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Encyclopedia > Nigerian Civil War
Nigerian Civil War
Date 1967–1970
Location Southern Nigeria
Result Federal government victory
Belligerents
Nigerian federal government Republic of Biafra
Commanders
Yakubu Gowon Odumegwu Ojukwu
Casualties and losses
200,000 soldiers and civilians Estimated 1,000,000 soldiers and civilians

The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, July 6, 1967January 13, 1970, was a political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra. Image File history File links Flag_of_Nigeria. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Biafra. ... National motto: Peace, Unity, Freedom Official language English Capital Enugu Head of State Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Area ?- Total ?- % water Population;- Total 13,500,000 (1967) Currency Biafran pound (BIAP) Created May 30, 1967 Dissolved January 15, 1970 Demonym Biafran The Republic of Biafra was a short-lived secessionist state in... General Yakubu Jack Dan-Yumma Gowon (born October 19, 1934) was the head of state (Head of the Federal Military Government) of Nigeria from 1966 to 1975. ... The Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (born November 4, 1933) was the leader the secessionist state of Biafra in Nigeria (1967–1970), during the Nigerian Civil War. ... is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Secession (disambiguation). ... National motto: Peace, Unity, Freedom Official language English Capital Enugu Head of State Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Area ?- Total ?- % water Population;- Total 13,500,000 (1967) Currency Biafran pound (BIAP) Created May 30, 1967 Dissolved January 15, 1970 Demonym Biafran The Republic of Biafra was a short-lived secessionist state in...

Contents

Causes of the conflict

The conflict was the result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. Like many other African nations, Nigeria was an artificial construct callously initiated by the British which had neglected to consider religious, linguistic, and ethnic differences. Nigeria, which won independence from Britain in 1960, had at that time a population of 60 million people consisting of nearly 300 differing ethnic and cultural groups.


The causes of the Nigerian Biafran war—which Nigerians describe as a civil war and Biafrans, a war between two nations are exceedingly complex. More than fifty years ago, Great Britain artificially carved an area out of West Africa containing hundreds of different groups and arbitrarily unified it, calling it Nigeria. Although the area contained many different groups, three were predominant: the Ibos, which formed between 60-70% of the population in the southeast, the Hausa-Fulani, which formed about 65% of the peoples in the northern part of the territory; the Yoruba, which formed about 75% of the population in the southwestern part. Bear in mind that each of these groups was so distinctive politically, religiously, culturally, and socially, as to constitute what in Europe and indeed the western world in most circumstances would be thought of as a separate nation. The profound differences between them account, in a large sense, for the disintegration of the Nigerian Federation during the past several years.


The semi-feudal and Islamic Hausa-Fulani in the North were traditionally ruled by an autocratic, conservative Islamic hierarchy consisting of some thirty-odd Emirs who, in turn, owed their allegiance to a supreme Sultan. This Sultan was regarded as the source of all political power and religious authority.


The Yoruba political system in the southwest, like that of the Hausa-Fulani, also consisted of a series of monarchs. The Yoruba monarchs, however, were less autocratic than those in the North, and the political and social system of the Yoruba accordingly allowed for greater upward mobility based on acquired rather than inherited wealth and title.


The Ibo in the southeast, in contrast to the two other groups, lived in some six hundred autonomous, democratically-organized villages. Decisions among the Ibos were made by a general assembly in which every man could participate. The Ibos on the other hand were very different from the rest; independent minded and highly intelligent. They were considered innately democratic by nature, this political structure of the Igbos made the British very uncomfortable. The different political systems among these three peoples produced highly divergent sets of customs and values. The Hausa-Fulani commoners, having contact with the political system only through their village head who was designated by the Emir or one of his subordinates, did not view political leaders as amenable to influence. Political decisions were to be obeyed without question. 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. One of the chief functions of the traditional political system was to maintain the Islamic religion. Hostility to economic and social innovation was therefore deeply rooted.


