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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Church officials upset that Myanmar won’t allow UN fact-finders

Church officials have expressed disappointment over the refusal of Myanmar’s government to grant visas to three members of a UN fact-finding mission to investigate alleged human rights abuses by security forces against the Rohingya minority.

Ucanews.com reported that Bishop Alexander Pyone Cho of Pyay, in restive Rakhine state, said when he read the news, it was hard for him to believe.

The government of “Aung San Suu Kyi appears to face a tough challenge between the military, which still plays a key role, and the international community, including the UN, over the Rakhine crisis,” the bishop told ucanews.com.

In late June, Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon called on the government to work with the international community to investigate crimes reported by the UN in a “truly independent” way that results in “justice and accountability”.

“Allegations of ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity should be fully and independently investigated. The warnings of potential genocide need to be heeded,” Cardinal Bo said.

Picture: A Rohingya woman holds her two-month-old baby in early February at a refugee shelter in Medan, Indonesia. The woman and her husband fled persecution in their village in Myanmar and have been waiting for two years to be resettled to Malaysia or Australia. (CNS photo/Dedi Sinuhaji, EPA).