Russia-Ukraine conflict: Ukraine government officially admits racist treatment of Africans amid Russian war
KIEV— Barely a week into the evolving refugee crisis that has hit the country, the Ukrainian government has publicly acknowledged that African immigrants seeking to flee the violence have faced racist treatment amid social media and diplomatic backlash and fightback.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that Russia’s invasion had “affected Ukrainians and non-citizens in many devastating ways.”
“Africans seeking evacuation are our friends and need to have equal opportunities to return to their home countries safely,” the official said, adding that Ukraine’s government “spares no effort to solve the problem.”
Individual African countries, the West African and continental blocs, ECOWAS and AU respectively, have slammed the mistreatment as have the UN and EU.
Willing African nationals are now being evacuated with most being from neighbouring countries like Romania, Poland and Maldova.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb 24 ordered a military operation in Ukraine after it emerged that the country was seeking entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – which Russia sees as against its security interests.
Russian forces have been in Ukraine trying to take control of the capital and second largest city – Kyiv and Kharkiv respectively.
The resulting chaos has led to people fleeing their homes into neighbouring countries. A major issue that has come up is the racist mistreatment of Africans seeking to escape – it has been condemned by African countries and the AU.
Most African countries have started evacuating their nationals – mostly students – by having them cross land borders into neigbouring countries where they are given consular assistance.
Initial talks between the two warring parties took place on Feb 28, with a second-round expected on March 2, according to Russian media.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK