By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Mar. 3, 2022: About 20 black Jamaican students returned to their home country from war torn Ukraine Wednesday.
The students, according to Jamaica media reports, landed at theSangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James from Frankfurt, Germany.
The students had fled Ukraine amid tensions with Russia that escalated with a military invasion on February 24th. The students were in Poland for the past two days after walking more than 20 kilometres from L’viv to the Polish border.
The students were greeted at the Sangster International Airport by State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Leslie Campbell.
Only the state-run Jamaica Information Service was allowed in the VIP lounge for a brief welcome ceremony.
One of the students was met at the airport by her relatives. She was escorted by the police and airport security to their waiting vehicle in the parking lot. The others were taken on a bus through a private exit point.
The Jamaican government had offered a loan for them to purchase their airline tickets to travel home. The government has since said it is no longer offering loans.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, black foreign students attemped to leave the country said they are experiencing racist treatment by Ukrainian security forces and border officials.
One African medical student told CNN that she and other foreigners were ordered off the public transit bus at a checkpoint between Ukraine and Poland border.
They were told to stand aside as the bus drove off with only Ukrainian nationals on board, she says.
Rachel Onyegbule, a Nigerian first-year medical student in Lviv was left stranded at the border town of Shehyni, some 400 miles from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
She told CNN: “More than 10 buses came and we were watching everyone leave. We thought after they took all the Ukrainians they would take us, but they told us we had to walk, that there were no more buses and told us to walk.”
“My body was numb from the cold and we haven’t slept in about 4 days now. Ukrainians have been prioritized over Africans — men and women — at every point. There’s no need for us to ask why. We know why. I just want to get home,” Onyegbule told CNN in a telephone call Sunday as she waited in line at the border to cross into Poland.