Rescuing 17, Ghana Becomes First in Africa to Evacuate Students from Ukraine

The first group of Ghanaians to be evacuated from Ukraine has landed at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana’s capital, on Tuesday morning, March 1.

In the light of this, Ghana has become the first country in Africa to evacuate its students fleeing the current instability in Ukraine as a result of Russia’s invasion.

The students were flown back home following the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) & The Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) petition against the government to make provisions to protect the safety of Ghanaian students in Ukraine amid Putin’s Russia’s threats and tensions.

“This follows similar actions taken by other countries that prioritise the lives of their citizens. The fact that government has remained silent on this issue for nearly three days is very telling. This is not a time for political indecisiveness and passiveness.

“Government must fully use its diplomatic contacts and resources to ensure our students are safe and kept away from harm’s way. Furthermore, government must announce a plan on its intends to execute this very critical assignment,

“As a matter of urgency, we call on government to put in place measures to relocate Ghanaian students to a safer zone in the region or bring them back home. The ongoing standoff between Ukraine and Russia and its attendant military actions must not be taken for granted more-so when Ghanaian lives are at stake,” the statement released by the NDC Youth reads in part.

The 17 evacuated students have been considered a first batch with plans in pipeline for more to follow.

“We got to the border at 6:00 pm on Friday. It took 12 hours to cross the border amid fighting with Ukrainians. The boys had it so badly. The women also struggled, but it was tougher for the men,” one of the students said.

Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, praised the government’s role in bringing the students into the country via air.

“The government is determined to make sure that your colleagues who want to be evacuated are evacuated. Information coming in is that Ghana is the first country that has evacuated her compatriots,” he said in a statement.

Ghana syncing in words with the African Union was amongst the African countries that boldly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russia invasion was considered a breach of international law and more so a breach to the Minsk Ceasefire Agreement signed between Russia and Ukraine in 2015.

Following Russia’s incursion, Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey announced that over 460 Ghanaian students had fled Ukraine en route to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

In Ukraine, around 1,000 Ghanaians are studying or working. Ghanaians in Ukraine, especially students, have described how stranded they were, along with claims of racial prejudice, similar to Nigerian nationals.

Ghana, like other countries, had advised its people in Ukraine to flee for their lives while the government devised a plan to evacuate them.

Source: AfricaNews | Joynews

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