Ghana has welcomed home a first group of evacuated students who were studying in Ukraine when Russia invaded. Ghana’s foreign ministry says more than 500 other Ghanaian students have fled Ukraine and can come home if they wish.
The first batch of 17 students arrived Tuesday in the capital, Accra, on two flights.
Looking very calm, the students were welcomed by a government delegation led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong.
Nana Boakye Agyemang, a first-year medical student who has been studying in Ukraine for the past five years, spoke briefly to reporters at the airport.
“This is quite unfortunate that we have to come home. Siblings should be calm, friends should be calm. The government is doing its possible best to make sure that we all come back home. For the meantime, we want to say thank you and we appreciate whatever has been done for us,” Agyemang said.
Priscilla Adjai, another student, told VOA she decided to return to Ghana because she feared for her life.
“We decided to move because they said the targeted areas were eastern Ukraine but we were in western Ukraine. We were not supposed to be targeted but two hours from me cities were bombed, so I became afraid because it’s narrowing down to where I am. So I talked to my parents and they said, ‘Yes, go ahead,’” Adjai said.
The deputy foreign minister told the media the government is working around the clock to evacuate Ghanaians who want to return home.
“We thank the Almighty God that he’s seen you through and brought you home. In the next couple of hours you’ll reconcile and re-engage with your families. The government is determined to continue to make sure that your colleagues who are still in transit to be evacuated will be eventually evacuated,” Ampratwum-Sarpong said.
The students were later reunited with their parents, who were in a separate meeting with government officials.
More than 500 Ghanian students who were in Ukraine when Russia invaded have made their way to Poland and Romania. Officials say those desiring to come back to Ghana will be flown home.