , 1975- ). Also published as Suid-Afrikaanse jaarboek vir volkereg.]

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