• Short Summary

    ON MAY 30, 1967, THE MILITARY GOVERNOR OF NIGERIA'S EASTERN REGION, THEN LT. COLONEL ODEMEGWU?

  • Description

    ON MAY 30, 1967, THE MILITARY GOVERNOR OF NIGERIA'S EASTERN REGION, THEN LT. COLONEL ODEMEGWU OJUKWU, DECLARED THE SECESSION OF HIS REGION FROM FEDERAL NIGERIA AND ANNOUNCED THE CREATION OF THE INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC OF BIAFRA.

    THE SECESSION FOLLOWED MORE THAN A YEAR OF INTERNAL STRIFE AND GROWING FEDERAL SANCTIONS AGAINST THE EASTERN REGION.

    ON JULY 6, FEDERAL AND BIAFRAN FORCES BEGAN FIGHTING. THE BIAFRANS CONTROLLED THE LARGE STRIP OF COASTLINE BORDERING THE GULF OF BIAFRA AND INCLUDING THE VITAL OIL PORT OF PORT HARCOURT. THEY ALSO CAPTURED THE MID-WEST STATE, SETTING-UP THE CITY OF BENIN AS CAPITAL OF THE INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC OF BENIN".

    THE FEDERAL ADVANCE WAS SWIFT. BY SEPTEMBER THEY HAD RECAPTURED BENIN. BY OCTOBER THE BIAFRAN CAPITAL OF ENUGU HAD FALLEN AND SEVEN MONTHS LATER THE FEDERAL ARMY ANNOUNCED THE RECAPTURE OF PORT HARCOURT.

    THE REAL VICTIMS OF THE WAR WERE THE CIVILIANS. MORE THAN TWO MILLION HAVE ALREADY DIED. RELIEF AGENCIES HAVE BEEN STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT TO SUPPLY ONLY THE BASIC ESSENTIALS TO THE MILLIONS OF REFUGEES THE WAR CREATED. IN THE FINAL STAGES OF THE CONFLICT THERE WERE 30 TO 40 FLIGHTS PER NIGHT INTO THE BIAFRAN-HELD AIRSTRIP AT ULI.

    REPEATED ATTEMPTS TO SETTLE THE WAR PROVED ABORTIVE AND THE CARNAGE CONTINUED UNTIL THIS WEEK WHEN THE FEDERAL ARMY CLOSED ITS TIGHTENING CORDON AROUND THE REMAINING REBEL STRONGHOLD.

    BIAFRAN LEADER, GENERAL OJUKWU, LEFT FOR AN UNKNOWN DESTINATION TO "EXPLORE POSSIBILITIES" FOR PEACE.

    THE PROBLEM NOW FACING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS HOW TO FEED THE MILLIONS OF STARVING REFUGEES LEFT BEHIND THE WAR. GOVERNMENT AND RELIEF AGENCIES ARE MOBILISING TO MEET THE PROBLEM. UNLESS RELIEF OPERATIONS CAN BE RESTARTED QUICKLY, AGENCY OFFICIALS FEAR MILLIONS MAY STARVE IN THE DEVELOPING CHAOS OF THE OVERCROWDED REFUGEE TOWNS.

    SYNOPSIS: HE WAS FOLLOWED TWO DAYS LATER BY GENERAL OJUKWU WHO, IN TURN,STATED HIS POSITION. HIS TERMS WERE AN IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF THE FIGHTING, THE REMOVAL OF NIGERIA'S ECONOMIC BLOCKADE AGAINST BIAFRA AND THE WITHDRAWAL OF TROOPS BEHIND PRE-WAR BOUNDARIES. NIGERIA'S CONDITION FOR PEACE HAD SEEN THAT IT WOULD GRANT A CEASE-FIRE ONLY AFTER BIAFRA RENOUNCED ITS SECESSION.

    THE FIGHTING HAS NOW STOPPED. GENERAL OJUKWU HAS FLOWN OUT TO AN UNKNOWN DESTINATION TO "EXPLORE POSSIBILITIES" FOR PEACE. THE PROBLEM FACING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NOW IS HOW TO FEED THE MILLIONS OF STARVING REFUGEES LEFT BEHIND BY THE WAR. GOVERNMENTS AND RELIEF AGENCIES ARE MOBILISING TO MEET THE PROBLEM. UNLESS RELIEF OPERATIONS CAN BE RESTARTED QUICKLY, AGENCY OFFICIALS FEAR MILLIONS MAY STARVE IN THE DEVELOPING CHAOS OF THE OVERCROWDED REFUGEE TOWNS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA39J5B4PJZM9SRKL3TCCLRFCE2
    Media URN:
    VLVA39J5B4PJZM9SRKL3TCCLRFCE2
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    12/01/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:08:32:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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