Asking Ghanaian students in Ukraine to seek their own shelter bad idea – Ablakwa tells gov’t

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa,
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Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has criticized the government for asking Ghanaian students in Ukraine to seek their own shelter following the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

In a tweet, he said “With escalating hostilities and indications that a catastrophic deterioration appears inevitable, it is now expedient for the Government of Ghana to quickly intervene to save Ghanaian lives. Asking our students to seek their own shelter in these petrifying circumstances cannot be considered helpful by any stretch of imagination.”

“I urge the government to expeditiously explore bilateral partnerships with countries already on the ground with superior logistics and advanced escape mechanisms, considering that Ghana does not have a resident diplomatic mission in Ukraine and our oversight embassy in Berne, Switzerland has practical challenges, so as to ensure that our Ghanaian compatriots in harm’s way are whisked to safety.”

The Government of Ghana has expressed concerns about the safety of Ghanaian students in Ukraine following the crisis with Russia.

In series of tweets, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said “The Government of Ghana is gravely concerned about the security and safety of our over 1000 students and other Ghanaians in Ukraine and has asked them to shelter in place in their homes or in government places of shelter, as we engage the authorities, our relevant diplomatic missions and our honorary consul on further measures.”

Meanwhile, Ghana’s Honorary Consul to Ukraine, Dr. Albert Kitcher has said it is not possible to evacuate Ghanaian students and Ghanaians in general from Ukraine at the moment following the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

He said the airspace of Ukraine has been shut hence, air travels are not possible.

Alternatively, he said, Ghanaians living close to the Russian borders will need to relocate to safer locations in Ukraine.

Speaking on the mid day news on TV3 Thursday February 24, Dr Kitcher said “The Ghanaian community is safe despite the early morning issue we all woke up to. As of last night, there was a state of emergency which was declared and because of that I sent messages to them.

“So, I will say that our people are safe and I have spoken with some even this morning.”

He added “Where we are now, if we have everything we cannot evacuate because the Airspace of Ukraine is currently shut. What can be done is, if we identify any areas that prove to be problematic or people will be vulnerable there, to relocate them or evacuate them to a safer place.

“We had all these in plan knowing this will develop, so already, the Mission and the Ministry was working on the modalities to get the students out .

“If there will be any evacuation it will be an evacuation to safer place. We ourselves are looking at the situation, as it is now, if a place is so close to the Russian border we will want people to move from there. I had a communication also from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ukraine and they advise that people stay calm.”

Although Ghanaian students in Ukraine have said they are safe in the interim, they have asked the Government of Ghana to prioritize evacuating them from that country due to the crisis with Russia.

President of the Ukraine Chapter of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Dr Phillip Bobie Ansah also told TV3’s Komla Adom on the Mid day news on Thursday February 24 that “absolutely, we are all safe as we speak now.”

Regarding the plea for them to be evacuated, he said “we have heard responses from the embassies.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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