News in Brief 07 December 2015 (AM)

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Muhamed, a boy from Syria, arrives at the Sid train station with other refugees and migrants, for the next train to Croatia. He had no winter boots, or warm winter clothes. Photo: UNICEF Serbia/2015/Shubuckl

UN-backed agreement basis for peace and unity in Libya, says envoy

Libyans are being urged to support a UN-backed political agreement that has been described as the basis to end the conflict there.

The call comes from Martin Kobler, head of the UN mission in the country.

He said the Libyan Political Agreement opens the way to unite the country, fight the scourge of terrorism and address the deteriorating economic situation.

He added that it is supported by the majorities of both the House of Representatives and the General National Congress.

The two sides have been fighting for power since the overthrow of former President Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011

This past weekend, they met in Tunisia and have announced a declaration of principles.

It is separate from the agreement facilitated by the UN which had been negotiated for more than one year.

UNICEF provides winter supplies to Syrian children

More than 2.5 million Syrian children will be provided with clothing, blankets and other assistance, as they face another winter, the UN children's agency, UNICEF, has announced.

UNICEF is distributing the items to children living in Syria and across the region, with the focus being on those who are displaced within the country or living in hard-to-reach areas or informal tented settlements.

The agency says preliminary weather forecasts indicate that this winter could be harsher than last year's, adding that storms and heavy snowfall are likely to create hardships for families that are already struggling to survive.

As many as three million children have been displaced inside Syria, sometimes multiple times, according to UNICEF.

An additional 2.2 million Syrian children are also living as refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

Comoros elections critical for consolidating progress

Elections next year in Comoros, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, are being called a "critical step" in consolidating progress made over the past decade.

That assessment comes in a statement from the United Nations and three international bodies who say they are closely monitoring the situation.

Comoros will hold gubernatorial and presidential elections in February and April 2016, with registration of candidates beginning this week.

The statement calls for "scrupulous respect" of provisions of the Constitution related to rotating the presidency among the three islands that make up the country.

Since independence from France in 1975, Comoros has experienced more than 20 coups or attempted coups.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’38″





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