Ethiopia’s stolen 8.4 billion dollars and EPRDF By Eskinder Nega

May 20th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

The folks at Global Financial Integrity may not know this, but their report on illicit financial flows is threatening to steal the thunder from an important milestone for the EPRDF, Ethiopia’s repressive ruling party, (more…)

The folks at Global Financial Integrity may not know this, but their report on illicit financial flows is threatening to steal the thunder from an important milestone for the EPRDF, Ethiopia’s repressive ruling party, which will be celebrating its 20th year in power on the 28th of this month. And more than a harmless opportunity to gloat is slipping away. GFI’s report poses real danger of generating mistrust between EPRDF’s senior leadership.

Commissioned grandly by the UNDP, the development arm of the UN, GFI’s report explores the flow of illicit financial flows from Least Developed Countries (LDSs), of which Ethiopia has been an enduring mainstay. (Many countries, some in Africa, have moved up the ladder of development.)

Covering the 18 years between 1990 and 2008, which are all, but one,1990, within the realm of EPRDF’s reign, the report includes Ethiopia,one of the world’s most impoverished countries, in the top ten countries from which funds have been transferred illegally in to banks and offshore financial centers in developed countries. The amount: a whooping 8.4 billion US dollars, which places Ethiopia at a shocking 9th place in the world, just below resource rich and gruesomely autocratic Myanmar with 8.5 billion dollars.

The report attributes the bulk, 65 to 70 percent, of Ethiopia’s illicitly transferred funds to trade mispricings. Somewhere in the remaining 30 to 35 percent—up to 3 billion US dollars—are the laundered monies of corrupt government officials, almost all exclusively members of the EPRDF.

Clearly, some EPRDF officials are amply prepared for a comfortable exile. And there are of course others who believe in the fairy tale of the party’s invincibility and see no need for a contingency plan. This will most probably be their wakeup call. The haste not to be left behind is now inevitable. The worst for the nation is yet to come.

Export figures released by the Ministry of Trade in late February 2011show coffee still dominating the sector. Of the infinitesimal 1.14 billion US dollars the nation earned in six months from goods sold overseas in 2003(in the Ethiopian calendar), 320 million dollars were attributed to coffee.

Guna Trading House PLC, a holding of the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray, EFFORT, a business empire managed exclusively by senior members of the EPRDF, is an exporter of coffee. Guna is also a significant exporter of sesame seeds, another key export for the nation. Moreover, it has involvement in the import business.

There is no conclusive proof that EFFORT’s holdings are involved in trade mispricings, but the possibilities that exist for party leaders are cause for particular concern. Perhaps, only the tenure of Seye Abraha , who was EFFORT’s CEO before his fallout with Meles Zenawi and subsequent six years imprisonment, has been thoroughly scrutinized. (He came out clean.) With the EPRDF’s obvious old boy’s network cutting across party, government, and business circles, EFFORT is suspected by many of being a convenient conduit for illicit financial flows. But again, the hard proofs are lacking so far. (Ditto for the much smaller EPRDF affiliated endowment funds for other regions.)

Gold is now Ethiopia’s second biggest earner of foreign currency,bringing in about half as much as coffee. Most of it is exported by MIDROC, owned by Mohammed Al-Amoudi, an Ethio-Saudi billionaire, who owns the largest gold mine in the country. With hundreds of millions of dollars earned from exports, MIDROC is easily the nation’s principal exporter. Though instinctively apolitical, Al-Amoudi’s odd affiliation with the ruling party has long raised eye-brows. But even here, there is nothing more than a lingering suspicion that there is more than meets the eye.

A favorite of corrupt officials everywhere is of course kickbacks. A kickback is the difference between market price and inflated payment to a company that wins a government contract. It’s a favorite of third world dictatorships. And though practiced at all levels of government, the real money is with foreign companies, which is an exclusive preserve of senior officials. Arms procurement is their particular favorite. Interestingly, kickback from arms purchases was an issue during the wrangling for primacy between Meles and his critics in the EPRDF ten years ago. None of the charges were ever proved.