In contrast to the Hausa-Fulani, the Ibo often participated directly in the decisions which affected their lives. They had a lively awareness of the political system and regarded it as an instrument for achieving their own personal goals. Status was acquired through the ability to arbitrate disputes that might arise in the village, and through acquiring rather than inheriting wealth. With their emphasis upon achievement, individual choice, and democratic decision-making, the challenges of modernization for the Ibos entailed responding to new opportunities in traditional ways. For the Hausa-Fulani, however, modernization required and still does a complete change in values and ways of life. The Yoruba were somewhere between the Hausa-Fulani and the Ibos regarding their need for achievement and emphasis upon individual choice.


These tradition-derived differences were perpetuated and, perhaps, even enhanced by the British system of colonial rule in Nigeria. In the North, the British found it convenient to rule indirectly through the Emirs, thus perpetuating rather than changing the indigenous authoritarian political system. 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. During the ensuing years, the Northern Emirs, thus were able to maintain traditional political and religious institutions, while limiting social change. As a result, the North, at the time of independence in 1960, was by far the most underdeveloped area in Nigeria with a literacy rate of 2% as compared to 19.2% in the East and 18% in the West (literacy in Arabic script, learned in connection with religious education, was higher).


In the South, and particularly in the Yoruba areas, the British were able to establish themselves more firmly and Christian missionaries rapidly introduced Western forms of education. Consequently, the Yoruba were the first group in Nigeria to become significantly modernized and they provided the first African civil servants, doctors, lawyers, and other technicians and professionals. British frustration…origin or hate…. In Ibo areas, missionaries were introduced at a later date because of British difficulty in establishing firm control over the highly autonomous Ibo villages. (Audrey Chapman, “Civil War in Nigeria,” Midstream, Feb 1968). However, the Ibo people, highly individualistic and achievement-oriented, took to Western education zealously. By the 1940’s they had transformed themselves into one of the most educated, wealthiest, and politically unified groups in Nigeria and presented a serious challenge to Yoruba predominance in the civil service and the professions. This did not augur well with the Britons… Moreover, severe population pressure in the Ibo homeland combined with an intense desire for economic improvement drove thousands of Ibos to other parts of Nigeria in search of work. Many went to the Northern areas where their entrepreneurial and technical skills were in particular demand among the traditional and generally uneducated population. There they took up positions as merchants, government civil servants, and clerks in private European companies. In time the Ibos came to occupy in Nigeria a position somewhat analogous to that of the Indians in East Africa or the Jews in Eastern Europe. In the North and to a lesser extent in the West they came to be looked upon as alien/outsiders occupying positions in the economy that “rightfully” belonged to tile indigenous inhabitants of the area. They were perceived as aggressive and pushy, and were envied and resented because of the rapidity with which they acquired education and wealth.

  Conflicts During the Colonial Era 

The British political ideology of dividing Nigeria during the colonial period into three regions North, West and East exacerbated the already well-developed economic, political, and social competition among Nigeria’s different ethnic groups. For the country was divided in such a way that the North had slightly more population than the other two regions combined. On this basis the Northern Region was allocated a majority of the seats in the Federal Legislature established by the colonial authorities. Within each of the three regions the dominant ethnic groups the Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Ibo 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. Although these parties were not exclusively homogeneous in terms of their ethnic or regional make-up, the present disintegration of Nigeria results, largely from the fact that these parties were primarily based in one region and one tribe. To simplify matters, we will refer to them here as the Hausa, Yoruba, and Ibo-based; or Northern, Western and Eastern parties.


During the 1940’s and 1950’s the Ibo and Yoruba parties were in the forefront of the fight for independence from Britain. They also wanted an independent Nigeria to be organized into several small states so that the conservative and backward North could not dominate the country. Northern leaders, however, fearful that independence would mean political and economic domination by the more Westernized elites in the South, preferred the perpetuation of British rule. As a condition for accepting independence, they demanded that the country continue to be divided into three regions with the North having a clear majority. Ibo and Yoruba leaders, anxious to obtain an independent country at all cost accepted the Northern demands.


