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Encyclopedia > Biafra
Republic of Biafra
Flag of the Republic of Biafra
(In detail)
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 southern Nigeria. It existed from May 30, 1967 to January 15, 1970. The country was named after the Bight of Biafra, the bay of the Atlantic to its south. Image File history File links Flag_of_Biafra. ... National flag of Biafra. ... Image:Antigua and barbuda coa. ... Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... An official language is a language that is given a unique legal status in the countries, states, and other territories. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article is about a city that serves as a center of government and politics. ... Location of Enugu in Nigeria Enugu is the capital city of Enugu State, Nigeria. ... List of the Heads of State of Biafra See Also Biafra Nigeria History of Nigeria Nigerian Civil War Lists of Incumbents Categories: Former countries ... 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. ... Area is a physical quantity expressing the size of a part of a surface. ... £1 banknote BIAP redirects here. ... is the 150th day of the year (151st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... A demonym or gentilic is a word that denotes the members of a people or the inhabitants of a place. ... Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or political entity. ... is the 150th day of the year (151st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... The Bight of Bonny (formerly Bight of Biafra) is a bay at the African coast in the Gulf of Guinea. ... The Atlantic Ocean forms a component of the all-encompassing World Ocean and is directly linked to the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Southern Ocean. ...


Biafra was recognized by a small number of countries during its existence: Gabon, Haiti, Côte d'Ivoire, Tanzania, and Zambia. Despite a lack of official recognition, other nations provided assistance to Biafra. France, Rhodesia and South Africa provided covert military assistance. The aid of Portugal proved to be crucial to the republic's survival. Portugal's São Tomé and Príncipe, a pair of islands south of Biafra, became a center of humanitarian relief efforts; Biafran currency was printed in Lisbon, which was also the location of Biafra's major overseas office. Israel also gave Biafra arms that it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, although that same conflict ruled out further assistance. In contrast, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union provided military support for Nigeria,[1] and the war of Biafran secession ended in a humanitarian catastrophe as Nigerian blockades stopped supplies from entering the region. Hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of people died in the resulting famine. Southern Rhodesia, todays Zimbabwe. ... Location    - Country Portugal    - Region Lisboa  - Subregion Grande Lisboa  - District or A.R. Lisbon Mayor Carmona Rodrigues  - Party PSD Area 84. ... Combatants Israel Egypt Syria Jordan Iraq Saudi Arabia Commanders Yitzhak Rabin, Moshe Dayan, Uzi Narkiss, Israel Tal, Mordechai Hod, Ariel Sharon Abdel Hakim Amer, Abdul Munim Riad, Zaid ibn Shaker, Hafez al-Assad Strength 264,000 (incl. ... 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. ...

Contents

History

In January 1966, a coup in the Nigerian government was attempted, initiated by [[ 3 Eastern Majors,1 Midwest Major and 1 Yoruba Major. The Igbo were referred to as Ibo at the time of the conflict.</ref> officers, which was bloody and short-lived. Since mostly Igbo officers in the Nigerian army survived, in the months of May and September 1966, Igbo migrants living in northern Nigeria were the targets of mass killings. Reprisals were taken in the country's Eastern Region. In Borikuri, twenty miles to the east of Port Harcourt, local Igbos targeted resident Hausas living in that region. An American youth, Leland Shapiro, was forced to flee the country after interfering with the mass reprisals.[citation needed] Most of Nigeria's Igbo people, who were then estimated at 7 million, lived in what was then the Eastern Region, which had as military governor Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. He declared the region an independent state with a capital at Enugu, and his troops began seizing federal resources such as inbound postal vehicles. Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... The Eastern Region was one of Nigerias federal divisions, dating back originally from the division of the colony Southern Nigeria. ... The Igbo, sometimes (especially formerly) referred to as the Ibo, are a West African ethnic group numbering in the tens of millions. ... In the U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a commissioned officer superior to a major and inferior to a colonel. ... 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. ... Location of Enugu in Nigeria Enugu is the capital city of Enugu State, Nigeria. ...

Currency of Biafra (£1 denomination)

Nigeria responded initially with an economic blockade and brought military force to bear starting on June 5, 1967. In the ensuing civil war, raids were made by Biafran troops west into Nigeria in July and August. Nigerian troops soon recovered, however, advancing into Biafra and forcing the repeated transfer of the Biafran capital from Enugu to Aba and then Umuahia by the end of the year, and to Owerri in 1969. Download high resolution version (809x405, 58 KB)The front side of a £1 Biafran bill. ... Download high resolution version (809x405, 58 KB)The front side of a £1 Biafran bill. ... is the 156th day of the year (157th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... 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. ... Location of Aba in Nigeria. ... Location of Umuahia in Nigeria Umuahia is the capital city of Abia State in south eastern Nigeria; population 147,167 [1]. Slogan: Spring of Synergy One of its prominent sons is Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara, the former premier of Eastern Region of Nigeria. ... Owerri is a city in southeastern Nigeria. ... For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see 1969 (Stargate SG-1). ...

