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Myanmar cardinal calls for independent investigation of war crime allegations

Cardinal Charles Bo has warned Myanmar against extremism, and called on “allegations of ‘ethnic cleansing,’ war crimes, and crimes against humanity” to be “fully and independently” investigated.

Bo is the Archbishop of Yangon, and the country’s first cardinal.

The country, formerly known as Burma, held its first free elections in decades in 2015, with Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy taking the majority of seats. The country’s military still wields a large amount of power, and is considered to hold a veto over any government decision.

Myanmar still suffers from a number of ethnic insurgencies, and the Muslim Rohingyas in Rakhine state have undergone what the United Nations have termed a “campaign of terror.”

Bo said the “sad and the pestering suffering” of the people in Rakhine has greatly concerned him, and added that Pope Francis has also raised his voice on behalf of the Rohingyas.

Francis has expressed his concern for them spontaneously on several occasions, most recently last February, when he said  “they have been suffering, they are being tortured and killed, simply because they uphold their Muslim faith.”

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