Ukraine Conflict: Nigeria Condemns Treatment Of Africans

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Nigeria’s government has condemned reports that its citizens, and those of other African countries, have been stopped from leaving war-torn Ukraine.

Isaac, a Nigerian man trying to get into Poland, said border staff told him they were “not tending to Africans”.

“We’ve been chased back, we’ve been hit with police armed with sticks,” he told the BBC.

South African foreign office official Clayson Monyela also said students had been “badly treated” at the border.

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There have also been numerous reports of Ukrainian security officials preventing Africans from catching buses and trains going to the border.

Osemen, from Nigeria, told the BBC he had tried to get on a train in Lviv to take him to the Polish border but was told only Ukrainians would be allowed on board.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said there were about 4,000 Nigerians in Ukraine, mostly students.

He said one group had repeatedly been refused entry to Poland so they travelled back into Ukraine to head for Hungary instead.

“All who flee a conflict situation have the same right to safe passage under the UN Convention, and the colour of their passport or their skin should make no difference,” Mr Buhari said in a tweet.
More than 500,000 Ukrainians have managed to flee the Russian invasion so far.

‘Hotel only for Ukrainians’

University student Ruqqaya, from Nigeria, was studying medicine in Kharkiv in the east of the country when the city was attacked. She walked for 11 hours overnight before she arrived at the Medyka crossing with Poland.

“When I came here there were black people sleeping on the street,” she told the BBC.

She says she was told by armed guards to wait as Ukrainians had to be let through first. She watched busloads of people, whom she described as white, being allowed through the border while only a handful of Africans were selected from the queue.

After waiting for many hours, she was finally allowed to cross and made her way to Warsaw to fly back to Nigeria.

Asya, a medical student from Somalia studying in Kyiv, had a similar account. When she finally reached Poland, she said she was told “accommodation at the hotel was only for Ukrainians”.

She is now safe in Warsaw, where she’s staying in a hotel. In stark contrast to her experience at the border, she’s found people in the city to be incredibly kind and welcoming.

All of the African and Asian students she’s in touch with have been offered free accommodation. She said the reception had been overwhelming.

The Polish border force told the BBC that everyone fleeing conflict in Ukraine was being welcomed into Poland regardless of nationality. The BBC has tried to contact the Ukrainian border force but has yet to receive a response.

Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geofrey Onyeama said he had spoken with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and had been assured that Ukrainian border guards had been given an order to allow all foreigners leaving Ukraine to pass without restrictions.

Nigeria’s ministry of foreign affairs has now advised its citizens leaving Ukraine to head for Hungary or Romania, rather than trying to enter Poland.

The Nigerian ambassador to Romania has told the BBC that so far about 200 Nigerians – mostly students – have arrived in the capital Bucharest from Ukraine. Safiya Nuhu said many more were still arriving.

Source: BBC News. Headline photo: Screen grab from social media video of Africans being barred from boarding train.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

9 COMMENTS

  1. @Straight As – your comment is on point – these students failed intro to common sense. However, I wish them well as they flee from oppression on every side.

  2. Nah this should be simple understanding that the Nigerians in Ukraine or any other tourist or students from other countries there had to of been following the news in Ukraine and i’m sure people around them were talking about the Russians planning to invade the country or maybe they didn’t understand the language lol but they would see the footage of the miltary build up near the borders, they should of planned to leave prior to the invasion remember the Ukranians are being targeted here and their homes are being destroyed right now. Nigeria should of done like India and send their own airplane to pick up their students

  3. Black People know yu’ll selves in that side of the world in White People Country, and that include you Shabbins who feel you are privileged as well. None of these Scandinaviam Countries like Black People, just imageine it’s a war bombs bullets flying all over and every one is running for their lives , but they actually think your Black life is less meaningful than theirs that they are entitled to be first line over you EVEN when you are leaving their country and NOT coming in. I can imageine those St Lucians who love half cast if they were fleeing the country your whomsoever partner who is of a darker shade would have to stay behind ha ha ha ha I bet that would wise you up Then again I blame you all Black people, I don’t know the naritivies that persuaded you not to leave when you heard war was brewing, this country was attack by Putin already in 2014 , so yu’ll done know he came back to finish the job. .

  4. Seriously Nigeria What’s your effing point??? Every sane, intelligent and aware black person knows one thing; if you live in a white country and there is trouble brewing you pack your bags and get out! in fact you have to do that before it gets bad. that’s the rule! its up to the Nigerians who stupidly stayed in the people’s country and got out in the middle of the stampede and expected to be given priority! what nerve! and why did they not book a flight direct to Africa, why are they hanging around in Poland? you know your skin colour, covid hit, you get out! You know your skin colour, you hear war or rumours of war, you get out on the first flight. your black skin have the luxury of witnessing these events from afar! but our people are not known for intelligent decisions sadly.

  5. You see it these ppls eyes…These Ukrainian & Russians have never liked the blacker folks…I personally don’t know why black people would even go over there in the first place. Yo Pah Vlay Zot,y’all just like to go & put yourself in all places as if the ppl like yall…Choops

  6. Not surprised here…lived in those parts for about a year and it made me think that what’s happening in America is petty compared to Scandinavian countries. Ths is the reason that I think western media is not telling us the entire truth why Russia truly is doing this? It’s a sad situation and is wrong to incite war but I believe Ukraine is not an angel!

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