Saturday, Jul 02, 2022
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Racism Amid War: Asian And African Students Face Discrimination While Fleeing Ukraine 

Videos online show how these African and non-European, non-white ethnicity people are being blocked from boarding trains and buses. Although countries have started with their rescue mission to evacuate citizens, scores of non-white people are being blocked from fleeing to safety. 

Nigerian students in Ukraine wait at the platform in Lviv railway station in Lviv, west Ukraine.
Nigerian students in Ukraine wait at the platform in Lviv railway station in Lviv, west Ukraine. AP

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, thousands of students and citizens of other countries stuck in the war-torn country, are experiencing racism from Ukrainian security forces as they try to leave. Asian and African students, in particular, are claiming to face difficulties and extreme racist treatment from the white forces as they are trying to flee. Videos of the same have gone viral, showing how Ukrainian forces are not letting these students board buses, trains and cross the borders. 

Several reports state how the people of colour, trying to flee the country are being subjected to segregation, racism and abuse.

Videos online show how these African and non-European, non-white ethnicity people are being blocked from boarding trains and buses. Although countries have started with their rescue mission to evacuate citizens, scores of non-white people are being blocked from fleeing to safety. 

Despite the government urging their citizens to head towards the borders of Poland, Romania and Belarus, Asian and African students are increasingly facing racist atrocities at the border areas. 

One such video shows African students being blocked from boarding the bus, while the carriage is filled with white nationals. Another video shows a Ukrainian security force pushing away a black international student from the train. Several other videos show how African families have been left stranded in railway tracks while gates have been shut for them. Mothers are spotted carrying their infants while the temperature drops to 3 Degrees Celcius. 

Security forces have been allegedly threatening to shoot them if they tried to cross the borders. 

Amid a deluge of reports and footage of racial discrimination, the Nigerian government has condemned the treatment of thousands of its students and citizens fleeing the war in Ukraine and being denied entry into Poland.

It further added, “From video evidence, first-hand reports, and from those in contact with ... Nigerian consular officials, there have been unfortunate reports of Ukrainian police and security personnel refusing to allow Nigerians to board buses and trains heading towards Ukraine-Poland border.”

Commenting on the situation, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Africa’s special advisor to President, “Africans are being denied entry through the Ukrainian borders. The minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has taken this up with the Ukrainian ambassador. Our people who want to leave must be allowed to.”

https://twitter.com/abikedabiri/status/1498257023183564800

On Monday, Kenyan Ambassador to the UN Martin Kimani, said, "The mistreatment of African peoples on Europe's borders needs to cease immediately, whether to the Africans fleeing Ukraine or to those crossing the Mediterranean.”

On the other side, although the Indian government is carrying out Operation Ganga to evacuate Indian and Indian students, several who are still waiting to leave, are increasingly facing food and resource crises.

According to several national media reports, Indian students remain worried about their lives. Following the death of the 21-year-old student, Naveen, the panic has been exacerbated. Students allege the mounting difficulties they face based on racism while trying to travel to the border area. 


 

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