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The Nigerian Genocidal War On Biafra, A Dark Stigma On The History Of Nigeria

 The Nigerian Genocidal War On Biafra, A Dark Stigma On The History Of Nigeria The bloody War, also known as the Nigerian Civil War is consi...

 The Nigerian Genocidal War On Biafra, A Dark Stigma On The History Of Nigeria

The bloody War, also known as the Nigerian Civil War is considered one of the deadliest conflicts in African history. The war lasted from 1967 to 1970, during which period the government of Nigeria in collaboration with the British government of Harold Wilson committed what has been described as the worst modern time genocide on the continent of Africa. The massacre of over 5 million Biafran people, mostly women and children is a dark stain on Nigeria's history and a reminder of the worst of government brutality in Africa.

The root of the conflict can be traced to Nigeria's political landscape which was characterized by a significant divide between the northern and southern regions. The northern region was predominantly Muslims while the southern region was predominantly Christians. In addition, the northern region was economically and politically dominant, which created tension and resentment among the southern region's population, particularly the Igbo people.

The Nigeria government's policy of marginalization and discrimination against the Igbo people culminated in a military coup in January 1966, led by Nigerian military officers headed by Igbo man. The coup was unsuccessful, and a counter-coup led by northern military officers followed six months later. This counter-coup targeted Igbo military officers and civilians, leading to widespread violence and the deaths of thousands of Igbo people.

The aftermath of this counter-coup majorly led to the declaration of an independent state of Biafra by the Igbo people in the southeastern region of Nigeria. This declaration of independence led to a civil war that lasted for three years, where  Nigeria government was supported by Britain to launch a brutal campaign to suppress the secessionist movement. The Biafran people, who were largely unarmed civilians, were subjected to unspeakable violence, including starvation and mass killings.

Nigeria government's blockade of Biafra's ports and airspace, using the aid of the British government, resulted in a severe shortage of food and medical supplies in Biafraland. The Biafran people who were already suffering from the effects of the war, were left to starve to death. The situation was so dire that international organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross intervened to provide aid to the Biafran people. However, Nigeria government saw these efforts as support for the secessionist movement and targeted aid workers, resulting in further loss of life. 

The Biafran people's suffering did not end with the war's conclusion in 1970. Nigeria government continued to marginalize and discriminate against the Igbo people, placing the great Igbo-Biafra race at a lower state than 3rd-class citizens in their own said country. The government's policies resulted in sporadic outbreaks of violence against the Igbo people, such as the 2017 Operation Python Dance, which resulted in the deaths of several unarmed civilians.

Also, the world largely continued to maintain a deadly silence, despite the magnitude of the atrocities committed during the war. Many countries chose to ignore the conflict, and international organizations such as the United Nations failed to intervene adequately. This British government's support for the Nigeria against the Biafran people has also been widely criticized, and the British actions seen as supporting a former colonial power over a group seeking self-determination. But this absence of international intervention in the conflict has led to a sense of abandonment among the Biafran people. The scars of the war still runs deep, and the issue of self-determination for the Biafran people remains a contentious issue. Nigeria government has continued to marginalize and discriminate against the Igbo Igbo Biafrans especially, perpetuating the cycle of violence and suffering.

In conclusion, the Nigeria-Biafra War is a tragic chapter in Nigeria's history and a reminder of the dangers of government brutality and the consequences of ignoring human suffering. The massacre of over 5 million Biafran

people, mostly women and children, is a testament to the horrors of war and the impact it can have on innocent civilians. The international community's failure to intervene adequately in the conflict has left a lasting impact on the Biafran people, who continue to feel marginalized and discriminated against by the Nigerian government.

To address the legacy of the Nigeria-Biafra War, there needs to be a concerted effort to acknowledge the atrocities committed, and provide reparations to the Biafran people. Nigeria government should take steps to address the systemic discrimination against the Igbo people and promote national unity through dialogue and reconciliation.

Furthermore, the international community should recognize the importance of self-determination and support the peaceful resolution of conflicts. The failure to intervene in the Nigeria-Biafra War highlights the need for the international community to take a proactive approach to prevent similar atrocities in the future.

The legacy of the Nigeria-Biafra War serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding human rights and promoting peace and unity. It is crucial to ensure that the atrocities committed during the war and afterwards are not forgotten and that the Biafran people's suffering is acknowledged and addressed. Only through concerted efforts towards reconciliation and can Nigeria move forward from the scars of the past to avail her citizens of a livable society. 

Written by Obulose Chidiebere

Edited by Ogah C S Maduabuchi 

For Family Writers Press International

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