Nigeria expresses outrage at treatment of students stranded at Ukraine border
Nigeria's government has condemned reports that its citizens, and those of other African countries, have been stopped from leaving Ukraine as comes under attack by Russian forces.
Isaac, a Nigerian man trying to get into Poland, told the BBC that Ukraine’s border staff told him they were "not tending to Africans".
"We've been chased back, we've been hit with police armed with sticks," he said.
South African foreign office official Clayson Monyela also said students had been "badly treated" at the border.
There have also been numerous reports of Ukrainian security officials preventing Africans from catching buses and trains going to the border.
Russian President Putin announced on Thursday a “special military operation” in Ukraine’s Donbas region to “defend people” subjected to "genocide" by government forces, stressing that Moscow has “no plans to occupy Ukrainian territory.”
The Ukrainian military claims that Russian forces have slowed the pace of their military operation in the country as the offensive entered its fifth day on Monday.
Osemen, from Nigeria, told the BBC he had tried to get on a train in Lviv to take him to the Polish border but was told only Ukrainians would be allowed on board.
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari said there were about 4,000 Nigerians in Ukraine, mostly students.
He said one group had repeatedly been refused entry to Poland so they travelled back into Ukraine to head for Hungary instead.
"All who flee a conflict situation have the same right to safe passage under the UN Convention, and the colour of their passport or their skin should make no difference," Mr Buhari said in a tweet.