The independent state of the Republic of Biafra in June 1967.
The independent state of the Republic of Biafra in June 1967.

By 1970, Biafra had been ravaged by war and was in great need of food supplies. Nigeria banned all Red Cross aid in 1969, though it partially relented two weeks later after widespread international criticism, allowing limited, pre-inspected airlifts of food and other supplies.[2] Amid economic and military collapse, Ojukwu fled the country and the rest of the republic's territory was re-incorporated into Nigeria. Many people died in the conflict, mostly through starvation and illness. The number of deaths is often cited at one million.[3] Image File history File links Biafra_independent_state_map-en. ... Image File history File links Biafra_independent_state_map-en. ... A female child during the Nigerian-Biafran war of the late 1960s, shown suffering the effects of severe hunger and malnutrition. ...


Nigeria later renamed the Bight of Biafra as the Bight of Bonny. Map of the Gulf of Guinea showing the Bight of Bonny. ...


An excerpt from the last wartime speech of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, head of the Biafran state, follows: 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. ...

In the three years of war, necessity gave birth to invention. During those three years, we built bombs, we built rockets, we designed and built our own delivery systems. We guided our rockets, we guided them far, and we guided them accurately. For three years, blockaded without hope of imports, we maintained engines, machines, and technical equipment. The state extracted and refined petrol, individuals refined petrol in their back gardens, we built and maintained airports, we maintained them under heavy bombardment. We spoke to the world through a telecommunications system engineered by local ingenuity. The world heard us and spoke back to us. We built armoured cars and tanks. We modified aircraft from trainer to fighters, from passenger aircraft to bombers. In three years of freedom, we had broken the technological barrier. In three years, we became the most civilized, the most technologically advanced black people on earth.

[4]

Legacy

A child suffering the effects of severe hunger and malnutrition. Pictures of the famine caused by Nigerian blockade garnered sympathy for the Biafrans worldwide.
A child suffering the effects of severe hunger and malnutrition. Pictures of the famine caused by Nigerian blockade garnered sympathy for the Biafrans worldwide.

Biafra's greatest legacy remains the fact that the war exposed the hatred and incompatibility of the forced ethnic groups that still make-up Nigeria. It would take extreme hatred or a total loss of humanity for someone to deliberately starve little children to death in a so called fake "war of unity". It also exposed the fact that the war was not fought out of a genuine love for or to reunite with the Easterners but to protect the interests of the British and their Northern surrogates who had hitherto wanted to seccede themselves in their counter coup (Araba) before the british high commissioner to Nigeria invited Yakubu Gowon and persuaded him other-wise. Even today the war continues by other means, as marginalization, injustices, oppression, and even periodic pogroms continue to happen in Nigeria. Right here on the pages of wikipedia false propaganda and lies continue to be propagated by Nigerians and her agents about the circumstances that led to the war. They even claim the Igbo was landlocked when it is common knowledge that the Ikwerre who inhabit Port-Harcourt, a coastal city are Igbo.These and others are evidence that the war is still on albeit by other means. links:http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=ibo Image File history File links Download high resolution version (700x1063, 70 KB) Summary starved girl during the Nigerian-Biafran war ( late 1960s). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (700x1063, 70 KB) Summary starved girl during the Nigerian-Biafran war ( late 1960s). ...


The international humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières came out of the suffering in Biafra. During the crisis, French medical 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. French doctor Bernard 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.[5] Médecins Sans Frontières ( (help· info)) (English: Doctors Without Borders) is a secular humanitarian-aid non-governmental organisation 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. ...


On 29 May 2000, the Lagos Guardian newspaper reported that President Olusegun Obasanjo commuted to retirement the dismissal of all military persons who fought for the breakaway state of Biafra during Nigeria's 1967-1970 civil war. In a national broadcast, he said the decision was based on the belief that "justice must at all times be tempered with mercy". It is also thought, that during the previous year, there had been a public resurgence of pro-Biafra sentiment among a section of the Igbo, who claimed that in the Nigerian federation, they have been marginalised.[1] is the 149th day of the year (150th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Guardian is an independent newspaper published in Nigeria by Guardian Newspapers Limited. ... General (rtd. ...


Since the ending of the civil war in 1970, ethnic and religious violence in Nigeria, the reason the civil war took place in 1967, has continued.


Violence between Christians and Muslims (usually Igbo Christians and Hausa or Fulani Muslims) has been incessant since the end of the civil war. The Hausa are a people of northern Nigeria and south-eastern Niger. ... Categories: Africa-related stubs | Burkina Faso | Cameroon | Ethnic groups of Africa | Fulani Empire | Mali | Nigeria ...


In 2002, organizers of the Miss World Pageant announced that they would move the pageant from the Nigerian capital, Abuja, to London in the wake of violent protests that left more than 100 people dead and 100 injured. The rioting erupted after a newspaper suggested that Muhammad would have approved of the Miss World beauty contest because the women looked "beautiful". The death toll in the town of Kaduna was an estimated 105 with a further 521 injured taken to hospital. Angry mobs in the city 600 kilometres (375 miles) northeast of Lagos burnt Christian churches and rampaged through the streets stabbing, bludgeoning and burning bystanders to death. Miss World logo The Miss World pageant is an international beauty pageant founded in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. ... Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria, with an estimated population of 1. ... Muhammad in a new genre of Islamic calligraphy started in the 17th century by Hafiz Osman. ... Location of Kaduna in Nigeria Kaduna is the state capital of Kaduna State. ...


In 2004, in the city of Kano (Nigeria's largest Muslim city) angry young Muslim men attacked "nonbelievers" with machetes, while others burned cars, stores and apartments. The violence came hours after thousands of Muslim protesters - some carrying daggers, sticks and clubs - marched from the main mosque in the northern city. Muslim Hausa-speaking men armed with sticks, knives, and clubs were searching cars for Christians and animists, asking passengers to recite Muslim prayers. Kano is the administrative center of the Kano State and the third largest city in Nigeria, in terms of geographical size, after Ibadan and Lagos. ...


In February 2006, Muslims in Northern Nigeria city of Maiduguri protesting caricatures of Muhammad, published in Denmark, attacked Christians and burned churches in violence that left dozens dead or injured. A majority of the dead were Igbos of Christian extraction. In retaliation Christians killed dozens of ethnic Hausa and Fulani (Muslims) and burned Muslim sites and mosques in Onitsha. The violence was commented on by the bishop of Abuja, Peter Akinola, who said, "May we at this stage remind our Muslim brothers that they do not have the monopoly of violence in this nation." The controversial cartoons of Muhammad, as they were first published in Jyllands-Posten in September 2005. ... The Most Revd Peter Akinola The Most Reverend Peter Jasper Akinola (born 1944) is the current Anglican Primate of Nigeria. ...


In July 2006 the Center for World Indigenous Studies reported that government sanctioned killings were taking place in the southeastern city of Onitsha, because of a shoot-to-kill policy directed toward Biafran loyalists, particularly members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).[6] The Center for Indigenous Studies founded in 1984 by Dr. Rudolph C. Ryser, Ph. ... Onitsha (pop 7 million 2005 est. ... The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) is an organization of about 2,000 people scattered all over Nigeria with the aim of securing the resurgence of the defunct state of Biafra. ...


Meaning of the word "Biafra" and location of Biafra

Little is known about the literal meaning of the word Biafra. Manuel Alvares (1526-1583) in his work "Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone", writes about the "Biafar heathen" in chapter 13. The word Biafar thus appears to have been a common word in the Portuguese language back in the 16th century.


Historical maps of Biafra

Ancient maps on Africa from the 15th-19th centuries reveal some interesting information about Biafra:

  1. The original word used by European travellers was not Biafra but Biafara, Biafar and sometimes also Biafares.
  2. The exact original region of Biafra is not restricted to Eastern Nigeria alone. According to the maps, European travellers used the word Biafara to describe the entire region east of the River Niger going down to the Mount Cameroon region, thus including Cameroon and a large area around Gabon.

Maps indicating the word Biafara (sometimes also Biafares or Biafar) with corresponding year:

Maps from the 19th century indicating Biafra as the region around today's Cameroon:

  • 1843
  • Additional maps from the Michigan State University Map Collection

See also

  • Manillas - An early form of coinage from this area
  • Nigerian Civil War
  • Radio Northsea International - media reports and publications suggest that the financing of this radio ship was derived from income earned by its Swiss owners for their logistic support provided to the government of Biafra. See also Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial and section 'Accused': "In the run-up to the trial, the Prosecution had considered bringing charges against Swiss businessman, Edwin Bollier, of the electronics firm Mebo Ag. But the Prosecution decided that, unless evidence to incriminate Bollier were to be adduced during the trial, he would not be included as a co-conspirator in causing the bombing."

