Lord Shepherd, British Minister of State for the commonwealth, has been visiting war stricken areas of Nigeria during his current visit to the country for talks with the Nigerian head of state, Major-General Gowon.
SHEPHERD AT REFUGEE CAMP; VARIOUS SHOTS OF SHEPHERD WITH REFUGEES.
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Background: Lord Shepherd, British Minister of State for the commonwealth, has been visiting war stricken areas of Nigeria during his current visit to the country for talks with the Nigerian head of state, Major-General Gowon.
Lord Shepherd saw at first hand the conditions of several thousand refugees who are staying at Port Harcourt in the south-eastern part of the country. The British minister went to the outskirts of the city where he visited a camp housing 1,500 in the city centre. Lord Shepherd then toured Uyo, one of the worst affected areas in the eastern region, where he saw more refugee centres.
Lord Shepherd said in Port Harcourt yesterday (Saturday) that Britain would continue to support the federal government in the civil war against Biafra. He said "the British government has stood four square with the federal government and will continue to do so". Lord Shepherd returned to Lagos after his Saturday visit to Port Harcourt and was due to return to London tomorrow. (Monday).
He denied a report that Britain was trying to get secret talks started between Lagos and Biafra. He said he was confident that Nigeria was still anxious for a negotiated settlement of the war but added that he had not come from London with any special initiative in mind.