The Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has advised Ghanaians to make sure they register with the Ghana Missions in the countries they travel to or some known associations to help in easy identifications in case of troubling times such as the unfortunate situation the world is witnessing in Ukraine.
She lamented during a media briefing in Accra on Sunday, February 27 that it becomes a tedious task for the government to account for Ghanaians in foreign lands when they fail to register with the Missions or join known associations such as the National Union of Ghana Students.
Madam Ayorkor Botway said, “We have called for peace, we have called and cautioned against the situation and the difficulties it can bring to ordinary citizens of Ukraine and also our own people who are there.
“We were working with the student associations, they were sending us the list of all the students who are there. Let me take this opportunity to say this, many students go outside Ghana to study and they do not even want to be part of any group or any association or to register with our Missions.
“Any citizen of Ghana who leaves the shores of Ghana must register so that when there is a situation like this immediately, you can be reached and you can be accounted for, unfortunately, they don’t.
“Fortunately, many Ghanaian students in Ukraine are with the associations and NUGS, so we have been able to work with these groups to get them but otherwise, it is difficult. We keep saying this over and over and nobody pays heeds to it.”
The Government has cautioned the general public to be careful about unscrupulous persons posing as government officials designated to assist in the evacuation exercise for Ghanaian nationals in Ukraine due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
This warning was contained in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration that was announcing the contact details of persons assigned to assist with the evacuation exercise, on Saturday, February 26.
Currently, the Government of Ghana is evacuating Ghanaian students to neighbouring countries – Moldova, Belarus, Slovakia and Hungary – due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on Friday, February 25 said “The Ministry through its Mission in Berne, Switzerland and the Honourary Consulate in Ukraine are in touch with the Ghanaian students in Ukraine through their leaders.
“A list of students has been compiled to facilitate an evacuation exercise.”
Meanwhile, a concerned National Union of Ghana Students had maintained that evacuating Ghanaian students from Ukraine is the single most effective response to the conflict.
In its petition to the government on Friday, February 25, NUGS said “We, therefore, make the following recommendations which must all be geared ultimately towards evacuation, Parliament should direct and supervise our mission in Switzerland through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take immediate steps to make food, water and sanitary materials available to students while preparation for evacuation is underway.
“The embassy must improve its communication with students and establish formal means of giving out information to reassure the students who are losing hope in our systems.”
Currently, there is a little sigh of relief as the first batch of Ghanaian students stranded in Ukraine has been safely evacuated to Romania, 3news.com can confirm.
The students, who were in Chernivtsi, were evacuated as part of arrangements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration via Ghana’s Mission in Berne, Switzerland.