Military coup

Claims of electoral fraud were the ostensible reason for a military coup on January 15, 1966, led by Igbo junior Army officers, mostly majors and captains. This coup resulted in General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, an Igbo and head of the Nigerian Army, taking power as President, becoming the first military head of state in Nigeria. The coup itself failed, as Ironsi rallied the military against the plotters. Ironsi then instituted military rule, alleging that the democratic institutions had failed and that, while he was defending them, they clearly needed revision and clean-up before reversion back to democratic rule. The coup, despite its failure, was perceived as having benefited mostly the Igbos because all but one of the five coup plotters were Igbos, and Ironsi, himself an Igbo, was thought to have promoted many Igbos in the Army at the expense of Yoruba and Hausa officers.[1] On 29 July 1966, the Northerners executed a counter-coup. This coup was led by Lt. Col. Murtala Mohammed. It placed Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon into power.[2] Ethnic tensions due to the coup and counter-coup increased and led, in September 1966, to the large-scale massacres of Christian Igbos living in the Muslim north. The Ibo are a group of people living in what is now Nigeria. ... JTU Aguiyi-Ironsi Johnson Thomas Umananke Aguiyi-Ironsi (1924 - 1966) was a Nigerian Igbo political figure. ... The Igbo, sometimes (especially formerly) referred to as the Ibo/Ebo, are an ethnic group in West Africa numbering in the tens of millions. ... The Yoruba (Yorùbá in Yoruba orthography) are a large ethno-linguistic group or ethnic nation in Africa; the majority of them speak the Yoruba language (èdèe Yorùbá; èdè = language). ... The Hausa are a Sahelian people chiefly located in the West African regions of northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger. ... Murtala Mohammed General Murtala Ramat Mohammed (November 8, 1938–February 13, 1976) was a military ruler (Head of the Federal Military Government) of Nigeria (1975–1976). ... General Yakubu Jack Dan-Yumma Gowon (born October 19, 1934) was the head of state (Head of the Federal Military Government) of Nigeria from 1966 to 1975. ...


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.[citations needed] However, the exclusion of easterners from power made many fear that the oil revenues would be used to benefit areas in the north and west rather than their own. Prior to the discovery of oil Nigeria's wealth derived from agricultural products from the south, and minerals from the north. The north, up until around 1965, had had low-level demands to secede from Nigeria and retain its wealth for northerners. These demands seemed to cease when it became clear that oil in the south east would become a major revenue source.[citations needed] This further fuelled Igbo fears that the northerners had plans to strip eastern oil to benefit the North. Map of Niger River with Niger River basin in green The Niger River is the principal river of western Africa, extending over 2500 miles (about 4180 km). ...

History of Nigeria
  • Early history
    Migration & settlements
  • History before 1500
    First states
  • (1500-1800)
    Igbo and Savannah states
  • Colonization
    (1800-1960)
  • 1960-1979
    Independence, military rule, and civil war
    • Civil War
      (1967-1970)
  • 1979-1999
    Second republic, more military rule
  • (1999-present)
    Return of democracy
v  d  e

