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Myanmar: Cardinal Bo challenges government to acknowledge Rohingya suffering

June 27, 2017

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, has spoken out in support of the country’s Rohingya minority, which has been the object of severe repression.

About 1.1 million members of the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group in a predominantly Muslim country, live in the state of Rakhine. In the past year the government of Myanmar has been engaged in a campaign against the Rohingya, allegedly in response to unrest in the region; the campaign has driven tens of thousands of families from their homes into internment camps, and thousands more have fled the country.

Human-rights advocates have described the campaign against the Rohingya as an instance of ethnic cleansing, involving gross violations of human rights. To date, the government of Myanmar has dismissed claims of genocide.

“I am not an expert in politics or international law,” said Cardinal Bo. “I am moved by human suffering... The enormous suffering of the population of Rakhine is one of my great concerns.”

Cardinal Bo said that the government of Myanmar to “move away from position that do not favor peace” and to “work with the international community to investigate the crimes reported by the UN in a truly independent manner that leads to justice.”


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