Senate debates

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Ministerial Statements


12:10 pm

Photo of Jordon Steele-JohnJordon Steele-John (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—The outbreak of violence in Sudan has been nothing short of a tragedy. With thousands of people having been killed over the past weeks and millions trapped without access to food, water or electricity, this is an emergence of a humanitarian crisis of the most severe nature. Whilst countries around the world have rushed to evacuate their citizens, the Australian Greens want to extend our solidarity to the people of Sudan left behind, desperately seeking an exit route towards democracy in the nation itself. We also extend our thoughts to the families of the diaspora community here in Australia, painfully waiting to hear news of their families in Sudan.

The capital of Sudan, Khartoum, has been the centre of violence and outbreaks of the most horrific nature of conflict in recent weeks, with a 100,000-strong force of the Rapid Support Forces, the relevant paramilitary group to the conflict, fighting for control and power. This follows four years of Sudan's attempt to build a civilian led government arising from decades of military rule. Plans for civilian rule have been jeopardised as ceasefires across the country are repeatedly breached.

The two clashing forces have been linked to war crimes across the nation, including ethnic cleansing in regions such as Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile region. The battle follows on from killings of over 2,000 peaceful protesters in front of military headquarters on 3 June 2019. This is a continual battle that the people of Sudan have been in for democracy in their nation. Sudanese people in the country and across the diaspora have repeated their wish to remove the military dictatorship and to see democracy come to Sudan. They wish to see a reckoning with the reality that many nations through the world have failed to engage as diligently and as continually as they should have in relation to the promotion of democracy in Sudan, and fear now that there is the potential for a broader, more global conflict within the particular region, involving external powers.

The Australian Greens join with the government and are pleased to see the actions that have been taken by the government in relation to the provision of humanitarian assistance. But we continue to call on the Australian government broadly and the Australian foreign ministry specifically to engage ahead of time in regions beyond the Asia-Pacific to ensure that Australia's engagement is truly global and we play a full role as a responsible actor in that global community.


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