Extractions: Last update: 17-07-2002 OCCANEECHI OCANEECHI (Native American, USA) OCONEE (Native American, USA) O DU TAY HAT (Vietnam) OGONI (Nigeria) ... OZI (Kenia - Kenya) PACIFIC ASIA INDIGENOUS PEOPLES PA CO TA-OY (Vietnam) PA DI TAY (Vietnam) PAEONIANS (the Balkan Peninsula) ... PUYUMA (Taiwan) QUADI QUADEN (Europa - Europe) QUAMICHAN (Native American, Canada) QUAPAW (Native American, USA) QUILEUTE (Native American, USA) ...
Extractions: PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo was reported in the media to have stated that he is not opposed to a National Conference provided it is constructive and contributes to national solidarity. Our organisation, the Movement for National Reformation (MNR), reacted by publicly welcoming the president's statement as a positive contribution to the national debate on the expediency of a national conference in favour of which popular public demand has refused to go away or to abate, in spite of all efforts to misinterpret and undermine it. Our discussion this afternoon can be reduced to a simple question: what do we expect a National Conference to produce? Before endeavouring to answer the question, I ask your indulgence to quote at some length from an address, which I gave seven months ago to the Steering Committee of the MNR, because it is at the very heart of our subject today. "This is the challenge which the 21st Century imposes on us and on Nigeria's leaders. And this is the fundamental purpose of the National Conference, which we have urged for many years and which has now caught the imagination of the populace (and, we are delighted to note, the President himself). The cardinal rationale of a national conference, as I see it, would be to enable us come to terms with our diversity and turn it to our collective advantage. I repeat that this is what I would call "constructive diversity".
Musées Afrique indigenous Knowledge in South africa . Aquarelles deJoy Adamson peoples of Kenya Mama, Ekoi, Ijo, Ogoni, Ibibio, oron, Ibo, Urhobo http://www.unil.ch/gybn/Arts_Peuples/Ex_Africa/ex_Af_musaf.html
Extractions: Cape Town South African National Gallery Government Avenue ma-di 10-17 Arts de la perle / Expositions temporaires Cape Town - Gardens South African Museum 25 Queen Victoria Street lu-di 10-17 terres cuites de Lydenburg San (peintures rupestres), Zimb abwe Tsonga , Khoikhoi, Sotho, Nguni, Shona, Lovedu... Exposition " Ulwazi Lwemvelo - Indigenous Knowledge in South Africa Cape Town - Rosebank University of Cape Town Irma Stern Museum Cecil Road ma-sa 10-17 Arts de Zanzibar et du Congo: Lega, Luba Durban Art Gallery City Hall lu-sa 8.30-16; di 11-16 Durban Local History Museum Aliwal Street East London East London Museum lu-ve 9.30-17; sa 9.30-12 Grahamstown Albany Museum. Natural Sciences and History Museums Somerset Street lu-ve 9-13 / 14-17; sa-di 14-17 Johannesburg MuseuMAfricA Newtown Cultural Precinct
Africa Architect Exposition "Ulwazi Lwemvelo indigenous Knowledge in South africa". Cape Aquarelles de Joy Adamson "peoples of Kenya" Ekoi, Ijo, Ogoni, Ibibio, oron, Ibo, Urhobo, Eket, Igala, Idoma, http://www.africa-architect.com/architect/galerie.htm
Extractions: Cape Town South African National Gallery Government Avenue ma-di 10-17 Arts de la perle / Expositions temporaires Cape Town - Gardens South African Museum 25 Queen Victoria Street lu-di 10-17 Ethnographie et archéologie de l'Afrique australe: terres cuites de Lydenburg San (peintures rupestres), Zimbabwe Tsonga , Khoikhoi, Sotho, Nguni, Shona, Lovedu... Exposition "
An Anarchist Account Of Nigeria Most of these peoples have long felt completely A modern anarchism which draws heavilyon indigenous practice as across the Calabar river to oron from where we http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/africa/accounts/chekov/nigeria.html
Extractions: Although the general strike The mob which we had earlier seen were students from the nearby university. A local businessmen with four wives had acquired a new, young girlfriend, but he learned that she had a thing on the side with a student. The businessman disposed of this rival by denouncing him to the police for some infraction. The police promptly took him in for questioning and, in the process, shot him in the knees. This mob of students had gone to the market where the businessman had his operation and demonstrated their disapproval through pillage. The teargassing was the aftermath of the pillage of the market. The local woman seemed to put all the blame on the businessman and was particularly incensed by the fact that he already had four wives when he started this trouble. The city of Benin is today far from picturesque. It is, in every way, a modern Nigerian city, untidy, dusty, smoky, smelly, noisy, crowded with an unbeleivable quantity of horn-tooting vehicles, yet resounding with the frenetic activity of countless small scale industries, to an extent unimagineable in other West African countries. Walking along the garbage strewn streets, one catches brief glimpses, in the ubiquitous low concrete houses, of rooms crowded with artisans concentrating intently on their labour. Particularly noticeable are the gate makers. Elaborately decorated iron gates are very popular in Nigeria. Strips of metal are beaten with hammers into delicate twists and curls to form great fans and floral motifs set into a heavy iron framework. Completed examples are laid out by the roadside as advertisements of the gatemaker's skill. Needless to say, the gates are all 10 feet high and topped with elegant, razor-sharp spikes.
Delta Newsletter - Issue #2 by SHELL'S POLICE in oron fishing settlement education programmes in rural africa,hosting zonal United Nations World Day of indigenous peoples, the government http://www.mcspotlight.org/beyond/delta2_nov96.html
Extractions: CONTENTS : Sorry, this feature is currently unavailable Ken Saro-Wiwa Those of us present at the launch of the ogoni community association - UK in 1994 never dreamt that it was to be the last time we would meet Ken. Though we knew he was returning to the dangers of Nigeria, farewells were light, filled with the belief that his resilience would never let him down. I don't believe it ever did. From the early 1990's until November 9th last year, Ken's assertions concerning the situation in Ogoni were regarded by many as self-serving exaggerations. Prominent amongst them was the violence that the military would unleash in order to suppress their peaceful movement for a clean environment and social equity. At a meeting of Ogoni leaders in Bori on October 3rd, 1993, he said, "The extermination of Ogoni people appears to be official policy." Ken's choice of words in describing Shell's operations as "ecological genocide" and "developmental racism" were also in some parties patronisingly regarded as an author's use of hyperbole.
PGA Bulletin 5 Engl. National Youth Movement, EgiForum, oron National Forum from Mali, West africa, saidshe the Bangalore conference.indigenous peoples representative Antonio http://www.geocities.com/kk_abacus/pgabulletin5en.html
Extractions: Return to the Hot Tide Page 'We do not want your charity, we do not want your loans. Those in the North have to understand our struggle and to realise it is also part of their own. Everywhere the rich are getting richer, the poorpoorer, and the environment is being plundered. Whether in the Northor South, we face the same future... Globalisation should mean wewant to globalise human society, not business. Life is not business.' "In a very real sense, the Zapatista movement emerged as atentative and transitory solution to precisely the problem whichconfronts us everywhere: how to link up a diverse array oflinguistically and culturally distinct peoples and their struggles,despite and beyond those distinctions, how to weave a variety ofstruggles into one struggle that never losses its multiplicity." Peoples' Global Action (PGA) is an international network thatwas originally inspired by the Zapatista struggle in Mexico. PGA hada hand in events such as the June 18th Global Day of Action which sawLondon's financial centre shut down, and the 'Battle ofSeattle' anti-World Trade Organisation protests, alongside hundredsof other not-so-(in)famous events. Due to its diffuse and fluidnature as well as not having any offices, paid staff, funds or bankaccounts, the role of PGA and its link between different events hasremained obscure. We hope this publication clarifies these links andhelps to further build the PGA network and the whole movement ofpositive resistance to capitalism.
ZenBooks.com: Religion - General zb76263 View more books on Black Studies africa. World Wars Essays in Honorof oron James Hale collection of photographs of the indigenous peoples of the http://www.zenbooks.com/cgi-bin/zenbooks.cgi/scan/st=sql/tf=title/tf=/tf=/mp=cat
Extractions: by category American Studies Buddhism in the West Buddhist Women Chinese Buddhism Chinese History Chinese Literature Christianity DHARMA STUFF Japan Japanese Buddhism Judaica Native American Studies Photography Poetry Pure Land Buddhism Religion - General Signed Editions Southeast Asia Taoism Theravada Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism - Tantra - Vajrayana ZEN / CHAN Quick Search Goddard, Dwight Self Published - Dwight Goddard - Thetford, VT USA - 1932 - NF+ - First Edition - - 8vo. - Superb condition hardcover bound in tan cloth with black titles on spine and front cover. Do not know if this original First Edition, self-published by the author, was issued with a dj or not? A seminal work of American Buddhism, this early collection of Buddhist scripture aimed at a popular US audience influenced scores of American scholars and artists. Jack Kerouac was profoundly influenced by this work. Subsequently issued in numerous editions, this is the original first edition, first printing of this important book. Just the fainest of light shelf wear with neat previous owner's name, Grace Roe, and small bookshop stamp on fep, else clean and tight. -
MOTHERLAND NIGERIA: PEOPLES (by Boomie O.) OF ARMS; NATIONAL ANTHEM; NATIONAL PLEDGE; MOTTO peoples; POPULATION; RELIGION InfoArt Life in africa; Virtual Festival IFA The indigenous Faith of africa; Yoruba http://www.motherlandnigeria.com/people.html
Sculture Info oron is one group of Ibibiospeaking villages The ndako gboya appears to be indigenous;a spirit diversity of sculptural tradition among peoples inhabiting the http://users.pandora.be/african-shop/sculpture-info.htm
Extractions: Home african art statues african art masks African Art objects ... Outside Africa Art antiques [ sculpture info ] african-art-buying-tips.htm bookmarks Stolen-art News African Art Auctions Fairs Exhibitions ... About You Sculptures and associated arts Join our interesting discussion list (300 members now):
Quick Kill In Slow Motion: The Nigerian Civil War war in independent Black africa and equate their significance to CONTENTS Page Maps I africa iii II Nigeria iv III of three different indigenous peoples.(4) The first governor http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1984/SMR.htm
Extractions: Quick Kill In Slow Motion: The Nigerian Civil War CSC 1984 SUBJECT AREA Intelligence ABSTRACT Author: STAFFORD, Michael R., Major, United States Army Title: QUICK KILL IN SLOW MOTION: THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR Publisher: Marine Corps Command and Staff College Date: 1 April 1984 This paper examines the lessons of the Nigerian Civil War from the perspective of a U.S. military officer. It seeks to analyze the factors which stand out from the first modern war in independent Black Africa and equate their significance to general military concepts. A summary of the historical and cultural aspects which predicated the civil war preceeds a review of the development of the Nigerian military. Capabilities of the Federal and Rebel forces are acknowledged and lead to discussion of the strategies of the respective sides. Selected battles and campaigns are evaluated to define the strengths and weaknesses of the combatant organizations. The impact of the introduction of relatively sophisticated technology is viewed in light of the capacity to use that technology. The effects of the personalities of the two principle leaders, Gowon (Nigeria) and Ojukwu (Biafra), on the war's character are studied. Several themes surface. First is that once the military politicized, it could not control the course of events in Nigeria. Second, the necessity for rapid expansion of military forces on both sides predestined their inefficiency and limited effectiveness due to training and leadership shortfalls. Finally, technology, and its application, must fit the specific battlefield. The paper closes with a review of conclusions generated from the analyses throughout the work. WAR SINCE 1945 SEMINAR Quick Kill in Slow Motion: The Nigerian Civil War Major Michael R. Stafford, USA 2 April 1984 Marine Corps Command and Staff College Marine Corps Development and Education Command Quantico, Virginia 22134 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I owe my sincere appreciation and gratitutde to the many professionals who assisted and encouraged me during the production of this paper. First, Lieutenant Colonel William Isom, Director of African Studies, National War College, and Lieutenant Colonel William Hubard, USA, Major Mary Becka, USA, and Dr. William Stoakley (all of the Defense Intelligence Agency), gave their time, considerable expertise, and recommendations to the direction of this work. Second, Lieutenant Colonel Musa Bitiyong, Nigerian Army, provided substance to my research through his correspondence. Finally, I need also acknowledge Lieutenant Colonel Donald Bittner, USMC, Mrs. Mary Porter, the Reference Librarian at Breckinridge Library, and Mrs. Marvella McDill, Lieutenant Colonel Bittner's encouragement was substantial, and he painstakingly edited the first draft of this manuscript. Mrs. Porter amazed me with her dexterity in obtaining relatively scarce documents which were used in the research for this paper. Mrs. McDill diligently and cheerfully typed this document. To each of these kind people, I offer my thanks. TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Maps I Africa iii II Nigeria iv III Nigerian Regions-January 1967 v IV Midwestern Invasion, August-September 1967 vi V Status, October 1968 vii VI Airlift, November 1968 viii VII Biafra, May 30, 1969 ix VIII Final Collapse, December 1969-January 1970 x INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I ROOTS OF CONFLICT 5 Pre-War History 5 The Nigerian Military 10 The Ibo Experience 16 II THE COMBATANT FORCES 20 The Federal Side 20 The Rebel Forces 26 III THE WAR BEGINS 30 Initial Phase (June-July 1967) 30 The Midwestern Invasion (August-September 1967) 35 IV THE WAR DEVELOPS 43 The Influence of Gowon 43 1 Division Operations 45 2 Division Operations 50 3 Marine Commando Division Operations 54 V OJUKWU'S BIAFRA 62 IV TO THE END OF THE WAR (SEPTEMBER 1968- JANUARY 1970) 71 VII THE AIR WAR 80 The Rebel Air Force 80 The Federal Air Force 86 VIII CONCLUSIONS 90 END NOTES 97 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 107 APPENDICES A. CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS 113 B. LIST OF PROMINENT PERSONS 115 Click here to view image INTRODUCTION The Nigerian Civil War marked a significant milestone in the military history of independent Black Africa. For the first time, 20th Century technology reached a battlefield where Black African met Black African in conventional combat. The expansion of capabilities, from the chaotic spears-and-knives of the Congo to the set piece, automatic- rifles-and-jet-airplanes of Nigeria, introduced new dimensions in devastation to Africa south of the Sahara. The premise of this paper is that a study of the Nigerian Civil War offers the opportunity to understand how the introduction of sophisticated weapons affects the combat capabilities and actions of the military in the developing countries of the world. The quantities of modern weapons in the Nigerian-Biafran conflict were not substantial, but their impact was great. There were no tanks or heavy artillery (122mm Russian Guns were the largest), so the individual battle lethality can not compare to the Arab-Israeli conflicts or other technology-intensive campaigns. However, the Nigerian Civil War caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, primarily through the starvation associated with seige warfare. In the end this war proved as unjust and deadly as war can become. Those who suffered the most were once again the very young and the very old. Much has been written about the Nigerian Civil War. There are many fine histories detailing the development of the country and the factors which led to the Civil War of 1967 to 1970. For this reason, this paper only capsulizes this information. Likewise, there is only limited space expended here to review the Nigerian military's evolution, growth and eventual initiation of two 1966 coups d'etat which proved to be immediate causes of the Nigerian Civil War. Robin Luckham thoroughly analyzes this subject in his book, The Nigerian Military (Cambridge: University Press, 1971). Other areas which have received considerable analysis include international politics and foreign intervention, the relief efforts and the implications of the policy of starvation, the economics of civil war, and the propaganda war waged within the civil war itself. Because of the wide range of information available on these topics, I selected an area of research more directly related to my professionthe analysis of the military campaign. This paper is not a detailed history of the war in Nigeria. Rather, selected battles and campaigns are discussed and analyzed based on their significance to the outcome of the war, their edification of certain lessons of the conflict, or their benefit in illustrating points regarding the development of the forces involved or the war itself. In all cases, effort has been exerted to use written accounts from actual participants and observers, especially military personnel, in formulating analysis of the subject events. This proved necessary for two reasons. The first was the propaganda war mentioned above. Press releases from the two sides were so distorted that the New York Times, for example, ran adjacent Biafran and Nigerian sourced stories. The other reason is the bias exhibited by foreign correspondents covering the war. On the Nigerian side, access to the war zone was extremely limited since the military controlled the movements of journalists, thus effectively censuring much information. The Biafrans allowed freer movement by the media, seeking every advantage in courting world opinion. This often resulted in the co-opting of journalists. As Frederick Forsyth noted about his perspective, if "I may be accused of presenting the Biafra case, this would not be without justification. It [his book] is the Biafra story, and it is told from the Biafran standpoint."