The 8.4 billions stolen from Ethiopia have no doubt mostly disappeared in to the black hole that is offshore banking. This is a huge part of international finance; more than 6 trillion US dollars lie there. The IMF estimates the illicit funds laundered annually by offshore banking at 1.5 trillion US dollars (of which half a billion is thought to come from fraud and corruption.) And until recently, Swiss was the favored haven. But since 2008, others, amongst them the Cayman Islands, have risen in popularity. The deposits in Cayman Island, whose population is only 54, 878, is estimated to hover around 1.9 trillion US dollars. In Africa, Ghana aspires to be the new destination for international offshore banking. There are abundant reasons to shun infamous Switzerland.

Beyond the cruelty of stealing billions that could have gone a long way, in the words of UNDP, “to help children go to school, help mothers give birth safely, and expanding access to basic health care, better nutrition, and clean water and sanitation for all,” is the question of how this grand theft was possible.

The answer is simple: feeble rule of law; suffocated civil society; suppressed free media; nominal judicial independence; patronage based civil service—in sum, absence of a democracy with checks and balances. Where there is despotism there is corruption; particularly in the presence of a private sector. The problem is compounded when politics and business mix, which is the case for Ethiopia.

The extent of corruption in Ethiopia, as indicated by the stolen 8.4 billion dollars, is a shocker not only to the naïve supporters of the EPRDF but also to its severest critics. Simply put, no one imagined it to be this big. But it is, and the problem requires an urgent remedy. This is money that has been stolen from Ethiopians, including all but a handful of the alleged 5 million members of the EPRDF.

Rest assured that the time for accountability will come in due time.

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The writer could be reached at serk27@gmail.com

Fight tyranny from your PC. Keep posting articles on your facebook pages.

  1. nbere
    | #1

    A very good piece as usual.thank you.
    Low invoicing for exports and high invoicing for imports were water tightly controlled by the National Bank notwithstanding,the deposit of rubbish for gold which is a recent top-notch corruption by the top brass.
    EPRDF has found s scpegoat for this crime.Can it find one for $8.3billion? NO!NO! It is too big to be defused.Heads must roll.

  2. tewbel
    | #2

    In the old days people who wanted to make a fortune would go into business, nowdays they go into politics a short way to make money !!!

  3. tewbel
    | #3

    Thievery is not limites to African potentates. The last financial crisis was caused mosdtly by greedy bankers and corporation in the CIVILIZED and HONEST world of high finance of Wall Street and so forth.

  4. aha!
    | #4

    Bring it on. This article supports the notion of exploitation, political strangle hold of the country,s resources and its people by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises as part of the framework of the “non-violent uprising/reaction to freedom from autocratic, ethnocratic/ethnic dictatorship and totalitarianism with ethnic federalism and secessionism of divide and rule policy in a colonialist style and/or the Appartheid System of South Africa of self-rule and separate development, an era of the past.

  5. aha!
    | #5

    Correction “political and economic stranglehold”

  6. aha!
    | #6

    Add to that the siphoning of financial resources out of the country on bhehalf of TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises to say the least about abject poverty, starvation, stagflation, unemplyment, serfdom sread throughout the country despite the massive funds flowing into the country, several times than with the previous two regimes.

  7. ያእቆብ
    | #7

    I like the article. Eskinder Nega is contributing more than his fair share in fighting the weyane junta. We love you Eskinder! Stand firm. We are with you…

    When we remove weyane from power, all the stolen money will be disgorged from those corrput tplf officals. It has now become easier to trace and claim stolen money…

  8. Sam
    | #8

    Eskinder wrote ” this is money that has been stolen from Ethiopians, including all but a handful of the alleged 5 millions members of the EPDRF.” Very true. Eskinder also penned the “problem requires urgent remedy.” Not fast, Eskinder. We Ethiopians were looking for urgent remedy for the last twenty years, and we have got nothing. The reason I qouted the second sentence is it seems to imply that the message was to the EPDRF politicos. It seems to say guys you have skinned us alive please stop doing this. The politicos are not listening though. The reason is the ethnic politics is the safest venue for corruption. They know it. They use the best of it. For example, if you are an OPDO official, and rob the Oromo peasants what right the Tigres have leave alone the Menelik worshippers, the Amharas to have a say would argue those who rob the Oromo peasants. The same goes with other ethnicity. If the Tigre peasants having it hard because their once believed leaders live the affluent life being robbing while the peasants having a hard time geeting decent meals who gives the right for the Oromo politicians to have a say on this unjustice. Well, they know the people know what is going on. So once a while they say the Tigre politicians. Well, time for “Gimegama” and those who pocketed enough will be assigned where there is not enough money to rob. The cycle continues. In the meantime Ethiopians are living with a belief that tommorow will be worse than today is. Eskinder, I do not think the politicos share your concern about needing “urgent remedy.” They have the best time of their life. Do not try to stop the party.

