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10 Things You Should Know About Biafra

by Joseph
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10 things you should know about Biafra

About Biafra: Over four decades ago, Nigeria faced the peril of a devastating civil war, claiming the lives of over a million people and nearly tearing the nation apart. Presently, a resurgence of secessionist aspirations in southeastern Nigeria, particularly among advocates for the reinstatement of the historic state of Biafra, poses a looming challenge. This upsurge in separatist sentiment has the potential to not only disrupt the national unity shared by most of the citizens; but escalate into regional violence, further complicating the socio-political landscape.

Here are ten things you should know about the Civil War.


The Nigerian civil war otherwise known as Biafra War was fought from 1967 to 1970 between the forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the forces of Biafra which seceded from Nigeria.


General Yakubu Gowon was Nigeria’s Head of State at that time while the late Lt. Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu was the leader of Biafra after serving as the military governor of the Eastern Region of Nigeria in 1966.


The civil war resulted from ethnic, economic, religious, and political tensions which forced the Igbo ethnic group, a majority tribe in the Eastern Region, to announce secession from Nigeria.


An anti-Igbo pogrom in Northern Nigeria was followed by a military coup and a counter-military coup leading to the secession of the Eastern Region


The war began on July 6, 1967, with the Nigerian forces advancing to reclaim the Eastern Region which by then was already identifying itself as Biafra


The Biafran forces also launched an offensive against Nigeria but were stopped at Ore in Ondo State where they suffered a major loss


The foreign players in the civil war included China, the then-Soviet Union, Israel, France, Egypt, Canada, and the United States


Biafra surrendered on January 15, 1970, and was reintegrated into the Federal Republic of Nigeria


After the war ended, General Gowon described it as one with “no victor and no vanquished”, a rhetorical aimed at healing wounds


The region which was identified as the Eastern Region of Nigeria before becoming Biafra has since been split into two – the South-East and the South-South

You might be interested in: The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Sunday raised the alarm over the life of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu

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