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Nigerian Civil War

This war was an internal conflict, fought between the Federal Government and Biafra.

Biafra lost this conflict.

The following is from Adam Gelder:

Political bickering and corruption, which left young army officers increasingly impatient, finally culminated in a military coup in January 1966. Prime Minister Balewa and two regional premiers were killed. A military government was established by the army commander Major-General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, who abolished the federal system. In July northern officers led a countercoup and killed Ironsi. His successor, Major-General Yakubu Gowon, revived the federation. During the 1960s thousands of Ibo living in the north were killed or sought refuge in their homelands in the south-east.

Relations between the northern-dominated federal government and the Ibo deteriorated as a result. In May 1967 the federal government announced its intention to split the Eastern Region, where the Ibo were the majority of the population, into three states—a move which would leave the Ibo without access to the sea and cut them off from the region’s oil-rich areas. The Eastern Region, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu, then seceded and proclaimed itself the Republic of Biafra. Civil war broke out in July and lasted for two-and-a-half years before the Biafran leadership signed a formal surrender on January 15, 1970. During this time an estimated one million people died in Biafra as a result of starvation caused by war-induced food shortages.


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