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Ministry faces critical shortage of aircraft sprayers to control fast spreading locust

The Ministry of Agriculture said that it needs more additional aircraft sprayers to face the fast spreading desert locusts.

Agriculture State Minister, Mandefro Negusse revealed on Wednesday that the country is now left with only one aircraft sprayer, whereas it requires at least 10 to control the locust invasion.

Briefing journalists today, he stated that the locusts have invaded parts of Somali, Oromia, Amhara and Afar regional states as well as Dire Dawa City Administration.

“The locusts are currently entering Ethiopia from Somalia, Djibouti and Yemen. But the invasion will be even more challenging as the swarms will continue to enter the country until the end of December,” the state minister said.

According to him, the worst affected areas at present are the spread of the locusts in 28 Woredas in Afar and 4 zones of Amhara regional states.

A swarm of locusts can fly 50 to 100 km per day, and the only way to control them is by using aircraft sprayers, Mandefro stated. (ENA)

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Oromia offers 390 locally assembled tractors, combines to farmers

Oromia Regional State on Wednesday offered 390 tractors and combine harvesters to farmers as part of modernizing the agricultural sector.

The agricultural machineries handed over to the farmers have been assembled at Kegna Agricultural Equipment Manufacturing in Shashemene town.

Out of the total machinery, 310 are Tractors while the remaining 80 are combine harvesters.

The farmers have covered 30 percent of the price through savings, and are required to pay the remaining 70 percent gradually in five years.

President of the Oromia Regional State, Shimelis Abdisa, who presided over the handover ceremony, said the distribution of the locally assembled equipment to farmers has a paramount significance in raising product and productivity in the agricultural sector.

Kegna Agricultural Equipment Manufacturing has distributed 730 machineries including today’s tractors and combines to farmers since its commencement in 2018.

High ranking government officials including the Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia, Dr. Yinager Dessie attended the event. (FBC)

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Nation develops digital monitoring system to control firearms

Ethiopia on Wednesday revealed it has developed a digital monitoring system that controls firearm movements in the country.

The digital system is an implementation of the Firearms Administration and Controlling Proclamation that the government approved to control the illegal firearms trafficking and related activities.

Speaking at a ceremony prepared to celebrate “African Amnesty Month,” Peace Minister, Muferiat Kamil said the digital firearms monitoring and controlling system will help control illegal circulation of firearms in the country by registering the serial number of weapons in a digitized system.

“Through this digital registration and monitoring system, we will able to know the exact number of legalized weapons that are in use in the country so as to easily identify the illegal weapons,” she said.

According to her, digitalizing the firearms monitoring and controlling system is very necessary to modernize the overall peace and security protection in the country.

The minister said that the government will also work with stakeholders on peace and security to maintain rule of law. (ENA/FBC)

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Addis Ababa, Gondar, Dilla Universities to resume education

The national assessment committee has assured Science and Higher Education ministry that Addis Ababa, Gondar and Dilla Universities can restart teaching/ learning activities since they have fulfilled post pandemic school reopening criteria’s.

This was announced on Wednesday in what officials said the stated universities will restart their learning/teaching process under Coronavirus prevention guidelines.

The committee said the universities have finalized their preparedness, fulfilling all the necessary precautionary measures, to prevent the speared of the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the assessment committee indicated that the universities have arranged better environment that enable students attend classes in adherence to the social distancing guideline.

Preventive supplies like sanitizers, facemasks and had washing tools are also provided in the universities, the committee stated.

Classes which were serving as quarantine facilities have also been disinfected and made ready for the teaching/learning purposes. (FBC)

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Bureau underlines traditional justice system formal enclosure

Oromia Supreme Court Bureau on Wednesday announced it has planned to incorporate a traditional justice system into the formal justice procedure to provide the state community with effective legal service.

Bureau Communication Director, Gonfa Hatoma told The Ethiopian Herald that the Bureau, in collaboration with Oromia Justice Sector Professionals Training and Legal Research Institute, has finalized a research done on the implementation of the plan.

