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The Late “Dr.” Evans Monari: Tribute to a Legendary Litigation Lawyer

Evans was recognized as a “senior and prominent” advocate and “a result-oriented and natural leader.”

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The Late Evans Monari, Senior Disputes and Arbitrations Partner, Bowmans.

Evans Monari was neither the richest lawyer, nor the most famous lawyer, in Kenya: He was simply one of the best lawyers who have ever practiced law in Kenya, one who was most admired, in court and out of court, as a counsel blessed with a most personable demeanor and who, despite his obvious and undeniable success, carried himself with a rare air of humility, uncommon among storied lawyers of our generation. Ranked amongst the top 25 dispute resolution lawyers in Kenya by Chambers Global 2021, it shall never be in doubt that, in his 34 years of excellent bar-raising legal practice, Evans earned his place at the very top of the noble profession in Kenya and beyond. He was described as a “very able man” who provided a “very professional service and expertise.”

The World Leading Lawyer Ranking Directory, Chambers & Partners, variously acclaimed Evans as a Lawyer who was “an established presence in the Kenyan legal community,” a “strong presence in the courtroom,” “valued by clients for his strategic approach” and “instructed on a range of high-profile litigations and arbitrations.” He was recognized as a “senior and prominent” advocate who was “a result-oriented and natural leader,” and a “popular choice of counsel in issues of constitutional and judicial significance.” As the Senior Disputes and Arbitrations Partner at Bowmans, The Legal 500 in 2021, noted Evans Monari was “at the forefront of constitutional and judicial review cases.”

In his legendary litigation career, Evans was noted for, acting on behalf of the Government of Kenya in international arbitration proceedings filed at ICSID by a foreign investor for damage due to revocation of an energy contract with Freshfields Bruckhaus and Deringer as co-counsel. He also acted for Strabag International GMBH Limited in a breach of a construction contract case. He successfully represented AVIC International in a challenge seeking to halt the development of Nairobi’s largest mixed use skyscraper project. He also was the Lead Defense Counsel at the International Criminal Court in respect of Gen. Hussein Mohammed and later joined the Defence of H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya.

Indeed, Evans Monari was the proverbial lawyer whose gift made room for him and brought him before great men. As testament of his greatness and astuteness in litigation, Evans counted the incumbent President among his many repeat clients. As if to justify why, despite having the best of lawyers at his beck and call, he kept going back to Evans for legal counsel and representation, the Head of State President H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta described him on his passing as “one of our country’s leading lawyers who distinguished himself as a dependable resource as seen from his successes.” The Deputy President, H.E. Dr. William Ruto, added that “Evans Monari was a farsighted visionary lawyer with Supreme knowledge of the Constitution and the law.”

Hon Justice Martha Koome, Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, mourned Evans: “I have known Evans for the last 38 years since we met as first year law students at the University of Nairobi…In Evans, lay this gallant and astute lawyer, who represented the high, the mighty and even the poor who consulted him, with equal measure of care and professionalism… one of our best lawyers who contributed immensely by mentoring upcoming lawyers and was a great model.” Supreme Court Judge, Justice Njoki Ndung’u added that Evans was “a good person [who was] always smiling through thick and thin… a true and trusted friend.”

Former Prime Minister of Kenya Raila Odinga against whom Evans represented the President and his Deputy in two Presidential Election Petitions said “Counsel Monari was a man with a brilliant mind, a generous heart and a lively spirit” who had an “illustrious legal career.” Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i noted Evans as “an active and vibrant lawyer who distinguished himself in an impressive career.” Senate Minority Leader and Senior Counsel Senator James Orengo said with the passing of Evans, “the legal fraternity had an illustrious and dedicated professional.” Former Majority Leader Senator Kipchumba Murkomen termed Evans A brilliant lawyer. A mentor to many. A gentle soul.”

Prominent Lawyer and Evans best friend, Donald B. Kipkorir, Managing Partner of KTK Advocates, gushed: “Evans Monari, Dr. Evans Monari as we called him… was a giant in every sense: Super clever, Humorous, Generous, Humble.” The Publisher of the Nairobi Law Monthly and Former President of LSK, Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi confessed: “Fresh from Law School, Evans Monari took me under his wings and introduced me to Legal practice 101. Great Soul, a great human being…” Former JSC Commissioner Prof. Tom Ojienda, a friend of Evans, called him a legal titan.” Stanford Moyo, President of International Bar Association, described Evans as “a brilliant lawyer, a good man and a friend.

