The invasion of the Russians into Ukraine now generally known as the Russian Ukraine war no doubt has got the whole world thinking if there is about to be another World war. While images of bomb blast of the war torn country have drawn sympathy and in many cases empathy as we have seen killings of civilians many of which are women and children, it is hard to not ask that the war stops.
According to Martins Acha, the Co-Founder of M&E Acha Foundation, there have been calls for European neighbors and the United States to accept more Ukrainian refugees. Amongst those trapped are people from other countries including those from Africa. Soon after the Russians began invading Ukraine, we saw an out flock of people immediately migrating through the borders but there was evidence of ill treatment of Africans
Mr Martins Acha who has been an advocate of equal and fair treatment for all without recourse to race, stated that despite many outcries for the Ukrainian authorities to investigate this, Africans were stuck at the border for several days and were made to face the unfavorable conditions of the weather, living without food and water. Africans only wanted to have the opportunity to flee Ukraine like every other white Ukrainian who were given better treatment at the borders as the bombs landing in the country does not know who is a Ukrainian or non-Ukrainian. This is a humanitarian issue. Nobody other than women, children and people with disability should be given special treatment. It is HUMAN first.
Ukrainians are being prioritized to leave the country through the Polish border and the Europeans are prioritized next to that, leaving the Africans and other nationals at the bottom of the least. There are well over 15,000 Africans who are studying in Ukraine before the Russian invasion, and thousands more live there as immigrants. These are not just numbers, there are humans behind these numbers.
News coverage on the ill-treatment of Africans in the war-torn region has been poor and this could be because there are more coverage on the war itself as the war is not about race.
Understandably, the war is not about race and there have been few news reports from CNN, NBC News, Premium Times and a few other media outfit, however, this is not enough as the situation still remains the same when you ask the Africans affected by this marginalization. There are safety issues within the Ukrainian cities that the government intend to deal with, however, there may be a bigger safety problem at the border if not addressed, perhaps could lead to an even more concerning number of deaths as we have seen Russian missiles go closer to the border and also hit a train full of people fleeing Ukraine. These are dangerous times and no nationals should be last in the evacuation process.
Martins Acha is social critic, pubic affair analyst and an advocate of equal and fair treatment for all.