He said that the act of incorporating the tradition into justice institutions is helpful as it saves time, energy and money that customers are expected to spend, reduce load for the justice institution and enable the community to get fair and corrective justice.

He further noted that the plan is also helpful in reducing the number of cases brought to formal justice system as the number of cases brought to the system annually, is very high.

He said discussions were conducted regarding the significance of the plan and agreement was reached at state council level. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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Horn in Brief

Djibouti, nation of one million, is building the largest free trade zone in Africa

Djibouti is capitalizing on its strategic location on one of the world’s busiest trade routes to build Africa’s largest free trade zone area. The Horn of Africa nation controls the Bab el-Mandeb (“Gate of Tears” in Arabic) which is a crucial chokepoint at the entrance to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal from the Indian Ocean.

The Bab el-Mandeb is the world’s fourth most frequented maritime route used by some 30,000 ships every year. Also, after the Ethiopia–Eritrea war, Djibouti has become a gateway for 90 percent of Ethiopia’s imports, a trading volume that accounts for 90 percent of Djibouti’s port traffic.

In 2018, lowly-populated Djibouti launched the first phase of the project comprising a 240-hectare (593-acre) site. The year before, it had unveiled three new ports and a railway linking it to landlocked Ethiopia, as part of its bid to become a global trade and logistics hub. (Face to Face Africa)

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Extremists release 2 Cuban doctors in Somalia, officials say

The al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab has released two Cuban doctors who were kidnapped in Kenya and held for a year and a half in neighboring Somalia, officials say. But a Cuban official has denied it.

A senior Somali intelligence official told The Associated Press that the doctors were released over the weekend after months of negotiations with their captors. He declined to give further details. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Several sources told the AP that Somali intelligence, acting at the request of the Cuban government, negotiated for the doctors’ release after it obtained a video showing them a few months ago.

But an official with Cuba’s foreign ministry, Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios, denied the reported release of Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodríguez Hernández, adding in a statement that “huge efforts continue to be made to ensure the liberation and safe return to the homeland.”

It was not immediately clear where the doctors were Wednesday. (AP)

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Starvation used as weapon of war in South Sudan conflict, UN rights body finds

Starvation is being intentionally used as a war tactic in South Sudan’s brutal conflict, a UN-backed human rights panel said on Tuesday, releasing its latest report on the country. 

South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 but descended into conflict roughly two-and-a-half years later, following irreconcilable tensions between President Salva Kiir and his deputy, Riek Machar. 

The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said the brutal fighting has caused incalculable suffering to civilians, and resulted in staggering levels of acute food insecurity and malnutrition. 

 “With 7.5 million South Sudanese currently requiring humanitarian assistance, we have found that food insecurity in Western Bahr el Ghazal, Jonglei, and Central Equatoria States is linked directly to the conflict and therefore almost entirely human-induced,” said the Commission Chair, Yasmin Sooka.  

“It is quite clear that both Government and opposition forces have deliberately used the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in these states, sometimes as an instrument to punish non-aligning communities, as in the case of Jonglei.”  (UN News)

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Protesters end blockade of Sudan port over peace deal

Sudan’s Red Sea port reopened Wednesday after a three-day blockade by protesters, angry over a peace deal from which they say they were excluded.

Demonstrators from the Beja tribe last Sunday forced the closure of the docks and highway linking Port Sudan to the rest of the country.

The Beja say that representatives who signed the previous day’s deal with the government came from the rival Beni Amer tribe.

Port Sudan “reopened on Wednesday after discussions between representatives of the Supreme Council of the Beja and police,” the official Suna news agency reported.

The governor of Red Sea state, where the port is located, confirmed the reopening.

“We have reached a deal for the port to resume its activity,” said Abdallah Shankary, adding both parties had agreed “on procedures to implement the peace agreement in Eastern Sudan.”

The protesters had lifted the blockade of the port highway on Tuesday.

The peace deal signed on October 3 was hailed by the international community as a key milestone to ending decades of war in Sudan. (AFP)

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