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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 15:21 PM | 30-11-2017

Pope breaks silence in Bangladesh

Pope Francis has demanded that the international community take “decisive measures” to resolve the causes of the mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, breaking his recent silence over what the United Nations has declared to be a textbook case of “ethnic cleansing.”

Arriving in Bangladesh from Myanmar on Thursday (Nov 30, 2017), he said it also was “imperative” for world governments to immediately provide assistance to help the Bangladeshi government cope with Asia’s worst refugee crisis in decades, The Associated Press reported.

In a speech in front of Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid, government officials and ambassadors from around the world, Francis praised Bangladesh’s sacrifice and generosity in welcoming in so many refugees “before the eyes of the whole world.”

He did not identify the Rohingya by name, ethnicity or faith, referring only to “refugees from Rakhine state” but his words were sharp.

“None of us can fail to be aware of the gravity of the situation, the immense toll of human suffering involved, and the precarious living conditions of so many of our brothers and sisters, a majority of whom are women and children, crowded in the refugee camps,” he said.

“It is imperative that the international community take decisive measures to address this grave crisis, not only by working to resolve the political issues that have led to the mass displacement of people, but also by offering immediate material assistance to Bangladesh in its effort to respond effectively to urgent human needs.”


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