A commander of the Eritrean militia in the area reported to UNMEE that two Eritrean militiamen on patrol duty in the village of Fawlina came under close-range small-arms fire from three to five uniformed men last Saturday morning. In the exchange of fire, one Eritrean apparently was killed.“UNMEE can confirm from forensic evidence that a firing incident did take place. The Ethiopian Ministry of Defence has categorically denied any Ethiopian military involvement in this incident,” the Mission’s Force Commander, Major General Robert Gordon, said in a statement. He added that investigators had visited the area.Fawlina is two or three kilometres inside the temporary security zone (TSZ), UNMEE said. A permanent boundary between the two countries is to be demarcated.General Gordon said that UNMEE deeply deplores any activity in the TSZ that could destabilize the peace process. The UN Security Council expressed concern in September about a reported increase in incursions into the TSZ and a rising number of mine incidents in the area, including the new placing of mines.
Siemens Water Technologies and Texas A&M AgriLife Research have signed an exclusive license agreement and a research and development agreement to continue to develop and commercialise a chemical-based technology to more efficiently and cost-effectively remove heavy metals from water and wastewater at mining sites. The system is being designed to occupy a smaller footprint than current remediation treatment systems to reduce capital expense and to operate more efficiently in a wider range of environments.“The Texas A&M University System is a leader in water technology in our agriculture and engineering programs. We are excited to partner with Siemens, a worldwide leader in technology, to commercialise and advance this technology which could have significant benefits to water and wastewater treatment,” said John Sharp, A&M System chancellor.In a single process unaffected by temperature or pH-levels, the technology can remove selenium, mercury, zinc, copper, chromium and other heavy metals as well as metalloids to meet America’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) limits.The technology is based on an Activated Iron ProcessTM for the removal of contaminants from water and wastewater developed by Dr Yongheng Huang, Associate Professor of biological and agricultural engineering at Texas A&M University, who recently received the 2013 Rudolfs Industrial Waste Management Medal by the Water Environmental Federation at its Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC). Huang is also an AgriLife Research scientist.“AgriLife Research looks forward to further developing and commercialising its novel chemical process and reactor with a world leader such as Siemens Water Technologies,” said Dr. Craig Nessler, AgriLife Research director. “We are confident that our partnership with Siemens will yield environmental and economic benefits across multiple industries.”“Industrial operators are seeking new solutions to meet heavy metal remediation challenges and regulatory requirements,” said Dr Lukas Loeffler, Siemens Water Technologies CEO. “The agreements between AgriLife Research and Siemens Water Technologies will help develop a solution to meet this need and is another example to our commitment to innovation and industry leadership through research and development.”