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Bishop calls for dialogue.

MANDALAY, MYANMAR * Bishop Alexander Pyone Cho has called for dialogue as violence escalates in Myanmar's Rakh-Me state. His Pyay Diocese in western Myanmar covers Rakhine, which has experienced the worst strife in decades.

"The conflict may be prolonged if one can't keep extreme nationalism out of the picture," he said.

The Rakhine conflict has killed at least 90 civilians and displaced thousands more since it began in December 2018. At least 44,000 people are displaced in 119 sites in Rakhine, and more than 1,800 people are displaced in 12 sites in Chin state, according to the United Nations.

Clashes between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army continue in both states. The Arakan Army is a Buddhist militia fighting for greater autonomy for indigenous ethnic Rakhine.



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Title Annotation:WORLD
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Geographic Code:9MYAN
Date:Jan 24, 2020
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