War in Ukraine: ‘Some Ghanaians do not wish to be sent back home’ – Foreign Minister

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayokor Botchway has revealed that there are some Ghanaians in Ukraine who have indicated that they do not want to come back home.

She said at a meeting in Accra on Tuesday March 1, with parents and guardians of Ghanaian students in Ukraine, that the government is evacuating persons who are willing to return.

“As at 5PM on 28th of February, an estimated number of 527 Ghanaian nationals have crossed the Ukrainian border to various neighbouring countries and they will soon be with us in Ghana as long as they are willing to be evacuated, it will be at no cost to them. I say that because there are some who have indicated that they do not wish to come back home. So after a couple of days they will be on their own because government cannot cover those people forever. What we are covering is to pick them to a safe place to bring them back home as many of you parents have indicated that you want your children back home, so government will do that” she said.

The first batch of Ghanaians evacuated from Ukraine have arrived in Accra on Tuesday March 1.

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“This morning the first batch of Ghanaians evacuated from Ukraine arrive in Accra,” Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said in a tweet.

They were met at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) by Deputy Minster of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong.

Welcoming them, Mr Ampratwum-Sarpong said “My fellow compatriots, on behalf of the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Government and People of Ghana, I heartily welcome you all back home. We thank the Almighty God for keeping you safe and for granting you traveling mercies.

“My dear students, we are proud of you for the bravery and perseverance you exhibited in the face of the dire situation you found yourselves in. You have had to halt your studies and other activities in order to escape the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Some of your colleagues are yet to be evacuated from Ukraine. Let me assure you that the Government of Ghana will continue to work to ensure their safety and return to Ghana. Government will also continue to work with its International Partners to ensure that and urge for dialogue between Russia and Ukraine for a peaceful and quick resolution of this conflict.

“I would like to commend your various Student leaders for cooperating with Government to ensure a smooth and successful evacuation exercise thus far.

“You are the first batch of Ghanaians to have arrived from Ukraine. As at 28th February 2022, 527 Ghanaians had crossed the Ukrainian border into neighbouring countries of Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia. In the coming days, we are expecting more of your colleagues to be evacuated from these countries. We are working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Organization and we are confident that this will enhance the success of the evacuation exercise.

“The Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional integration is scheduled to meet parents and guardians of affected students later this morning to discuss issues concerning the evacuation and return of their loved ones.

“I wish to reiterate that Government has put in place the necessary package to facilitate the transportation, accommodation, feeding, medical support, etc to ease any burden on our compatriots who are still waiting to be evacuated and we urge all of them to take advantage of this exercise to come home. On this note, I will like to welcome you once again. Enjoy your time with your families.”

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