Nigeria slams Ukraine's racism against citizens fleeing tensions
Amid racial discrimination against African citizens in Ukraine, Russia's Human Rights Commissioner says Russian students are being expelled from European universities.
Nigeria on Monday urged border officials in Ukraine and neighboring countries to treat its citizens equally amid mounting reports of racial discrimination against Africans fleeing the country after Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.
Nigerians, Ghanaians, and other Africans, many of whom are students, have joined hundreds of thousands of people trying to escape Ukraine across borders into Poland and other nations.
"There have been unfortunate reports of Ukrainian police and security personnel refusing to allow Nigerians to board buses and trains heading towards the Ukraine-Poland border," expressed Ghanian Presidential Advisor Garba Shehu in a statement.
"In one video widely circulating on social media, a Nigerian mother with her young baby was filmed being physically forced to give up her seat to another person," he highlighted.
#AfricansinUkraine the community of Africans in Ukraine stranded at the boarder much of them women and children. — This is happening now— Damilare / ViF (@Damilare_arah) February 26, 2022
The lady in the video is holding a 2 month old and it’s 3°c outside we are in search of aid and hostels pic.twitter.com/Ae2Iwn4zpg
He also indicated that there are also separate reports of Polish officials denying Nigerian citizens entry into Poland from Ukraine.
"Those in official positions in security and border management will in most cases be experiencing impossible expectations in a situation they never expected," Shehu said, noting that "for that reason, it is paramount that everyone is treated with dignity and without favor."
European universities expel Russian students
In the same context, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova confirmed Monday that there have been instances of Russian students being expelled from European universities over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Moskalkova added that she has discussed the protection of their rights with Russian Higher Education Minister Valery Falkov.
"The Ministry is taking unprecedented measures to protect the rights of Russian students who are being expelled from universities in France, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and other European countries due to the situation in Ukraine," said the Commissioner.
"We [Moskalkova and Falkov] agreed to carry out this important work together," she posted on her Instagram account.
Right of education
Moskalkova and Falkov also discussed ensuring the right to education of students evacuated from the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics.
"The Ministry of Science and Higher Education promptly provides the students with all the necessary assistance and places in Russian universities," Moskalkova added.
Last Thursday, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, responding to calls for help from the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the operation was targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only, stressing that the civilian population is not in danger.