Relief as stranded Tanzanian students get a way out of Ukraine

Tanzanian students stranded in Sumy, northeastern Ukraine, have been urged to head for Sudja immediately where Russian troops will grant them safe passage out of the country.

The students, who study near the border with Russia, were unable to leave the country following Moscow’s invasion.

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Last week, Tanzania said it is doing all it can to ensure its citizens are safely evacuated while other students who were able to safely leave Ukraine said they were in contact with those stranded in the country.

Four students fleeing the war made it home to Tanzania last Wednesday.

In a press release on Saturday, Tanzania’s embassy in Moscow told the students to immediately leave for Sudja where they will be received by Russian troops and will be transported to the embassy in Belgorod.

They were asked to carry the Tanzanian flag and raise it up for identification when they encounter troops or get to Sudja.

The embassy further asked them to use +79267666228 or +255759068937 as WhatsApp contact numbers if they require further assistance.

The press release did not specify the number of students stranded in Sumy.

On Friday, Emmanuel Buholela, a media officer at the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the country’s embassies in Sweden and Russia said that following “a diplomatic agreement with the Russian government”, they had negotiated safe passage for its citizens using the Russian route.

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Mr Buholela added that the evacuation would be “coordinated by the Russian government”.

The stranded students have been taking shelter in five hostels in northeastern Ukraine; their Ukrainian colleagues fled the area when war broke out.