Russia-Ukraine conflict: AU condemns reports of ill-treatment of Africans trying to flee Ukraine

ADDIS ABABA— The African Union has condemned disturbing reports of ill-treatment of African citizens in Ukraine trying to flee the country but are being refused the right to cross borders safely.

Thousands of Africans and other foreign nationals, particularly students, have been scrambling to leave Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.

But as hundreds of thousands throng to Ukraine’s various land borders, overwhelming authorities in neighbouring countries, reports have emerged that Africans are being treated differently and sometimes prevented from leaving.

Several people have shared videos and testimonies on social media, denouncing discrimination at train stations and border posts.

“Reports that Africans are singled out for unacceptable dissimilar treatment would be shockingly racist and in breach international law,” AU Chair, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, and Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of AU Commission said in a joint statement.

The statement added that all people have the right to cross international borders during conflict, and should enjoy the same rights to cross to safety from the conflict in Ukraine, notwithstanding their nationality or racial identity.

“The Chairpersons commend the efforts by African Union Member State countries and their embassies in neighbouring countries to receive and orientate African citizens and their families trying to cross the border from Ukraine to safety,” the statement concluded. 


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