  9. Sheger
    | #9

    Thanks Eskinder.

    We need to find this money and share it. Each one of us 8 million people can have 1 million$ then we can share it with
    The rest 0—-that makes 80m doesn’t it? And of course it is mines the 5 million EPRDF members and their bosses.
    but may be we all the 80 million can have one million each. I am not good at math but I am sure some body knows.
    We can go EPRDF style about it,
    Just joking, but you never know that might sum it up when you think about it or that might be the sum any ways what do we know. How come they are able to do this?
    What would be wrong if we do that? I think that is fantastic Idea it is our money any ways. That can save us from a lot
    Fnancial problems and can be great for our country if we invest it their or us we like.

    I think we have to do this besides we can not for get our country and it’s situation and the need for Change. We need to
    Safeguard our country and it’s people and help the world around us if it needs our help when ever and how ever we could.

    For your conclusion, every body has to play it’s roll in society and leader ship. Unless it is very hard to make it work.
    And our unity nationality and national languej, territorial integrity and what you said and I said matters for our country to continue as one country and the future will bring may be more or what ever happens we have to take care of our country first before we think about things like Globalization and stuff.

    By the way this money could have built the dam they are or wore talking about. Isn’t that funny. Why do they need more
    Money from us? “Mitilebeswu yelat emitikenanebewu amarat” atibelugne engee.

    May God protect our country, it’s people and the world!!!!!!!!

    Thanks agian.

  10. Wow
    | #10

    I cannot imagined even in wildest dream that those people could still that much money($8.4 Billion)from the poor Ethiopia while people is dying of hunger. BEKA! Meles should be hanged in public for corruption, murder and treason.

  11. Lucy in America
    | #11

    THE LISTS OF TEGERE’S GUJILES WHO HAVE STOLEM MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM THE THROAT OF STARVED ETHIOPIAN AND KEP IN FOREIGN BANKS
    1, MELESE ZENAWI 41 MILION BANK OF MALAYSIA
    2,AMB BERHNE GEBRE-KIRSTOS 19 MILION NEW YORK CITY BANK
    3.ABADI ZEMO 22 MILION SWISS BANK
    4.SEBHAT NEGA 29 MILION DEUTSCHE BANK
    5.TEFERA WALWA 9 MILIONBANKOF CANNADA
    6.SHIMLES KIDIE 12 MILIONBANK OF CANNADA
    7.ADDISU LEGGESS 14 MILION NEW YORK CITY BANK
    8.PROF ENDRIAS ESHETE 7 MILION NEW YORK CITY BANK
    9.ARKEB EKUBAI 29 MILION BANK OF MALAYSIA
    10.GENET ZEWUDE 6 MILION NEW YORK CITY BANK
    11.ABAI TESHAYE 19 MILION BANK OF MALAYSIA
    12.AMBMOHAMMEDE DURI 4 MILION NEW YORK CITY BANK
    13.DR MARU YIREDAWU 11 MILION DEUSCHE BANK
    14.BEREKET SIMON 10 MILION DEUSCHE BANK
    15.KUMMA MAEDEKSA 6 MILION BANK OF CANNADA
    16. BOLLINGER

  12. Tesfu
    | #12

    Edkinder: A little advice from a concerned Ethiopian -
    You know the nature of Woyane. You know what they did to you and your beloved family in the past. You have been advised by Woyane not to continue writing article that are highly accusatory, fair or not.

    Please be careful. Take good care of yourself and prepare cautiously for the day that will bring the the eventual demise of the Woyane regime without unnecessarily sacrificing yourself and your family.
    We need you for the LONG HAUL!
    Thank you Brother.

  13. Tolagna
    | #13

    It is the beast sticking its piercing jaws onto the back of the neck of Ethiopians,for twenty years.Yes,for twenty years. We are alive,not dead.

