As yesterday marks the 49th year anniversary of the famous Biafra state struggle, here are 12 things you should know about the Biafra struggle
The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, was a war fought to counter the secession of Biafra from Nigeria.
It took its name from the Bight of Biafra, the Atlantic bay to its south
Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Igbo people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government
Causes of the war included a military coup, a counter-coup, and persecution of Igbo living in Northern Nigeria.
Also control over oil production in the Niger Delta played a role.
Within a year of the war, the Federal Military Government surrounded Biafra, capturing coastal oil facilities and the city of Port Harcourt.
The blockade imposed during the ensuing stalemate led to severe famine which was a deliberate war strategy.
The plights of the starving Biafrans became a cause célèbre in foreign countries, thereby enabling a significant rise in the funding and prominence of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the struggle.
The state was formally recognised by Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, and Zambia
Britain and the Soviet Union were the main backers of the Federal Military Government in Lagos
Nations which did not give official recognition, but provided support and assistance to Biafra includes Israel, France, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa and the Vatican City
After two-and-a-half years of war, during which over three million Biafran civilians died in fighting and from starvation occasioned by the total blockade of the region by the Nigerian government. Biafran forces under the motto of ‘”No-victor, No-vanquished”‘ surrendered to the Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG), and Biafra was reintegrated into Nigeria
Source: Information Nigeria