LSK Vice President Caroline Kamende hailed Evans as “A legal icon …An astute legal mind. An amiable person, friend and a mentor to many.” Lawyer Mary Wangari, Group Executive Director, Equity Group Holdings, called him A fine lawyer and gentleman.” Chacha Odera, Senior Partner at Oraro & Company, noted: “Evans will be remembered as an amiable and great lawyer. He will be immortalized by his contribution to the legal profession.” Joseph Githaiga, Head of Legal & Regulatory Compliance, PwC Kenya “Evans was known for his intelligence, wit and flair …a friend and mentor to many in the legal profession.” Africa PE (Private Equity) News said “Evans was a gallant and astute legal practitioner.” Jacqueline Lule, Legal Officer, United Nations said:Glad to have known and worked with you. Casual, unfussy brilliance at its best.” Dr. Muthomi Thiankolu, Partner at Muthomi & Karanja Advocates, summed Evans as a legal legend.”

The towering humility of Evans Monari is borne out in the heartfelt commiseration of his former pupils and juniors. Ibrahim Godofa, a current Trainee Lawyers at Bowmans, Kenya who enjoyed the tutelage of Evans most recently underscored his humility: “Many have mentioned how humble Evans was. I will fondly remember every moment at numerous arbitration conferences when he would take some time, lean in and hear me out – often followed by great nuggets of a practitioner’s wisdom. I was just a naive student then but I doubt whether that made any difference to him.”

Director of Public Policy-Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) at MasterCard, George Owuor, a former Pupil of Evans Monari, added that he was “a guiding light starting from pupillage and have continued to be a valued and dependable friend in this journey of life” Sean Omondi, Partner at Ronn Law Advocates LLP, who worked under Evans for 16 years at Daly & Figgis (now CMS Daly Inamdar) and Bowmans eulogized him in these words: “You gave and shared consistently without tiring – time, friendship, happiness, wit, laughter, opportunities, resources, connections, solutions… name it. You were always willing to sacrifice something for someone else’s comfort…You treated many of us as equals even though you were miles ahead and head and shoulders above the rest of us. You forgave and forgot whenever you were let down. You always seemed to see the bigger picture.”

The good humour of Evans Monari is what saw him collect the title of “Doctor” when his friend, the Former Attorney General, Senior Counsel Githu Muigai, became a professor, only to end up sticking with it. He also had the gift of the gab which made him the natural choice for master of ceremony at many functions. According to a colleague, one of the hilarious jokes in Evans’s repertoire was about “the fruitful (pun intended) discussions” at the diplomatic meeting in the 1980s between a representative of the Government of Kenya, Cabinet Minister Mukasa Mango and the then Zimbabwean Head of State President Canaan Banana.

Born in 20th October, 1962, Evans Monari graduated from the University of Nairobi with Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) in 1986, completed his diploma in Law from Kenya School of Law in 1987 and joined Kaplan & Stratton for his pupilage under the tutelage of Senior Counsel Pheroze Nowrojee. Later, he joined the firm of Oraro and Rachier Advocates (which has since split into two iconic law firms) and later worked at Simani & Co. Advocates, Mboya Advocates, State Law Office and briefly at the Museum of Kenya. Then, Evans joined others to form Sunkuli, Ogetto & Monari Advocates from where he joined Daly & Figgis as a Partner at the turn of the Millennium. Lastly, Evans joined Bowmans and served as the Senior Disputes and Arbitration Partner, till his demise.

Richard Harney, Founding Partner of Coulson Harney (Bowmans, Kenya), highlighted the contribution of Evans at Bowmans: “Evans nurtured our young lawyers, worked alongside our lawyers, and gave confidence to our partners that with him on our side, things will go well.” Paras Shah, Managing Partner of Bowmans Kenya, added: “Daktari, you were a legend. You have left an indelible mark on the legal profession and on your law firm …You lit up our offices. You inspired us. You led us. You strengthened us.” Ezra Davids, Chairman and Senior Partner at Bowmans, concluded: “Go well Evans! You have left your mark. Thank you for sharing your great talent with us as your colleagues, and with our clients. We are eternally grateful.

Lawyers

Njoki Mboce: I am Members Project for LSK President

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By Njoki Mboce for LSK President 2024-2026 Team

Today, LSK faces an existential threat from those who seek to compromise its mandate by aligning with the regime in ongoing attempts to undermine the place of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and erode the Rule of Law. This has the potential to regress the country to a state of impunity and dictatorship reminiscent of the past.

