Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in West Africa that existed from May 1967 to January 1970 during the Nigerian Civil War. On 15 January 1970, the conflict officially ended. After diplomatic efforts by Nigeria failed to reunite the country, war between Nigeria and Biafra broke out in July 1967. However, the Biafrans responded with an offensive of their own when on July 9, the Biafran forces moved west into the Mid-Western Nigerian region across the Niger River, passing through Benin City, until they were stopped at Ore just over the state boundary on August 21, just 130 miles east of the Nigerian capital of Lagos. During the 1940s and 1950s the Igbo and Yoruba parties were in the forefront of the fight for independence from Britain. Below are the most prominent of the effects of the Biafran war, also known as the Nigerian civil war: 1. The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Nigerian-Biafran War, 6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970, was a political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra.The conflict was the result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. Following independence in 1960, three provinces were formed along tribal lines, the Hausa and Fulani (north), Yoruba (south-west), and Igbo or Ibo (south-east). Also known as the Biafran War, the Nigerian civil war began … The effects of the Nigeria civil war can still be felt everywhere in the country at varying degrees. Chillingly, the view that people deserve to lie in the graves they dig for themselves influences some policymakers, while donor- and disaster-fatigue makes others wary of giving as generously when they think that the wound being treated is somehow self-inflicted.[10]. The ECOWAS Court has ordered 10 of the third-party applicants in a proceeding relating to the payment of compensation by Nigeria over its management of the country’s civil war aftermath, to file before its next sitting, the terms of their settlement. Bernard Kouchner was one of a number of French doctors who volunteered with the French Red Cross to work in hospitals and feeding centers in besieged Biafra. The Nigerian-Biafran War. More than fifty years ago, Great Britain carved an area out of West Africa containing hundreds of different groups and unified it, calling it Nigeria. Born in Missouri in 1835, Clemens followed a circuitous route to becoming an observer and writer of the American West. The Nigerian Civil War: Causes, Strategies, And Lessons Learnt. During the ensuing years, the Northern Emirs, thus were able to maintain traditional political and religious institutions, while limiting social change. The final Nigerian offensive, named "Operation Tail-Wind," was launched on January 7, 1970 with the 3rd Marine Commando Division attacking, and supported by the 1st Infantry division to the north and the 2nd Infantry division to the south. Max Siollun ( @maxsiollun ) is a Nigerian historian and the author, most recently, of “Nigeria’s Soldiers of Fortune.” On this basis the Northern Region was allocated a majority of the seats in the Federal Legislature established by the colonial authorities. Two-thirds of those who perished were children. Kouchner and the other French doctors signed this agreement. The ECOWAS Court has ordered 10 of the third-party applicants in a proceeding relating to the payment of compensation by Nigeria over its management of the country’s civil war aftermath, to file before its next sitting, the terms of their settlement. The declaration of independence led to a civil war between the region and the rest of Nigeria, who opposed secession. Nigeria had experienced a string of political problems ever since the dawn of independence from the British in 1960, problems that almost rendered useless the independence struggle by their founding fathers. Biafra is a part of Nigeria covering the old eastern region of the country. The pre-1966 tax-sharing agreements on mineral wealth was changed to favor the Federal government at the expense of the state. It also ignored the fact that the army was largely composed of Northerners at the private level, but Igbos at the officer level, and thus promotions would have to draw upon a large body of Igbo officers. However reorganization of the Nigerian forces, the reluctance of the Biafran army to attack again, and the effects of a naval, land and air blockade of Biafra led to a change in the balance of forces. They created Médecins Sans Frontières in 1971 (Doctors Without Borders).[4]. The war became notorious for the starvation in some of the besieged war-bound regions, and the consequent claims of genocide made by the largely Igbo people of those regions. The soldiers that were supposed to defend Mid-West were mostly mid-west Igbos and were in touch with their eastern counterpart. Accounts of the civil war in Nigeria or the biafran war. 5 Historical Riots/Wars In Nigeria That Almost Destroyed the Country. As a concomitant of this system, Christian missionaries were excluded from the North, and the area thus remained virtually closed to Western education and influence, in contrast to the Igbo, the richest of whom sent many of their sons to British universities. The personal stories of people who remember the war and some who lived through it are here. The civil war was fought to counter the secession of Biafra from Nigeria { Brief History of the Nigerian Civil War Facts { Biafra Civil war } }. The Nigerian civil war h as never been referred to as a revolution. The Nigerian Civil War which broke out on 6 July 1967 and lasted until January 15, 1970, was the culmination of an uneasy peace and instability that had plagued the Nation from independence in 1960. [9], On the other hand, this war and others that have taken place in the post-colonial space confirm for some the notion that places like Africa are still too rife with ancient tribal animosities to create stable and viable states, thus some members of the international community have been slow to respond even when the facts of people's suffering (such as in Rwanda during the Rwandan Genocide are fully known. Eyiche Adizua was a technician at the Nigerian National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) before the civil war broke out Like her, Eyiche Adizua, a former technician, fled