Early history Migration & settlements History before 1500 First states (1500-1800) Igbo and Savannah states Colonization (1800-1960) 1960-1979 Independence, military rule, and civil war Civil War (1967-1970) 1979-1999 Second republic, more military rule (1999-present) Return of democracy      Main article: Nigeria // Main article: Early Nigerian history... Image File history File links LocationNigeria. ... Early history Migration & settlements History before 1500 First states (1500-1800) Igbo and Savannah states Colonization (1800-1960) 1960-1979 Independence, military rule, and civil war Civil War (1967-1970) 1979-1999 Second republic, more military rule History of Nigeria (1999-present) Return of democracy      Recent archaeological research has shown... Early history Migration & settlements History before 1500 First states (1500-1800) Igbo and Savannah states Colonization (1800-1960) 1960-1979 Independence, military rule, and civil war Civil War (1967-1970) 1979-1999 Second republic, more military rule History of Nigeria (1999-present) Return of democracy      Long before 1500 much of... Early history Migration & settlements History before 1500 First states (1500-1800) Igbo and Savannah states Colonization (1800-1960) 1960-1979 Independence, military rule, and civil war Civil War (1967-1970) 1979-1999 Second republic, more military rule History of Nigeria (1999-present) Return of democracy      During the 16th century the... Early history Migration & settlements History before 1500 First states (1500-1800) Igbo and Savannah states Colonization (1800-1960) 1960-1979 Independence, military rule, and civil war Civil War (1967-1970) 1979-1999 Second republic, more military rule History of Nigeria (1999-present) Return of democracy      Stamp of Southern Nigeria, 1901... Early history Migration & settlements History before 1500 First states (1500-1800) Igbo and Savannah states Colonization (1800-1960) 1960-1979 Independence, military rule, and civil war Civil War (1967-1970) 1979-1999 Second republic, more military rule History of Nigeria (1999-present) Return of democracy      Jaja Wachuku, First Nigerian Speaker... Early history Migration & settlements History before 1500 First states (1500-1800) Igbo and Savannah states Colonization (1800-1960) 1960-1979 Independence, military rule, and civil war Civil War (1967-1970) 1979-1999 Second republic, more military rule History of Nigeria (1999-present) Return of democracy      // A constituent assembly was elected... The Fourth Republic is the current republican government of Nigeria since 1999 governed by the fourth republican constitution. ...

Breakaway

The military governor of the Igbo-dominated southeast, Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu, citing the northern massacres and electoral fraud, proclaimed with southern parliament the secession of the south-eastern region from Nigeria as the Republic of Biafra, an independent nation on May 30, 1967. Although there was much sympathy in Europe and elsewhere, only four countries recognized the new republic. General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Ikemba Nnewi (born November 4, 1933) was the leader of the secessionist state of Biafra in Nigeria (1967–1970), during the Nigerian Civil War. ... National motto: Peace, Unity, Freedom Official language English Capital Enugu Head of State Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Area ?- Total ?- % water Population;- Total 13,500,000 (1967) Currency Biafran pound (BIAP) Created May 30, 1967 Dissolved January 15, 1970 Demonym Biafran The Republic of Biafra was a short-lived secessionist state in... is the 150th day of the year (151st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ...


Several peace accords especially the one held at Aburi, Ghana (the Aburi Accord) collapsed and the shooting war followed. Ojukwu managed at Aburi to get agreement to a confederation for Nigeria, rather than a federation. He was warned by his advisers that this reflected a failure to understand the difference on the side of Gowon, and that it would be revoked. When it was he regarded this as a failure of Gowon and the Military Government to honour their agreements, and that he was acting in accord with the agreement. His advisers, meanwhile, felt that Gowon had enacted as much of Aburi as was politically feasible and that Gowon had acted in the spirit of Aburi.[3] Aburi Botanical Gardens Aburi is a town north east of Accra, the capital city of Ghana. ... A confederation is an association of sovereign states or communities, usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution. ... A map displaying todays federations. ...


Civil War

The Nigerian government launched a "police action" to retake the secessionist territory.The war began on July 6, 1967 when Nigerian Federal troops advanced in two columns into Biafra. 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. But 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, to reach Ore just over the state boundary on August 21, just 130 miles east of the Nigerian capital of Lagos. As Nigerian forces were to retake the Mid-West, the Biafran military administrator declared the Republic of Benin on September 19. 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 battalions of the Nigerian 2nd Infantry Division were needed to drive the Biafrans back and eliminate their territorial gains made during the offensive. But the Nigerians were repulsed three times and lost thousands of troops as they tried to cross the Niger during October. is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... Nsukka is a town in South-East Nigeria in Enugu state, a former centre of the palm oil trade. ... Location of Benin City in Nigeria Benin City, a city (2006 est. ... For other uses, see Ore (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Lagos (disambiguation). ...


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. The Swedish eccentric, Count Carl Gustaf von Rosen, also led a flight of MiniCOINs in action; his BAF (Biafran Air Force) consisted of three Swedes and two Biafrans. Count Carl Gustaf Ericsson von Rosen (1909–1977) was a Swedish pioneer aviator, son of the explorer Eric von Rosen (1879–1948) and nephew of Karin Göring, wife of Hermann Göring. ...


