A Message for Biafrans
BBC News AFRICA Biafra: Thirty years on You are in: ----------- ----------- The BBC's Barnaby Phillips "It's time to revisit the foundations of Nigeria" real Chief Emeka Ojukwu reflects on the Biafran War "None of the problems that led to the war have been solved yet" real Thursday, 13 January, 2000, 07:04 GMT Biafra: Thirty years on By Nigeria correspondent Barnaby Philips It is 30 years since the end of one of post-independence Africa's first and most bloody wars.
The Nigerian civil war not only came close to tearing Africa's most populous country apart, it also provoked passions in excellent free casino games online and win real money words other parts of the world, particularly in Britain, the former colonial power.
Nigeria became independent in 1960.
Like most ex-colonies in the continent, its boundaries had been defined quite arbitrarily to demarcate where the competing claims of the imperial powers collided.
Consequently Nigeria was composed of semi-autonomous Muslim feudal states in the desert north, african money of biafra once-powerful Christian and animist kingdoms in the south and east, which was where the country's only significant source of income - oil - was exploited.
Ethnic split At independence, Nigeria had a federal constitution comprising three regions defined by the principal ethnic groups in the country - the Hausa and Fulani in the north, Yoruba in the south-west, and Ibo in the south-east.
The fighting led to famine and chaos But as the military took over in the mid-1960s, and the economic situation worsened, ethnic tensions broke out.
Up to 30,000 Ibos were killed in fighting with Hausas, and around 1million refugees fled to their Ibo homeland in the east.
On 30 Visit web page, 1967, the head of the Eastern Region, Colonel Emeka Ojukwu, unilaterally declared the independent Republic of Biafra.
After initial military gains, the Biafran forces were pushed back.
Over two-and-a-half years later, 1 million african money of biafra had died in fighting and from famine.
Photographs of starving children with huge distended stomachs from protein deficiency horrified people around the world.
Finally, Biafra was reabsorbed into Nigeria.
Responsibility Today, Article source Emeka Ojukwu enjoys the role of elder statesman, living in comfort in the former Biafran capital, Enugu.
Forgiven by the Nigerian authorities in the early 1980s, he admits to no remorse for the events of the civil war.
I did the best I could Chief Ojukwu "At 33 I reacted as a brilliant 33 year old," he says.
No, I don't feel responsible at all.
I did the best I could.
The wounded veterans line up in their wheelchairs alongside the main roads in Enugu, begging for money from passers-by.
Men like former Sergeant Michael Okafo believe they are being punished for fighting on the losing side.
He wants food, he wants to educate his children and he wants shelter.
He wants to be treated like any other Nigerian.
Exclusion When the civil war ended, the government promised the Ibo people that there would be no victors and no vanquished.
The authorities were desperate to avoid a repetition of the ethnic tensions which preceded the war.
Chief Ojukwu believes the Ibos have been largely excluded from power ever since and this could here instability in the future.
We have a situation creeping towards the type of situation that saw the beginning of the war.
During the war, Mrs Oyibo Adinamadu was a leading women's activist for the Biafran cause.
Biafran forces failed to obtain any international support But only a few African countries recognised it as an independent state.
She even travelled to Britain to lobby the then Labour government, which refused to meet her.
Instead Britain was a key arms supplier to the federal government, enabling it to crush the rebellion, because it believed that Biafran secession would create regional instability.
The then British Labour Foreign Secretary, Michael Stewart, agonised over this policy.
But following Nigeria's recent return to democracy, many of the country's diverse peoples, not just the Ibos, are demanding greater autonomy.
Nigeria is a young country.
The vast majority of its population is under 30 years old and only a small proportion have direct memories of the war.
But the causes of the Biafran conflict - ethnic rivalry and mistrust - are as african money of biafra today as ever Search BBC News Online Africa Contents See also: 03 Sep 99 Africa 18 Feb 99 Africa african money of biafra Jan 00 Africa Internet links: The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
Biafra: Alliances For Africa Storms Nnamdi Kanu’s House
– Beresiner, Yasha & Narbeth, Colin (1973) The Story of Paper Money, David & Charles, Newton Abbot. – Einzig, Paul (1949) Primitive Money, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London. – Forsyth, Frederick (1977) The Making of an African Legend: The Biafra Story, Penguin Books Ltd, Harmondsworth.
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