Transparency Denied; Defence Exports to Sudan


Australian Government refuses to be transparent about defence relations with Sudan in a time of humanitarian crisis

Since April, Sudan has faced a humanitarian and political crisis. Clashes between armed groups and a military coup are now bordering on a civil war. 

The Australian Government has failed to meet the calls of the Sudanese community for increased aid to the country. Today, the Labor Government and Coalition have failed the community yet again, working together to refuse the Greens Order for the Production of Documents request for transparency over the 9 defence export permits that Australia has issued to Sudan.

Lines attributable to Senator Steele-John, Australian Greens spokesperson for Foreign Affairs: 

“I am proud to be working with the Sudanese diaspora community here in Australia. They are desperate to understand the relationship between Australia and the militants currently ripping apart their homeland. Instead of supporting the community, today the Government and the Coalition voted against a Greens Order for Production of Documents that would have provided clarity on Australia’s role in defence exports to Sudan. 

“Australia has a bad track record when it comes to exporting weapons. If the government has nothing to hide about their weapons trade with Sudan, they should make public all information relating to their defence exports. 

“The granting of defence permits to Sudan over the last 6 years is highly concerning to the diaspora community. It is impossible for the Australian Government to know where these weapons are now, and concerning to know that they may be playing a role in this conflict. 

“The Greens are calling for the Australian Government to condemn the ongoing violence, and to work with the international community to work toward a peaceful, sustainable resolution. Additionally, we must end the fear and ensure those who are in Australia from Sudan are granted permanent protection in Australia.” 

Lines attributable to Senator David Shoebridge, Australian Greens spokesperson for Defence:

“It is a deep insult to the Sudanese diaspora that the Albanese Government refused to provide information on weapons exports. 

“Labor is continuing the Coalition's plan to make Australia a global arms dealer. Putting dollars and profits ahead of basic human rights and a better world. 

“The Australian Government should condemn the violence in Sudan, not fuel it through sending weapons. 

“With increasing weapons exports to Saudi Arabia and the UAE the Albanese Government is fueling an arms race in the region. 

“We should be proud of the things we make and sell. Instead, the Albanese Government wants to hide what we are selling, to whom and why.”

Lines attributable to Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens spokesperson for Aid: 

“Sudan is in a complete crisis. People are fleeing conflict and they desperately need basic necessities and humanitarian aid. The UN has called for $1bn in immediate assistance. 

“There is a complete humanitarian disaster unfolding with people in urgent need of food, water, shelter and healthcare. Instead of exporting weapons of war, the Labor Government must step up and provide immediate humanitarian assistance to people in Sudan.