Russia-Ukraine conflict: Some Africans missing, others trapped

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So far, Ghana and Tunisia have been able to successfully evacuate their nationals back home as most foreigners and indigenes of Ukraine flee the Russian invasion.

Whiles these countries put measures in place to bring the rest of their nationals home, counties like Kenya and Nigeria are yet to welcome their nationals back home.

Till then, Poland and Romania have become a safe haven for the stranded Africans whose only hope is to arrive home safely.

On Wednesday, March 2, the Kenyan government had announced the arrival of one person back home whiles 74 others are in Poland, two are in Romania and two are in Hungary.

In the midst of all these, there are reports of some Nigerian students who have been reported trapped near Ukraine in their attempt to flee.

A 22-year-old Nigerian medical student, Fehintola Moses, recounted his unsuccessful attempts to leave Sumy, in northeast Ukraine, where there has been fighting with Russian troops.

Sumy is also near another frontline in Kharkiv.

Through WhatsApp messages and voice notes, the Nigerian student spoke of how he was unable to leave the city after his university told him that the train lines nearby were controlled by Russian forces.

Five Nigerians have even been declared missing.

Azeezat Aina, a Nigerian student in Poland told the Nigerian media that no one has seen or heard from the missing persons as of Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

She added that none of the people who are currently sheltered in Poland has said anything about seeing them yet.

“What we just do is to post their pictures and ask who has seen these persons and by doing that, we’ve been able to find like three people not out of this (missing) five.

These Nigerian students can now heave a sigh of relief as the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, March 02, 2022, approved $8.5m (N3,535,150,000.00) to facilitate the immediate evacuation of 5,000 Nigerians from Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.

The approval was announced by Zubairu Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

He said the evacuees include 940 from Romania, 150 from Slovakia and 350 from Poland who have registered to leave.

About 5,000 Nigerian students have been affected by the ongoing war in Eastern European countries.

The first batch is expected to arrive on Thursday.

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