Saturday, December 01, 2012

Whatever Happened To Biafra?

My introduction to World Affairs as a child of the 60's was the Vietnam War and the establishment of a little republic in Africa named Biafra.

To this day I hear the name Biafra and visions of Black Power, Revolution and Struggle are awakened.  We are the accumulations of our pasts, and though we might live in a society modernized with all the new global technologies, medical breakthroughs and abundance of foods, I will never forget my thoughts of the Igbo peoples and their struggle for independence from Nigeria.

Power to Biafra, your struggle is our struggle!

Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in south-eastern Nigeria that existed from 30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970, taking its name from the Bight of Biafra (the Atlantic bay to its south).[1] The inhabitants were mostly the Igbo people who led the secession due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. The creation of the new country was among the causes of the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Nigerian-Biafran War.
Land of the Rising Sun was chosen for Biafra's national anthem, and the state was formally recognised by Gabon, Haiti, Côte d'Ivoire, Tanzania and Zambia. Other nations which did not give official recognition but which did provide support and assistance to Biafra included Israel, France, Portugal, Rhodesia, South Africa and the Vatican City.[2] Biafra also received aid from non-state actors, including Joint Church Aid, Holy Ghost Fathers of Ireland, Caritas International, MarkPress and U.S. Catholic Relief Services.[2]
After two-and-a-half years of war, during which a million civilians had died in fighting and from famine, Biafran forces agreed to a ceasefire with the Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG), and Biafra was reintegrated into Nigeria.[3]

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