Several Africans attempting to flee Ukraine as the war rages on have claimed they experienced racist treatment at the border because of their race.
Eswatini student Vkile Dlamini, who crossed to Romania from Ukraine, said that she undertook the most difficult journey of her life.
“We were exposed to a lot of racism. Police pointed guns at us. I am still getting over it. I was physically and mentally exhausted,” she said.
Victor Eldred from Nigeria said: “In Lviv, only Ukrainians were allowed on the train. We waited in the cold for hours, but somehow, after a difficult journey, we managed to get out of Ukraine.”
Ukraine is among the first choice for foreign students due to its affordable fees.
According to the data released in 2020 by Ukraine’s Education Ministry, about 80,000 students from 158 countries are studying in the country.
Among them, India tops the list with 18,429, Morocco with 8,233, Azerbaijan with 5,470, and Nigeria with 4,379.
African students make up 20% of foreign students in Ukraine.
After videos on social media showing Africans being denied access to trains evacuating people from Ukraine triggered outrage, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has 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. Ukraine’s government spares no effort to solve the problem.”