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Myanmar : Expansion of ICRC activities

08-11-2002 News Release 02/45

With the government's consent, the head of the ICRC delegation in Myanmar is currently touring the border areas of Shan state in order to meet with the local authorities and the civilian population and to discuss with them the possibility of expanding ICRC protection and assistance activities in those areas.

The ICRC delegation in Myanmar has been carrying out regular visits to detainees since 1999. Over the years, it has engaged in constructive dialogue designed to build up a relationship of trust with the authorities, and it is now seeking to expand its activities to include other target groups. With this in mind, it has asked for permission to increase its presence in the country so that it can assess the overall humanitarian situation. If its request is granted, it will regularly report its findings to the authorities on a confidential basis with a view to working out appropriate measures to ensure the protection and security of the civilian population.

It should be noted that, by virtue of its mandate, the ICRC cannot investigate the allegations recently made in the report License to Rape .