    Ehtiopians,what do we have to do about this blood sucker beast,EPRDF?

    It is the deadly beast;kill it or keep it in a zoo?

  14. Sheger
    | #14

    80 million is 80 million, not even one billion yet. Can we have one million each? Oh, yes. The question is how about
    The rest of the money? Which is still, 8.3.2 billion$? Out of the 8.4 billion. You know what I mean? In this case may be we should all call our selves milliners.

  15. ethio
    | #15

    The theft would even be much more than what has been declared by UN for which our looters do have other forms of putting their looted money. These leaders are brutal who are unable to shred their voracious stealing habit for the last 20 years, who shaded the eyes and ears of their tricked supporters whom we Ethiopians accused of. Can’t wait to see how they make fun of when UNDP says the stolen money would have been used “to help children go to school, help mothers give birth safely, and expanding access to basic health care, better nutrition, and clean water and sanitation for all”. Needless to say, the mockery will be going onto their handful bluffed EPRDFites. LOL

  16. stilgler
    | #16

    Many years ago there was a great deal of discussion among connected Ethiopians regarding enormous amount of (laundered) money being transferred to secret accounts overseas by TPLF officials. Since then for unknown reason these Ethiopians haven’t been heard from. Some no doubt went underground and others simply disappeared without a trace.

    What happened to these people is anyone’s Guess. But, we are not naive enough to simply trust “nature works in mysterious ways.”

    Meles and TPLF should be reminded that the code of silence will be broken.

  17. DRAMA
    | #17

    IT IS PEOPLE LIKE TESFU THAT ARE CHICKENS AND MAKE OTHER ETHIOPIANS CHICKEN AS WELL. LET ME TELL YOU TESFU. PEOPLE DIE FOR FREEDOM. WHAT IS LIFE WITHOUT FREEDOM? YOU ARE A MISERY TO OUR SOCIETY OR YOU WORK FOR WOYANE TRYING TO THREATEN OTHERS TO NOT FIGHT THE FIGHT. CLOSE YOUR DOOR AND STAY AT HOME.WHAT A LIFE YOU HAVE THERE!
    ANYWAY, ONE ARTICLE THAT IS FINALLY TALKING ABOUT “D MONY”, WHO IS ACTUALLY BENEFITING FROM THE DICTATORIAL SUPPRESSION? WHO IS SITTING ON BLOOD MONEY????? THOSE THAT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY BENEFIT FROM THIS DICTATORSHIP ARE NOT CLEAN FROM THE BLOOD OF THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE. THEY SHOULD BE NOTIFIED AT ALL TIMES THAT THE MONEY THEY ARE MAKING DOES HAVE BLOOD AND IT IS AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR PEOPLE! MANY PEOPLE ARE DYING EVERYDAY ….. BE IT HUNGER, MALNITRUITION, OPPOSITION,HEALTH, ETC…. IT COULD HAVE BEEN MONEY THAT SAVED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS OF ETHIOPIANS.

  18. Derbabaw
    | #18

    What is needed now is a collective will and resolves to uprise against the occupiers and make the Ethiopian people the owners of their destiny. Instead of working for the common good by forging solidarity with only those forces that are committed to bring about a democratic order that will benefit all our people, the eagerness of some political organizations to court relationship with Shabia and her of- springs ,the Liberation Fronts, are simply being tribal lackeys, and need to be told as such.
    EFFORT and Midroc are in total control of the national wealth. These include Mining, Agro Industries, Real state, etc.The Saudi owned Midroc, Alhamudi as its point man, and EFFORT using Tigray as its cover are part of the larger conspiracy that Egypt sponsored Shabia unwittingly imposed upon Ethiopians.Shabias surrogate and half blood bandas such as Melese, Sibhat, and Bereket are illegally occupying our land to legitimatize a new geo political strategy based on their secret scheme.
    When we consider the evil forces that are arraying against our country, does it makes sense to see some Ethiopian based political organizations courting relationship with the country’s arch enemy? Is there any difference between Eplf-Tplf? I see none. The one difference between the two can be summed up in this. Weyane one runs the whole show against the will of Ethiopians and the other either it is knocked out of competition, or willingly consented to the current arrangement of state of affairs as part of high state secret between the two. What must Ethiopians do? Avoid any form of dealing, and all covert solicitation with the malevolent Shabia, Weyane,and separtists.Unless we have such fixed attitude about our enemies, I don’t believe, we as a people will be able to free ourselves from these dual enmemies.Both are equally our enemies, and it is a contradiction to court one or the other as a friend.Instead,we need to build a common bond between Ethiopians who aspire a democratic all inclusive government to solve the existence of prevalent disparity among our people. As to the loot, unless, we muster up our effort against these forces, Weyane will continue to divert massive amounts of wealth in to her hands in the coming years. EFFORT and MIdroc will continue to appropriate the entire economy in the coming seasons so long Ethiopians fail to check the destructive nature of selfish behavior that is visible among us. If we ask ourselves how this state of affairs is allowed to occur, the answer is, lack of vibrant opposition power. Here are some of the lists of business entities by the two giants that have total control of the national economy.

