Sunday, May 28, 2017

Fifty Years After The Nigeria Civil War: Biafra

Fifty Years After The Nigeria Civil War: Biafra

The Igbo people of southeast Nigeria confirmed an independent Republic of Biafra, and sparking a brutal civil skirmish that left nearly one million people dead, fifty years ago

 Coups and secession
On May 30, 1967, the military head of Nigerias eastern region, Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, declares the independent Republic of Biafra.

His involve comes two days after the head of Nigerias military giving out, General Yakubu Gowon, separated the federation into 12 states, including three in the east.

Biafra, accounting for less than 10 percent of Nigerian territory, at the era had a population of 14 million out of 55 million nationwide.

Its mainly Christian population was two-thirds Igbo.

Since independence from Britain in 1960, Nigeria had managed to stay a single entity despite historic rancor in the middle of the mainly Muslim north and the largely Christian south.

But the Igbos felt discriminated against by the two auxiliary main ethnic groupings, the northern Hausa-Fulani and the Yoruba in the southwest.

In January 1966, Nigeria suffered its first military coup, led by the Igbo General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi. A counter-coup launched in the north in July kills Ironsi and many of his senior Igbo officers.

Thousands of Igbo civilians are killed in reprisals, especially in the north, and millions of survivors make off backing to the southeast.

The handing out rejects the secession of the southeast, which is adroitly-to-make a buy of in agricultural and mineral resources, especially oil.

 Bombardments and blockade
Gowon announces a general mobilisation and denounces the independence confirmation as an fighting of disorder, maxim it will be crushed. The military imposes a blockade a propos eastern Nigeria.

On July 6 the army unleashes a general detestable when its first environment bombardments.

In October federal troops have enough maintenance a positive tribute Biafras capital, Enugu, along with the harbor of Calabar. Onitsha and Port Harcourt are recaptured in the first months of 1968.

Britain, the Soviet Union and the Organisation of African Unity (the forerunner to the African Union) side when the federal government.

Only a few African countries and France minister to Biafra.

 Humanitarian every second
On July 3, 1968 the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says that eight to 12 million people are affected by the battle and that 200 people a daylight are dying of starvation in Biafra.

One would think we were seeing ghosts marching codicil, slim and shy, wrapped in grey rags, an AFP special correspondent reports in August.

Nearly every single one are women of the whole ages and pass people there are no longer many children in Biafra.

The refugees travel, their stomachs empty, fleeing the noise of federal cannon. The noose is tightening.

In tardy August he writes of a million subsidiary refugees in 15 days as the army advances.

One person dies every 15 minutes refugees are dying from starvation and exhaustion, he reports.

The Biafra famine caused by the blockade makes headlines occurring for the world, behind heartrending photographs of children, stomachs bloated by malnutrition, their legs bent following rickets.

A handful of French doctors nimble for the ICRC, including the highly developed French dispensation minister Bernard Kouchner, brush aside convention and political borders to motivate an aid effort.

In 1971, they go a propos to found Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).

 No victor, no vanquished
From August to September 1968 the army retakes several towns after a major repulsive.

In March-April 1969, the subsidiary Biafran capital, Umuahia, falls.

After raids by secessionists on the subject of oil wells, Nigerian troops reinforce their blockade, and in June begin preventing international Red Cross aid flights.

Only Christian churches and the French Red Cross continue their aid flights in ever more dangerous conditions.

In forward January 1970 the army begins its unlimited attack, and approaching January 15, Biafra ceases to exist.

Ojukwu flees concerning January 11 to Ivory Coast, abandonment his deputy, Philip Effiong, to officially surrender to Gowon in Lagos, the federal meting outs capital at the era.

The east resumes its area in a joined Nigeria. Gowon vows No victor, no vanquished, and pledges to accomplish for national reconciliation.

But resentment lingers and deepens more than the decades, as the Igbo complain of a nonappearance of investment in the southeast, which many view as a punishment for Biafra.

The warfare invests considerable proficiency in the army, taking into consideration military coups becoming a feature of Nigerian political computer graphics for decades.

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