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Fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine: Some Africans missing, others trapped

Africanews | As most foreigners and Ukrainian natives flee from the Russian invasion, Ghana and Tunisia have been able to successfully evacuate their nationals back home.

While these countries put in place mechanisms to bring the rest of their citizens home, Kenya and Nigeria have yet to welcome their citizens back. Until then, Poland and Romania have served as safe havens for trapped Africans hoping to return home safely.

The Kenyan government announced the return of one individual on Wednesday, March 2, while 74 others are in Poland, two in Romania, and two in Hungary.

In the middle of all of this, there have been stories of Nigerian students being trapped near Ukraine in their quest to evacuate.

Fehintola Moses, a 22-year-old Nigerian medical student, recalled his fruitless attempts to flee Sumy, in northeast Ukraine, where Russian soldiers have been battling.

In Kharkiv, Sumy is also close to another frontline.

The Nigerian student described how he was unable to leave the city after his university informed him that the surrounding train lines were controlled by the Russian military via WhatsApp messages and voice notes. Even five Nigerians have been reported missing.

As of Tuesday, March 1, 2022, no one has seen or heard from the missing folks, according to Azeezat Aina, a Nigerian student in Poland.

She also stated that none of the persons who are now being housed in Poland have expressed an interest in seeing them.

"All we do is publish their images and ask if anyone has seen them, and that's how we've been able to find three people out of the (lost) five."

These Nigerian students can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the Federal Executive Council granted $8.5 million (N3,535,150,000.00) on Wednesday, March 02, 2022, to facilitate the prompt evacuation of 5,000 Nigerians from Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zubairu Dada announced the permission.

The continuing turmoil in Eastern Europe has impacted around 5,000 Nigerian students.

The first Nigerian citizens should arrive today, Thursday the 3rd of March 2022.

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