Biafra: The War

Biafra 1966-1970

Mostly written by Combat Genocide Association A Jewish And Universal Organization with the help of Dr Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

In May, 1967 the Igbo people seceded from Nigeria and declared the establishment of the Republic of Biafra. The Nigerian government decided to set up a land and sea blockade of Biafra in order to starve its population. Between 1966 and 1970 more than two million Igbo people were murdered in Biafra.

Background:

Once a British colony, Nigeria gained its independence in 1960.  At that time, there were about 60 million inhabitants from over 250 ethnic groups.  The north was primarily inhabited by the Muslim Hausa tribe; the south-west by the half-Muslim, half-Christian Yoruba tribe; and the south-east by the Christian Igbo.

In 1965, vast amounts of oil were discovered in Oloibiri in the Niger River Delta, a region inhabited by the Igbo.  One year later, a successful military coup placed Nigeria under the rule of Igbo officers.  The Igbo claimed that even though most of the oil was found in their territory, they were receiving only a small portion of the income due to discrimination.  In response, the Muslims in the north started an uprising, during which they massacred Christians from the Igbo from the north; the Christians fled south.  Thus a cycle of ethnic and economic conflict ensued.

In May 1967, an Igbo colonel declared that the Igbo region was to secede from Nigeria and in order to found the State of Biafra.  Only a small number of governments around the world recognized Biafra: Zambia, the Ivory Coast, Haiti, Gabon, and Tanzania.  South Africa, Rhodesia, France, and Israel provided Biafra with military assistance.  The leadership of the Muslims in the north and the Yoruba in the south refused to accept Biafran’s independence and sent armies to attack the new country.  War began.

The Extermination:

After three failed attacks on Biafra, the Nigerian government declared a land and sea blockade on Biafra in order to starve its residents.   On May 19, 1968, the city Port Harcourt, the most important port in Biafra, fell to Nigerian forces.  As the blockade of Biafra continued, famine began to spread.  While the Nigerian forces bombed agricultural lands, Biafra’s military situation quickly deteriorated; only logistical problems prevented the final crushing of the rebellion.

On December 23, 1969, the Nigerian Federal Military Government forces began their final assault. The third Marine Commando Division succeeded in dividing Biafra in two, and the cities Owerri and Ugheli soon fell.  On January 13, 1970, the last city under Biafran rule fell to the Nigerian forces, and the leader of Biafra fled into exile on an airplane from the Ivory Coast, leaving his deputy to sign the conditions of surrender.

According to estimates, about 2 million people were killed during the war in Biafra, most of them Igbo.  The majority died of disease and hunger, rather than from the fighting itself, and most of them were women, children, and elderly people who did not take part in the fighting at all.

After the Genocide:

At the end of the war, the Nigerian Federal Military Government implemented a number of repressive policies towards the Igbo. Their money was confiscated; each adult, no matter how much he or she had in the bank, received only 20 pounds; and their cities were given to other tribes to rule.

To this day the Igbo suffer from discrimination as it is difficult for them to find employment, their living area has been intentionally reduced, and many Igbo emigrate from Nigeria.  Even today, religious violence continues in Nigeria almost each and every day.

Click to read about tragedy-of-biafra


A NEW BEGINNING

Our Commitment to WIC Going Forward

Purpose of this thrust

To lay out strategies by the new administration, with the participation of all Diaspora Igbo, to revamp World Igbo Congress in order to enhance the robustness intended ab initio to reposition it for the onerous task ahead for the Igbo Nation.

Our Goals

  1. To reinstate the operational model of faithful adherence to the rules laid down at inception in order to restore the discipline needed for a viable and stronger WIC that will stand the test of time in this troubled era of the Igbo
  2. To establish an interfacing platform for all Diaspora Igbo Organizations to engender oneness of purpose, trust and unified response to emergencies
  3. To ensure that Diaspora Igbo under the aegis of World Igbo Congress is equipped psychologically and materially to undertake responsibilities that will ensure stability for the Igbo nation of the
  4. To have a robust World Igbo Congress that will respond energetically, rapidly, internationally and unapologetically to the needs of the Igbo as a

The Ikemba Strategic Committee

(The arrowhead of WIC’s renewed initiative)

GOAL: To prepare the WIC, the Igbo and Igbo land for today’s emergencies and for the future
  1. Immediately pursue a sustained global fundraising machinery for Diaspora Igbo
  2. Identify actionable litigation against all oppressors of the Igbo by way of Igbo Legal Defense
  3. Setup public relations and lobbying machinery so as to become proactive in Igbo affairs internationally and enlist the support of people or groups that will fight for us where it matters most
  4. Arrange presentations at World Centers including the United Nations, the governments of the US, The International Court of Justice at The Hague and Europe and African
  5. Stimulate our people to get politically involved locally so that, by default the Igbo becomes constituents of the political class in the US and elsewhere making it easy to mobilize this for our
  6. Rapidly articulate WIC response to any future
  7. Liaise with and report to the board for approval of decisions

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