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17:37, 19 March 2018 Monday
Update: 11:15, 23 November 2017 Thursday

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Vatican confirms Pope Francis to see Myanmar army chief
Vatican confirms Pope Francis to see Myanmar army chief

Pope will begin visit to Myanmar, Bangladesh Monday

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Vatican confirmed on Wednesday that Pope Francis would meet the military chief of Myanmar during his upcoming trip to the region.

Speaking in a press brief, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke also said the Myanmar church had urged the pope to not use the word "Rohingya," calling the description of the persecuted community "contested".

The spokesman, however, said the Rohingya term is not forbidden and the pope had used it before.

"Sad news has reached us of the persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters, a religious minority," Francis had said during a Sunday speech in St. Peter’s Square in August.

The pope's visit to Myanmar will start on Monday; he will visit Bangladesh on Nov. 30, Cardinal Tagle said in a written statement on Tuesday.

He is also scheduled to meet the Rohingya community in Bangladesh on Dec. 1; his trip ends on Dec. 2, the spokesman said.

Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel.

In a recent report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

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