    1-http://www.midroc-ethiotechgroup.com/CEO’S%20OFFICE%20 (CORPORATE)/OUR%20COMPANIES/OUR%20COMPANIES.html

    2-http://www.effortgroup.org/companies.htm

  19. Anonymous
    | #19

    Sheger,
    You are an interesting guy. I wonder how old you are. I’m also want to find out how much birr each Ethiopian would have gotten if the $8.4 billion dollar converted to birr and given to each Ethiopian or to each Ethiopian province. May be some Ethiopian math whiz can help us to figure it out. I don’t know if it is right or not, but I came up to $141,792,000,000.00 birr and each Ethiopian would have gotten $1.7 million birr. Somebody Help us!

  20. aha!
    | #20

    Add to the above remark that the non-violent reaction to freedom, but not democracy, that the pro-democracy movements are hammering on need to focus on changes in the constitution, the supreme law of the land, with respect to Articles 46, 39 (1), 8 and the structure of the parliamentary set up stipulated in articles 48-54 and articles dealing with private ownership of land as one of the means of production from communistic to capitalistic system of economic model as well as democratic system of government, while implementing the existing articles on the economic and political freedom of the individuals above ethnic rights; regardless of ethnic and religious affiliations of the individual, by resorting to previous provinces with assorted ethnic groups, thriving like species populations of plants and animals in an ecosystem/country and economic development, basic infrastructural, human development, and GDP to be managed accross states according to ecological zones, not ethnic boundries. Putting these agenda into action, action of of Non-violent reaction to freedom serves as an antidote to the pronouncements and threats posed by Sebhat Nega, speaking on behalf of TPLF/eprdf on Abay Media.com of the interview on VOA, I presume, which speaks volumes of TPLF politbuerro as vangaurd for ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies and including the secession of Eritrea form the Ethiopian main land and denying Ethiopia of its ports as the parities main contentions and its function to keep/unite Ethiopia, rather than serving as a negative force of disintegration, supported directly by the teletafi parties and impliceltely by the loyalist opposition parties, which now formed a coalition called Medrek/fdd/fdre, a mirror image of TPLF/eprdf, whose political platform defies logic to engage the TPLF/eprdf regime in a non-violent reaction to freedom from the current regime. The same notion holds true for the liberation movements in relation to Ginbot-7 and EPPF, etc. So far as I can understand not two businesesses or political parties function well unless they have the same clear cut goals with straties to achieve those goals according to inductive logic of problem solving, in this case the economic, political crises and the fragmentation/disintegration of Ethiopia into feudalistic ethnic states with illdefined boundries.

  21. Crimnals in Arat Killo
    | #21

    Ayeeeeee gud! Betam yemiyasezne negere newe:: I wonder woyanes used the 8.4 billion dollar to bribe powerful people around the world.

  22. Dan
    | #22

    Let us not pretend as if Eskinder wasn’t being objective.

    He only interpreted what Fortune documented in public in Addis, as facts taken from the studies commissioned by UNDP.

    IMO, his comments were very objective. It is of the middle caliber of an article that are published on local Ethiopian papers such as the Reporter or even Fortune for that matter.

    At this stage, it is a mystery to me why the government won’t allow him to publish his own paper? I have to think it is a matter of time.

    Because, Eskinder’s kind of critic is what is short in ADDIS.

    Great job Eskinder!

