The African Union has said it is disturbed by reports that African citizens on the Ukrainian side are being refused the right to cross the border to safety.
In a statement the AU said the chairman and Senegal President Macky Sall and African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said all people have the right to cross international borders during conflict.
As such, they said, everyone should enjoy the same rights to cross to safety from the conflict in Ukraine, notwithstanding their nationality or racial identity.
“Reports that Africans are singled out for unacceptable dissimilar treatment would be shockingly racist and in breach international law. In this regard, the chairpersons urge all countries to respect international law and show the same empathy and support to all people fleeing war notwithstanding their racial identity,” the statement said.
Troubled regions in Ukraine are home of hundreds of Kenyans, especially students studying medicine, engineering and military affairs.
With flights grounded, African governments thousands of miles away are struggling to support their students.
Videos shared online show Ukrainian civilians, police and military denying blacks access to trains evacuating people from the regions under siege.
They are also being refused the right to cross over to neighbouring countries.
Nigeria has condemned racism against Black people fleeing Ukraine, including a woman and baby forced to give up seats on an evacuation train, while South Africa reports Africans “treated badly” at Poland’s border.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s office said all foreign nationals trying to reach Poland should be “treated with dignity and without favour”.
A Nigerian man told BBC: “We’ve been hit with police armed with sticks.”
Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya are among the top 10 countries with foreign students in Ukraine, together supplying over 16,000 students, according to the education ministry.
Thousands of Indian students are also trying to flee, Reuters reports.