The African Union (AU) has finally broken its silence about the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, but most importantly, the racist treatment of Africans fleeing the war zone by both the Polish and Ukrainian authorities.
AU expressing its concerns about the treatment of Africans said on Monday that it was “concerned” about the potentially “shocking and racist” treatment of Africans seeking to flee Ukraine, which has been invaded by the Russian army.
Governments of African countries are currently trying to help their nationals who are among the hundreds of thousands of people trying to flee Ukraine to neighbouring countries, including Poland.
Accusations of racist behaviour are mounting at Ukraine’s borders, with Africans claiming they have been prevented from crossing or boarding trains and buses heading for the border.
Senegalese Head of State Macky Sall , current AU Chairperson, and AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said they were “particularly concerned by reports that African citizens, on the Ukrainian side of the border, would be denied the right to cross the border to safety”.
“Everyone has the right to cross international borders during a conflict (…) regardless of their nationality or racial identity”, they believe in a press release, and applying “unacceptable different treatment” to Africans would be “shocking and racist” and “would violate international law”.
They “urge all countries to respect international law and to show the same empathy and support to all people fleeing war, regardless of their racial identity”.