Ministry marks 8th Nations, Nationalities Day

Addis Ababa, 30 November 2013 (WIC) – This year’s celebration of nations, nationalities and people’s day should be an occasion that Ethiopians reaffirm their commitment achieve the ongoing development, democracy and god governance works, the Ministry of Trade (MoT) said.

Employees and heads of the MoT yesterday marked the 8th Nations, Nationalities and People’s Day yesterday under the theme “Our Constitution for Our Renaissance.” Trade State Minister, Ali Siraj, on the occasion said all Ethiopians need to express their genuine promise to attain Ethiopia’s renaissance while observing the day.

Ethiopian nations, nationalities give special place for the event as it is a day the guaranteed the human rights and self administration, the state minister said. Ethiopians, along with the government are currently exerting relentless efforts to alleviate poverty and problems of good governance as well as to attain nation’s renaissance, he said.

Accordingly, employees of the ministry need to contribute their share in the efforts underway to ensure modern and fair trading practices, the minister concluded. Ethiopia will mark this year’s Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day for the 8th times in Jijjiga town, Somali Regional State next week.

Iran agrees to curb nuclear activity at Geneva talks

"substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon". Iran agreed to give better access to inspectors and halt some of its work on uranium enrichment. President Hassan Rouhani said the deal recognised Iran's nuclear "rights". But he repeated, in a nationwide broadcast, that his country would never seek a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies repeated claims by Western governments that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

It insists it must be allowed to enrich uranium to use in power stations. Continue reading the main story Analysis image of James Reynolds James Reynolds BBC Iran correspondent The first announcement of the most important agreement between Iran and the West in more than a decade was made on Twitter.

Shortly before three in the morning in Geneva, the EU posted: "We have reached agreement between the E3+3 and Iran." Minutes later, Iran's chief negotiator, Mohammad Javad Zarif followed: "We have reached an agreement." The immediate origins of this deal date to 14 June 2013, when Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran. Mr Rouhani promised to end his country's repeated confrontations with the outside world, beginning with the argument over its nuclear programme.

To bring about a deal, Mr Rouhani pursued two key policies. Firstly, he secured the public backing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for his diplomatic efforts. Secondly, the new president and his foreign minister broke precedent and pursued direct high-level contact with Iran's long time enemy, the US.

If there is to be a lasting nuclear agreement, it may spring from a reconciliation between these two countries. The deal comes just months after Iran elected Mr Rouhani - regarded as a relative moderate - as its new president, in place of the hard-line Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It has also been backed by Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. After four days of negotiations, representatives of the so-called P5+1 group of nations - the US, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany - reached an agreement with Iran in the early hours of Sunday.

The specifics of the deal have yet to be released, but negotiators indicated the broad outlines: Iran will stop enriching uranium beyond 5%, the level at which it can be used for weapons research, and reduce its stockpile of uranium enriched beyond this point Iran will give greater access to inspectors including daily access at Natanz and Fordo nuclear sites In return, there will be no new nuclear-related sanctions for six months Iran will also receive sanctions relief worth about $7bn (£4.3bn) on sectors including precious metals US Secretary of State John Kerry said the agreement would make the region safer for its allies, including Israel.

But the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet it was a "historic mistake" and that his country reserved the right to defend itself. "Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world," he said. At a later news conference, Mr Netanyahu said Israel would not be bound by the agreement. "We cannot and will not allow a regime that calls for the destruction of Israel to obtain the means to achieve this goal. "Israel has many friends and allies, but when they're mistaken, its my duty to speak out." The Israeli comments came as it was revealed that the US and Iran had held a series of face-to-face talks over the past year that were kept secret even from their allies. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it was an opportunity for the "removal of any doubts about the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme".

President Hassan Rouhani said the deal recognised Iran's nuclear "rights" But he insisted that Iran had not given up its right to enrich uranium. "We believe that the current agreement, the current plan of action as we call it, in two distinct places has a very clear reference to the fact that Iranian enrichment programme will continue and will be a part of any agreement, now and in the future," he said. The US denied any such right had been conceded, while UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the agreement was "good news for the whole world".

'Significant agreement' The US state department gave more details of the deal, insisting that most sanctions would remain in place. Restrictions on Iran's petrochemical exports and some other sectors would be suspended, bringing in $1.5bn in revenue. Obama: "Agreed to provide Iran with modest relief" But Mr Obama warned that if Iran fail to keep its commitments, "we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure".

This deal may be the most significant agreement between the world powers and Iran for a decade, says the BBC's James Reynolds in Geneva. Negotiators had been working since Wednesday to reach an agreement that was acceptable to both sides. As hopes of a deal grew stronger, foreign ministers of the P5+1 joined them in Geneva. But it only became clear that a breakthrough had been made in Geneva shortly before 03:00 local time (02:00 GMT) on Sunday.

Court seeks constitutional interpretation in Melaku Fenta case

Addis Ababa, November 20 (WIC) – The Federal High Court referred Melaku Fenta et al case to the House of Federation for constitutional interpretation on the issue of jurisdiction. Federal High Court’s jurisdiction to try Melaku was challenged by the defense team who argued that the defendant, as a government official with a ministerial portfolio and a member of the Council of Ministers, shall be tried by the Federal Supreme Court.