to Oguta during the civil war. The Nigerian civil war is commonly referred to as the Biafran War. General Aguiyi Ironsi, just as the majority of the coup plotters was of … Reconstruction, helped by oil money, was swift; however, the old ethnic and religious tensions remained a constant feature of Nigerian politics. The discovery of vast oil reserves in the Niger River delta, a sprawling network of rivers and swamps at the southernmost tip of the country, had tempted the southeast to annex the region in order to become economically self-sufficient. The causes of the Nigerian civil war were exceedingly complex. It's 50 years since the start of the Biafran war, one of Africa's bloodiest post-independence conflicts. On July 6, 1946, George Walker Bush, the son of future President George Herbert Walker Bush, is born in New Haven, Connecticut. Other agencies were founded by people who worked in the Biafra relief program, such as INTERTECT. Introduction Various factors have stirred up conflicts among ethnic, religious and political groups in Nigeria. Introduction Various factors have stirred up conflicts among ethnic, religious and political groups in Nigeria. Introduction The Nigerian Civil War, 1967 – 1970, was an ethnic and political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the South-eastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed republic of Biafra. Asaba is predominantly occupied by the Igbos but was never part of Biafra. Anticipating that when a policy decision was made, Nixon's two statements on the Nigerian Civil War made during his Presidential campaign might be recalled, he attached a composite Nixon's statements from July 17 and September 10, 1968. They had a lively awareness of the political system and regarded it as an instrument for achieving their own personal goals. As a result of the unnecessary continuous killings of Southern Biafran Christians who were residing at the Northern part of Nigeria, by the Nothern Moslems: Biafra declares its independence from Nigeria, Nigeria does not recognise this and invades Biafra, thus beginning a Civil War! It was fought between 6 th of July, 1967 to 15 th of January, 1970. His force attacked Nigerian military airfields in Port Harcourt, Enugu, Benin City and Ughelli, destroying or damaging a number of Nigerian Air Force jets used to attack relief flights, including a few Mig-17s and three out of Nigeria's six Ilyushin Il-28 bombers that were used to bomb Biafran villages and farms on a daily basis. This was one of the first post-World War II tragedies that the media took into living rooms across the globe and it gave impetus to the development of humanitarian responses to complex emergencies, whether caused by natural calamity or by human hand. Hostility to economic and social innovation was therefore deeply rooted. [1] On July 29, 1966, the Northerners executed a counter-coup. With the Nigerian civil war there were saints and sinners, and there were heroes and traitors. Lack of trust till date between the South and the North, in particular, the Eastern part of Nigeria. The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Nigerian-Biafran War, was a three-year bloody conflict with a death toll numbering more than one million people. The war began on July 6, 1967 when Nigerian Federal troops advanced in two columns into Biafra. When Igbo civil servants left to join similar posts in Biafra, their positions had been replaced; and when the war was over the government did not feel that it should sack their replacements, preferring to regard the previous incumbents as having resigned. Teslim Opemipo Omipidan. May 30 2017 marks the 50th birthday of the declaration of independence of the republic of Biafra, leading up to a 30-month civil war between federal Nigerian troops and the (Igbo) secessionists. While they did not doubt that starvation had occurred, it was less clear to what extent it was a result of the Nigerian blockade or the restriction of food to the civilians (to make it available to the military) by the Biafran government. In the South, the missionaries rapidly introduced Western forms of education. The right-hand Nigerian column advanced on the town of Nsukka which fell on July 14, while the left-hand column made for Garkem, which was captured on July 12. Ojukwu managed at Aburi to get agreement to a confederation for Nigeria, rather than a federation. Quick Kill in Slow Motion: The Nigerian Civil War. Although taken off-guard by the surprise Biafran offensive, the Nigerians soon recovered and held off the Biafrans long enough for the offensive to stall out. Six years later, the Muslim Hausas in northern Nigeria began massacring the Christian Igbos in the region, prompting tens of thousands of Igbos to flee to the east, where their people were the dominant ethnic group. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/civil-war-in-nigeria. Within each of the three regions the dominant ethnic groups, the Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo, respectively, formed political parties that were largely regional and tribal in character: the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) in the North; the Action Group in the West (AG): and the National Conference of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) in the East. The Department provided its justification for the sale of eight C-97G aircraft to Joint Church Aid U.S.A., Inc. (JCA) and ICRC and included a statement that U.S. Government policy remained "one Nigeria" with relief supplied to both sides in the conflict. The different political systems among these three peoples produced highly divergent sets of customs and values. General Aguiyi Ironsi’s Failures. A Nigerian commission, including British doctors from the Liverpool University School of Tropical Medicine, visited Biafra after the war and concluded that the evidence of deliberate starvation was overplayed, caused by confusion between the symptoms of starvation and various tropical illnesses. However, in spite of Biafra’s importance, the world seems to have little recollection of this conflict and the lessons learned. The day before, Anne’s older sister, Margot, had received a call-up notice to be deported to a Nazi “work camp.” Born in ...read more, On July 6, 1957, Althea Gibson