Myanmar today announced that it has kicked out Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which provides life-saving health care to thousands in one of the world's poorest countries, allegedly because of the group's care for Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.
MSF has been providing emergency health assistance to tens of thousands of Rohingya displaced by recent anti-Muslim violence. In Rakhine, which has a large Muslim population, MSF is the biggest health care provider. MSF administers HIV/AIDS treatment to 30,000 people and runs anti-malaria and tuberculosis programs throughout Myanmar.
"MSF is deeply shocked by this unilateral decision and extremely concerned about the fate of tens of thousands of patients currently under MSF's care across the country," the group said in a statement.
A presidential spokesperson alleged that MSF was biased toward the Muslim Rohingya minority in Rakhine, prioritizing care of the Rohingya community over local Buddhists, according to the BBC. MSF defended its work in a media statement: "MSF's actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of neutrality and impartiality."