Pope demands world help resolve Rohingya crisis

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Pope Francis is demanding that the international community take “decisive measures” to resolve the causes of the mass exodus of Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, breaking his recent silence over what the U.N. has declared to be a textbook case of “ethnic cleansing.”

Arriving in Bangladesh on Thursday from Myanmar, Francis also said it was “imperative” for world governments to immediately help the Bangladeshi government provide for the refugees.

In a speech before Bangladesh President President Abdul Hamid, government officials and ambassadors from around the world, Francis praised Bangladesh’s sacrifice in welcoming in so many people. He didn’t identify the Rohingya by name, ethnicity or faith, saying only “refugees from Rakhine state.” But his words were sharp: “None of us can fail to be aware of the gravity of the situation.”