News in Brief 16 February 2016 (AM)

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Families displaced by fighting in the village of Shora, 25 kilometres south of Mosul, gather at an army checkpoint on the outskirts of Qayyarah. Photo: UNHCR/Ivor Prickett

DRC leaders urged to conclude dialogue

Political leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are being urged to conclude talks related to elections scheduled for the end of the year.

The appeal has been made by four international organizations concerned about the continuing impasse in the dialogue: the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the international organization of French-speaking countries known as La Francophonie (IOF).

The DRC government and opposition groups had signed an agreement last December on the peaceful transfer of power in the country.

President Joseph Kabila, who was due to leave office that month, will now step down after elections which will be held no later than 31 December of this year.

However, the international partners pointed out that six weeks after agreeing on the modalities of the transition period leading up to the elections, the parties have yet to finalize how the accord should be implemented.

They said this situation could undermine the goodwill that led to the agreement's signing.

Medical supplies delivered to eastern Mosul

Emergency health kits, surgical kits and other urgently-needed medical supplies and equipment have been delivered to east Mosul in Iraq, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

The materials, some of which were donated by the Norwegian government, will be enough to treat around 200,000 patients.

The eastern part of Mosul was recently liberated by Iraqi forces and their allies are working to free the west of the city from the grip of the extremist group, ISIL, also known as Daesh.

WHO reported that with most of east Mosul now accessible, patients are flocking to get treatment.

The delivery will allow health workers to replenish stocks and to continue providing medical care to people who urgently need it, the agency said.

"Small Smurfs Big Goals" for a better world

The Smurfs are teaming up with the UN to create a happier, more peaceful and equitable world.

The small blue cartoon characters will encourage children, young people and adults to learn about and support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The SDGs aim to end extreme poverty, protect the planet and give all people the chance to enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

The "Small Smurfs Big Goals" campaign, launched this week, includes a public service announcement video that inspires viewers to champion the goals.

The campaign's website – SmallSmurfsBigGoals.com – also has information on how to contribute towards achieving the SDGs.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’39″

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