Ukraine`s Africans outraged at latest murder

10:57, 10 June 2008
1115 0

A black man was killed on Monday

Ukraine`s African community, outraged at yet another seemingly racist murder of a black man on Monday, are urging Ukrainians to wake up to the problem of racism and pass laws forbidding it, according to Reuters.

The killing of a labourer from Congo in Kyiv comes just days after more than 30 aid agencies including the United Nations refugee agency urged Ukrainian police to take seriously the killing of a Nigerian last month.

The head of Kyiv`s African Centre, Charles Asante-Yeboa, and Nigerian Pentecostal pastor Sunday Adelaja came to Monday`s murder scene, where blood stained the pavement next to discarded police rubber gloves. "There are so many attacks. I receive a minimum of three calls a day ... This is a well organised group which is going about doing this," said Asante-Yeboa, whose organisation documents racist violence.

Monday`s murder brings the total of Africans murdered this year alone to five. The killers in such cases are rarely found -- there have been no convictions this year.

The Interior Ministry declined to comment.

Asante-Yeboa said he himself had been attacked in the past by a gang of around 15 men, and most of the Africans at the scene told similar stories. Any convictions are usually for hooliganism -- Ukrainian law does not recognise the concept of racist violence.

The 30 aid agencies demanded last Tuesday that the authorities consider whether the Nigerian found stabbed to death was the victim of a racist crime.


Most of the fewer than 5,000 Africans in Kiev came as students. Some now work as manual labourers or in hotels, others as businessmen.

They blame the attacks on skinheads -- shaven-headed far-right youths who make no secret of their hatred of immigrants.

Photographs collated by the International Organisation for Migration show graffiti on black people`s homes featuring Nazi swastikas and threats of violence.

Yaroslav Dunayev, who runs the Movement Against Illegal Immigration and came to the scene to talk to the Africans, said the attacks were part of a wider conflict, accusing illegal migrants of raping Ukrainian girls.

"I can understand the skinheads because they totally grasp the danger to our future," he said.

Adelaja, whose Embassy of God church has a mostly Ukrainian congregation of around 25,000, said indifference was the biggest problem.

"It (the violence) doesn`t affect the economy, it doesn`t affect their family, it doesn`t affect their status, it doesn`t affect their income. That`s the way men are built: `It doesn`t affect me, I couldn`t care less`."

He said a draft law on racial and other discrimination had been drawn up years ago, but forgotten amid a host of elections and political turbulence.

The black community plans to protest outside parliament in July to urge it to pass the bill, and wants adoption of the law to be made a prerequisite if Ukraine wants to join the NATO military alliance or the European Union.


If you see a spelling error on our site, select it and press Ctrl+Enter