Prosecution team had argued that Melaku’s ministerial portfolio is only to accord benefits for the former director general of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA). As head of an Authority, Melaku should be tried by the Federal High Court, the prosecution team had argued. The court, presided over by three judges, regarded Melaku as a full-fledged minister however, questioned the constitutionality of referring the case to the Federal Supreme Court.

Under Article 8(1) of the Federal Courts Establishment Proclamation offences for which officials of the Federal Government are held liable in connection with their official responsibility, the Federal Supreme Court will have first instance jurisdiction. Further, Article 7(1) of the Revised Anti-Corruption Special Procedure and Rules of Evidence Proclamation says Federal High Court will have first instance jurisdiction other than those cases for which the Federal Supreme Court has first instance jurisdiction.

The court, in its unanimous ruling, questioned the constitutionality of these articles. “The defendant will be deprived of his constitutional right to appeal if his case is to be tried by the Federal Supreme Court,” said one of the judges.

“This is contrary to Article 20 (6) of the constitution which declares defendant’s right to appeal.” The ruling sought for constitutional interpretation on the matter as well as which court should have jurisdiction to preside over the case from the House of Federation (HoF), an organ with the power to interpret the federal constitution of the country.

In its power to interpret the constitution, the HoF is assisted by a professional body named the Council of Constitutional Inquiry, which the court also ordered the copy of the ruling to be sent to.

The case is now adjourned to December 12, 2013.

PM Hailemariam met Egypt leaders over Nile row

Addis Ababa, November 21 (WIC) – Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met and Egyptian interim president, Adly Mansour, for the first time to discuss tensions over the construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the river Nile. The two leaders met on Tuesday on the sidelines of an Afro-Arab Summit in Kuwait, however the meeting, reportedly, ended without any agreement. It was the first meeting between leaders of the two countries over the Grand Renaissance Dam since the deposed Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, met Hailemariam in May.

Ethiopia officially launched the construction of Africa's biggest dam in April 2011, thirty percent of its construction has, so far, been completed. When it goes fully operational in 2017, the dam will have a capacity to generate 6,000-megawatt.

Egypt fears the dam could diminish its water supply. However, Ethiopia, also backed by a report from a Panel of International Experts, has assured lower riparian countries including Sudan that the dam will have no significant harm. The experts panel, comprising of two experts each from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt and four international experts, who have been reviewing the social and environmental impact of the dam.

The panel has issued a report about the project's potential impact on water levels, which has not yet been made public. But Ethiopia says the report favors its position that the dam will cause no significant harm to lower riparian countries. Sudan has since publicly backed the project. Colonial-era treaties negotiated by the British gave Egypt and Sudan a majority share of Nile waters. Seven other countries through which the river flows argue the agreements were unjust and need to be torn up.

At a one-day meeting in the Sudanese capital Khartoum this month the water ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia agreed to form a panel to implement the expert recommendations. But Egyptian objections about the composition of the committee have been delaying its formation. A second round of negotiations is scheduled for Khartoum on December 8.

Egypt has previously sought to delay the construction of the dam and its requests to inspect it have been rejected by the Ethiopians, who say Egypt needs to relinquish its power to veto projects on the Nile, which it was also given as part of the 1929 and 1959 treaties.

Under those agreements, Egypt is entitled to 55.5 billion cubic meters a year, most of the Nile's total flow of about 84 billion cubic meters. However, about 85 percent of the river's water originates in the Ethiopian highlands. A new deal signed in 2010 by other Nile Basin countries, including Ethiopia, allows them to work on river projects without Cairo's prior agreement. Egypt has not signed that deal. (compiled from other media)

Ethiopia earns $ 44 mln from leather export

Addis Ababa, 20 November 2013 (WIC) - Ethiopia earned 44 million US dollars from the export of leather and leather products in the first four this Ethiopian budget year, the Ethiopian Leather Industry Development Institute said.

Institute Corporate Communication Directorate Director, Berhanu Sirjabo, told WIC the stated sum of revenue was earned from the export of finished leather, footwear, leather gloves and other leather products.

The money earned from the export of leather is 5.5 million US dollars more than the 38.5 million US dollars in revenue earned in the same period last fiscal year, he said. Berhanu attributed the increase in revenue to the prime attention given to the export of value-added products. Ethiopia has set a plane to secure 500 million US dollars for the leather sector in this budget year.

AU declares Day of mourning for Lampedusa victims

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn urged African and Arab countries to give attention to issues of immigrants in a bid to boost partnership in development and investment between the two regions.

Speaking at the opening of the 3rd Africa-Arab Summit held in Kuwait on Sunday, the premier said African and Arab countries should work together to solve problems encountered by immigrants.

He said African and Arab countries should establish a joint system which will help them to work together to solve problems of immigrants. He expressed appreciation for the initiative by Foreign Ministers of African and Arab countries to establish a cooperation and technical committee for this purpose.

The Premier urged governments to extend support for the rapid enactment of the committee. If the governments are failed to solve the problem, the partnership between African and Arab countries might face trouble, he said.

The Premier said the Summit is playing major role in strengthening the south-south cooperation and efforts to so

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