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Algeria refuses the opening of a Red Cross office on Malian border

Algerian authorities have refused to open an office for the International Red Cross in Tamanrasset Province on the border with Mali in order to take care of African refugees, an official Algerian news agency reported on Friday.

Head of the Algerian Red Crescent (CRA) Saida Benhabiles said: "We refused to open an office for the Red Cross in Tamanrasset under the cover of caring for Malian refugees, which is a humanitarian project aiming at jeopardising nation sovereignty."

Benhabiles continued: "We refused to make of Tamanrasset a point for passing international aid because of the existence of an office for the Algerian Red Crescent, which carries out its mission very well."

The International Red Cross and the Algerian Red Crescent, Benhabiles said, discussed the issue of opening an office for the Red Cross in Tamanrasset last September in Geneva.

The Algerian Red Crescent take care of hundreds of Malian refugees fleeing from conflict. The refugees are residing in camps in the southern borders of Algeria.

Head of the International Red Cross has previously said that he reached an agreement to cooperate with the Algerian Red Crescent regarding Malian refugees.

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