Ghanaians given temporary visas over Ukraine crisis absconding – Foreign Ministry

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has said it is unfortunate that some Ghanaians are not taking advantage of the government’s arrangement to evacuate stranded citizens in war-hit Ukraine.

Temporary visas have been issued to Ghanaians who have been evacuated from Ukraine to neighbouring European countries including; Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

However, Kwabena Osei-Danquah, Special advisor to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said news of Ghanaians disappearing and staying illegally in Europe is unacceptable.

Speaking to Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin on Wednesday (2 March 2022), Osei-Danquah said, “well, I mean as you can see, one of the reasons why it is usually hard for Ghanaians to travel to other countries is because there’s an image, a repetition, an experience that our citizens are among the citizens of other countries that travel to foreign countries and abuse their visas by disappearing and staying illegally in those countries.”

“…And I think people need to take responsibility because those countries that allow us to have our nationals crossover were doing Ghana a favour because we have friendly relations with them but also, they were doing the moral and humanitarian thing. So, abuse it, is unacceptable.”

17 Ghanaian students in Ukraine arrive in Ghana

Meanwhile, 17 Ghanaian students in Ukraine on Tuesday (1 March) arrived in Ghana at the Kotoka International Airport.

They are the first batch of over 500 students expected to be evacuated to Ghana following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reports Asaase Radio’s Gemma Appiah.

Addressing the students at the airport, a deputy minister for foreign affairs Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong told the students that the government will do everything possible to ensure that more Ghanaians are evacuated.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who addressed a government press conference in Accra on Sunday (27 February), said the government with the assistance of some European countries bordering Ukraine has evacuated a number of Ghanaians to safe zones with several others being processed for evacuation.

She said “as at 12:00 hrs GMT today (27 February), information gathered was that about 460 students have left Ukraine en route to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The students will be received by officials of our diplomatic missions, honorary consuls and officials of the Ghana students’ associations.”

Botchwey said out of the number, 24 have already arrived in Bucharest, Romanian and are being assisted by Ghanaian officials on the ground with plane tickets to Accra while 48 are being processed at a holding area with another 60 going through border formalities.

Asaase Radio