July 26, 2008
Niger Tells Doctors Without Borders to Get Out
MSF says no reasons were given for the order to stop work but local media say it is suspected of having links with Tuareg rebels. The charity said it was continuing to offer a reduced level of help while talks continued with the government. The group provides treatment and food aid for ten of thousands of children in Niger, where malnutrition is rife. In 2005, it suffered a major food crisis which aid organisations said the government was trying to hide. Niger's Radio Anfani said MSF was suspected of helping a group fighting a rebellion in the north of the country, the Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ).
This is the kind of stupid stuff that happens once government retreats to self-preservation mode and begins sniffing its nose at every group that happens to assist people even remotely connected to government's declared enemy. The most ironic thing about this tactic is that ultimately it only provokes more revolution. Hungry people fight the government. People with jobs and food with which to feed their families don't participate in revolutions. Charities ultimately contribute to peace and good order, even at the cost of preserving an inept government. Good thing something like this will never happen in America. Hey, I'm just sayin . . .
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