In such turbulent times, the LSK requires a leader who is resolute, decisive, and impartial. Harriet Njoki Mboce is this suitable leader, with a firm reputation, who will speak Truth to power in the face of encroaching dictatorship.

The actions of a candidate are a mirror of who they are, and what they will be in office. If a candidate wants the office at all costs, and abuses members’ trust to get there, they will have no integrity while in office. Harriet Njoki Mboce is unequivocally the LSK Members’ project. Boldly and firmly acting to defend Independence of the BAR, institutions, and the Rule of Law, she has maintained this commitment throughout her campaigns for President of LSK. This offers a strong basis to fearlessly champion members’ interests and protect the BAR from capture by the State and unscrupulous cartels.

Growing up, I dreamt of being a Navy Officer. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would one day be seeking the Presidency of an organisation previously led by impeccable names such as SC Gibson Kamau Kuria, SC Pheroze Nowrojee, SC Paul Muite, SC Hon Dr. Willy Mutunga (CJ Emeritus) and SC Raychelle Omamo, among others. It has taken resilience and a high dose of firm, and bold commitment to get here.

LSK requires a leader to withstand the pressure within and without, and to take the heat on behalf of the membership, whenever the Country and the Society’s living tenets come under threat. This resilience as a quality in the President of LSK enables me in a big way to see the wider horizon of the environment we operate in, to prepare for the storms and to boldly and firmly focus and act on our bigger mandate.

Come elections day, 29th February, 2024, I invite members to ask themselves: Which candidate shows real signs that they will not be corrupted, will run an accountable organisation and will sustain the moral and probity to place the LSK on a path of Independence? I humbly seek your vote to bring this desire home. Please vote for the Member’s project, Harriet Njoki Mboce, HSC for President of The Law Society of Kenya (2024-2026)

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Way Forward in Ensuring Just Transition in Climate Justice

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By Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, C.Arb, FCIArb is a Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution at the University of Nairobi, Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration, Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Respected Sustainable Development Policy Advisor, Top Natural Resources Lawyer, Highly-Regarded Dispute Resolution Expert and Awardee of the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) of Kenya by H.E. the President of Republic of Kenya. He is The African ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, The African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, ADR Practitioner of the Year in Kenya 2021, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and Author of the Kenya’s First ESG Book: Embracing Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) tenets for Sustainable Development” (Glenwood, Nairobi, July 2023) and Kenya’s First Two Climate Change Law Book: Combating Climate Change for Sustainability (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Achieving Climate Justice for Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023) and Promoting Rule of Law for Sustainable Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024)*

In order to embrace just transition, it is imperative to build a climate resilient and integrated sustainable energy sector in Africa and other regions which are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It has been observed that Africa has rich energy and mineral resources including lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel, copper, and rare earth minerals all of which provide new market opportunities for the green transition. This coupled with the Continent’s renewable energy potential means that Africa has the capacity to achieve just transition to an equitable and inclusive low-carbon future.

It has correctly been observed that Africa has immense potential for renewable energy including wind, solar, hydro, bioenergy, ocean tidal waves, geothermal among other renewables. It has been pointed out that in order to ensure delivery of global climate change mitigation goals, developing countries will need to drive investment towards building a renewable energy infrastructure that can serve their populations into the future and not drive further climate breakdown.

A just transition promotes the shift towards renewable sources of energy and sustainable practices, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating the impacts of climate change. It is therefore important for developing countries to embrace just transition by promoting renewable sources of energy in order to achieve climate justice and energy justice. It is also essential to integrate just transition initiatives in national climate action plans and adaptation plans.

It has been observed that the importance of just transition is increasingly being recognized by governments worldwide as they cite just transition principles in their short- and long-term climate plans known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Long-Term Strategies (LTSs). Embedding just transition strategies within short and long term climate plans like NDCs and LTS, can help governments stay focused on the urgent task at hand of rapid decarbonization, while also striving for fair and inclusive outcomes.

In Kenya, the National Climate Change Action Plan enshrines the principles of just transition and seeks to foster an equitable and inclusive climate response which ensures an electricity supply mix based mainly on renewable energy that is resilient to climate change and promotes energy efficiency; encourage the transition to clean cooking that reduces the demand for biomass; and reduced exposure and vulnerability of the country, and especially of the poor and vulnerable groups, to climate disasters and shocks. It is therefore necessary for countries to incorporate just transition initiatives in their NDCs and LTSs in order to achieve efficient climate outcomes. This will demonstrate commitment towards achieving climate justice while securing public support for ambitious and stronger climate action.

