Cardinal: Rohingya faced "elements of ethnic cleansing"

AP

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  • In this Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, photo, a volunteer carries a malnourished child from a newly arrived Rohingya family to a transit camp in the Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The hunger the Rohingya faced at home is evident when they come to the Bangladesh camps, where new refugees, especially children and women, suffer from “unbelievable” levels of malnutrition, according to Dr. Ismail Mehr. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

  • 1

    In this Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, photo, a volunteer measures the arm of a newly arrived Rohingya boy to check for malnutrition accompanied by his mother and brother upon their arrival at the Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The lack of food the Rohingya faced at home is evident when they come to the Bangladesh camps, where new refugees, especially children and women, suffer from “unbelievable” levels of malnutrition, according to Dr. Ismail Mehr. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

  • 2

    In this Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, photo, a newly arrived Rohingya woman makes rice for her family at Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

  • 3

    In this Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, photo, a newly arrived Rohingya refugee Muslim carries high power protein biscuits and Khicdhi, made from rice and lentils, for his family after arriving at Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Rohingya Muslims, who have been loathed by Myanmar’s Buddhist majority for decades, are locked down in their villages _ sometimes even in their homes _ and prevented from farming, fishing, foraging, trade and work. The Myanmar government denies ethnic cleansing and says it is battling terrorists. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

  • 4

    In this Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, photo, newly arrived Rohingya refugee Mohammad Ilyas, 55, stands in a makeshift transit shelter at the Nayapara camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. "They are taking away our paddies, rice, and everything else, to keep us hungry. We were not able to leave our homes or go anywhere safely out of fear of the Buddhists," said Mohammad Ilyas, 55, who fled to Bangladesh, with only a shirt and a lungi sarong. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

  • In this Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, photo, a volunteer carries a malnourished child from a newly arrived Rohingya family to a transit camp in the Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The hunger the Rohingya faced at home is evident when they come to the Bangladesh camps, where new refugees, especially children and women, suffer from “unbelievable” levels of malnutrition, according to Dr. Ismail Mehr. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

  • 1

    In this Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, photo, a volunteer measures the arm of a newly arrived Rohingya boy to check for malnutrition accompanied by his mother and brother upon their arrival at the Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The lack of food the Rohingya faced at home is evident when they come to the Bangladesh camps, where new refugees, especially children and women, suffer from “unbelievable” levels of malnutrition, according to Dr. Ismail Mehr. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

  • 2

    In this Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, photo, a newly arrived Rohingya woman makes rice for her family at Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

  • 3

    In this Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, photo, a newly arrived Rohingya refugee Muslim carries high power protein biscuits and Khicdhi, made from rice and lentils, for his family after arriving at Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Rohingya Muslims, who have been loathed by Myanmar’s Buddhist majority for decades, are locked down in their villages _ sometimes even in their homes _ and prevented from farming, fishing, foraging, trade and work. The Myanmar government denies ethnic cleansing and says it is battling terrorists. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

  • 4

    In this Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, photo, newly arrived Rohingya refugee Mohammad Ilyas, 55, stands in a makeshift transit shelter at the Nayapara camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. "They are taking away our paddies, rice, and everything else, to keep us hungry. We were not able to leave our homes or go anywhere safely out of fear of the Buddhists," said Mohammad Ilyas, 55, who fled to Bangladesh, with only a shirt and a lungi sarong. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Myanmar's Catholic cardinal says it's likely that Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh won't ever go home and that "the elements of ethnic cleansing" that drove them out are now apparent.

Two months after Pope Francis visited Myanmar and Bangladesh, Cardinal Charles Bo said Friday that even though the Myanmar government was making plans to receive Rohingya back, many would opt to go elsewhere. He cited security fears, continued discrimination and economic necessity.

Bo, who was at a Vatican conference on human trafficking, again defended Myanmar civilian leader Aung Sung Suu Kyi, saying she has no constitutional right to speak out against the military. While saying more proof was needed, he acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that "the elements of ethnic cleansing" against Rohingya existed.

   

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