African students on the borders of war-torn Ukraine are still struggling to leave that country and get to a place of safety. According to reports, students face difficulties and discrimination at the borders.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, African students attempting to leave the country said they are experiencing racist treatment by Ukrainian security forces and border officials.
One of the medical students from Swaziland, Vukile Dlamini, told IOL she was part of the group of African students who managed to cross the Romania borders. She said they were attacked by soldiers as they were trying to cross.
“I absolutely have no words to explain what we went through, we are so traumatised. We walked to the border for over 30km and we stayed at the border for eight hours.
“This was one of the worst things we could have experienced in our entire lives. The racism at the borders was extremely traumatising. One of us here has a dislocated arm and a busted knee, the soldiers would kick, push, shoot at the ground near our feet and they would point the guns at us. This one soldier had my face and my whole body crashed against the gate but he would still push and I struggled to breath,” said Dlamini.
Dlamini said she hoped the Ukrainians could stop the racism and work together with Africans as there are still many African students stuck in the country.
Speaking to a television news broadcaster, Ukraine Crisis Evacuation Committee member Lorraine Blauw and Expat South Africa founder Lebone Kganyago said they have managed to evacuate a number of South African students.
“We have evacuated 66 South Africans – 30 are in Portland, 25 in Hungary, seven in Slovakia and four in Romania. As of today, 21 South Africans are on their way to the borders,” they said.