African Union disturbed by reports that Africans are blocked from leaving Ukraine
The African Union said on Monday it is disturbed by widespread reports that Africans living in Ukraine had been blocked from leaving the country.
This comes following social media outrage across the continent after amateur footage and pictures showed instances where Africans were allegedly denied entry into evacuation buses and trains, while some were blocked at border points by security personnel.
“The current Chair of the African Union and President of the Republic of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, are following closely the developments in Ukraine and 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,” a statement by AU read in part.
“The two Chairpersons recall that 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.
“Reports that Africans are singled out for unacceptable dissimilar treatment would be shockingly racist and in breach international law.”
According to the United Nations, more than 500,000 people have fled Ukraine since Russia launched its military operation last week.
The agency said that at least 102 civilians had been killed as of Monday.
Thousands of African students are studying in Ukraine, mostly from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Africa and other countries.