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Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Page: 2850

Mr BANDT (Melbourne) (13:52): On 18 January 2011, following the Sudanese referendum, the then Minister for Foreign Affairs stated:

Australia will continue to work with the international community to assist the people of Sudan, north and south, to achieve an enduring peace.

On 8 January this year, there were reported mass killings in South Sudan. The UN undertook an emergency operation to help those affected by ongoing violence. On 31 January, UN Chief Ban Ki-moon said:

The situation in Sudan and South Sudan has reached a critical point. It has become a major threat to peace and security across the region.

Last week, a constituent brought to me the only DVD recording of killings in South Sudan on 28 January. The distressing footage was taken by Chibak Kur, who visited South Sudan in January. Chibak has described how approximately 128 villagers were massacred while collecting water from a river some distance from their village. Chibak went with others from the town to the scene of the massacre the next day. He was asked to go as he had a video camera. While there, he recorded footage of the bodies, followed by interviews with various people. The images are distressing, and I extend my sympathy to Chibak and his friends and family who witnessed the scene.

On behalf of the South Sudanese and Sudanese Australians and refugees in my electorate of Melbourne, I want to draw the attention of the new Minister for Foreign Affairs to the ongoing violence and killings in South Sudan and request an ongoing commitment to assist the people of Sudan to achieve peace.