Ghana Evacuates Students Stranded In Ukraine
A first group of Ghanaian students evacuated from Ukraine arrived home on Tuesday as African governments stepped up efforts to extract stranded citizens following the Russian invasion.
Nigeria plans to start evacuating hundreds of its citizens on Wednesday from neighbouring Poland, Romania and Hungary, where they have fled the conflict.
Nigeria’s government and the African Union (AU) on Monday condemned re
ports that Africans had been mistreated and in some cases denied the right to cross Ukraine’s borders to safety.
Looking cheerful after finally reaching the capital Accra, the Ghanaian students said they wanted to get back together with their families after the difficult journey.
Ghanaian officials said the 17 students were the first batch of over 500 students expected to be brought home.
“I was afraid for my life, that is why I decided to leave. Some cities were being bombed close to my place and I spoke to my parents who asked that I should leave,” Priscilla Adjai, one of the students, told AFP in the capital Accra.
“It has not been easy but thank God we managed to move out and have finally made it to Ghana.”
Another student, Esther Edze, said her group had been helped by the Church of Pentecost to leave Ukraine and meet up with Ghanaian diplomats on the other side of the border.
“It’s not an experience I would wish for anyone,” Edze said.
The deputy minister for foreign affairs, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, said the government would help the students reintegrate and reunite with their families.
Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said 527 Ghanaians had crossed the Ukrainian border to various European countries and would soon be evacuated if they wanted.
Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said there were plans to start evacuating more than 1,500 Nigerians from various countries neighbouring Ukraine from Wednesday.
He said he had spoken to Ukrainian and Polish officials to get assurances that Nigerians would not be stopped from crossing the border.
AU leaders on Monday voiced concern at the reports of mistreatment of Africans trying to flee the conflict and said such conduct would be “shockingly racist”.