Today In History July 6, 1967 – Remembering Biafra 45 yrs on! watch video

On July 6, 1967, the Nigerian Civil War broke out, as federal troops invaded the breakaway state of Biafra. (The war, which lasted two and a half years and ended with Biafra’s defeat, claimed about 600,000 lives.)

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (4 November 1933 – 26 November 2011) was a Nigerian military officer and politician. Ojukwu served as the military governor of the Eastern Region of Nigeria in 1966, the leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970 and a Nigerian politician from 1983 to 2011, when he died, aged 78.

Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in south-eastern Nigeria that existed from 30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970, taking its name from the Bight of Biafra (the Atlantic bay to its south).The inhabitants were mostly the Igbo people who led the secession due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. The creation of the new country was among the complex causes for the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Nigerian-Biafran War.

Land of the Rising Sun was chosen for Biafra’s national anthem, and the state was formally recognised by Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Zambia. Other nations which did not give official recognition but which did provide support and assistance to Biafra included Israel, France,PortugalRhodesia, South Africa and the Vatican City.[3] Biafra also received aid from non-state actors, including Joint Church AidHoly Ghost Fathers of Ireland, Caritas InternationalMarkPress and U.S. Catholic Relief Services.[3]
After two-and-a-half years of war, during which a million civilians had died in fighting and from famine, Biafran forces agreed to a ceasefire with the Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG), and Biafra was reintegrated into Nigeria.[4]