  23. Negash
    | #23

    ምንም እንኳ ዛሬ የከፋ ደረጃ ላይ ቢደርስም ይህ አይነቱ አይን ያወጣ ሌብነት በወያኔ የተጀመረ አይደለም:: ከአገራቸውና ከህዝባቸው ጉሮሮ ሰርቀው በውጭ አገሮች ባንኮች ንብረት የማካበቱን ልምድ በሰፊው ያስተማሩት ሃይለ ስላሴ ናቸው:: ከዚያን ዘመን ጀምሮ በአደገኛ መልኩ የቀጠለ ቢሆንም እንደ ወያኔ አገርን በሚጎዳ መልኩ የአገሪቱን ንብረት ለግለሰቦች መክበሪያ ያደረገ ስርአት አላየንም:: በአፋቸው አገርን “የመውደድ” ድስኩር እየሰበኩ አሳፋሪ የሌብነትና ወራዳ ባህሪይ የማሳየት ልምዱን “ሃበሾቹ” ከትውልድ ትውልድ እንዲተላለፍ ተግተው እየሰሩ ይታያሉ:: ምናልባት አዲሱ ትውልድ ግልጽነትንና አብሮ መስራትን ተምሮ ህዝባችንን ካልታደገው በስተቀር ይህ አይነቱ የሰሜኖቹ ሌብነት አገሪቱን እንደሚገድላት በጣም ያሰጋል::

  24. Enanu
    | #24

    Lucy in America,

    Thank you for your detailed study on corruption in Ethiopia. However, I confirm to you that there is no bank named “BANK OF MALAYSIA”, “NEW YORK CITY BANK”, “SWISS BANK”, “MILIONBANKOF CANNADA” or “BANK OF CANNADA” in the entire world. Which planet are these banks on?

    Waiting for your prompt reply.

    Your sister Enanu from across Mereb.

  25. Bekumsa
    | #25

    The correct number is 1763 us dollars for each and every Ethiopian if we could get back and divide it amongst us! However, thus lump of money is simply too much to lose. Take for instance the much talked about Renaissance Dam, which will cost us about 5 billion US Dollars. This could have simply covered this expense and of course the Gilgel gibe dams! Honestly though, this is so much of unexpected news even though most of us know the deep rooted corruption in our country. I hope the brilliant economist in chief, politician in chief, agronomist in chief, lawyer in chief, environmentalist in chief, educator in chief, commander in chief, leader in chief and all possible in chief Meles will come out boldly and explain how wrong this report was methodologically and therefore deserve to be thrown in thrash bin.

  26. Sheger
    | #26

    Wether we find this money or not I wish we can do this. I pray to god this happens, so ones for all we get out of
    Poverty. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t farm or teach or leave our daily lives and do what we suppose to do as people.
    For money is not every thing in this world, but hope to see one day that what we worry about today will be the least
    Of the matter and we all take our lives and survival serious and work for it and improve it and enjoy it and live it. And that takes a lot of work and discipline and faith. I wish this for the whole world not just for as. We have seen and lived
    In the world of money and power for so long and we all suffered from it globally when we know what really matters
    Which is life, and our lives. Other than that why we would do any of it? For what? For who? if a lot people believe in
    God and believe that he gave the world to man kind all of the above won’t be a question, besides some time people
    Make rules that they think serves every one best, and if that is the case can we rethink about it? Cause some of us
    Don’t have it and it affects our survival even with help of donor countrys and people and every country has it’s own
    Story and challenge of the same kind because most of the world had become a profit of the few.

  27. Anonymous
    | #27

    Well, I’ve to admit, the $1.7 million I came up with was a big stretch. Anyhow, still each Ethiopian would have gotten $29,759.44 birr and live comfortably for a few years. Mote leleboch killer woyanes! Amlack yatifchehue.

  28. Anonymous
    | #28

    give thanks for the info,we african americans are watching we will soon be one ….@Lucy in America

  29. gisgnal
    | #29

    Ethiopians will make the robbers lie face down and make them spit out whatever they swallowed during their settlement in Ethiopia through invasion.

    And they will be turned over face up; the doors of the hell open up wide for them;they shall be herded into the eternal fire and will be delivered as a happy meal to the demons and devils they were born into.

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