(1) Realizing that participants may have reputations at stake, multiple accounts of individual incidents were a must. This has been possible in most cases, since Biafran and Nigerian versions of most episodes were available. After assembling the military analyses of the selected battles and campaigns, a summary of historical factors leading up to the Civil War was compiled to aid the reader in understanding the content of the conflict. This is found in Chapter One. Finally, a brief summary of conclusions is provided as the final chapter to highlight the most significant aspects of the Nigerian Civil War. For those interested in further reading or study on the details of the Nigeria-Biafra conflict, the bibliography has been annotated with this writer's comments on the content and value of each listing to this research. It is important to note that readings should be balanced between authors of Biafran and Nigerian perspectives. CHAPTER 1 ROOTS OF CONFLICT Understanding the nature of the Nigerian Civil War begins with a knowledge of the unique and complex factors which led to the secession of Biafra and subsequent open hostilities. By their nature, these causes drew worldwide attention to the potential redivisions of Black African boundaries along traditional cultural, tribal and geographical lines. (The Organization of African Unity attempted to avoid the possible disintegration of its states into conflict and civil war by establishing in its 1963 charter the policy of keeping the national boundaries drawn by the former colonial powers.) Later in this chapter, I shall examine how the military in Nigeria was shaped and driven by these influences and as an institution contributed to the chaos that ended as civil war. Pre-War History. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. At the start of the civil war in 1967, she possessed about 56 million inhabitants. Most of these people belonged to one of three tribesthe Northern HausaFulani, the Western Yoruba, or the Eastern Ibo. The West and East are collectively called "The South." Before the imposition of European influence in the 19th Century, these tribes shared little common experience. They were separated geographically. The Northern Hausa-Fulani tribes were situated in dry savannahs south of the Sahara and accessible to the influences of the Mediterranean region, especially Islam. City states there developed under the rule of powerful emirs and the Islamic religion took root. The Yoruba in the West maintained more contact with the North than did the Eastern tribes, due to their highly developed trading activities and moderately open territory. Urban dwellers, the Yoruba were divded into states, each centered on a city. The tribe was industrious; crafts were numerous; and the religion complex due to interaction with many outside cultures. The relative sophistication of Yoruban society helped it withstand the trauma of European rule.(1) The Ibo of the Eastern region were initially quite different from the hard-working, intelligent people that developed after the arrival of the British. Isolated in the dense, wet woodlands of the Niger Delta, the Ibo lacked the sophistication of the Yoruba or the coastal minority tribes. In contrast, the originally backward Ibo emerged from the British colonial period as the most westernized tribe, espousing Christianity (as did some Yoruba) and proving adaptable to the imported work ethic due to their initiative and vigor.(2) Having earlier exploited the Niger area slave trade, Britain decided to stop it in the early 19th Century. First the Royal Navy patrolled the coastal waters with vessels controlled from a consulate set up on Fernando Po, a Spanish island possession 150 miles southeast of the Niger River Delta. In 1861 Britain claimed control of Lagos with the goal of ending the slave trading which originated at that port. Having established a mainland foothold, British influence gradually reached further inland.(3) The Oil Rivers Protectorate was established in (what is now) Southern Nigeria to administer traders doing business in that region, and the Niger Company was chartered to trade in the Niger River Basin. By 1885, when Bismarch called the Berlin Conference. Britain was firmly established in Nigeria. As was the purpose of the conference, Africa was divided among the European nations into spheres of influence. This division was made wholly on the competitive political situations in Europe and did not take into account those factors on which western nation-states had historically been built. Geographical and cultural influences such as natural boundaries, tribal locations and tribal differences were totally ignored. With the acceleration of British involvement, this set the stage for the artificial fusion of three distinctly different populations. In 1886 the National African Company (also known as the Royal Niger Company) was granted a royal charter to oversee the territories north of Oil Rivers Protectorate; by 1893 this had become the Niger Coast Protectorate. The National African Company was empowered to establish a police force and provide government services in the north. In 1897 the kingdom of Benin was brought under British control. After the annexation of other southwest areas, the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria was established in 1900. In the same year, the charter of the National African Company was revoked and the North redesigned the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria. The two southern protectorates were united in 1906, and by 1914 the British consolidated control over all of Nigeria. What had in fact happened was the joining of three different foreign administrative organizations rather than the unification of three different indigenous peoples.(4) The first governor of the unified Nigeria was Frederick Dealtry Lugard, 1st Baron Lugard. He introduced in Nigeria the system of indirect rule, in which local government was essentially delegated in toto to tribal chiefs or indigenous ruling bodies. These local authorities acted under the supervision, or more accurately in many cases, the advice of British administrators. In Nigeria, this allowed the continuation of strong regional political differences. Little progress occurred in Nigeria until the end of World War II, when nationalistic movements surfaced in Africa as well as much of the rest of the colonial world. This was actually part of the unrest in the European empires as peoples in various areas sought to remove outside rule from their homes. Powerful political parties developed n each sector of the country. Chief Awolowo founded the Action Group in the West. However, the old city-states remained, dividing the West between local and regional interests. The East saw the formation of a single democratic party, the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC). The theme of this party, which was led by Dr. Azikiwe, was national unitythe formation of a single, powerful independent state. The Northern emirs responded to the growing political awareness in the South by submerging their region in the "designedly local and monolithic" Northern Peoples Congress.(5) With British assistance, these three regions negotiated a constitutional government which resulted in the loosely constituted federation established when independence was achieved in October of 1960. In this federation, two of the three parties had to form a coalition to gain control of the government. Incredibly, the Ibo of the East who advocated a strong federal union and the more conservative Northerners who favored a weak confederation united.(6) Dr. Azikiwe became President and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa of the North was named Prime Minister. The Westerners, as oddman out, vented their frustration in a division of their party between Awolowo and his followers, and local party segments led by Western Regional Premier Akintola. Akintola's faction aligned with the North, and formed the Nigerian National Alliance (NNA), while the other factions united with the Eastern Ibo to establish the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA). Open hostility in the West resulted in Federal intervention, under strange circumstances, and the discovery of "immense defalestions of regional revenues into party funds and private hands"(7). Awolowo was tried, convicted and imprisoned for treason, and his rival, Akintola, gained power based on his alignment with the Northern Party. Civil unrest was increased by other incidents during this time. The 1962 census results were released in 1963 and showed a total Nigerian population of 55.6 million people, of which 29.8 million were identified as living in the Northern Region. This outright majority caused other regions to vehemently discount the accuracy of the census. As the 1964 parlimentary elections neared, corruption was rife. Local political activity was marked by intimidation, and cheating was rampant, especially in the North. The UPGA boycotted the elections, but later accepted a second election in 1965 and garnered about a fourth of the seats. In that year the events surrounding the Western Regional legislative election bordered on civil war. Clashes between Akintola's NNA and the UPGA brought about many deaths and recorded another episode in the headlong tumble from independence to civil war (8). The Nigerian Military. Into this cauldron of seething historical, political and cultural antagonism stepped the military in the first coup attempt of January 1966. The discord between regions was based on tribal differences accentuated by religious and social disparities. The military, as an institution, was intertwined with these contradictions and could not act independently from the rest of Nigerian society. Hence, instead of stabilizing the country, the armed forces led it to civil war with a coup in Jaunary 1966 and a counter-coup in July of the same year. Former military ruler Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo maintained that these coups were the immediate causes of the Nigerian Civil War. He has noted that the political equation was altered, and the fragile trust existing among the three major tribes was shattered.(9) But the military lacked the size to control Nigeria. At the time of the first coup, Nigerian forces totaled only 10,500. The Army was the largest with 9,000 soldiers. The Navy numbered 900, including 80 officers, and the newly formed Air Force boasted about 700 men. In a country more than twice the size of California, the military was spread too thinly and was without the training, equipment and sophistication to suitably dominant Nigeria's vast area and population. Additionally, this small organization reverberated with the ethnic turmoil confronting the rest of the country which further reduced its ability to handle the civil strife. The Nigerian Army traced its roots back to the West African Frontier Force created in the late 19th Century by the chartered companies to administer their respective regions.(10) By 1914 this force included a Gold Coast Regiment, the Sierra Leone Battalion and a Gambia Company. In that year, Nigerian and Gold Coast (Ghana) units fought in Togoland against the Germans there, and a detachment of British Colonial forces and a French Senegalese unit campaigned in the German Cameroons.(11) In Accra, the British established the West Africa Command to exercise command and control of its regional colonial units. It remained until 1956, when it was disbanded because Ghana gained independence and desired its own army, thus forcing the break up of the Regional Force.(12) About 30,000 Nigerians served with the British Forces in World War II. The 81 and 82 (West Africa) Divisions included Nigerian soldiers who saw action in Burma. Nigerian troops also served with the Royal West African Frontier Force in Ethiopia against the Italians, and later Nigerian units served with British units in Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Sicily. Allied commanders were reportedly generous in their praise of Nigeria's soldiers and units.(13) Until independence the Nigerian Army consisted of recruits essentially from the lower levels of Nigerian society, with a high concentration of minority tribe members. The officer corps was predominately British with a gradual, slow transition to "Nigerianization" from 1949 to 1964. Ethnic politics delayed the announcement of a Nigerian Commander of the Army until 1965 when Major General Johnson A. Ironsi, an Ibo, was given that position. After independence, military service gained prestige, and the more educated Southerners, particularly Ibo, began to enlist in increasing numbers. With decreasing British funding, the Nigerians were forced to escalate military spending. The armed forces which before received little interest (14) became a matter of national pride and pressures to expand the military size became a popular issue.(15) In 1958 the Nigerian military numbered 7,600 officers and men. By 1964 it had increased by 2,900. Growth in the Navy and a relatively ambitious Air Force program accounted for much of this expansion. Quota systems were implemented in 1958 for the enlisted ranks and in 1961 for the officer grades to balance service compositions with national regional demographics. These two efforts served to highlight tribal differences within and politicize the small military. Along with the Nigerianiza- tion of the Officer Corps (see Table I), the quota system thoroughly confused the dynamics of officer development. The rapid influx of officers created an age imbalance and a professional gap. Promotion rates accelerated, especially for officers commissioned before 1960. An officer accessed at age 20, could be a lieutenant colonal at 31. When the Click here to view image officer ranks began to stabilize in 1965 after all the British officers had departed, younger officers became frustrated because of slower promotion rates.(16) This frustration may have found outlets in political action, first by the "Majors' Coup" in January 1966 followed by the counter-"Captains' Coup" the following July. The most direct impact of these two coups on the Nigerian military was the destruction of the command structure and the polarization of the forces along two lines, basically Ibo and non-Ibo (the first coup was planned and executed by a predominately Ibo group of officers, while the second coup was led by non-Ibo officers; this served to create a mutual suspicion). The loss of relatively experienced officers (see Table II) would prove particularily damaging to the Federal side in the Civil War because of the migration of middle grade Ibo officers to Biafra. The impact of the coups was even more devastating to the country as a whole. The early coup destroyed the delicate first republic. Though the coup was organized to end corruption throughout the Nigerian political system, the net effect only placed the military in power, while the corruption found a way to continue. It in fact was a standard justification for subsequent coups, cited in military takeovers in 1975 and as recently as January 1984. In a British TV interview, the leader of the January 1966 coup, Major Chukwumah Nzeogwu stated, We wanted to get rid of rotten and corrupt ministers, political parties, trades unions and the whole clumsy apparatus of the federal system. We wanted to gun down all the bigwigs on our way. This was the only way. We could not afford to let them live if this was to work. We got some but not all. General Ironsi was to have been shot, but we were not ruthless enough. As a result he and the other compromisers were able to supplant us.