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Russia-Ukraine war: Ghanaians unwilling to return home will soon be left on their own – Botchwey

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Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has said government will soon leave Ghanaians living in Ukraine who are unwilling to return home, to be on their own.

This follows the refusal of some Ghanaians living in Ukraine to return home despite efforts by government to evacuate them at no cost.

Speaking at a press conference held in Accra on Tuesday, 1 March 2022, to update parents of Ghanaian students caught in the Russian-Ukraine conflict, on the efforts made by the government to evacuate them from that country, the minister noted that some persons are not willing to return home.

“As [of] 5 PM on [the] 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,” the Minister stated.

She added that: “So, after a couple of days, they will be on their own because the government cannot cover those people forever.”

Meanwhile, some 16 Ghanaian students in Ukraine arrived in Accra Tuesday morning, 1 March 2022, at the Kotoka International Airport.

They came via Qatar Airways.

One other student was reported to be on a different airline en route to Ghana.

The students were welcomed at the airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, and her deputy Mr Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong.

Mr Ampratwum-Sarpong told the media: “The government has made plans to evacuate every student or every Ghanaian who is prepared and ready to come home.”

He said the government has liaised very well with Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines and “we have agreed that any Ghanaian who has crossed to any of these countries where they do fly, will be flown home within the next couple of days.”

“It is important that we all do remember them in our prayers that the Good Lord will deliver them safely to a safe shelter and eventually back home to Ghana.”

To the students, he said: “I welcome you home. Come and enjoy your stay back home and we are sure in the next couple of days, hopefully, Russia will stop this aggression and it will be possible for you to go back and continue your education.”  

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