Tuesday, June 28, 2022

First batch of Ghanaian students in Ukraine return home, full of joy

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By Nathaniel Nartey

Some Ghanaian Students in Ukraine arrived at the Kotoka International Airport Tuesday morning, March 1, 2022 sharing traumatic experiences encountered in the struggle to cross the border to Romania following the invasion of Ukraine.

The students accused the Ukrainians of racism at the border as they prevented Africans from crossing to Romania.

Despite this, the students said they are ready to go back and complete their education in Ukraine when the war is over.

Ghana is the first African Country to safely evacuate its citizens from Ukraine. The first batch of 17 Ghanaian students from Ukraine arrived at the Kotoka International Airport. This morning sixteen arrived on Qatar Airways transit in Doha, while one student came on Turkish Airlines. The students, most of whom are final year medical students in Ukraine, took close to an hour to go through the mandatory Covid-19 testing requirements and other processes on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport before meeting Authorities waiting to welcome them.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong and Deputy Minister of Information, Fatima Abubakari led a government delegation to welcome the students. Mr. Ampratwum-Sarpong gave an update on the evacuation operations for the rest of Ghanaian students still in Ukraine and across the border.

”Government has plans to evacuate every Ghanaian student back home. We have liaised well with Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines and they have agreed that any Ghanaian who crosses the borders to any of the countries where they operate will be flown home within the next couple of days“, he stated.

The students were then allowed to meet their families who were anxiously waiting. It was a heart-warming moment as they hugged each other while shedding tears. They however managed to compose themselves before sharing their experiences with GBC News.

The Ukrainians allowed the Caucasians to go before us and we had to struggle. Some of them were pushing and insulting us asking why we came to their country to study so it was very difficult to go through the border.  They told all the Africans to wait for the Caucasians to cross the border. It was very stressful and I was very sad”.

Another student who was visibly delighted to be back home was full of praise for the role played by the government of Ghana in facilitating their arrival.

“The Government did well, the Ambassador came to meet us in Romania and they sent us to a hotel and fed us, I was very hungry”.

More students from Ukraine are expected in the coming days with assurances from the government that all the students will be brought back home safely.

Readalso: Qatar Flight carrying stranded Ghanaian Students from Ukraine touch down at Kotoka International Airport

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