Further, there is need to unlock and align climate finance with the idea of just transition. It has been argued that governments have an obligation to mobilize sustainable, affordable, predictable and long-term finance from public and private, domestic and international sources, and aligning public and private financial flows and public procurement to the objectives of a just transition. According to the UNFCCC, increased climate finance is needed to effectively address the challenges and seize the opportunities of just transitions in country-specific and sector-specific pathways considering the local circumstances.

Climate finance has been identified as a key tool towards fostering climate justice since it recognizes the inequalities between countries with developing countries being the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and thus requiring financial resources to aid their mitigation and adaptation programmes86. It is therefore imperative for all countries and especially developing countries to unlock climate finance from multiple sources including public, private and multilateral sources in order to achieve just transition by addressing the socio-economic impacts of climate change and addressing climate inequalities more broadly through efficient mitigation and adaptation strategies.

In addition, it is necessary to embrace and enhance technology transfer between developed and developing countries in order to enhance the capacity of the former to later to embrace just transition. It has been pointed out that developing countries have vast renewable potential, but are unable to realize it as long as they are constrained by lack of access to green technologies. Without access to environmentally sound technologies, developing countries in particular least developed countries, will not be able to meet mitigation targets and will be forced to continue using carbon-intensive technologies resulting in climate and sustainability concerns.

Transferring low-carbon and green technologies to those most at risk of climate crisis is critical, among a range of other measures, to ensure that people can respond and adapt to the threat of climate change. Technology transfer can support the climate agenda in developing countries for energy and other sectoral transitions.

The Paris Agreement acknowledges the importance of technology for the implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions and urges countries to promote and facilitate enhanced action on technology development and transfer in order to support the implementation of the Agreement. It is thus pertinent for developed countries to promote transfer of low-carbon technologies including green technologies in developing countries in order to support climate action in such countries.

Developing countries should on the other hand remove barriers to green technology transfer including Intellectual Property barriers and revise bilateral and multilateral trade agreements that present a barrier to transfer initiatives. Finally, there is need to foster capacity building in order to effectively realize just transition. One of the key challenges in achieving climate justice through just transition has been identified to be inadequate national capacity on just transition initiatives.

Capacity building can strengthen individual and institutional capacities on just transition in key areas such as policymaking, cross-sectoral coordination, and stakeholder participation. It can further enhance the ability of the public to be involved in key decisions in the journey towards just transition. It has been pointed out that participation and engagement are crucial for achieving just sustainability transitions.

Capacity building is therefore integral in achieving just transition. It is thus necessary for all countries and especially developing states to strengthen their legal, institutional, technical, human, social and financial capacity in order to embrace just transition. The above among other measures are necessary in order to achieve equitable and inclusive just transition towards climate justice.

*This is an extract from the Book: Promoting Rule of Law for Sustainable Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024) by Hon. Prof.  Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution, Senior Advocate of Kenya, Chartered Arbitrator, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya), African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Africa ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, Member of National Environment Tribunal (NET) Emeritus (2017 to 2023) and Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration nominated by Republic of Kenya. Prof. Kariuki Muigua is a foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert in Kenya. Prof. Kariuki Muigua teaches Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law, The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) and Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies. He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Prof. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates and Africa Trustee Emeritus of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2019-2022. Prof. Muigua is a 2023 recipient of President of the Republic of Kenya Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) Award for his service to the Nation as a Distinguished Expert, Academic and Scholar in Dispute Resolution and recognized among the top 5 leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts in Band 1 in Kenya by the Chambers Global Guide 2024 and was listed in the Inaugural THE LAWYER AFRICA Litigation Hall of Fame 2023 as one of the Top 50 Most Distinguished Litigation Lawyers in Kenya and the Top Arbitrator in Kenya in 2023.

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Giles, M., ‘The Principles of Climate Justice at CoP27.’ Available at https://earth.org/principlesofclimatejustice/#:~:text=That%20response%20should %20be%20based,the %20consequences%20of%20clim ate%20change (Accessed on 28/11/2023).

Government of Kenya., ‘National Climate Change Action Plan (Kenya): 2018-2022.’ Nairobi: Ministry of Environment and Forestry (2018)., Available at https://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/8737.pdf (Accessed on 29/11/2023).