(19) Instead of ending the corruption, the coups triggered hostilities which blanketed the country in civil war and forced the rapid expansion of the military. But the Nigerian military could not provide the stability to serve as a unifying institution for an oil-rich emerging power in Black Africa. The Ibo Experience. A final point needs to be made regarding the animosity toward the Ibo. In their acceptance of European values and the Christian religion, the Ibo further differentiated themselves from the other tribes of Nigeria, particularly those of the North. The Ibo proved themselves intelligent, ambitious and conscientious. These traits enabled the Ibo to capitalize on educational opportunities and saw them dominate administrative organizations, like the civil service and similar positions in industry. They did especially well on the General Qualification Examination for Officer Placement in the military, due to their higher education level.(20) This eventually became a factor in the establishment of a regional quota system for officer recruitment, so as to achieve an ethnic balance in the armed forces. Resentment built up among the other tribes of the near Ibo monopoly of the skilled professions and white collar jobs. Old tribal prejudices were aggravated by the belief that the Ibo were trying to dominate Nigeria. The coup of January 1966, instigated by Ibo majors, led to the death of the key non-Ibo leaders in the country and, though apparently unplanned, placed Ibo General Ironsi in power. After an initial period of relief at the believed end of corruption, doubts formed among the non-Ibo population and a fear developed that the coup was another step in an Ibo plan to control the country. Hundreds of Ibo were massacred in May 1966 in a backlash to the coup. General Ironsi had failed to take positive steps to stabilize the political situation by harshly punishing the plotters, most of whom were jailed indefinitely. The appearance of complicity and the growing nationwide unrest created the climate for the counter-coup in July 1966; this coup was initiated by non-Ibo company grade officers. Ironsi was brutally slain and his Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Yakubu "Jack" Gowon, was a compromise choice as his replacement. Gowon was the senior Northern officer serving in the Army at the time; however, his choice created some interesting aspects since he was Christian, from a middle belt minority tribe, and had been hitherto relatively obscure. The second coup saw the directed movement of troops and troop units to the regions of their respective ethnic heritage. The exodus of Ibo to the Eastern Region grew and, increasingly, that region in a de facto sense partitioned itself from the rest of Nigeria. Led by Lieutentant Colonel Chukwuemeka O. Ojukwu, like Gowow a British-trained combat officer, the Eastern Region slowly emerged as the safe haven homeland of the Ibo peoples. In October of 1966, despite Gowon's declaration that the Ibo would be protected, pograms and rioting resulted in the mutilation and death of thousands of Ibo and a mass flight to the Eastern Region by a million and a half Ibo. This October 14, 1966 Time eyewitness account indicates the terror of that period: ...A Lagos-bound jet had just arrived from London, and as the Kano passengers were escorted into the customs shed, a wild-eyed soldier stormed in, brandishing a rifle and demanding, 'Ina Nyammari?'Hausa for 'Where are the damned Ibos?' There were Ibo among the customs officials, and they dropped their chalk and fled, only to be shot down in the main terminal by other soldiers. Screaming their bloody curses of a Moslem holy war, the Hausa troops turned the airport into a shambles, bayoneting Ibo worders in the bar, gunning them down in the corridors, and hauling Ibo passengers off the plane to be lined up and shot. From the airport the troops fanned out through downtown Kano, hunting down Ibos in bars, hotels and on the streets. One contingent drove their Land Rover to the rail road station where more than 100 Ibos were waiting for a train, and cut them down with automatic fire. The soldiers did not have to do all the killing. They were soon joined by thousands of Hausa civilians, who rampaged through the city armed with stones, cutlasses, machetes, and homemade weapons of metal and broken glass. Crying 'Heathen!' and 'Allah!!' the mobs and troops invaded the sabon gari (strangers' quarter), ransacking, looting and burning Ibo homes and stores and murdering their owners. ...All night long and into the morning the massacre went on. Then tired but fulfilled, the Hausas drifted back to their homes and barracks to get some breakfast and sleep. Municipal garbage trucks were sent out to collect the dead and dump them into mass graves outside the city...:(21) The fear of extermination built out of such incidents was the foundation of the will to resist a vastly superior force throughout the Civil War. The Ibo nurtured fear in their enclave of Eastern Nigeria with the resulting belief that only secession and the formation of a separate country would ensure their security and safety. On May 30, 1967. Ojukwu cast aside Gowon's continuing efforts to maintain a federal government and proclaimed the formation of the independent Republic of Biafra. The resulting Civil War lasted over two and half years. The cost in human life has been estimated as high as two million people, and Nigeria's expanding oil-based economy simmered when its unimpeded growth could have raised the country to a position of international responsibility unparalled in Black Africa. CHAPTER 2 THE COMBATANT FORCES The Federal Side. When war broke out, the Nigerian military was beset with numerous problems. The Army was not totally inexperienced, having sent two battalions with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force to the Congo between 1960 and 1964 and a smaller force to Tanzania later for a similar peacekeeping mission. But the small 10,000-man Army that existed in 1966 was wrecked by the divisiveness of the tribal strife. Many senior leaders were killed during the two coups, and the migration of Ibo to the East resulted in the loss of more experienced officers and NCOs. According to one source, the Federals were able to claim about 184 officers while the Biafrans had 93 at the start of the war.(1) The difficulties of selection, training and development of officers, including the distorted promotion schedules and age structures (note that the military head of the country, Lieutenant Colonel Gowon, was 32 years of age at the outbreak of the war), were outgrowths of the rapid expansion of the Army to 80,000 at the end of 1967 (2) and more than 200,000 by the end of the war. Battalions were formed with 5 or 6 (vice 30+) officers in late 1967. The resulted in tentative command and control and rudimentary staff work.(3) The seeds of indiscipline were watered by the nature of the force constructed. The Nigerian Army never had to resort Click here to view image What existed on the Nigerian Air Force was located at Kaduna in the Northern Region. Naval Forces were headquartered at the port near Lagos. to conscription to fill its ranks. Instead, it raised the pay of privates to $46 a month (in a nation with per capita income at the time of about $120/year) and quickly filled its ranks with thousands of recruits, notably the uneducated from the middle belt minority tribes; but immigrants came from Chad seeking a better life. These untrained, unsophisticated soldiers highlighted the shortage of skilled personnel in specialized areas like maintenance and administration.(5) Table III documents the concentration of Nigerian Army Forces in the North before the war. This disparity was probably due to political manipulation. In any event, the structure left the Midwest State completely unprotected and only ceremonial and administrative units in Lagos. To counter this situation and prosecute the early Nigerian strategy, the Army was reorganized along these lines: Click here to view image Army Headquarters was in Lagos and even with early growth of the Army, it still tried to maintain the centralized administrative control that existed before the war. No central field control was established, and this problem was exascerbated when the Chief of Staff, Colonel Joe Akapan, died in a helicopter crash in the first month of fighting. Until the last months of the war, the Nigerians failed to exert unity of command in their operations. By the time three divisions were formed, each operated independently. No Corps Headquarters was established. Instead, each Division Commander acted as a "feudal baron", competing with the other Divisions for resources amd attention, often returning to Lagos to conduct business at the headquarters while fighting continued in sector. For most of the war, the Nigerian Army was configured into three divisions: Click here to view image a. 1 Division had been organized around what remained of the Nigerian Army. Representing the best trained and disciplined of Nigerian forces, the division had about 40,000 soldiers in six infantry brigades. Although its leaders were slow and meticulous, 1 Division never failed in accomplishing its missions (6). b. 2 Division included three infantry brigades and around 20,000 troops (7). Hastily formed during the Midwest Crises of August 1967, its lack of capable leadership and limited experience resulted in numerous failures on the battlefield. c. 3 Marine Commmando Division distinguished itself throughout most of the war. With a total strength of about 35,000 (8), this division was divided into eight commmando brigades which executed numerous amphibious and riverine operations throughout the war. The Nigerian Navy was instrumental in blockading Biafra. Though there were few ships available, the Nigerians fully demonstrated their conceptual understanding of the need to control the coastline and adjacent waters. A frigate, the N.A.S. Nigeria, and a submarine chaser had been obtained from the Netherlands in 1966. The British had provided two minesweepers, a landing craft and a patrol craft.(9) The Russians also sold the Federals three torpedo boats (10) and several radar-equipped seaward-defense vessels (11) after the war started. These last vessels were effective in canalizing relief flights for Biafra into uncovered air avenues. The Nigerian Air Force had not existed until 1962 and was building as the war commensed. The British had started the Air Force training, but terminated it when the Nigerians unilaterally voided a military landing rights agreement. The West Germans than assumed the program in 1963. Training was conducted both in West Germany and Nigeria, but ended in July 1967 with the first air raid on Kaduna Airfield when a West German trainer reportedly was killed. The other trainers left immediately.(12) Over 100 Nigerian pilots were qualified on trainer aircraft. Many of these pilots were Ibo who were lost to the Air Force with the advent of war. Regardless, the Nigerians had no combat aircraft. In early 1967, her fleet consisted of five Dakota (C-47) transports, 20 Dornier DO-27 light liaision planes, and 12 P149D Piaggios.(13) The Dorniers and Piaggios had come from the Luftwaffe Training Mission. But help soon arrived; a July 1967 trip to Moscow bore fruit in mid-August 1967 when the Soviets sent MIG 15's and 17's, as well as Czech Delfin L-29 light attack trainers (adapted for strafing and bombing). In all the Nigerians received about 15 MIG's and 12 Delfins during the war (14) and hosted hundreds of Soviet and Czech technical advisors. Egyptian, European and South African mercenaries piloted the jet aircraft through the first part of the war. In early 1968, three IL-28 Ilyushin bombers were received at Makurdi. Additionally, the Federals boasted two BAC Jet Provosts (gifts from Sudan), eight Westland Whirlwind Helicopters (purchased from Australia) and five DC-3's (borrowed from Nigerian Airways).(15) In total, the Nigerian Air Force represented a flexible and intimidating factor which had significant theoretical strategic impact on the war effort. Yet even with its tremendous superiority over the Biafran opposition, the Nigerians never fully exerted their advantage. In fact, the Air Force figured prominently in two of the more negative aspects of the conflict, the bombing and strafing of the civilian population and the failure of the Federals to stop the airlift into Biafra after it was cut off from every other means of support. The Rebel Forces. The Biafran Army grew to a strength of nearly 90,000. Formed around the nucleaus of 2000 former Nigerian soldiers, the Rebel Army also felt growth pains; it was eternally wanting for experience, ammunition and food. Overwhelmingly outmanned and outgunned, poorly led and lacking an adequate support base, the Biafran Army still managed to survive for two and a half years against what easily became the strongest military force in Black Africa. The Biafrans maintained five undersized divisions and several special units like the Biafran Organization of Freedom Fighters (BOFF) and the 4th Commando Brigade. Though guerrilla tactics did enhance Biafran operations, they were never embraced as the disparity between the two forces might have indicated. Ojukwu, in fact, was marked as a "prisoner of classic British tactics."(16) His methods were based on the belief that a secure homeland was essential for the Ibo. As such, his priority was the maintenance of an impenetrable defensive parameter. There was little artillery or mortars in the Biafran Army, and advanced armaments consisted of homemade rockets and land mines, fabricated tanks and pre-World War II French armored cars. Desperate for war materials, the Biafrans were often dependent on captured Federal equipment. This created problems. Rebel soldiers would stop to pick up clothing and supplies instead of pursuing retreating Federal troops. When the Nigerians discovered this trait, they baited preplanned artillery and mortar targets with military supplies.(17) The shortage of equipment also meant that the Biafrans were unable to capitalize on the large numbers of volunteers which initially streamed in. Time magazine reported that one of the elite Biafran Brigades had enough arms for only 3,000 of its 6,000 men.(18) This situation persisted until the summer of 1968 when the French announce support of the Biafran cause. The Biafran Navy was essentially a non-entity after the raid on Bonny. It consisted almost entirely of machine gun mounted Chris-Crafts taken from the Port Harcourt Sailing Club (19), and armed harbor and river craft. Though the Rebels tried to obtain naval vessels, they were unsuccessful and never seriously influenced the naval war. The Biafran Air Force, however, evolved into a viable institution. Twice it countributed to Biafran initiatives. Early in the war, the Air Force consisted of: Click here to view image Keeping this ancient fleet in the air rapidly overwhelmed the Biafrans. The initial value of these aircraft was the psychological effect they created in the disorganized early stage of the war. The bombers made harassing attacks on Lagos and the Northern air fields, creating large scale panic with their erratic bombing with homemade munitions. The helicopters likewise dampened Federal fervor on the battlefield. Used primarily for reconnaissance, Federal soldiers soon discovered they were not safe when the Alouettes were in the air due either to aerially supported artillery or mortar attacks, or homemade bombs dropped from the aircraft. They quickly learned to seek cover when the helicopters were flying.(22) Besides the continuing airlift, the next important contribution made to the air war came at the end. A Swedish citizen was moved by the suffering created in Biafra by Federal air raids. This man, Count Carl von Rosen, decided to get the Biafrans a countering air capability and introduced 19 Swedish single engine MFI-90 airplanes. Each of these trainers had 12 rockets in a pod mounted under the wing and was capable of flying undetected at tree top level to its targets. These tactics had an immediate impact on the Nigerians, but it was a case of too little, too late as the war ended before the potential of this small air force could be realized. They were particularly effective in attacks against fixed targets, like oil wells and equipment.