Statements on the Inhumane Treatment of Africans Trying to Leave Ukraine

Statements on the Inhumane Treatment of Africans Trying to Leave Ukraine

From the All Africa Conference of Churches:

The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) has been shocked by the developments in Ukraine and is appalled by reports that African citizens residing in Ukraine are discriminated against; they are sometimes prevented to catch means of transport going to borders and even worse, refused the right to cross the borders to leave Ukraine following the Russian invasion. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the actions of all who discriminate against African people in need. Reports of the borders of some countries being closed to Africans are disgusting, particularly from a country which has been recently presenting itself as a friend of Africa, seeking trade and investment opportunities.

Such acts are a sure proof of racist attitudes and actions, which should never be tolerated anywhere, since they violate the dignity of people created in the image of God and are against international laws. AACC stands for and promotes respecting dignity and the image of God in every human being.

The All Africa Conference of Churches commends the efforts of European countries that have not followed racist attitudes and have served African people in need according to their dignity. They have opened their borders and provided humanitarian support, therefore demonstrating that racism is NOT a European value at all and is not tolerated.

The AACC calls on the African Union and its member states through their different diplomatic channels both in Europe and Africa to intentionally pay particular attention and take concrete actions to protect the lives of African citizens living in Ukraine and who would be stranded trying to leave the country. They should also call out those countries who have demonstrated racism against Africans.

From the African Union:

The current Chair of the African Union and President of the Republic of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, are following closely the developments in Ukraine and are particularly disturbed by reports that African citizens on the Ukrainian side of the border are being refused the right to cross the border to safety.

The two Chairpersons recall that 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 international law. In this regard, The Chairpersons urge all countries to respect international law and show the same empathy and support to all people fleeing war notwithstanding their racial identity.

The Chairpersons commend the efforts by African Union Member State countries and their embassies in neighbouring countries to receive and orientate African citizens and their families trying to cross the border from Ukraine to safety.