Rohingya crisis: Pope Francis visits Burma in shadow of refugee exodus and genocide accusations

Pontiff's arrival follows days after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Aung San Suu Kyi government of carrying out 'ethnic cleansing' of persecuted minority

John Chalmers
Monday 27 November 2017 08:10
A girl embraces Pope Francis as he arrives at Yangon International Airport
A girl embraces Pope Francis as he arrives at Yangon International Airport

Pope Francis had landed in Yangon, the start of a delicate visit for the world's most prominent Christian to majority-Buddhist Burma, which the United States has accused of “ethnic cleansing” its Muslim Rohingya people.

The Pope will also visit Bangladesh, to where more than 620,000 Rohingya have fled from what Amnesty International has dubbed “crimes against humanity” by Burmese security forces, including murder, rape, torture and forcible displacement.

The Burmese army denies the accusations.

Only about 700,000 of Burma's 51 million people are Roman Catholic. Thousands of them have travelled by train and bus to Yangon, the country's main city, to catch a glimpse of the pope.


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