(23) The Biafrans simply were never able to match the relative Federal might. The oil revenue with which they expected to finance their war effort was soon cut off as the Federal blockade was enforced. By the time massive French aid was received, the war was lost and the aid merely prolonged the suffering. CHAPTER 3 THE WAR BEGINS I need not tell you what horror, what devastation and what extreme human suffering will attend the use of force. When it is over and the smoke and dust have lifted, and the dead are buried, we shall find, as other people have found, that it has all been futile, entirely futile, in solving the problem we set out to solve. (1) Initial Phase. (June-July 1967). No one heard the prophetic words of Colonel R.A. Adebayo, Governor of the West Region of Nigeria. Both sides were totally unprepared for what was to come. This was the foremost lesson at the start of the war. On the Federal side, there was no comprehension of the paranoia which encompassed the Ibo being. Instead, Gowon expected a "police acton" whereby the rebellious Biafrans would be surrounded and isolated from the world; then Biafran resistance would quickly fade and Federal victory would be rapid"a quick kill." Even before the Biafran Independence Announcement, the Federal government cut off telephone, telegraph and postal service to the rebellious state. Afterwards, airlines, railroads and highways were closed, and the small Nigerian Navy prepared to blockade all shipping except oil tankers. Even these were restricted from transit as hostilities intensified. Mobilization was half-hearted at best. In the North, the Chairman of Internal Administrative Services warned provincial administrators of the impending conflict. Limited training in civil defense began and evacuation planning was conducted in the event of raids on the larger cities. Ex-servicemen, some 7,000, were recalled to active duty and formed four new infantry battalions. The Army started recruiting members from the local and national police forces.(2) After a five week lull, the first offensive actions began. Barely qualifying as skirmishes, they marked a Federal campaign to advance from the North on four axes with the objective of crushing Biafran resistance and seizing their capital of Enugu. After some initial successes, the Nigerians began to meet increasing Rebel resistance. It became apparent that they had underestimated the measure of resolve of the poorly equipped Biafran Army. Also highlighted were the lack of training and discipline of the Nigerian Army and the difficulties they would experience due to their long lines of communication. The offensive ground to a halt, and the rebellion that they expected would take only days to crush exhibited more long term potential. The Biafrans set their strategy as the establishment of a secure homeland for the Ibo and the development of a might which, as Ojukwu stated, no force in Black Africa could overcome.(3) Like the Federals, the Rebels stressed civil defense procedures. With limited military resources, yet driven by terrible fear, the people of the region prepared defensive positions on likely avenues of approach, formed local militias and secured Nigerian-owned war materials that remained in the region. In fact, Rebel preparations began well in advance of the actual secession date. They started in earnest with the massive influx of refugee Ibo during and after the September/October 1966 pogroms. Non-Easterners had been ordered out of the region at that time, and there are clear indications that secession was planned from that point.(4) The Biafrans met the initial Federal advances from the Northern Region with full resistance. They used to their advantage the fact that they were fighting in their home territory, capitalizing on the availability of manpower to hinder Federal advances. Traps, ditches and obstacles were placed in the paths of attacking Nigerians. These only slowed the Federals, who used their superior firepower to saturate prepared positions and their mobility advantage to outflank Biafran strong points. At Obollo Eke, for example, artillery and mortar shelling began at 6 a.m. August 3, 1967, and continued until 8 a.m. After a brief attack, artillery preparations resumed, followed by another probe. This alternating pattern of two hours of shelling and a probing attack continued during daylight hours for four days before the Rebles were pushed out of Obollo Eke.(5) The extensive road network in northern Biafra created flank defensive problems. After the first loses of Biafran territory at Obudu, the Rebels planned to fall back to Ogoja. In retreat they ran into a Federal ambush and learned just how vulnerable their flanks were.(6) Quickly they adjusted their tactics, moving to the flanks when armored vehicles assaulted their lines and reclosing the ranks after they passed. The Rebels soon resorted to hit-and-run tactics in the form of ambushes to harrass Nigerian operations. But they never abandoned their static defenses, and from the very beginning the Biafrans were victims of their lack of military experience. One bright spot for the Biafrans appeared on July 21, 1967 when a World War II American-made B-26 bomber piloted by a Polish expatriot, called "Kamikaze" Brown, bombed and strafed Federal positions at Obukpa. This greatly lifted Biafran morale (7), but offered ominous clouds for future events. Both Great Britain and the Untied States had rejected Nigerian requests for aircraft. By July 31 Nigerian representatives were reported in Moscow (8) and expansion of the war's lethality was imminent. (Note: Arms supply was a major part of a critical issue, outside intervention, which dominated international discussion of the Nigerian Civil War.) Another event which portended the calamities to follow was the amphibious assault on and capture of the Island of Bonny at the mouth of the Port Harcourt Harbor. This Federal operation was important for two reasons. First, it demonstrated a boldness, fluidity and imagination seldom seen in Federal operations. The Bonny assault was not remarkable in its execution; however, the operation was in marked contrast to the "skirmishes, slow, cautious probes, and long distance bombardments of doutful object with doubtful accuracy [and an] incredible amount of aimless and wasteful shooting" (9) which dominated the northern battlefields. On Bonny a 1000 man invasion force loaded on two ships overwhelmed a companysized garrison after a limited naval bombardment. Destroyed was Biafra's only real naval vessel, a Nigerian patrol boat seized at secession; more important, Port Harcourt, the major port and oil terminal in Biafra, was effectively sealed off. This leads to the second importance of the Bonny capture. It pinpoints the failure of Biafran leaders to appreciate the incredible consequence of losing their sea lines of communications. They did not see the need to secure adequate sea power before the war began and were unable to correct their shortcoming when it became apparent how serious the Federals were about enforcing their blockade of the Biafran coastline. The New York Times noted at this stage of the war that Biafra had a "better-than-even chance of survival" ...but that it was... "clear, that the East cannot survive for many months unless the naval blockade is broken."(10) Instead of confronting this problem, however the Biafrans turned inward. The Midwestern Invasion (August-September 1967). The two forces fought tentatively through July of 1967 and into August, with the Federals steadily gaining ground. Then the Biafrans, who had seemed interested only in a defensive war, launched an attack into the Midwestern State. This marked the turning point in the war, as the Rebels gambled on a disastrous offensive campaign. "We have no territorial ambitions. We do not want to capture anybody or punish anybody. We just want to be left alone,"(11) Ojukwu wrote. The drive into the Midwest, however, stood in stark contrast to this claim, Biafra had moved boldly beyond simply protecting the Ibo enclave and seized the initiative, taking the war to the Federals. The objectives of the strike were lightning attacks on, and the capture of, the Federal capital of Lagos and the Western State capital of Ibadan. The occupation of these two capitals was expected to cause an immediate collapse of the Federal government and an end to the war. But the way the Rebel forces spread throughout the region, it is clear that Ojukwa had other objectives in their advance. Among these were establishment of internal control of the Midwestern State and limited prosecution of the war into the Northern State. The execution of the plan higlighted the incompetence of the strategic planners in Biafra. Just as they failed to fully grasp the implications of a naval blockade, they lacked the professional skills and imagination (and patience, and resources) to coordinate an effective attack. The plan took advantage of the sparse Federal forces which were thinly spread throughout the region in small garrisons, more an internal security force than an army. But the plan did not correctly account for many of the non-military factors bearing on the situation, nor did it have sufficient flexibility to confront in any realistic sense changing conditions. The Midwestern State was in a precarious position, a small, wealthy area caught between the secessionist Ibo and the Federal captial of Lagos. In its boundaries were some 800,000 Ibo who could be expected to have sympathies for the East. Primarily agrarian, the region was rich in palm oil, rubber and timber, while oil was a growing resource. One-third of Nigeria's 1967 production and one-half of her reserves were located here. This made the Midwest a desirable property for both sides.(12) At 3 a.m. on August 9, a 100 vehicle column (about 1000 men) crossed the Onitsha Bridge over the Niger River. Within hours Rebel troops occupied the Midwest captial of Benin, while others had fanned out towards Okene (see Map IV) in the north, Owo, also north, and Sapele and Warri to the south. The takeover was facilitated by an insurrection of Ibo-led troops in the region and few shots were actually fired. Evidence is strong that Federal military leaders of Ibo origin secretly collaborated with the Biafrans, providing intelligence on Federal troop dispositions and coordinating a revolt from Nigeria in conjunction with the offensive.(13) As a result, operational security and surprise were achieved. The inital success of the raids, coupled with an August 11 air attack on Lagos, had a devastating psychological effect on the Federal side. In compensation for the tremendous security surrounding the operation, the Biafrans delayed the formation of their brigade-sized task force, conducted no rehersal and even withheld appointment of the task force commander until the day before the attack.(14) This demonstrated a lack of appreciation for the necessity of building teamwork and cohesion in military units and entered several unknowns into the Midwest operational equation. a. Lieutenant Colonel Victor Banjo, a Yoruba, was selected to be the operational commander for politcal reasons rather than his military skills. There was a belief that a non-Ibo leader would help gain Midwest and Western support for the Biafran attack and in the end, help unite all of the South against the North. This not withsanding, Banjo ignored his principal objective, Lagos, and twice held up his advance. At Benin he halted to "reorganize" his forces, though they had not fired a shot. Time was lost in an argument between Benin and Enugu over who was to be the new governor of the region.(15) After three days the Rebels advanced on to the west before stopping at Ore. Forgeting that their success depended on speed, the Biafrans were hesitant to face the uncertainty of continued advance.(16) Lack of agrresive leadership and unity of purpose resulted in a two week delay after which the Rebels lost the initiative. b. The shock of the invasion and the lack of discipline displayed by Biafran soldiers produced adverse results. The support expected for the Midwest Ibo did not materialize as expected, and the negative reaction by non-Ibo in the Midwest and West was far worse than anticipated. It evidenced a political blindness in the Biafran leadership akin to their military shortcomings. John de St. Horre notes that this political blindness was "too often repeated to be a chance phenomenon."(17) c. The political "wheeling and dealing" that took place in Benin over control of the region, at the expense of military objectives, lent a suspicious cast to the Biafran leadership. The motives and actions of all officers became suspect because of the rumor of "saboteurs" within the leadersip.(18) This prejudgement severely hampered command and control in Biafra thereafter and is discussed in Chapter 5. d. The Biafrans probably lacked the capability to conduct such an offensive operation. In his book, Reluctant Rebel, Fola Oyewole details the lack of preparation for the Midwest offensive by his company. Here is a summary of one episode. Upon his return from a battalion field exercise, he was ordered to form a new company at Onitsha. He delivered his car and possessions to family members in that city and reported immediately to his battalion. Within hours he moved to the Midwest. His unit's mission was the capture of the army barracks at Ugbelli. With an officer cadet as his executive officer and no experienced noncommissioned officers, the company was bused to the objective area. Ten miles from Ugbelli, he stopped the column and provided a short briefing, though he was without intelligence or reconnasissance. Fortunately there was no opposition at the objective. Even so, the untrained and undisciplined troops engaged in sporatic firing which resulted in one wound.(19) Such episodes illustrate just how unprepared the Rebels were for the war. The vehicles used for the attack included homemade armored cars, farm trucks and passenger cars. The Biafran soldiers were poorly equipped, and many were without uniforms. They were lucky to meet only token resistance from the few Federal Forces. From the Federal side, the Midwest Invasion achieved one significant result. It broke the complacency surrounding the Federal war effort, and unified the ojectives of Lagos, the West and the North. The entire country was intimidation by the aggressiveness of the Eastern Ibo and the response was immediate. In a demand for Federal action, anti-Ibo riots broke out in Lagos and Ibadan. A dawn-to-dusk curfew was imposed at Ibadan, and troops and armored cars presented a show of force in Lagos to buoy public confidence. Militarily, the reaction was more substantive. A war cabinet was formed in Lagos. Remaining Federal forces operating in the Midwest fell back to blocking positions, most notably to the south of Ore about 120 miles from Lagos on the overland axis of advance from Benin. There they were reinforced by a company of Federal Guards from Lagos. A new unit, 2 Division, commanded by then Lieutenant Colonel Murtala Mohammed, sent its 7 Brigade to Ore, while the 6 and 8 Brigades were placed on the northern border of the Midwest to occupy the Biafran's right flank. Lagos must have been reminiscent of Paris and her taxis during the first battle of the Marne. Ground wagons and red- and-silver buses delivered soldiers from Lagos to the front. Six hundred soldiers were recalled from Bonny, and 500 more were moved by rail from Kaduna in the north. The war in the north of Biafra slowed as attention and resources were drawn to overcome the threat in the Midwest. Nigeria's leading playwright, Wole Soyinka, observed that "the short, surgical police action is being conducted with blunt and unsterile scapels."(20) By mid-August, blown bridges and their own hesitation had stopped the Biafrans. The very factor which had hampered the Federal offensive earlier, long lines of communcations, now was a problem for the Rebels. A small force from the beginning, it was stretched too far to withstand the growing Federal pressure. Abruptly, the Rebel offensive ended as the Federals took the initiative. After a single, fierce, battalion-level, infantry battle at Foriku, just south of Ore, Biafran resistance faded into an "accelerating retreat" characterized by minor delaying actions, blown bridges and cratered roads.(21) The two northern brigades were in a race to outflank the Biafrans and cut off their retreat to the Niger River Bridge at Onitsha. In their haste, the Biafrans left behind many soldiers who did not receive word to withdraw and were consequently captured. Benin was evacuated days before the Federals arrived. The remnants of the invading force crossed the Niger Bridge at Onitsha, blowing two spans in their passing. The destruction of the bridge, a giant edifice commemorative of Nigerian progress, was symbolic of a final isolation for Biafra and a new and deadlier phase of the war. From the Midwest Invasion the Biafrans had hoped to show the world that they were a legitimate power deserving of international recognition; instead the foray ended with disaster. The Rebels gained some food, materiel, and the assets of the Bank of Benin which were expropriated in the occupation. But the losses far overshadowed those minor gains: a. The Federals declared all out war, launching the first air strikes of the war at Enugu, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and Calabar among others.(22) b. The Biafrans removed the buffer of the midwest state. All sympathy in the South was lost as non-Ibo became pro-Federals. Additionally, the blockade became more effective as trade that had flourished in the Niger died.(23) c. The loss of resources, men and materiel, in the Midwest hastened the fall of Enugu. The withdrawal of these assets had weakened the defense of the northern region. When these forces did not return and the Federals resumed their advance with a rekindled fervor, the early fall of the Biafran capital was assured.