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Pope Francis Visits Burma Amid Military Ethnic Cleansing Campaign Against Rohingya

HeadlineNov 27, 2017

Pope Francis is visiting Burma today, amid the Burmese military’s ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims in the majority-Buddhist nation. More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled Burma into neighboring Bangladesh amid a Burmese military campaign of murder, rape, torture and forcible displacement.

Pope Francis is slated to meet today with the Burmese military leader Min Aung Hlaing, who has sole authority over Burma’s armed forces and who is likely planning to run for president in 2020.

On Tuesday, Pope Francis will meet with Burma’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner whose relative silence in the face of the ethnic cleansing campaign has deeply undercut her international standing. This all comes only days after Bangladesh and Burma signed a deal to repatriate of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees back to Burma. This is Abdul Mannan, a Rohingya refugee, speaking from a Bangladeshi refugee camp.

Abdul Mannan: “We ought to be returning to our own country. But we have one condition: We Rohingya people want our own nationality to be recognized there. If we are not recognized by the government there, then we will not go back from here.”

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