FOREIGN Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Stanely Kakubo has announced that President Hakainde Hichilema has made a decision to begin the evacuation process of Zambian citizens in Ukraine.
Speaking during a press briefing, Thursday, Kakubo said there were 141 known Zambians, most of them students pursuing their studies in various cities across Ukraine.
“I would like to inform the country that in view of the unfortunate turn of events in the Republic of Ukraine, especially in the last 24 hours, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the President of the Republic of Zambia has made a decision to begin the evacuation process of Zambian citizens in that country. As you may be aware, government had earlier indicated that we would continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine very closely and that the Zambian Embassy in Moscow has been in constant touch with our nationals regarding this issue as it unfolds. The public may also wish to note that we have 141 known Zambians, most of them students pursuing their studies in various cities across Ukraine. And following this regrettable latest development in the last 24 hours, government had to take this course of action in order to ensure the safety of our nationals,” Kakubo said.
“The exercise is being coordinated by the relevant government machinery and we would like to take this opportunity also, to assure the public, especially the students who are out there and their respective parents, their guardians that every effort is being made to ensure their safety and return back on Zambian soil. We would also therefore like to call upon all members of the public particularly those related to the students to remain calm during this process as government has begun all preparations to ensure the safe evacuation of our people.”
He said Zambia has been hopeful of a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the situation in Ukraine.
“ Also, like every peace loving member of the international community, Zambia has been hopeful throughout this difficult period. We have been hopeful of a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the situation in Ukraine. Therefore, we also state that government will maintain its position and its strong commitment to ensuring that it supports all efforts that are being taken to ensure security of everybody in all parts of the world, especially Zambians who are affected by this difficult situation. Should we have any other update in this regard, we will be able to update the nation as we make further progress,” said Kakubo.