(24) d. Finally, the initiative was surrendered to the Federals. With the offensive they initiated in mid-August, the Federals began to display their superiority. The conflict slowed to the plodding war of attrition that would continue for over two years. The norther border was closed by the Nigerian 1 Division, the Midwestern Region had been clearly by 2 Division, and the Navy had blockaded most of the sea approaches. The Cameroons had closed their rugged border in June 1967, and the noose was slowly tightened by the Federals. CHAPTER 4 THE WAR DEVELOPS (October 1967-August 1968) The Biafrans had gambled on taking the initiative away from the Federal forces. Pushed back across the Niger River after the abortive Midwest invasion, they had lost any chance of victory and had spurred the Nigerians into action. The Federal response was a three-pronged offensive from the north, the west and the south, while they methodically tightened their blockade. The result was the isolation of Biafra and the gradual collapse of the Rebel state into a smaller and smaller enclave. The Influence of Gowon. The deliberateness of the Nigerian effort was indicative of the character of the Federal leader, now Major General Yakubu "Jack" Gowon. This occurred despite the fact that personally Gowon was atypical of the people he led. Born into a Methodist minister's family in 1934, Gowon was a Christian from a minority tribe in the predominantely Moslem north. He was educated in Nigeria and received military training in the British- operated Officer Training School at Teshire, Ghana and at Eton Hall and the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst in England. He and his counterpart on the Rebel side, Ojukwu, had similar military backgrounds. Both were commissioned in the Army in 1957 and served with the United Nations Force in the Congo. After staff college in Camberley, England, Gowon was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1963. In 1965 he attended the Joint Services Staff College in England, returning to Nigeria two days before the first coup of January 15, 1966; his absence from Nigeria may actually have saved his life. In any event, Major General ironsi took power and appointed him Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army. In the aftermath of the July 1966 counter-coup, Gowon was a compromise selection to head Nigeria though he apparently was not involved in the coup. Where Ojukuw was outgoing, openly ambitious and charismatic, Gowon was more sedate. A man of slight stature, Gowon was trim, dapper and polished. He radiated little of the fire and exhibited none of the clever intelligence of his adversary; but Gowon was stable, serious and determined. He had the talents to hold together and orchestrate the wartime administration of the emerging power engaged in a bitter civil war. This General Gowon did under the intensive scrutiny and criticism of the international media, yet he displayed insight that tinged his leadership with Lincolnesque qualities.(1) His moderation is regarded as possibly the greatest single asset that he brought to the war.(2) There was no panic in his headquarters, and Gowon let his field commanders run their operations with little intervention. In fact, his visits to the fronts were virtually nonexistant; he depended on radio and telephone contact for information.(3) Gowon was sensitive to the fear of genocide in the Ibo and to the necessity of rebuilding the country when the war ended. He issued a code of conduct for the military. He refused to authorize any awards for the conduct of the Civil War. Finally, General Gowon invited a team of international observers to the front to appraise the conduct of Federal soldiers.(4) Gowon balanced his understanding of the long term aspects of his policies with a resolve which demonstrated his comprehension of the short range needs of Nigeria to conduct war. He gradually built up his forces and arms rather than immediately acquiring armaments and munitions in bulk, thus avoiding morgaging his country's furture.(5) Additionally, once he decided that siege warfare was the best method to secure victory, he applied the blockade and did not waiver under the intense international pressure to allow mass relief operations into Biafra. Regardless of whether his position was morally right or wrong (considering the people who died of starvation), Gowon maintained the commitment necessary to direct his country througout the war and the insight to reunite it when peace arrived. 1 Division Operations. The unit that most reflected Gowon's cautious resolve was 1 Division which fought in the north of the Eastern Region. Containing the bulk of the remaining Nigerian regular prewar army, the division applied renewed pressure around Enugu after the Midwest offensive. Enugu's importance went beyond the fact that it was the Biafran capital: it was a coal mining and steel town which lay on the only railroad into the Eastern Region. As a captial, the city had symbolic value; but as an industrial center, it represented a major asset to the Biafran war machine. Characteristic of 1 Division, detailed planning and preparation went into the operational concept for the Enugu assault. 1 Brigade was tasked with capturing Enuku; it had seven battalions (1000 men each) with another 1000 men available as individual replacements. The first brigade was tasked with capturing Enuku. The plan called for a two axes advance from Nsukka to Nine Mile Corner and Eka, followed by a single axis movement to Enugu.(6) On September 10, 1967 the Rebels launched a pre-emptive counter-attack in which they introduced their own armored personnel carriers, pre-World War II French vehicles called "Red Devils." Slow and bulky, the "Red Devils" were particularly vulnerable to antitank weapons, and the attack quickly stalled.(7) Two days later the Federal attack renewed. It was a deliberate process as the Federals met the typical Rebel rear guard delaying action. Obstacles were created using craters, trenches and debris, and progress was futher hampered by well planned covering fires on the obstacles. The shelling of Enugu commenced on September 26th and continued sporatically, but in volume, until the city was taken on October 4th.(8) The serious fighting occurred on October 1st when Nine Mile Corner was captured by the Nigerians. The dominant high ground, Millikin Hill, was controlled after weak resistance as the Biafran support base fled from Enugu and the soldiers, isolated, soon followed.(9) The Federals had clearly demonstrated their superior firepower with the capture of Enugu. The relatively extensive artillery preparation was the key to capturing the city. However, the psychological damage done by, and resources diverted to, the loss in the Midwest (which was cleared at the end of September by the Nigerians) can not be overlooked as factors in the defeat at Enugu. Additionally, Lieutenant Colonel Banjo and three others held responsible for the Midwest debacle were executed by the Biafrans on September 24th, feeding the suspicion of the Biafran populace regarding "saboteurs." The fall of Enugu highlights several problems which were to haunt the Biafrans throughout the war: a. The tremendous shortages of food and materiel were exacerbated by the support base which the Biafrans developed. Administrative directorates, completely civilianized, were responsible for providing services to military units. For instance, the food directorate set up kitchens behind the lines. These cookhouses prepared food which was moved to the troops for consumption. Throughout the war, as at Enugu, when the Army was forced to withdraw, the kitchens were disassembled and reestablished several days later in a safer location. Meanwhile, the troops were without food for days as they continued to fight.(10) By the end of 1967 the Army formed the Biafran Army Service Corps (BASC) to help with food distribution and other support requirements, but the BASC often engaged in petty arguments with the directorates over control of resources. Many of these disputes required personal intervention by Ojukuwu and clearly showed a lack of logistics awareness and unity of purpose in the Biafra war effort. b. Disorganization is also apparent in the way that reserves were thrown pell mell into battle when the situation was desperate. Time and again, the Federals would attack and overwhelm their objective; thus, the Biafrans would frantically mobilize every available resource and try to reverse an already lost cause. At Enugu, it was the formation and deployment of the "S" Brigade, raised to recapture the city from the Federals. This brigade continued resistance at Enugu for weeks until it was outflanked and forced to withdraw. The lesson here is that the Biafran leadership did not fully consider its operational problems. Fighting a defensive war, the superficial, obvious preparations for battle were made. Defensive fortifications with concrete bunkers, alternate positions and preplanned ambushes were planned and emplaced. Yet the leadership did not plan for the worst case. Consequently, hectic scrambling occurred to regain lost positions when some degree of realistic foresight and planning might have saved precious resources and ensured more successes. c. Perhaps the reason that the Biafrans did not consider the worst was because discussion of such cases would have cast suspicion on the planner as being a "saboteur." Paranoia was rampant throughout Biafra. Even in official channels, the truth, if disastrous, was avoided. After the fall of Enugu, Biafran documents, books and press releases were identified as originating from "Enugu." Umuahia, where the govenment moved from Enugu, was called the "Administra- tive Center," a euphemism for capital, and Port Harcourt later was said to be "disturbed" instead of captured.(11) Ultimately, the air of suspicion and the lack of reality in the precautions of the government hindered the military capacity and caused thousands of civilian deaths. The Federals also demonstrated patterns which were to follow them through the rest of the war. a. Their long lines of communications, dependence on artillery bombardment (which required massive resupply efforts) and reliance of armored personnel carriers to lead combat formations, initially tied them to over-the-road movements. This was especially true since they started the war in the rainy season. Soon their supply lines were overextended. This may have been a major factor for the deliberateness of 1 Division operations. After their cautious movement during combat, they took six months to resupply and reorganize before their next operations. b. The Federals did not capitalize on the use of infantry tactics. Systemic is the word one author used to define every Federal operation. The saturation shelling which preceeded Federal assaults left the soldiers with little to do other than walk-in and mop-up the various objectives.(12) This meant that the inexperienced troops gained minimally from each successive operation. It also allowed for greater civilian casualties, especially as the war continued, and the Biafrans were squeezed into smaller and smaller areas. c. Lastly, Enugu once more pointed out shortcomings in the Federal intelligence capabilities. At the outbreak of the war, the Federals had inaccurately predicted the Biafran capacity to wage war and had planned a short "police action." The Midwest Invasion had caught them by surprise, and when retaking Benin, Federal forces barraged the city even though the Biafrans had vacated the premises days before.(13) At Enugu, 1 Division did not realize in their caution that pursuit of the disorganized, retreating Biafrans, and the destruction of the Rebel force which was then possible, might have brought a rapid conclusion to the civil war.(14) 2 Division Operations. Things were not all one-sided on the northern front. At Onitsha, the Federal 2 Division was bogged down. Its continuous setbacks there were one of the major failures of the Nigerian Army in the war. The green, untrained and poorly led 2 Division offered a marked contrast to 1 Division. Thrown together in the heat of the Midwest Invasion, 2 Division got a false sense of its own and Biafran capabilities as the Rebel forces melted away in the Midwestern Region under slight pressure. Securing the Region by the end of September, the Division Commander, then Colonel Murtala Mohammed, prepared for his next operationthe capture of Onitsha on the Biafra side of the Niger River. Onitsha was important because it was a commercial center with the largest market in West Africa. Denial of access to these resources would seriously reduce Biafran logistical capabilities. Additionally, securing a bridgehead on the east bank of the Niger at Onitsha would shorten Nigerian lines of communications with Lagos. Even with the Niger River Bridge down, waterborne movement from the main road on the western side would greatly reduce transit time for replacements and supplies into the Eastern Region. Finally, Onitsha marked the route into the Ibo heartland and therefore would take the war to traditional tribal home. The possible psychological gain was great. All available ferry boats in the country were collected at Asaba on the western side of the river, and limited special training was conducted on river crossing operations. The Army and Supreme Headquarters advised against the opposed river crossing, recommending instead that 2 Division should transit the Niger unopposed, north at Idah and then attack overland to Onitsha. Both staffs realized how complicated this operation was for inexperienced troops with inadequate equipment. The General Officer Commanding (GOC), Colonel Mohammed, had his way. Onitsha was attacked with mortars and artillery in preparation for the assault. On the night of October 12, the Federals crossed in strength, established a bridgehead and fanned out into the city with two armored personnel carriers in the lead. Here, the conduct of the operation faltered. The undisciplined soldiers became obsessed with ransacking Onitsha for spoils, forgetting the need for securing the bridgehead. The Biafrans, under Colonel Joe Achuzie, counter-attacked; the Federals were surprised, out of position and routed. Driven back to the river's edge, the soldiers discovered that expected reinforcements and supplies had not arrived because of the mechanical failure of the follow-on support vessel. The 1000-man assault battalion was decimated in their disorganization under the Rebel fire. In this and other crossing attempts, drownings accounted for an excessive number of losses, pinpointing the lack of detailed training/rehearsals for the crossings.(15) The second crossing was tried on September 28. It failed when the Biafrans machinegunned the boats in the water. By the time the third attempt came, demoralized 2 Division troops were on the verge of mutiny and chaos.(16) The Division Commander then abandoned further river assaults and executed the plan originally recommended by his higher headquarters. He crossed the Niger unopposed at Idah which was under Federal control and moved slowly to Onitsha in 1 Division territory. Planning and operational security were poor, but the Rebels were overextended and could not redeploy in sufficient numbers to counter the 2 Division attack.(17) At the end of March 1968, six months after the first abortive river crossing, Onitsha fell to a two-pronged attack, one brigade closing from the north and another conducting a river crossing over the Niger (near the original sites). The battle only lasted five hours (18), belying the difficulty the Federals experienced at Onitsha. The victory was pyrrhic. 2 Division was demoralized and largely ineffective as a combat orgainzation. It had difficulty moving beyond Onitsha and clearing its sector. The road between Onitsha and Enugu where 1 Division maintained its headquarters was closed by Rebel activity until the last days of the war. The Division later had to return elements to the Midwest to counter recurring Rebel guerrilla activities in that region. One strong Rebel raiding expedition in April 1968 took Asaba and briefly closed direct supply across the Niger.(19) Such harassment with its drain on manpower constantly degraded 2 Division capabilities on the eastern side of the Niger. Two final events starkly characterized 2 Division during this period. First, soldiers of the Division massacred, without apparent provocation, 300 Ibo men, women and children who had gathered in Onitsha Cathedral to pray during the city's seige. This brutal act typified the lack of leadership, discipline and professionalism in 2 Division. Such incidents solidified sentiments that the Federals wanted to exterminate the Ibo, thus hardening the Ibo resolve to fight on.(20) The second incident occurred during resupply operations for the battle at Onitsha. A division convoy of over 100 trucks, led by two armored cars, was ambushed by Colonel Achuzie's forces at Abagana, a few miles northeast of Onitsha. The armored vehicles sped away from the convoy when it was ambushed, while the packed column provided a spectacular target when a petroleum tanker went up in flames. The fire swiftly spread through the convoy which was lost in its entirety, including almost all the drivers and escorts.