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‘Misunderstanding’ With Locals Leads MSF to Suspend Arakan Services

13 November 2013

Médecins Sans Frontières has suspended some operations in Arakan State, citing a “misunderstanding” with local Buddhists, DVB reports. “Some organizations have temporarily cut operations in the Pauktaw [Township] region due to a misunderstanding among the local public,” Michele Trainiti, MSF’s liaison officer for Arakan State, was quoted as saying. The “misunderstanding” reportedly stems from incidents on Nov. 2 in which both Buddhists and Muslims in the area were injured in communal clashes. While the Muslims were transported to a hospital, the Buddhists were not, prompting allegations that MSF’s provision of medical services was biased. MSF says it was not made aware of the Buddhists in need of care.