claims the women’s singles tennis title at Wimbledon and becomes the first African American to win a championship at London’s All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! This highly centralized and authoritarian political system elevated to positions of leadership persons willing to be subservient and loyal to superiors, the same virtues required by Islam for eternal salvation. Nicknames, Slogans, Local and Operational Names Associated with the Nigerian Civil War. It's 50 years since the start of the Biafran war, one of Africa's bloodiest post-independence conflicts. May 30 2017 marks the 50th birthday of the declaration of independence of the republic of Biafra, leading up to a 30-month civil war between federal Nigerian troops and the (Igbo) secessionists. A huge box-office success, the film starred Tom Hanks in the title role of Forrest, a good-hearted man with a low I.Q. Originally ...read more, On July 6, 1775, one day after restating their fidelity to King George III and wishing him “a long and prosperous reign” in the Olive Branch Petition, Congress sets “forth the causes and necessity of their taking up arms” against British authority in the American colonies. Aguiyi-Ironsi was killed and widespread reprisals were unleashed against the Igbo. Col. Muritala later became military head of state. He died in prison 11 years later. 5 Historical Riots/Wars In Nigeria That Almost Destroyed the Country. When the first atrocity stories were filed, Igbo sources were claiming that 10,000 civilians had been killed at that time. The war finally ended with the final surrender of the Biafran forces in the last Biafra-held town of Amichi on January 13, 1970. The Nigerian army offensive was through the north of Biafra led by Colonel Shuwa and the local military units were formed as the 1st Infantry Division. But the Nigerians were repulsed three times and lost thousands of troops as they tried to cross the Niger during October. When Nigeria won independence from Britain in 1960, the population of 60 million people consisted of nearly 300 differing ethnic and cultural groups. The leading locomotive that keeps the country going was severely affected. The Yoruba political system in the southwest, like that of the Hausa-Fulani, also consisted of a series of monarchs (Obas). [6] Laws were passed mandating that political parties could not be ethnically or tribally based; however, it was hard to make this work in practice. On May 29, 2000, The Guardian of Lagos reported that President Olusegun Obasanjo commuted to retirement the dismissal of all military persons who fought for the breakaway state of Biafra during the Nigerian civil war. One of the chief functions of the traditional political system was to maintain the Islamic religion. Some of the founders of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) took part, later establishing the agency as a response to the tragic war. This further fueled Igbo fears that the northerners had plans to strip eastern oil to benefit the North. Several peace accords especially the one produced at Aburi, Ghana (the Aburi Accord) collapsed and a shooting war followed. The Biafrans continued to resist in their core Igbo heartlands, which were soon surrounded by Nigerian forces. The Nigerian army offensive was through the north of Biafra led by Colonel Shuwa and the local military units were formed as the 1st Infantry Division. These demands seemed to cease when it became clear that oil in the southeast would become a major revenue source. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. The tension set in motion by political activists in Nigeria eventually culminated in the outbreak of the civil war on December 6, 1967. The Nigerian census crisis of … The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Nigerian–Biafran War, 6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970, was a political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra.The conflict was the result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. Perhaps the most prominent effect of the civil war. No doubt, the Nigerian economy felt the heavy toll of the civil war.. Nigeria civil war wreaked havoc on the country. Although Benin City was retaken by the Nigerians on September 20, the Biafrans succeeded in their primary objective by tying down as many Nigerian Federal troops as they could. Four years later, Kristine Holderied became ...read more, In Nazi-occupied Holland, 13-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family are forced to take refuge in a secret sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. Many volunteer bodies organized blockade-breaking relief flights into Biafra, carrying food, medicines, and sometimes (according to some claims) weapons. The ...read more, In Hartford, Connecticut, a fire breaks out under the big top of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus, killing 167 people and injuring 682. Nigeria's army offensive was through the north of Biafra led by Col. Shuwa and designated as 1 division. The military governor of the Igbo-dominated southeast, Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu, citing the northern massacres and electoral fraud, proclaimed with the southern parliament the secession of the south-eastern region from Nigeria as the Republic of Biafra, an independent nation on May 30, 1967. What was the Nigerian conflict about and why does it still matter today? Before the Nigerian Civil War, the Nigerian Navy had acquired a considerable number of platforms either by new construction or by transfer of old ships from the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, and France. Nigerian civil war forty years ago. The state lost its oil fields–its main source of revenue–and without the funds to import food, an estimated one million of its civilians died as a result of severe malnutrition. The Biafran government claimed that Nigeria was using hunger and genocide to win the war, and sought aid from the outside world. Biafra was formally recognised by Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, and Zambia. [3] On July 6, 1933, Major League Baseball’s first All-Star Game took place at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. History. 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