(21) Once more poor planning, training and discipline haunted 2 Division, as the whole supply column was destroyed in one lucky ambush. 3 Marine Commando Division Operations. The war in the south took on a different nature. Colonel Benjamin Adekunle had obtained permission to redesignate his 3 Infantry Division as 3 Marine Commando Division. This was based on the unique role the unit had played up to that point in the war, first with the amphibious assault at Bonny and then with riverine operations to help clear the Midwestern Region. The new division took on the special qualities of its GOC. Colonel Adekunle, Age 29, was diminuative and aggressive, known to be more daring than the other division commanders. A staunch disciplinarian, Adekunle carried a golf club shaft or bat which he used to prod soldiers under fire. Colonel Adekunle apparently was able to get away with this because of the universally accepted belief that he was fearless. He was noted for personally leading his brigades into battle.(22) Adekunle was dynamic and innovative in his plans and operations. In early October 1967, he put these traits to use as 3 Marine Commando Division finalized preparations for an amphibious assault of Calabar. Calabar was the eastern most port on the Biafra coastline. Through it, small quantities of materiel were still shipped into the region. Calabar also lay on the remaining passible road to the Cameroons. By capturing Calabar, the Federals would interdict all land routes into Biafra and control the entire coast, thus cutting off the secessionists from the rest of the world except by air and telex. A garrison of 1000 men was left at Bonny to defend the island, whiel the rest of the division, six battalions of 500 men each, loaded out naval shipping for the assault of Calabar. It is important to note that this operation took all of the Federal naval force, leaving Bonny weakly supported. The Rebels later attacked and overwhelmed the Federal garrison which was pushed to a perimeter on the waterline before adequate relief arrived in early 1968. Adekunle and the headquarters at Lagos had been willing to take this risk, because of the additional front opening at Calabar. The total of five fronts (Bonny, Onitsha, Enugu, the Northeast, and Calabar) significantly overextended the already strained resources of the weaker Biafrans. By this reasoning and their comprehension of the import of the naval blockade, the Federal leadership demonstrated its superior grasp of strategic issues. One battalion of Biafran infantry was defending both Calabar, to the east of the Cross River inlet, and Oron to the west of the inlet.(23) Adekunle ignored the company- sized Oron contingent and attacked near Calabar to seize that city. After a naval bombardment interspersed with aerial bombing and strafing, the Federal's lone tank landing ship, the NNS Lokoja, debarked one battalion in late morning. Resistance in the form of small arms fire was soon overcome. The Lokoja embarked another battalion which it delivered to an adjacent beach head that afternoon. The two battalions proceeded on separate axes into Calabar. Fighting was spirited and confused by pro-Federal snipers. Several sources stated that Federal troops were infiltrated into Calabar disquished as fishermen and later created havoc.(24) Hand-to-hand fighting occurred in the streets and heavy civilian casualties resulted. The defending battalion (-) was reduced to 350 men by the end of the first day and 200 men on the second day (25) when the Federals landed a third battalion. The old slave port fell to the Nigerians on October 19, as the Biafrans were simply overwhelmed by a superior force. The capture of Calabar was followed by a one month consolidation period as 3 Marine Commando Division found how difficult reorganization and resupply of an amphibious beach- head were to accomplish. At night Rebel snipers engaged Federal targets, and the lone Biafran B-25 attacked Federal activity during the day.(26) Meanwhile, white mercenaries were introduced to the ground battle on the Biafran side. Led by a Frenchman, Roger Faulques, a contingent of about 50 foreigners saw action at the Dunlop Rubber Plantation just north of Calabar. They soon discovered the situation in Nigeria was unlike their Congolese experiences. They lost several comrades and their taste for fighting quickly. Faulques recommended retreat to the western side of the Cross River, and the remnants of the Biafran battalion soon set up riverline defensive positions on the other side. The surviving mercenaries soon left Biafra for safer environs.(27) With resistance gone, the Federals linked up with Federal elements from Ikom to seal off the Cameroon border and complete the encirclement of Biafra. The Calabar operation showed the diverse capabilities of the Federal forces. Even moreso, it put the spotlight on the imaginative and dynamic Colonel Adekunle. He proved skillful and courageous in the assault of the town, landing on the first day to lead the forward units. His operational concept was pertinent and gave a quick foothold to the Federals. Unfortunately, the offensive bogged down as the Federals consolidated. They allowed the surviving Biafrans to establish themselves on the western banks of the Cross River and grow from battalion size into a brigade and later a task force division.(28) Since the heavily forested southeastern region severely limited mobility and dictated river crossing points, this was a serious mistake. The predictability of options reduced the potential for surprise or success and resulted in heavy Federal losses as early attempts at crossing failed.(29) Making the same mistakes in the east as at Onitsha, the Federals found that the riverline defense greatly favored the Biafrans in opposed encounters, especially when proper equipment and well trained troops were unavailable. Later the Federals gained a foothold using a canoe-borne assault and a fording operation further down-river. After consolidating, they rapidly pushed the Rebels back.(30) On the Biafran side, they learned how flexible the Federals could be, as they were once again surprised by an amphibious landing. They also were subjected to the possibility that the minority tribes in their territory were not firmly on their side. They had earlier suspected this, but the sniping and open-armed acceptance of the Federals by the residents of Calabar further confirmed this suspicion. Lastly, the Biafrans received an object lesson in the fact that mercenaries would not be their salvation. They did employ many for their airlift, but only a few, most notably Rolf Steiner, who was responsible for forming 4 Commando Brigade, were used for ground operations. Both sides turned their attention to the tightening pressure. The Biafrans were fighting a desperate defensive war, while the Federals looked to the offensive. Their next major target was Port Harcourt. The Rebel losses of Enugu, Calabar, and later Onitsha, left Port Harcourt, with its airport, oil processing facilities and businesses (including department stores), as the only remaining Biafran major urban center, and the sole link to the outside world for the Rebels. Adekunle had started planning for the attack on Port Harcourt while his division was still clearing hte southeastern state. His plan called for a three-pronged attack from the Cross River to Port Harcourt. Materiels and men were built up at Opobo on the coast to support the operation. Before the division was ready, an abortive amphibious assault was attempted by 15 Brigade, the unit formed around the garrison that Adelunke had left at Bonny. The Brigade proved too weak to challenger the Port Harcourt defense and was crushed. the Biafrans cut off future amphibious attempts by pumping crude oil into the Bonny Channel and setting it on fire. The Rebels frantically watched the unchecked advance of Federal columns from the west. Colonel Joe Achuzie, who enjoyed some success at Onitsha, moved to Port Harcourt to organize the defense. He was unable to rally the dispirited Rebels as the Federals moved through the surrounding mangrove swamps and brush to isolate the city. On May 16, 1968, the artillery and mortar bombardment began. The shelling of Port Harcourt saw a first in the civil war. Colonel Adekunle allowed a corridor through which civilians could escape the seige. Whether his intent was humanitarian or not is unknown, but within a few hours of the bombardment's start, traffic was backed up 15 miles.(31). The defense of Port Harcourt was just as disorganized and haphazard as the evacuation. The occupation of Port Harcourt was anti-climatic. By May 18 it had fallen, and the Federals continued on. First they secured the local sector with riverline operations and then drove north to Owerri and Aba. By September 16 both had been captured, and Biafra was reduced to one fourth of its original size. The war was now confined to the Ibo heartland. Air- lifted supplies were temporarily halted with the loss of the Port Harcourt Airport until alternate fields became opera- tional. Peace talks, an on again, off again phenomenon throughout the war, slowed down as a surrender announcement war expected.(32) The Biafran Navy and Air Force ceased to exist for the moment. The militia was disbanded. The Federals sensed the war was almost over. The desire to reduce friendly casualties was shown in the pattern of heavy artillery preparations that characterized the advance from Port Harcourt to Aba. The relative superior firepower was used the "soften up" the Biafrans who were forced to move from their defenses under intense bombardments. The Federals then moved slowly into the vacated positions, occasionally "...leaving ojectives(s) empty as a sort of no-man's land for several days."(33) But the war would not end in 1968. The Federals never truly understood the fear that embraced the Ibo; equally important, they did not realize that Charles deGaulle would chose Biafra as a surrogate to challenge the level of Britain's influence in Western Africa. Thus the war continued. CHAPTER 5 OJUKWU'S BIAFRA Understanding the nature of the Nigerian Civil War requires review of the special qualities that allowed the Biafrans to wage war for two and a half years even though they were outnumbered, outgunned and isolated from the world except by a tenuous airlift. On reflection, the character is not all positive, but it still bears examination. Much of the national character of the Biafrans is revealed through the actions of their leader Major General Chukuwuemeka ("Emeka") Odumegwu Ojukwu. Intelligent, ambitious and resolute, Ojukwu displayed the traits commonly attributed to the Ibo as a tribe. An Ibo born in 1933, Ojukwu was the son of one of Nigeria's most wealthy entrepreneurs, a man who converted a few used trucks into a giant transport business. His family's position made it possible for Ojukwu to be educated in England, first at Epson College for secondary school and then Lincoln College, Oxford, for a bachelors degree in modern history. But when he returned to Nigeria, Ojukwu forsook the family business and went into the civil service. In 1957 Ojukwu entered the military and was caught in the rapid Nigerianization. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1964 and was serving as the 5 Battalion Commander at Kano in January 1966 when the first coup occurred. Although no military officer in Nigeria was completely untouched by the politization that occupied the Army after independence, Ojukwu managed to avoid open involvement in the coups. He remained loyal to General Ironsi after the first coup attempt and shortly thereafter was rewarded with an appointment as Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria. In this position, Ojukwu emerged as the leader of the Ibo. Said a former Secretary in the Biafra Govenment, Raph Uwechue, "It is sad but instructive irony that Lieutenant Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwa, one of Africa's one-time most brilliant political promises, was the man that led his own people with such a lack of ingenuity into what was clearly a foreseeable disaster."(1) The tragedy was built on Ojukwu's inflexibility and the resultant inability to effect compromise on the political side. He fueled the disaster with his ambition, desire and ability to control the situation in Biafra. Ojukwu was fighting a war within the Civil War, as he struggled to keep and consolidate his position of leadership. And the tragedy was prolonged and insured by the divisive actions Ojukwu used to maintain his position of power. These methods had particular impact on the capabilities of the Biafran Army. Based on his military training and experience, Ojukwu should have understood the complexity and difficulty of establishing a cohesive fighting force in the Eastern Region. Instead he alienated the military and rendered the leadership ineffective through a series of intimidating acts and witchhunts to find "the guilty" after tactical failures. The former is best seen in how Ojukwu handled his first Army Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Hilary Njoku who returned to Eastern Nigeria with other native Easterners after the July 1966 Coup. Soon Njoku and the other Army leadership were distressed at the lack of policy direction in the region. Either efforts were needed to negotiate the peace, or preparations for war had to begin. These officers met with Ojukwu, but their fears were not allayed by Ojukwu's arguments. He demonstrated his ruthlessness and his modus operandi in the way he preempted the potential threat to his power by these military officers. In a few hours during the evening, he had the parents and relatives of Lt. Col. Njoku brought to Enugu. He also sent for leading personalities, men and women carefully selected, as well as bishops and chiefs. Before them he blandly accused Njoku of plotting to overthrow him by force. Not that he cared about himself, he said with emotion, but only for the disaster and tragedy that such a move would bring to the people of Eastern Nigeria, particu- larly the Ibos, for whom he was fighting! Women began to weep and invoke everything against any person concealing such an evil idea. The bishops began to pray solemnly. Njoku was bereft of words. Activity continued during the whole night and the following day, mainly by bishops and some selected leaders. Njoku had to give promises and under- takings, both orally and in writing, never to do anything to disrupt the government. But the Governor could not take chances. With Njoku in the country and about, he could not feel comfortable or safe. He therefore decided that Njoku must leave. An excuse for this was not difficult to find. Njoku had been with the former Supreme Commander in Ibadan when the latter was abducted by the army. He was wounded but managed to escape. His bones needed treatment and this was a good enough reason for sending him to Britain. Immediately Njoku had gone, the Governor reorganised the army by splitting Njoku's former responsibilities and making himself the over-all commander. In order to create rivalry among the senior officers he promoted Imo, Njoku and Effiong to the rank of Brigadier with the same seniority. By accident or design, Njoku returned to Eastern Nigeria about the very day on which the civil war started. He was given charge of the fighting but under the over-all control of the Military Governor. Even thus, he was not to last very long.(2) Njoku did not last long because of the paranoia that permeated the Ibo mentality. At once this mindset was the key to the strength of the Biafran defense and simultaneously a factor in destroying the secession from within. The Ibo were so driven to protect themselves that they developed the attitude that they could not lose. They perceived the threat of extermination of the tribe as so real that any weakness or flaws in the defense of the Eastern Region was unthinkable. When military setbacks occurred, scapegoats had to be and were found. Instead of realizing obvious factsthat men armed only with rifles could be overwhelmed by armored columns; that the Federals had superiority in terms of manpower and firepowerthe Biafran's believed that "saboteurs" caused military reverses. This phenomenon, begun when Ojukwu as Governor warned the Easterners in late 1966 to be on the vigil for traitors, infiltrators and even the indifferent, (3) caused the downfall of Njoku and other military officers. The loyalty of every officer, save Ojukwu, was question- able, a situation that seemed to stem also from a distrust generated of those officers who initiated the first coup. Once the first blood flowed, all Nigerians became suspicious, and they lost confidence in the Officer Corps. The list of examples of the result is endless. Here are a few: a. With the early loss of Opi Junction in the North, Colonel Okon, the local commander was demoted and removed from the Army (he was reinstated later).(4) b. When the town of Oron fell, the defending brigade commander, Colonel I.N. Aniebo, was identified as the scapegoat and disgraced.