March 2, 2022

Washington DC – The Russia-Ukraine War has led to an increasing humanitarian crisis on the board as people are trying to flee Ukraine. Reports of racism and discrimination both within Ukraine and in the European Union are being shared on social media and have been met with statements from the African Union, European Union, and most recently the United Nations Refugee Agency. Yesterday, South Africa’s Ambassador to the UN, Mathu Joyini called on the UN to “urge European countries to take steps to resolve this situation as all people have the right to cross international borders during times of conflict” during the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Ukraine.

Jacques Bahati, Policy Analyst of the Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN), issued the following statement:

  • “As an Africa-focus organization, the Africa Faith and Justice Network is closely monitoring the Ukrainian conflict and its effects on Africa. We are concerned about all affected people without exception including Africans and Afro-Ukrainians who found themselves in this senseless conflict.
  • “Our solidarity with the people of Ukraine is unequivocal in these times of great challenge. We align ourselves with the community of nations in condemning the war in Ukraine and call for peace and dialogue.
  • “We equally call attention to and condemn in the strongest terms possible the alleged discrimination against Africans and other foreigners, mostly students, as they seek refuge in European Union (EU) countries. We urge EU nations to give them safe passage to any destination in accordance with national and EU laws.
  • “Reports of racism and discrimination against African descendants fleeing the Russia-Ukraine War are very disturbing and unacceptable. We ask that everyone in their capacity offer assistance to all those fleeing the conflict, including Africans, without discrimination.”