The Nigerians then settled down to a period of a siege by blockading Biafra. Amphibious landings by the Nigerian marines led by Major Isaac Adaka Boro captured the Niger Delta cities of Bonny, Okrika and Port Harcourt on July 26, and the port of Calabar on October 18 by elements of the Nigerian 3rd Marine Commando Division. In the north, Biafran forces were pushed back into their core Igbo territory, and the capital of Biafra, the city of Enugu, was captured by Nigerian forces belonging to the 1st Infantry Division on October 4. The Biafrans continued to resist in their core Igbo heartlands, which were soon surrounded by Nigerian forces. The Niger Delta, the delta of the Niger River in Nigeria, is a densely populated region sometimes called the Oil Rivers because it was once a major producer of palm oil. ... Bonny is a town in southeast Nigeria, on the Bight of Biafra. ... Okrika is a port town in Rivers State, Nigeria. ... Port Harcourt is the capital city of Rivers State, Nigeria. ... Calabar is a city in southeastern Nigeria. ... Location of Enugu in Nigeria Enugu is the capital city of Enugu State, Nigeria. ...


Stalemate

From 1968 onward, the war fell into a form of stalemate, with Nigerian forces unable to make significant advances into the remaining areas of Biafran control. But another Nigerian offensive from April to June 1968 began to close the ring around the Biafrans with further advances on the two northern fronts and the capture of Port Harcourt on May 19, 1968. The blockade of the surrounded Biafrans led to a humanitarian disaster when it emerged that there was widespread civilian hunger and starvation in the besieged Igbo areas. The Biafran government claimed that Nigeria was using hunger and genocide to win the war, and sought aid from the outside world. A Nigerian commission, including British doctors from the Liverpool University School of Tropical Medicine, visited Biafra after the war[4] and concluded that the evidence of deliberate starvation was overplayed, caused by confusion between the symptoms of starvation and various tropical illnesses. 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 [3] Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 139th day of the year (140th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Many volunteer bodies organised blockade-breaking relief flights into Biafra, carrying food, medicines, and sometimes (according to some claims) weapons.[5] More common was the claim that the arms-carrying aircraft would closely shadow aid aircraft, making it more difficult to distinguish between aid aircraft and military supply aircraft.[5] It has been argued that by prolonging the war the Biafran relief effort (characterized by Canadian development consultant Ian Smillie as "an act of unfortunate and profound folly"), contributed to the deaths of as many as 180,000 civilians.[6]


The Nigerian government also claimed that the Biafran government was hiring foreign mercenaries to extend the war. Nigeria also used 'mercenaries', in the form of Egyptian pilots for their air force MiG 17 fighters and Il 28 bombers. The Egyptians conscripts frequently attacked civilian rather than military targets, bombing numerous Red Cross shelters.[5] For other uses, see Mercenary (disambiguation). ... MiG-17 at the Central Texas Airshow, USA, May 2003. ... The Ilyushin Il-28 is a jet bomber aircraft that was originally manufactured for the Soviet Air Force and was the USSRs first such aircraft to enter large-scale production. ...


Bernard Kouchner was one of a number of French doctors who volunteered with the French Red Cross to work in hospitals and feeding centres in besieged Biafra. The Red Cross required volunteers to sign an agreement, which was seen by some (like Kouchner and his supporters) as being similar to a gag order, that was designed to maintain the organisation's neutrality, whatever the circumstances. Kouchner and the other French doctors signed this agreement. Bernard Kouchner (born November 1, 1939 in Avignon) is a French politician, diplomat, and doctor. ... The Anarchist Black Cross was originally called the Anarchist Red Cross. The band Redd Kross was originally called Red Cross. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... For the town in the Republic of Ireland, see Hospital, County Limerick. ... A gag order is an order, sometimes a legal order by a court or government, other times a private order by an employer or other institution, restricting information or comment from being made public. ...


