News in Brief 18 May 2015 (PM)

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Christian Iraqi family fled the town of Qaragosh, 30km east of Mosul, in June 2014. Photo: IRIN/Louise Redvers (file)

Families flee Iraqi city following militant advance

Humanitarian agencies say that more than 6,500 families have been displaced in Iraq following reports that militants of the Da'esh or ISIL terrorist group have reached the city of Ramadi.

Nearby Khaldiyah Hospital has reported receiving many casualties, and the local authorities have requested international assistance.

The UN and its humanitarian partners have responded by dispatching food rations and other relief supplies.

They're now assessing the needs of families who have fled to safety.

UN "deeply concerned" by fighting in South Sudan's Upper Nile State

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says it's deeply concerned by fighting that has taken place in Malakal in Upper Nile State.

The African country continues to endure instability after rebels took up arms against the government almost a year and a half ago.

Here's the UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

"The Mission strongly condemns this new cycle of violence and yet another violation of the cessation of hostility agreement. It calls upon all parties to conclude a comprehensive peace agreement at the earliest, and reiterates that there cannot be a military solution to the conflict."

Eyewitness accounts report the rape and killing of civilians, including children.

Rebels surrender in DR Congo

Almost 450 members of the Ituri Patriotic Resistance Front, a rebel group based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have said they are willing to surrender, the UN Mission in the country, MONUSCO, has announced.

The Mission said that a group of armed men, women and children gathered to start the peaceful surrender in a town in the Eastern DRC province of Ituri on Sunday.

The DRC has experienced widespread instability and lawlessness over many years. MONUSCO has continued to support the peace process in the country.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’51″

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