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AU Condemns “Unacceptable Treatment” of Africans by Ukrainian Security

ADDIS ABABA – African Union has condemned “unacceptable dissimilar treatment” of Africans citizens after Ukraine security officers prevented them from leaving the war-torn country.

In a statement today, the current Chair of the AU and President of Senegal, Macky Sall, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said they are closely following the developments in the European nation.



The leaders said they “are particularly disturbed by reports that African citizens on the Ukrainian side of the border are being refused the right to cross the border to safety”.

Thousands of Africans studying in Ukraine are desperate to leave following Russian invasion.

However, reports say Ukrainian security officials are preventing them from catching buses and trains going to the border, prioritizing Ukrainians.

Those who managed to reach the Ukraine-Poland border also wrote on Twitter that Ukrainian police and army were refusing to let Africans cross.

African Union Officials called the treatment “unacceptable”.

“All people have the right to cross international borders during conflict, and as such, should enjoy the same rights to cross to safety from the conflict in Ukraine, notwithstanding their nationality or racial identity,” the two officials said in the statement.

They said reports that Africans “are singled out for unacceptable dissimilar treatment would be shockingly racist and in breach of international law”.



The Chairpersons urged all countries to respect international law and show the same empathy and support to all people fleeing war notwithstanding their racial identity.

The two also commended the efforts by AU Member State countries and their embassies in neighboring countries to receive and orientate African citizens and their families trying to cross the border from Ukraine to safety.

 

Featured Image Captions: Before the conflict there were several thousand African students in Ukraine (Photo AFP)