After entering the country, the volunteers, in addition to Biafran health workers and hospitals, were subjected to attacks by the Nigerian army, and witnessed civilians being murdered and starved by the blockading forces. Kouchner also witnessed these events, particularly the huge number of starving children, and when he returned to France, he publicly criticised the Nigerian government and the Red Cross for their seemingly complicit behaviour. With the help of other French doctors, Kouchner put Biafra in the media spotlight and called for an international response to the situation. These doctors, led by Kouchner, concluded that a new aid organisation was needed that would ignore political/religious boundaries and prioritise the welfare of victims. They created Médecins Sans Frontières in 1971 (Doctors Without Borders).[7] Médecins Sans Frontières logo Médecins Sans Frontières ( ) (English: Doctors Without Borders, its official name in the United States) is a secular humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic disease. ...


In June 1969, the Biafrans launched a desperate offensive against the Nigerians in their attempts to keep the Nigerians off-balance. They were supported by foreign mercenary pilots continuing to fly in food, medical supplies and weapons. Most notable of the mercenaries was Swedish Count Carl Gustav von Rosen who led five Malmö MFI-9 MiniCOIN small piston-engined aircraft, armed with rocket pods and machine guns. 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-17's and three out of Nigeria's six Ilyushin Il-28 bombers that were used to bomb Biafran villages and farms on a daily basis. 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. The Biafran air attacks did disrupt the combat operations of the Nigerian Air Force, but only for a few months. For other uses, see Mercenary (disambiguation). ... Count Carl Gustav von Rosen (1909–Swedish pioneer aviator, son of the explorer Erik von Rosen (1879–1948) and nephew of Karin Göring, wife of Hermann Göring. ... MiG-17 at the Central Texas Airshow, USA, May 2003. ... The Ilyushin Il-28 is a jet bomber aircraft that was originally manufactured for the Soviet Air Force and was the USSRs first such aircraft to enter large-scale production. ...


War's End

The Nigerian federal forces launched their final offensive against the Biafrans on December 23, 1969 with a major thrust by the 3rd Marine Commando Division which succeeded in splitting the Biafran enclave into two by the end of the year. 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. The Biafran town of Owerri fell on January 9, and Uli fell on January 11. The war finally ended with the final surrender of the Biafran forces in the last Biafra-held town of Amichi on January 13, 1970. Only a few days earlier, Ojukwu fled into exile by flying by plane to the republic of Côte d'Ivoire, leaving his deputy Philip Effiong to handle the details of the surrender to Yakubu Gowon of the federal army. is the 357th day of the year (358th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1969 (number) 1969 (movie) 1969 (Stargate SG-1) episode. ... is the 7th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Owerri is a city in southeastern Nigeria. ... is the 9th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 11th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Philip Effiong, also spelled Efiong, was the first Vice President and the second and last President of the now defunct Republic of Biafra, during the 30-month Nigeria-Biafra civil war, 1967-70. ... General Yakubu Jack Dan-Yumma Gowon (born October 19, 1934) was the head of state (Head of the Federal Military Government) of Nigeria from 1966 to 1975. ...


Aftermath and legacy

The war cost Nigeria a great deal in terms of lives, money and its image in the world. It has been estimated that up to three million people may have died due to the conflict, most from hunger and disease. Reconstruction, helped by the oil money, was swift; however, the old ethnic and religious tensions remained a constant feature of Nigerian politics. Military government continued in power in Nigeria for many years, and people in the oil-producing areas claimed they were being denied a fair share of oil revenues[8]. Laws were passed mandating that political parties could not be ethnically or tribally based; however, it has been hard to make this work in practice.


The Igbos felt that they had been deliberately displaced from government positions, because their pre-war posts were now occupied by other Nigerians (mostly Yoruba and Hausa-Fulani). 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. This, however, has led to a feeling of an injustice. Further feelings of injustice were caused by Nigeria, during the war, changing its currency so that Biafran supplies of pre-war Nigerian currency were no longer honoured and then, at the end of the war, offering only N£20 to easterners on exchange of their Biafran currency. This was seen as a deliberate policy to hold back the Igbo middle class, leaving them with little wealth to expand their business interests.[9] The Yoruba (Yorùbá in Yoruba orthography) are a large ethno-linguistic group or ethnic nation in West Africa. ... The Hausa-Fulani is a term sometimes used for the people of the Hausa kingdoms of the seventeenth and eighteenth century and the Fulani Empire of the nineteenth of Northern Nigeria, Mali, and Niger. ...


