Gov’t dismisses Ablakwa’s claim that train carrying Ghanaian students was attacked by Russia

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway has dismissed a claim by North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa that a train carrying Ghanaian students in Ukraine was attacked by Russia.

At a press conference in Accra on Sunday February 27, she said “We wish to debunk the unsubstantiated reports such as the allegation that a bus or a train conveying some Ghanaians to the Eastern part of Ukraine was shot at.”

“I can assure you that our diplomatic missions are working around the clock in a coordinated manner to secure the safety at all time of our citizens and their evacuation process,” she added.

Ablakwa made the claim on the Key Points on TV3/3FM with Dzifa Bampoh on Saturday February 26 while commenting on the decision by the Government of Ghana to evacuate Ghanaian students from Ukraine.

“I must say that the latest shift in position by the government to take concrete steps to evacuate our nationals particularly, students stranded in Ukraine is a positive development.

“I will like to commend the government for this major shift in position. You will recall that earlier in the week, when the only indication was that the students should take shelter and go into hiding, I said that it was inadequate and that it was not a helpful posture particularly, considering the fact that other countries were taking more pragmatic steps to take their nationals out of danger zone.

“I followed keenly what the Indians did, I followed keenly what the French did, what Jamaica did, what the Nigerians are doing. I thought that even though we do not have a resident Diplomatic Mission in Ukraine, it is possible to form some bilateral partnerships with those who were conversant with the terrain, who had more logistical capacity and had elaborate escape plan.

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“I have been in touch with student leaders in Ukraine, NUGS-Ukraine, they tell me that the Polish border appears too choked now, and so, they are using the Slovakia, Hungary and Romania border points. Our diplomatic mission in Berne Switzerland is in touch with them giving regular updates, arrangements have been made across the border to meet those who are on the first train.

“I have seen the movement plan of some other buses that are moving from some different cities particularly in Kyiv later today. I think these evacuation arrangements are heartwarming and we should keep our praying and our thoughts with our nationals in Ukraine. Let us pray that the good Lord will bring them out of harm’s way to safety.”

He added “There was some little skirmishes yesterday, which I followed keenly. Some of our students who were in the train which came under attack from the Russians. Thanks be to God they escaped unhurt. It is quite a dangerous situation and so far, it is to the Glory of God that none of our nationals has been hurt or part of the casualty numbers and so its is really positive.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana