Russia-Ukraine conflict: Africans face racial discrimination in Ukraine

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 Africans face racial discrimination in Ukraine

FILE - African residents in Ukraine wait at the platform inside Lviv railway station, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, in Lviv, west Ukraine. As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians seek   -  

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Bernat Armangue/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Last updated: 31 minutes ago


The Nigerian government has expressed disappointment at ongoing reports of maltreatment of some Nigerian nationals attempting to flee Ukraine.

In a statement on Monday, February 28, 2022, the government urged customs authorities in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to treat its citizens "with dignity" amid growing accusations of racism at the Ukrainian border.

Like hundreds of thousands of people, many Africans - mostly students - are trying to flee the Russian invasion of Ukraine by reaching neighbouring countries.

A total of 4,000 Nigerian citizens are still stranded in Ukraine.

"There have been unfortunate reports (that) Ukrainian police and security personnel are refusing to let Nigerians board buses and trains" to Poland, said Nigerian presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu.

A video that circulated on Social media over the weekend, showed some Nigerian students sharing their plight.

Mr Shehu said there were claims that Polish officials had refused Nigerian nationals entry to Poland.

"It is important that everyone is treated with dignity and without favour," he stressed.

Poland's ambassador to Nigeria, Joanna Tarnawska, rejected accusations of racism.

"Everyone receives equal treatment. I can assure you that, according to the information I have, some Nigerian nationals have already crossed the border to Poland," she told local media.

According to Ms Tarnawska, invalid identity documents are accepted for crossing the border and Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted. Nigerians have 15 days to leave the country afterwards, she added.

The Ukrainian embassy in Nigeria was not immediately available.

Since the start of the Russian offensive, about 400,000 Ukrainians have entered the European Union, according to an AFP count.

The situation does not apply to only Nigerians. There are reports that Scores of African migrants in Ukraine are being blocked from fleeing to safety.

Black people living in the region say they have been left to languish, with some taking to Twitter in recent days to share accounts of abandonment.

Many nations are trying to evacuate their nationals from Ukraine but that has come with a lot of challenges.

Over the weekend, a member of parliament in Ghana announced an alleged attack on some Ghanaian students who were being evacuated by the government.

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