(5) c. As the Federals shelled the capital of Enugu, remaining civilians were adamant in their belief that Biafran Army "saboteurs" were firing the rounds. Soldiers had to be sent from the lines to check the stories so Nioku's replacement, Colonel A.A. Madiebo, would not be thought a collaborator.(6) Madiebo also tells of having the brief every civilian who came to his headquarters with questions to avoid the start of rumors that he was concealing information.(7) d. At the loss of the critical airport and oil facilities at Port Harcourt, Colonel O. Kalu was accused of collaboration with the enemy.(8) e. Captain Nweka, 53 Battalion Commander, returned from a reconnaisance at Amadim and was executed for sabotage after being accused of collaborating with the enemy.(9) The last example is the extreme case. Usually, officers were beaten, imprisoned and had their heads shaved when accused of sabotage. This was not a practice limited to the military, but it had grave effects on the Army's ability to function. The constant turnover of officers resulted in a continual drain of experience and a failure to develop cohesion and unit integrity. Ojukwu found other ways to make the Army impotent as a rival to his power. These further diluted the unified direction of his armed forces. Ojukwu played the civilians off against the military. He formed special units which reported directly to him, usurping the role of his military commanders. Moveover, Ojukwu established directorates to control the logistical aspects of the war efforts, thus creating a rivalry not only with the military but also with the existing civil service. There is also evidence that most Biafrans considered their men as "fighters" instead of "soldiers" because they viewed warfare naively as inter-village free-for-alls.(10) Because of this, Ojukwu was able to pit the civilians against the military. As he stated: It has all along been my conviction that it is the civilians who will fight and win this war and not the soldiers. From all that has happened already, it would be foolish to expect the soldiers to satisfy the aspirations of this new republic.(11) These words to his strategic committee prefaced later actions which contradicted his military training, especially con- sidering the British influence on his development. Ojukwu had called on volunteers to come and defend Enugu. As the Biafran leader commented: Nothing can frighten professional soldiers more than the sight of civilian masses confront them. They will kill them no doubt, but will soon be tired. That is the tactics adopted in the Asian countries. China for instance. I have got brought down to Enugu thousands of civilians from all over the Republic. The aim is to throw them in in masses against the enemy who would thereby be confused and frightened by the prospect of mowing down thousands of civilians and incurring world condemnation.(12) Armed primarily with machetes (and a few shotguns) Ojukwu's "fighters" were trucked to the front and reformed. They marched off into the night chanting war songs and screaming. After a brief advance, the Federals unleashed a great volley of shells. All activity stopped, and the formation melted into the night.(13) Ojukwu never repeated such a move. He did, however, form special purpose military units. The first was the "S" (for special) Brigade. This brigade was organized from volunteer militia to retake Enugu. Lacking experienced leadership and poorly organized, the "S" Brigade was not able to reverse the loss of the capital by bolstering the regular forces. It was retained afterward as the Governor's special unit and was given his personal attention as well as a higher priority of support. As with many "elite" forces, its existence and priority created jealousy in the regular forces. Eventually, Ojukwu had to merge the "S" Brigade into the regular army to eliminate the command and control problems that its special status created. The same problem existed later with 4 Commando Brigade. Commanded by Rolf Steiner, an ex-Hitler youth, ex-French Foreign Legion mercenary, the Commando Brigade was originally organized to conduct guerrilla warfare operations behind Federal lines. As with the "S" Brigade, Ojukwu gave the Commando's special attention and priority supply support. When the Commando Brigade proved successful in guerrilla operations, it was expanded. Despite protests, Ojukwu later pressed it into service in a conventional role. Its losses were excessively heavy, and it lost its previous effective- ness. Jealousies which had developed in the Regular Force found the opportunity to be vented, and Steiner was forced out of command. He was escorted to Uli Airfield and flown out of the country. Despite the existence of a civil service, at the start of the war Ojukwu created administrative directorates as caretakers of the civilian population and the military efforts. These directorates controlled civil defense, the militias, propaganda, military intelligence, food distri- bution, food production, fuel, medical supplies, transport, requisition and supply, and clothing.(14) Their directors supplanted the ministers and departments of government, further dividing the war effort. The civil service was subordinated and embarrassed. Likewise, when the supply and transport organization was added to the mlitary inventory, it openly battled the directorates for control of important resources. Often these "turf battles" had to be resolved by Ojukwu, and the predictability of his decisions made the directors powerful men in the Biafran ruling structure. The cumulative effect of these special units and extra-organizational control groups divided the direction of the war effort. They took authority away from those most responsible for fighting the warthe militaryand institutionalized Ojukwu's actions to mitigate any potential political opposition by producing a fragmented power structure that answered only to him. This resulted in an inefficient support system that barely capitalized on Biafra's interior lines of communication when the Federal effort lacked coordination. Once the Nigerian Federals finally coordinated their three pronged attack, the Biafran disorganization was incapable of response, and the secessionists were crushed. But the Federals took another year to realize this potential, and the war slowly followed its course. CHAPTER 6 TO THE END OF THE WAR (September 1968-January 1970) September 1968 was a dark time for Biafra. Federal pressure continued on every front. The Rebels were cut off from their major food producing areas, and the loss of Port Harcourt forced them to rely on resupply through makeshift air fields. At this stage of the war, Ojukwu announced a new phase of the Biafran effortguerrilla warfare. But the change was half-hearted because promised French assistance soon began in earnest with an average of over 20 tons of war materiels arriving each night from French sources via airlift.(1) This infusion of military aid buoyed Rebel hopes and resulted in a renewed belief that they could still win the civil war (or more accurately, legitimately establish the Biafra Nation) through conventional means. The Federals had captured the airstrip at Obilagwu and on October 1, 1968 occupied Okigwi in the north with 1 Division units. 3 Marine Commando Division was spread across a front of more than 100 miles in the south. The line stretched from the Niger River on the west over the Cross River on the east. Besides capturing Owerrri and Aba, the Division continued pressure toward Umuahia, "The Administrative Center," and Oguta which was only 10 miles or so from the strategic Uli air strip. Federal operations, as always, were preceded by relatively intensive artilley preparations. Several days were taken to position every available weapon, so that all could be fired together in a display that the flamboyant Adekunle called, "...my own special thunder."(2) The French support altered the balance of power. The additional small arms, plus artillery, anti-armor weapons and needed ammunition greatly bolstered the Biafrans. They stopped the drive to Umuahia from the south and put the Federals on the defensive at Onitsha. An aggressive, brigade-sized riverine attack on Oguta tested the Rebels on September 10. The Federal 15 Brigade landed within 12 miles of Uli air strip and created a panic among the Rebels. Emphasizing the criticality of the situation, Ojukwu personally led the counter-attack to secure the town and relieve pressure on Uli.(3) The Federal attackers, faced with encirclement, withdrew back down the river. The Rebels reverted to a frantic counter-offensive. By the end of September, they had recaptured Ikot Ekpene and were moving on Aba and Owerri at Christmas of 1968. The Biafran Organization of Freedom Fighters (BOFF) was operating throughout the region and in the Midwest, conducting querrilla-type operations behind Federal lines; but their successes were minimal. Fola Oyewole, a Biafran staff officer, noted that by this time most Biafrans were disillusioned with the struggle. The result was that many who joined the BOFF were not committed to the cause and that often Biafrans (Ibo) who remained in Federally occupied areas did not cooperate with the BOFF.(4) The BOFF nonetheless had the Federal's attention and the highly motivated regular Rebel units (5) produced important changes in Federal attitudes over the year and a half of war. They no longer took midday siesta hours, and the war of ambush resulted in disaster when vigilence faltered.(6) French assistance did not completely alter the Rebel situation. In December 1968 the International Committee of the Red Cross estimated that 14,000 people were dying each day in Biafra.(7) The December offensive against Owerri continued and developed into a seige of the Federal 16 Brigade within the city. For at least six weeks the brigade had to be resupplied by air, but large quantities of materiel landed in enemy hands. The seige tightened until April 25, 1969 when the beleaguered Federal remnant successfully executed a night withdrawal under pressure by slipping through the Biafran lines. The recapture of Owerri proved a major setback for the Federals, second only to the repeated failures in crossing the Niger River to take Onitsha. The loss damaged the reputation of 3 Marine Commando Division and its aggressive leader, Colonel Adekunle. The Federals also were dispirited by the indiscriminate bombing tactics of their Air Force which attacked non-military targets throughout Biafra. In January and February 1969, the Nigerians stepped-up their air strikes, especially on Umuahia; this signaled a renewed offensive. Foreign correspondents personally verified attacks on civilian targets and presented their findings in the world-wide media. Such incidents rekindled the fear of extermination among the Ibo people and damaged Federal prestige abroad. The April 25 loss of Owerri overshadowed the 1 Division triumph in capturing the Rebel capital of Umuahia on April 22, 1969. The Federal advance, as normal along the roads, had been difficult since the Rebels effectively deployed French Panhard armored vehicles to menace the column.(8) But the methodical traits of 1 Division again proved successful as Umuahia fell, marking the final phase of the war. The Biafrans were further disorganized as administrative elements had to be spread around the country. No suitable single place remained in which to establish a functional capital, though Owerri became the new Administrative Center. Despite the degradation of the Biafran infrastructure, the Federals were unable to exploit the situation. They had problems of their own. Federal morale was low as political infighting among the division commanders and staffs expanded. The lack of unity of command had created problems of insufficient coordination and inadequate logistical support. Colonel (later Major General) Olusegun Obasanjo described the situation in his memoir of the war: The Federal victory in capturing Umuahia, the next rebel administrative headquarters after Enugu, was almost immediately effectively nullified by the loss of Owerri to the rebels. The rebels, strengthened and emboldened by their recapture of Owerri, swiftly advanced southwards to threaten Igritta, a distance of fifteen miles north of Port Harcourt on the Owerri road. The federal finger-tip hold on Aba was considerable weakened. The morale of the soldiers at least of 3 Marine Commando Division was at its lowest ebb. Desertion and absence from duty without leave was rife in the Division. The despondence and general lack of will to fight in the soldiers was glaringly manifest in the large number of cases of self-inflicted injuries throughout the formation. Some officers tacitly encouraged these malpractices and unsoldierly conduct by condoning such acts or withdrawing their own kith or kin or fellow tribesmen to do guard durties in the rear and in the officers' own houses. Distrust and lack of confidence plagues the ranks of the officer corps. Operations were unhealthily competitive in an unmilitary fashion and officers openly rejoiced at each other's misfortunes. With the restrictions imposed by the Federal Military Government on many items of imported goods and the country in the grip of inflation, the civilian population began to show signs of impatience with a war which appeared to them unending. In fact, some highly placed Nigerians started to suggest that the Federal Government should sue for peace at all cost to prevent the disaster that would befall it and its supporters if rebel victory seemed imminent.(9) Gowon heeded complaints and countercharges that staff officers in Lagos were unresponsive to the field commanders and that the field commanders had lost their initiative and drive. He thus transferred all three division commanders to staff positions, replaced them and redefined the missions of the three divisions. On May 12, 1969 the changes were announced. 2 Division withdrew from Onitsha and moved back into the Midwestern Region to provide internal defense there against BOFF guerrilla activity and defend on the west bank of the Niger River. 1 Division took over the defense of Onitsha and now had responsibility for the entire northern sector, while 3 Marine Commando Division remained responsible for the southern campaign in Eastern Nigeria. By May 30, 1969, the tide again turned. Ojukwu had taken personal command of all Biafra units, but the Rebels were pushed back into an area of roughly 2000 square miles. The Federal forces began coordinating their actions; however, the rainy season and the first air attacks by Count Von Rosen's Minicons (see the next chapter) slowed the Federal advance. Even so, the war was virtually over. The arrival of Soviet 122mm howitzers greatly improved Nigerian artillery range and accuracy. Biafran desertions increased as the will to resist diminished in the face of more disciplined Federal Air Force bombing and strafing. The crumbling of the Biafran infrastructure continued. After two years of war and shortages of spare parts, vehicles were wearing out with a resultant loss of transit capability. Even when resupply occurred, distributing materiels to the front proved difficult. Corruption by self-serving administrative officials sapped the furor from the Biafran war effort, but one agency stood apart even in this final part of the war. The research and production (RAP) directorate was an innovative and resourceful agency without which the Biafrans could not have prosecuted the war. Composed of scientists and engineers educated in Britain and the U.S., the RAP devised and built portable oil refineries which produced gasoline with the heat of wood fires, mortars from oil drilling equipment, and soap, matches, and gin from available resources.(10) They developed ground-to-ground and ground-to-air rockets which proved useful at Calabar and Onitsha. The rockets were electronically fired, area munitions launched from especially-built stands; however, they sometimes wobbled in flight and boomeranged, coming back to the fires.(11) The most important weapon built was the Ogbunigwe (Ibo for "destroyers of all"). These devices were also known as "Ojukwu's kettles" and were the keystone of the Rebel defense. They were made from available cooking pots filled with locally-produced explosives and miscellaneous metal productsnails, scrap iron or whatever else was on hand. The Ogbunigwe were planted in the ground (or in road beds) or abutted against trees and camouflaged. When suitable targets arrived, the mines were command detonated. They produced a tremendous explosion and proved immensely effective. Their use alone often created enough damage to rout Federal attacks. The ingenuity of the RAP was not enough to overcome the superior might of the Federals. They reorganized their divisions internally and applied pressure from both north and south. The Federals gained steadily until November 1969 when the Nigerian Army Chief of Staff ordered his forces "to liberate what was left of the Rebel held areas."