NEWS: Ukraine
Nigeria is outraged at the treatment of students at the border with Poland.

There have also been numer­ous reports of Ukrain­ian secu­ri­ty offi­cials pre­vent­ing Africans from board­ing bus­es and trains head­ing to the border.

Ose­men, from Nige­ria, told the BBC that he tried to board a train in Lviv to take him to the Pol­ish bor­der, but was told only Ukraini­ans would be allowed on board.

Niger­ian Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari said there were about 4,000 Nige­ri­ans in Ukraine, most of them students.

Indi­an stu­dents strand­ed in Ukraine des­per­ate­ly need help
He said one group was repeat­ed­ly denied entry to Poland, so they returned to Ukraine and head­ed to Hun­gary instead.

“All those flee­ing a con­flict sit­u­a­tion have the same right to safe pas­sage under the UN Con­ven­tion, and the col­or of their pass­port or skin should make no dif­fer­ence,” Buhari said in a tweet.

So far, more than 350,000 Ukraini­ans have man­aged to flee the Russ­ian invasion.

Uni­ver­si­ty stu­dent Ruqqaya, orig­i­nal­ly from Nige­ria, was study­ing med­i­cine in Kharkiv in the east of the coun­try when the city was attacked. She walked for 11 hours through the night before arriv­ing at the Medy­ka cross­ing with Poland.

“When I got here, there were black peo­ple sleep­ing in the street,” she told the BBC.

She says armed guards told her to wait because the Ukraini­ans had to pass through first. She saw bus­loads of peo­ple, whom she described as white, being allowed to cross the bor­der while only a hand­ful of Africans were select­ed in the queue. After wait­ing for many hours, she was final­ly allowed to cross and made her way to War­saw to return to Nigeria.

Asya, a Soma­li med­ical stu­dent study­ing in Kiev, had a sim­i­lar sto­ry. When she final­ly reached Poland, she said she was told that “hotel accom­mo­da­tion was reserved for Ukrainians.”

The Pol­ish bor­der force told the BBC that any­one flee­ing the con­flict in Ukraine was wel­come in Poland, regard­less of nation­al­i­ty. The BBC has tried to con­tact the Ukrain­ian bor­der force but has not yet received a response.

Niger­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Geofrey Onyea­ma said he had spo­ken with his Ukrain­ian coun­ter­part Dmytro Kule­ba and had been assured that Ukrain­ian bor­der guards had been ordered to allow all for­eign­ers leav­ing Ukraine to pass with­out restriction.

The Niger­ian for­eign min­istry has now advised its cit­i­zens leav­ing Ukraine to head for Hun­gary or Roma­nia, rather than try­ing to enter Poland.

Nige­ri­a’s ambas­sador to Roma­nia told the BBC that so far about 200 Nige­ri­ans — most­ly stu­dents — have arrived in the cap­i­tal Bucharest from Ukraine. Safiya Nuhu said many more were still arriving.

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