Parliamentary speeches

Tigray region of Ethiopia

November 30, 2020

My thoughts today are with Australia's Ethiopian community. A full-scale humanitarian crisis has been unfolding in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, where I believe 50 Australian citizens are presently located. The situation there remains grave. For some time now, communications have been cut off in Tigray, resulting in Australians being unable to contact families and loved ones. It's almost impossible to imagine how distressing this must be, given the circumstances there at the moment.

While other nations have repatriated their citizens from this conflict, we have not. The UN is preparing for 200,000 refugees to flee. Amnesty International has documented a massacre in which scores, and likely hundreds, of people were stabbed or hacked to death. The world cannot stand by and watch, and neither can we. I urge all parties to protect the civilians, to respect human rights and to allow access to humanitarian agencies. I urge all of us in this place to do all we can to support our friends in Australia's Ethiopian community, at what is a tremendously difficult, indeed, awful, time.