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ICRC: Burma Allows Red Cross to Reopen in Border Areas


Red Cross officials say Burma's military government has allowed the humanitarian group to reopen field offices that were ordered closed in October.

Thierry Ribaux, the deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, says Burma's home minister Major General Maung Oo confirmed last week that the Red Cross offices could reopen along the border.

Ribaux told VOA today that his group must still discuss the details of how their activities can be carried out.

He said the Red Cross still is not allowed access to the country's prisons. The government imposed that ban last December.

The group has said the closures of its offices in five border areas made it effectively impossible to provide assistance and protection to civilians living in regions where ethnic minorities are often in conflict with the Burmese government.

Burma has been ruled by military juntas since 1962, and now holds about 11,00 political prisoners.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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