On Monday 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. In a national broadcast, he said that the decision was based on the principle that "justice must at all times be tempered with mercy." is the 149th day of the year (150th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... General (rtd. ...


The NGO Médecins Sans Frontières was created in 1971 as an aftermath of the war by Bernard Kouchner and other French doctors who had worked in besieged Biafra. NGO is an abbreviation or code for: Non-governmental organization Nagoya Airport (IATA code) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Médecins Sans Frontières logo Médecins Sans Frontières ( ) (English: Doctors Without Borders, its official name in the United States) is a secular humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic disease. ... Bernard Kouchner (born November 1, 1939 in Avignon) is a French politician, diplomat, and doctor. ...


Notes

  1. ^ This was despite the disconnect between Ironsi, an Igbo, having stopped an Igbo-led coup. 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
  2. ^ Gowon was chosen as a compromise candidate. He was a Northerner, a Christian, from a minority tribe, and had a good reputation within the army.
  3. ^ a b Ntieyong U. Akpan, The Struggle for Secession, 1966-1970: A Personal Account of the Nigerian Civil War.
  4. ^ R. B. Alade, The Broken Bridge: Reflections and Experience of a Medical Doctor during the Nigerian Civil War
  5. ^ a b c Shadows : Airlift and Airwar in Biafra and Nigeria 1967-1970, by Michael I. Draper (ISBN 1-902109-63-5)
  6. ^ Ian Smillie (1995), quoted in Alex de Waal, Famine Crimes: Politics & the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa, African Rights and the International African Institute, 1997, ISBN 0253211581, p. 77
  7. ^ Bortolotti, Dan (2004). Hope in Hell: Inside the World of Doctors Without Borders, Firefly Books. ISBN 1-55297-865-6.
  8. ^ With reason. The pre-1966 tax-sharing agreements on mineral wealth was changed to favour the Federal government at the expense of the state. This agreement has, in the 1980s, been modified to further favour the Federal government.
  9. ^ Ken Saro-Wiwa, On a darkling plain

Alexander de Waal is a British writer and researcher on African issues. ... Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa (October 10, 1941 - November 10, 1995) was a Nigerian author, television producer and environmental activist. ...

Bibliography

  • Shadows : Airlift and Airwar in Biafra and Nigeria 1967-1970, by Michael I. Draper (ISBN 1-902109-63-5)
  • On Wings of War: My Life as a Pilot Adventurer, by Jan Zumbach
  • Warfare of the 20th Century, by Christopher Chant; Chartwell Books, 1988.
  • The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War, by Alexander A. Madiebo; Fourth Dimension Publishers, 1980.
  • Surviving the iron curtain: A microscopic view of what life was like, inside a war-torn region by Chief Uche Jim Ojiaku, ISBN-10: 1424170702; ISBN-13: 978-1424170708 (2007)
  • Ejibunu, Hassan Tai: Nigeria´s Delta Crisis: Root Causes and Peacelessness - EPU Research Papers: Issue 07/07, Stadtschlaining 2007

Jan Zumbach. ... The European University Center for Peace Studies (EPU) is an international, non-governmental organisation with UNESCO status, and is affiliated to the Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR), also located at Stadtschlaining. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Biafran War, Nigerian History, Nigerian Civil War (9224 words)
The Nigerian Civil War was fought to reintegrate and reunify the country.
The immediate cause of the civil war itself may be identified as the coup and the counter coup of 1966 which altered the political equation and destroyed the fragile trust existing among the major ethnic groups.
War is a situation that requires faith - faith in your equipment, faith in your comrades and colleagues, faith in God or the supreme being or whatever one believes in, faith in oneself and in the cause for which one is fighting.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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