Manillas are penannular (almost ring-like) armlets, mostly in bronze or copper, very rarely gold, which served as a form of Primitive Money or barter coinage and to a degree, ornamentation, amongst certain West African tribes (Guinea Coast, Gold Coast, Nigeria, etc. ... Combatants Nigerian federal government Republic of Biafra Commanders Yakubu Gowon Odumegwu Ojukwu Casualties 200,000 soldiers and civilians Estimated 1,000,000 soldiers and civilians The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, July 6, 1967 – January 13, 1970, was a political conflict caused by the attempted secession... Lockerbie bombing suspect Edwin Bollier Edwin Bollier and his partner, Erwin Meister, founded the Meister/Bollier (Mebo) electronics firm in Zürich, Switzerland. ... The trial began on May 3, 2000 The Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial began on May 3, 2000, which was 11 years, four months and 13 days after the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988. ... Edwin Bollier and his partner, Erwin Meister, founded the Meister/Bollier (Mebo) electronics firm in Zürich, Switzerland. ... Lockerbie bombing suspect Edwin Bollier Edwin Bollier and his partner, Erwin Meister, founded the Meister/Bollier (Mebo) electronics firm in Zürich, Switzerland. ...

References

  1. ^ "Biafra," Encyclopedia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Accessed 20 November 2006.
  2. ^ "1969: Nigeria bans Red Cross aid to Biafra," BBC. Accessed November 20, 2006.
  3. ^ "Biafra: Thirty years on," BBC. 13 January 2000. Accessed November 20, 2006.
  4. ^ "The Promise that was and still is Biafra." U. O. May 11, 1995. Accessed November 20, 2006.
  5. ^ Bortolotti, Dan (2004). Hope in Hell: Inside the World of Doctors Without Borders, Firefly Books. ISBN 1-55297-865-6.
  6. ^ Emerging Genocide in Nigeria, Chronicles of brutality in Nigeria 2000-2006

November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 13 is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 131st day of the year (132nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Additional reading

Nonfiction

Articles

The War Nerd logo. ... 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. ... Andrew Vachss & Honey Pit Bull, courtesy of Ellery Queens Mystery Magazine Andrew Henry Vachss (born 1942) is an American crime fiction author, child protection consultant, and attorney exclusively representing children and youths. ...

Books

  • Requiem Biafra by Joe O.G. Achuzia, ISBN 978-156-256-0. (1986)
  • The Biafra Story by Frederick Forsyth, ISBN 0-85052-854-2. (1969)
  • Biafra: A People Betrayed by Kurt Vonnegut, from Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons, ISBN 0-385-33381-1. (1974)
  • Surviving in Biafra: The Story of the Nigerian Civil War by Alfred Obiora Uzokwe, ISBN 0-595-26366-6. (2003)
  • The Banknotes of Biafra by Peter Symes [Printed privately] (2000) [2]
  • The Last Adventurer by Rolf Steiner.

Frederick Forsyth. ... Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ...

Fiction

  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a novel in which life in East Nigeria for the Igbo people is juxtaposed with their life during war torn Biafra.
  • The Ship's Cat by Jock Brandis, a fictional account of the Oxfam Air Relief flights that penetrated the military blockade around Biafra.
  • "Any Human Heart" by William Boyd includes a section describing Nigerian life and the collapse of the Biafran republic
  • "Sugar Baby" by Chinua Achebe is a short story that takes place in Biafra

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (born in 1977) is a Nigerian writer. ... Brandis on the cover of a Wilmington magazine. ... Oxfam International logo Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 organizations working together with over 3000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. ...

Music

Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner is a song composed by Warren Zevon and David Lindell and performed by Zevon. ... Warren William Zevon (January 24, 1947 – September 7, 2003) was an American rock and roll musician and songwriter. ... The Dead Kennedys (often known by their initials DK, as in decay) are a punk band from San Francisco, California. ... Eric Reed Boucher (born June 17, 1958) is more widely known by the stage name Jello Biafra. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  • Biafraland - The official site of the Biafra Actualization Forum, which presents a point of view that seems close to that of the MASSOB, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, which is a group currently still advocating the restoration of Biafra.
  • These Women Are Brave - A project on Igbo women's experiences during the Biafran war. Includes video and audio recordings of oral histories.
  • MASSOB-Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra in the USA
  • International Reports,Documents and Legal Resources
  • Stories of Torture committed by Nigerian Police

  Results from FactBites:
 
Biafra, Republic of. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05 (362 words)
At the outset Biafra comprised, roughly, the East-Central, South-Eastern, and Rivers states of the Federation of Nigeria, where the Igbo people predominated.
Biafra’s original capital was Enugu; Aba, Umuahia, and Owerri served successively as provisional capitals after Enugu was captured (Oct., 1967) by Nigerian forces.
At the time of its surrender on Jan. 15, 1970, Biafra was greatly reduced in size, its inhabitants were starving, and its leader, Ojukwu, had fled the country.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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