YANGON (dpa) – The international medical group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was warned to stay away from politics if it resumes aid operations in western Myanmar, local media reported Sunday.
Rakhine state’s chief minister said many local residents do not trust the organisation, and said it should tread lightly in the fragile social environment.
“MSF should very carefully resume aid operations here and stay away from any movement like lobbying for a group or individuals,” Maung Maung Ohme said.
“They should better focus on humanitarian efforts and build trust (with local people) with accountability and transparency,” he said. The minister met Saturday with the group’s representatives and the local emergency coordination committee set up in March by local Buddhists to monitor the work of international aid groups.
The medical organisation was expelled from Rakhine in February by the government, which accused it of siding with Muslim communities during recent sectarian strife.
On July 24, the government invited MSF to resume its work in the state, where communal violence since mid-2012 has left hundreds dead and thousands homeless, mostly minority Muslims.