The current Chair of the African Union and President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, have condemned reported ill treatment of Africans trying to flee the conflict in Ukraine.
The AU said its leaders have been “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.”
A joint statement by the two leaders also said that “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 statement said “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.”
The two Chairpersons however commended “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.”
— Isaac Kaledzi (@IsaacKaledzi) March 1, 2022
The African Union has already expressed concern over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent attack that has left many dead.
The continental body has called for an “immediate ceasefire” to avoid what it a “planetary conflict”.
AU in a statement said it was “extremely concerned” by the invasion.
“They call on the Russian Federation and any other regional or international actor to imperatively respect international law, the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Ukraine,” the statement added.