The United Nations secretary-general has urged Burma's ruling military government to allow aid workers into the country to assist the victims of Saturday's devastating cyclone.
A small U.N. disaster team has been cleared to enter Burma Thursday. But Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement Wednesday saying the Burmese government must open its borders wider to allow in more workers and supplies to assist one million displaced people.
In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also called on Burma to let relief workers into the country. She stressed that the present humanitarian crisis should not be turned into a political matter.
The U.S. and other Western countries have been critical of Burma's government, which has in turn accused the U.S. of trying to subvert its rule.
Some 42-thousand people are still listed as missing in Burma. The top U.S. diplomat in that country, Charges d'Affaires Shari Villarosa warned Wednesday that the death toll from Cyclone Nargis may reach 100-thousand. She said that figure is based on estimates from an international non-governmental organization, but she declined to say which one.