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Feb 9, 11:18 AM EST

Cardinal: Rohingya faced "elements of ethnic cleansing"

AP Photo
AP Photo/Manish Swarup

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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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