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African refugees complain of racism as US welcomes Ukrainians with open arms

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Scores of African refugees have complained of the racism and inhuman treatment they get from the United States as the US prepares to welcome hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the war in their country.

The refugees, on Saturday, cried out over the way they are treated by US officials including forced deportation, torture, rape, arbitrary arrest and other forms of abuses.

The African asylum seekers who protested the inhuman treatment they get from US officials on Saturday, said though they do not begrudge the US for swiftly “granting humanitarian protections and easy passage to Ukrainians escaping Russia’s devastating invasion of their homeland,” the same treatment should be accorded to other immigrants.

Spokesman for the group, Wilfred Tebah, a Cameroonian who fled the Central African country after escaping from a detention camp, said he could not help but wonder what would happen if the millions fleeing that Eastern Europe nation were of African descent.

Teblah, a leading member of the Cameroon American Council, an advocacy group organizing the protests, said:

“They do not care about a Black man. The difference is really clear. They know what is happening over there, and they have decided to close their eyes and ears,” he said, referring to the situation of Africans who seek refuge in the US.

He also made reference to the frosty reception African and Middle Eastern refugees have faced in western Europe compared with how those nations have enthusiastically embraced displaced Ukrainians.

“We’ll continue to beg, to plead.
We are in danger. I want to emphasize it. And only the Temporary Protected Status for Cameroon and other black refugees will help us be taken out of that danger. It is very necessary,” he said.

In late March, President Joe Biden had made a series of announcements welcoming 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, granting Temporary Protected Status to another 30,000 already in the U.S. and halting Ukrainian deportations.

Musings From Abroad

US wants Africa to isolate Russia but won’t force its decision – Secretary Blinken

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Despite having seek support from the continent’s 54 countries in efforts to isolate Russia over its Ukraine invasion, the United States says it will not dictate Africa’s choices.

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said on Monday, while presenting a new strategy document for sub-Saharan Africa at the University of Pretoria in South Africa’s capital.

The presentation is part of a continental tour that will also take him to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

“Too often, African nations have been treated as instruments of other nations’ progress, rather than the authors of their own,” said Blinken. “They have been told to pick a side in great power contests that feel far removed from daily struggles of their people.”

The strategy document stressed the threats posed by China and Russia to the United States’ interest in this increasingly important region.

Africa has been at the centre of the Russian/Ukraine war, with the two European countries being power houses in the supply of grains and other staple, the war has lunched in an era of high food cost in developing countries, largely African countries.

The continent has had a contingent of international guest lately. Recall  that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavlov and French President Emmanuel Macron’s travel recently visited. Ukraine also announced that its Foreign minister will soon be visiting in a yet to be announced that.

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Musings From Abroad

Ukraine foreign minister to tour African states. Here’s why

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Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday revealed that its foreign minister will make a tour of African states this autumn.

The president’s office quoted Zelenskiy as saying at an online news conference for African media.

“I can’t do it now because of the war. I planned before the war, and I am sure that after the war I will do it,” The presidency said.

Africa has been at the centre of the Russian/Ukraine war, with the two European countries being power houses in the supply of grains and other staple, the war has lunched in an era of high food cost in developing countries, largely African countries.

The Ukrainian foreign minister’s visit will be the fourth in the series of strategic diplomatic visits to the continent in recent month by international leaders.

News broke on Monday that The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blnken, is scheduled to tour Africa at a later date this month. That is shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavlov and French President Emmanuel Macron’s travel to three west African states where the European Union pledged to make Africa its focal point.

Despite the geographical distance, there are important ties between Ukraine and Africa, including more than 8,000 Moroccans and 4,000 Nigerians studying in Ukraine and over $4 billion in exports from Ukraine to Africa.

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