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Zimbabwean government offers two-way plane tickets to citizens stranded in Ukraine

Zimbabwe has evacuated 118 students from war-torn Ukraine. Most of the students were studying medicine, engineering and economics, according to reports. Photo: Zimbabwean government.

Zimbabwe has evacuated 118 students from war-torn Ukraine. Most of the students were studying medicine, engineering and economics, according to reports. Photo: Zimbabwean government.

Published Mar 7, 2022

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CAPE TOWN: Zimbabwe is giving two-way plane tickets to its citizens who have fled Ukraine, so that they can return once it's safe to do so, a top diplomat has told the BBC.

Zimbabwe has evacuated 118 students from war-torn Ukraine. Most of the students were studying medicine, engineering and economics, according to reports.

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The repatriation was facilitated by the Zimbabwean embassy in Moscow, Russia and the African country’s mission in Berlin, Germany, reports the website University World News.com.

Nick Mangwana, the information, publicity and broadcasting services permanent secretary, said in a tweet that once citizens arrived in a third country, the government would pay for their hotel stay and buy their repatriation flight tickets.

A Zimbabwean second-year medical student in Dnipro, Ukraine, has created a WhatsApp group for African students studying in Ukraine to share information during the war, according to a University World News report.

According to the Zimbabwean Ministry of Foreign affairs and International trade, more than 50 return tickets were purchased for the students to return home.

Alice Mashingaidze, Zimbabwe's ambassador to Poland, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia, said those fleeing had complained about racial segregation at the border.

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Ukrainian and Polish officials have denied such reports, according to BBC Africa.

On March 2, the Zimbabwean government abstained on the UN General Assembly resolution on Ukraine, saying that Zimbabwe believed in dialogue to resolve disputes.

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Seventeen African countries were among the 35 states that abstained from voting on a UN resolution demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine”.

Many students from many of these countries were fleeing the conflict and trying to return safely to their homelands.

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