African students in Ukraine say they faced guns, hostile guards as they fled the war

2022-03-08 16:04:27
African students in Ukraine say they faced guns, hostile guards as they fled the war

Hundreds of African students in Ukraine have complained they were treated badly as they queued up with the crowds trying to escape Russia's military operation.

Nigerian medical student Oduola Adebowale said he and some friends were trying to get on a train to flee Ukraine when the soldiers pointed guns at them and ordered them back.

The Ukrainian troops told him they were only letting pregnant woman on the service from the city of Lviv to the Polish border, but he said he saw them stop some pregnant African women from getting on board.

"When we asked why they were doing this, the soldiers pointed guns at us, endangering our lives," he told Reuters days later after he finally managed to complete his journey and landed at Nigeria's Abuja airport on Friday.

Representatives from several African governments — Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Gabon — have condemned the reports.

The African Union said this week it was disturbed by what it had heard and the U.N. refugee agency said it had urged authorities in countries neighbouring Ukraine to open their borders to African citizens.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said on Wednesday authorities had sent up a hotline for African and Indian students looking for help in getting out.

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