The African Union (AU) has condemned acts of racism towards African citizens in Ukraine following reports they are being refused the right to cross the border to safety.
Shocking footages uploaded to social media, showed hundreds of African citizens being refused the right to board trains out of Ukraine and some were denied the right to cross borders to safety.
The AU said it was following the developments in Ukraine closely and that they were deeply “disturbed” by the treatment of African citizens attempting to flee the conflict zone.
The AU’s comments come as Nigeria condemned the discriminatory treatment towards its’ citizens in Ukraine, mostly students who were trapped in the war-zone after being denied safe crossing to Poland and Slovenia.
In a statement the AU said: “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 of international law.”
The AU said they are “urging all countries to respect international law and show the same empathy and support to all people fleeing war notwithstanding their racial identity.”
They also commended the efforts of African Union Member State countries and their embassies in neighbouring countries offering assistance to African citizens stranded in Ukraine.
There has been very little mainstream media reporting of racism encountered by black people attempting to flee the conflict in Ukraine.
This is not the first time the AU had to issue a statement regarding the unfair treatment of African citizens.
In 2020, videos were shared online of African nationals facing discrimination in China, which prompted a high level meeting with African Union members.