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International Labour Organization., ‘Frequently Asked Questions on Just Transition.’ Available at https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/greenjobs/WCMS_824102/lang–en/index.htm (Accessed on 29/11/2023).

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Kemei. N., ‘Navigating the Path of Just Transition: Kenya’s Sustainable Future.’ Available at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/navigating-path-just-transitionkenyas-sustainable-future-naomikemei/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_android&utm_campaign=share _via (Accessed on 29/11/2023).

Lee. S., ‘Unpacking Just Transition: What is it and How Can We Achieve it in Africa?.’ Available at https://climatepromise.undp.org/news-and-stories/unpacking-justtransition-what-it-and-how-can-we-achieve-itafrica?gad_source=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7ufGuYrpggMVboVoCR2gtAn3EAAYASAAE gL8VvD_BwE (Accessed on 29/11/2023).

McCauley. D., & Heffron. R., ‘Just Transition: Integrating Climate, Energy and Environmental Justice.’ Energy Policy., Volume 119, 2018, pp 1-7.

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Muigua. K., ‘Fostering Climate Justice for Sustainable Development.’ Available at https://kmco.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Fostering-Climate-Justice-forSustainable- Development.pdf (Accessed on 28/11/2023).

Newell. P., ‘Toward Transformative Climate Justice: An Emerging Research Agenda.’ WIREs Climate Change., Volume 12, Issue 6 (2021).

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Partnership for Action on Green Economy., ‘Argentina’s Capacity Building on Green Jobs and Just Transition.’ Available at https://www.un-page.org/news/argentinascapacity-building-on-green-jobs-and-just-transition/ (Accessed on 29/11/2023).

Ramsey County., ‘On climate justice: Climate Change and Environmental Justice.’ Available at https://www.ramseycounty.us/content/climate-justice-climate-changeand-environmentaljustice#:~:text= Climate%20Justice%20is%20a%20subset,the%20impacts%20of%20cli mate%20change (Accessed on 28/11/2023).

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Dr. Paul Ogendi AI Agenda for LSK Upcountry Representative

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Top Law Scholar and Practitioner Dr. Paul Ogendi, in race for LSK Upcountry Representative 2024-2026

Dear Esteemed Members of the Law Society of Kenya,

As your candidate for Up-Country Representative for the term 2024-2026, I am committed to advancing our legal profession and embracing the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI). Here are actionable steps to implement my agenda concerning AI in the legal sector:

1. Education and Awareness:

  • Organize workshops, webinars, and seminars to educate legal practitioners about AI technologies, their applications, and ethical considerations.
  • Collaborate with universities and legal institutions to integrate AI courses into legal education curricula.

2. Research and Development:

  • Establish a task force or committee focused on AI research within the Law Society.
  • Encourage legal professionals to explore AI tools for legal research, document review, and case prediction.
  • Foster partnerships with tech companies and research institutions to develop AI solutions tailored to legal needs.

3. Ethical Guidelines:

  • Develop clear guidelines for the responsible use of AI in legal practice.
  • Address concerns related to bias, transparency, and accountability in AI algorithms.
  • Promote adherence to professional ethics while leveraging AI tools.

4. Automating Routine Tasks:

  • Identify repetitive tasks (such as contract review, due diligence, and legal research) that can be automated using AI.
  • Invest in AI-powered tools to streamline administrative processes, allowing lawyers to focus on complex legal issues.

5. Legal Analytics and Predictive Modeling:

  • Encourage law firms and practitioners to adopt AI-driven analytics platforms.
  • Leverage predictive models to assess case outcomes, identify trends, and make informed decisions.

6. Client Services and Communication:

  • Implement AI chatbots for client inquiries, appointment scheduling, and basic legal advice.
  • Enhance communication channels through AI-driven tools to improve client satisfaction.

7. Data Security and Privacy:

  • Address data protection concerns by ensuring compliance with privacy laws.
  • Collaborate with cybersecurity experts to safeguard sensitive legal information processed by AI systems.

8. Collaboration and Networking:

  • Engage with other legal associations, tech communities, and government bodies to share best practices.
  • Attend AI conferences and forums to stay updated on advancements and network with industry experts.

Remember, our goal is not to replace lawyers but to empower them with AI tools that enhance efficiency, accuracy, and access to justice. Let us embrace this technological evolution while upholding the highest standards of legal practice.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Paul Ogendi,
Up-Country Representative 2024-2026
Law Society of Kenya.

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