Russia-Ukraine conflict: Ghana plans to evacuate citizens – Foreign Minister

The government has commenced with the necessary processes to ensure the safety and possible evacuation of Ghanaians living in Ukraine.

This comes in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine by forces of the Russia Federation on February 24 which plunged the whole country into a state of war.

As part of the processes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairsand Regional Integration in collaboration with the Ghana Diplomatic Missions in Bern in Switzerland, Prague in the Czech Republic, Ankara in Turkey, the Vatican, Holy See, Ghana’s Honorary Consul in Ukraine will offer safe passage to Ghanaians through their land borders.

Addressing the media in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley AyorkorBotchwey said information received indicated that there were still three cities in Ukraine where students could not be evacuated due to the high risk situation identified there.

These cities she said were, Kharkov (hotspot on the way), Sumy (hotspot on the way), and Dnipropetrovsk (locked down).

The Minister explained that another challenge which Ghanaians especially students were faced with was the fear of crossing at borders close to Russia for obvious reasons.

 “We had requested our diplomatic mission in Moscow to assist with their passage as it will be unreasonable and dangerous to now start looking for another border to access. Unfortunately, there are reports of incursions at the border called Sumy which has posed a challenge for about 85 of our compatriots who sought to exit that side of Ukraine into Russia,” she said.

MsBotchwey disclosed that a total of 460 students out of the over 1,000 have been evacuated from Ukraine thus far, stressing that the evacuation was done by the government with support from its missions and consuls.

She explained that information gathered was that over 460 students had left Ukraine enroute to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Czech Republic and “The students will be received by officials of our diplomatic missions, honorary consuls and officials of the Ghana students’ associations.”

However, the minister noted that it had become difficult to evacuate students and other compatriots in three counties; Kharkov (hotspot on the way), Sumy (hotspot on the way), and Dnipropetrovsk (locked down).

She noted that another challenge which the people faced was “The fear of crossing at borders close to Russia for obvious reasons, and had requested our Diplomatic mission in Moscow to assist with their passage as it will be unreasonable and dangerous to now start looking for another border to access.”

MsBotchwey reaffirmed the government’s commitment in safeguarding all Ghanaian students and citizens in Ukraine.

She said it was important for Russia to put an end to the war with Ukraine and both parties resort to dialogue for peace to prevail and avoid the escalation of humanitarian crisis associated with such conflicts.

By Cliff Ekuful

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