We hope Russia obeys rules of engagement, says FG on Nigerians stuck in Ukraine


Zubairu Dada, minister of state for foreign affairs, says the federal government expects that no harm will befall Nigerians that are stuck in Ukraine.


Amid the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, thousands of foreigners have been making frantic efforts to flee to neighbouring countries.


There have also been complaints of Ukrainian soldiers and border guards frustrating Africans, including Nigerians, from crossing to safety.


In the wake of the development, the Nigerian government said its diplomatic mission had received Nigerians in Hungary, Poland and Romania.

President Muhammadu Buhari also approved the sum of $8.5 million for the evacuation of 5,000 stranded Nigerians.


The evacuation is expected to begin today.


Speaking with journalists after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, the minister expressed optimism that Russian troops will obey the rules of engagement.

Rules of engagement are directives that determine the circumstances, conditions, degree, and manner in which the use of force can be applied during military operations.


Dada said the government has urged Ukraine and Russia’s ambassadors to ensure that Nigerians remain safe.


“We want to believe the Russian armed forces will obey the rules of engagement. They know the rules about civilians that are caught up in situations such as this. We want to assume they will respect international laws and ensure that no harm comes to them,” Dada said.


“Don’t forget that even our missions in Ukraine have had to be evacuated. So if for any reason any Nigerian is left behind, we are very very prayerful, we are very hopeful that no harm shall come to them, once of course, they are in some shelters or whatever place they are hiding.


“Don’t forget we had also summoned both the Russian and Ukrainian ambassadors to our ministry, and we did emphasise the need for their troops to ensure that they do not do anything that will harm the lives of innocent citizens.


“We have seen video clips making the rounds about the alleged treatment that had been meted out to black people who were on queues and in buses and all that.


“All these we have brought to the attention of the ambassadors and we have expressed our displeasure at this development and demanded that they do something about this.”

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