(12) Around Christmas of 1969, powerful probes cut into Rebel held territory. Instead of stopping to consolidate gains, the Federals drove on, surprising and overwhelming the Biafrans. Ojukwu flew out of Uli Air Strip in the early morning of Jaunuary 11, 1970 after he and his staff decided not to revert to guerrilla warfare. The war had ended by January 15, 1970 when Colonel Philip Effiong, who was left in charge, announced the surrender. The end was so rapid and the Biafrans so demoralized that further resistance did not materialize. The end was anti-climatic. The Biafrans were exhausted by hunger and had few medical facilities. They lacked the clothing and individual equipment to combat the superior weapons of their opponent. Most importantly, the Federals benefited from personnel changes which produced better generalship in the three divisions and brought the war to a rapid close in the fashion expected when the war started.(13) But the "quick kill in slow motion"(14) was expensive. Estimates on the total number of deaths from the war range from 500,000 to 2,000,000. There is no way of knowing with certainty the exact number. The vast majority of fatalities, however, were starvation casualties among Biafran civilians. The Federals estimated in 1970 that the war cost them $840 million.(15) Their economy slowed down but never reached zero growth and regained momentum after the war. Loss of oil revenue caused the stagnant economic condition. However, the Federals rapidly transferred their oil production emphasis to the Midwest and soon equalled their pre-war volume. The Biafrans were constantly in need of money for two reasons. First, they lost their oil revenue (two thirds of the total Nigerian production) early in the war,; hence, they were denied the revenue to finance the war. The other reason for their monetary shortage was that Nigeria converted her currency during the war. The Biafrans confiscated millions in Nigerian currency, but were unable to get most of it exchanged during the brief conversion period. This rapid reduction in capital in 1968 limited Biafra's ability to purchase arms overseas. Beyond occasional purchases and French aid, she depended on what she captured and what she could invent. The industry and imaginations of her people never matched the firepower of the Federals. CHAPTER 7 THE AIR WAR The two most significant technological advances introduced in the Nigerian Civil War were the extensive use of modern artillery, particularly by the Federals, and the impact of aviation on a disorganized, relatively unsophisti- cated battlefield. The numbers of aircraft were slight in comparison to what the United States used in Vietnam, and the tactics were generally limited to interdictory bombing and strafing with some close air support. Air-to-air combat consisted essentially of attacks on bulky, outdated cargo planes delivering relief supplies and armaments to Biafra. Nonetheless, aircraft played a major role in making this conflict a "modern" war. Both sides experienced the introduction of an advanced degree of sophistication and killing power and the immense psychological effect that aerial bombing and strafing produced. We will look at the Biafran side first. The Rebel Air Force. The Biafrans had the first aircraft used for offensive purposes. A World War II vintage, American made B-26 bomber was obtained in Europe, manned by a European crew, and flown from Lisbon to Enugu and then on operational missions. The plane carried machine guns and rockets which were outfitted on the plane in Enugu by former Nigerian Air Force armorers.(1) It was initially used to bomb and strafe attacking Nigerian formations, but soon the Rebels took the war to the Federal heartland to show their strength and determination. With the B-26 and othe airplanes their agents in Lisbon had procurred, the Biafrans turned to air raids on Lagos and other towns. These seemed to have no specific target other than inducing panic in the civilians; these attacks resulted in haphazard patterns which primarily produced the desired panic in the Nigerians. Several such raids caused a small amount of property damage and a few civilian casualities; but like the Midwest ground offensive, they served to awaken the Nigerians from their lethargy and incensed the population. Because the Federals did not immediately respond to the early bombing raids, the Rebels misread their capabilities and resolve. The lack of reaction reinforced the Rebel belief (based on their knowledge of Federal military strength) that the war would quickly end. The small Biafran Air Force was overworked and soon wore out. When a Fokker F-27 passenger plane equipped to drop bombs was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Lagos in early October 1967, Biafran offensive air operations were essentially ended until the last year of the war. Another noteworthy fact appeared; at least four of the crew of eight who were killed in the crash of the Fokker were white mercenaries.(2) It was in the air conflict that mercenaries had their greatest impact in the Nigerian Civil War. On the Biafran side, they helped prolong the war as they delivered arms, ammunition and relief supplies to the beseiged Biafrans. The first Biafran mercenary was Hank Wharton. He operated the most famous of the companies which ran charter airplanes into Biafra (the Biafrans also purchased some older planes) and typified the "entrepreneurs" who flew this dangerous route. The German-American Wharton owned a tired fleet of Superconstellations and DC-7's. As noted by mercenary Bruce Hilton, "Wharton's planes were available to anyone who could afford to charter them, which meant that a crew might take in rifle ammunitions for the Biafran Army one night and medical supplies for the World Council of Churches the next..."(3) The flights were also used by the Catholic relief organization, Caritas, and the International Red Cross with round trips costing up to $25,000.(4) Under these circumstances, the Federals accused the relief agencies of concealing arms shipments with their humanitarian flights. This highlights the most controversial aspect of the war, the effectiveness of the Federal blockade as an offensive weapon and the resulting starvation of hundreds of thousands of Biafrans. At the same time, it points out Ojukwu's obstinate unwillingness to sue for peace despite the horrific suffering of his people. Instead, he advertised it to gain sympathy for Biafra. He was successful in his efforts becauses the relief organizations converted sympathy into political support for Biafra, but with little ultimate effect on the outcome of the war. Saving Biafrans bacame synonymous with saving Biafra.(5) Concurrently, the relief organizations wanted a ceasefire so they could concentrate on moving food into the country. This was desirable to Ojukwu since he knew that if the fighting stopped, it would be difficult to restart. In the stalemate, Biafra would gain time and might survive. The tragedy of the war was that such political finagling, by both sides, resulted in so many additional tragic deaths in the prolonged war. The mercenary pilots experienced a temporary halt in their airlift when Federals captured Port Harcourt Airfield. Fortunately for the Biafrans, they had foreseen the possibility of losing their fixed air facilities and prepared alternate sites. The most famous was the Uli Air Strip. Code-named Annabelle, the Uli Strip was in fact a stretch of straight road between Onitsha and Owerri which was widened for miles. Vehicles mounted with communications equipment served as a mobile control tower so that the actual landing site could be shifted back and forth along the stretch of road. All operations occurred at night; relief planes made their final approaches based on tower instructions; and landing lights were turned on for 15-30 seconds to facilitate touchdown. Other similar strips were prepared, as well as bush sites, but Uli survived to the last day of the war and was an important symbol of resistance for the Biafrans. Initially Portugual, the last colonial power in Africa, provided most of the staging bases for the relief and resupply of Biafra. Later the French gave major support to the Rebel cause. At first, night trips were made from Lisbon with small arms and ammunition that was bought in Spain, France or Switzerland through private dealers. Aircraft were refueled in Portuguese Guinea Bissau and the Portuguese Island of Sao Tome. Pilots landed at Harcourt Airfield or on a stretch of highway between Orlu and Owerri.(6) Another route of entry reportedly began in South Africa, with flights two or three times a week from Petersburg in the Transvaal to a rendevous point in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. South African DC-7's, charted to Biafra, then carried the cargo to Uli by way of Angola and Sao Tome.(7) Other staging points were Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Libreville in Gabon and the Island of Fernando Po where much of the relief supplies were marshalled. From the relief pilots Biafra got its most potent offensive air capability. Count Carl Gustaf von Rosen, the Swede who commanded the Ethiopian Air Force in the 1930's, was appalled at the indiscriminate bombing and strafing of non-military targets by the Nigerian Air Force and pledged to give the Biafrans an Air Force to interdict Nigerian efforts. The arrival of his Minicon fleet, mentioned earlier, was timely. In late May 1969 Biafra was less than a tenth of its original size. The rainy season had slowed the Federal offensive and their bombing, but also had reduced relief efforts. Von Rosen brought three Swedish pilots and two ground crewmen with the first five Minicons. They were to both fly the planes and train Biafran air and ground crews. He also used two Biafrans as pilots on the first aircraft.(8) The Rebels had several ex-Nigerian Air Force pilots trained by the West Germans and a group of aviators partially qualified in Portugual to fly various aging aircraft purchased in Europe that never arrived in Biafra. The Minicons immediately boosted morale. The single engine trainers were too small to deliver iron bombs, so they were outfitted with 76mm rocket pods. Flying below radar coverage and surprising anti-aircraft gunners, the Minicons swooped in on targets in lightning fast raids. They targeted on-the-ground aviation assets and oil facilities and were extremely successful. Attacks covered the air fields at Benin, Enugu and Port Harcourt, reducing Federal interference with relief flights. In the first month of use, von Rosen claimed destruction of four MIG's, and Ilyushin bomber, two Canberras, a Heron and a control tower.(9) By September 1969, von Rosen had 19 minicons in Biafra with a total of five Swedish pilots. There also were two Danish explosive experts who trained infiltrators.(10) The ports at Sapele and Port Harcourt were targets as were the oil installations. They cut oil exports from the Midwestern Region to a trickle with attacks on the just completed Shell-BP facility at Forcadoes. Von Rosen then had bigger plans. He wanted to bomb Nigeria's major port at Apapa, near Lagos, but the longer ranged equipment he needed did not arrive before the war ended in January 1970. This may have occurred because von Rosen's tactics caused the opposite of what he intended. Instead of handcuffing the materially superior Federals, he may have once again awakened them from their doldrums and forced an increase in war activity that quickly ended the war.(11) The Federal Air Force. The Federals introduced a more technogically advanced level of aviation to the war. It is paradoxical that the Rebels believed the failure of the Federals to immediately retaliate for their early bombings was a sign of weakness or a lack of resolve. They should have taken a more pragmatic view. The Federals were planning for a police action, but instead became involved in an all-out war. Responding as they would throughout the war, they methodically obtained the right tools for the task. The Federals used the first jet aircraft in early August 1967 to help clear the Midwest; and shortly thereafter their mercenary pilots were indiscriminately bombing and strafing a wide range of targets. The Biafrans quickly reassessed the resolve of their opponent. The verdict was that the unrestrained aerial attacks on undefended hospitals and markets, especially with napalm, and the tightening blockade were further evidence of the Federal desire to commit genocide, i.e., the eradication of the Ibo population. The seeming validity of these accusations often embarrassed the Nigerians throughout the hostilities. International observers would conclude that no orderly, planned policy existed for extermination of the Ibo people; however, there was irrefutable evidence of repeated attacks on defenseless civilians which again and again fed the Biafran propaganda machine. The Federals used mercenary pilots in a different way than the Biafrans. A British mercenary, John Peters, was hired in July 1967 to recruit pilots to fly converted DC-3's and 4's with Nigerian crews since there were only a few Nigerian pilots. Paid between $2,000 and $3,000 per month plus living expenses in Nigera, the Federals usually had 12 to 20 pilots available, primarily British, Rhodesians and South Africans. When Egyptian pilots proved ineffective, the mercenaries were trained on the MIG-15's and then the MIG-17's.(12) By the time the mercenary pilots were trained on the MIG's, their efforts were concentrated on stopping the gun-running into Biafra. But along with the indiscriminate bombing and strafing of civilan targets, the inability to stop the night flights into Biafra demonstrated the gross inefficiency of the Federal Air Force. While the war still progressed, historian Neville Brown pointed out several reasons why the gun-running continued. a. The short range and electronic deficiencies of the MIG-17's. b. Lack of skill and motivation of the Egyptian pilots c. Reluctance of the Federals to let foreigners play a large part in their success.(13) John De St. Jorre, another historian, went a step farther. He noted that the MIG's and Ilyushins were the wrong aircraft to use against the make-shift airstrips like Uli. Their high speed and armaments made effective night attacks on the narrow, unlit runways difficult. He believed a smaller, relatively slower plane with cannons, light bombs and machine guns would have been more effective. He also argues that he mercenaries did not destroy Uli because it would have been the end of a well paid job.(14) The Federals engaged in minimal close air support, but used their jet aircraft with artillery to prepare their ground objectives in major offensives. In fact the increase of air support by the Federals in early 1968 and early 1969 were clear indicators to the Biafrans that extensive major moves were in the offing.(15) For both sides aircraft represented a new escalation of power, capable of temporarily terrorizing the population or sustaining it. Neither side possessed the capability to use aviation to its fullest advantage, but each saw the battlefield reduced in size, the responsiveness of air support, and the horror that the airplane could inflict on both the civilian population and military formations. Heretofore isolated enclaves became accessible to the destructive dimensions of modern warfare through aviation. CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSIONS The Nigerian Civil War was the first modern war conducted in Independent Black Africa. The lessons of the war were not new or unique. They merely reinforced what has been learned over and over again. However, their context was unique, since the bush warfare of the Congo transitioned to technologically sophisticated 20th Century warfare. The military, though unsuited for the role, became the leading institiution in Nigeria. The causes of the war were complex, based upon tribal, political and economic factors inherited from the colonial period. A military institiution, subordinated through British traditions, took political form in the post-colonial era and initiated a blood letting that led to the Civil War. Though segments of the military had the capacity to disrupt and overthrow the civilian govenment, the military was not sufficiently unified or large enough to adequately govern the country. The coups of 1966 provided the immediate catalyst to the economic, political and social unrest. Once the horror was unleashed, the military inherited responsibility for finding a solution. The war requried the formation of a large, fighting force, which became the dominant institution in Nigeria. To this day, the political course of the country is tied to the desires and decisions of the military leadership. Once the precedent was set, getting the military out of power became virtually impossible given the divisiveness of the country. Neither side was prepared for war. As the facade of civilization crumbled under the weight of riots and pogroms, Ibo tribesmen fled oppression and sought refuge in their homeland. Despite the evidence of the hatred that drove the Ibo out of other areas and the fear of extermination which permeated the consciousness of those in the Eastern Region, military leaders were unable to fully mobilize their countries for the coming war. The Federal Government announced its expectation that a "police action" would bring the secessionists back into the fold in a brief time. Available units were assembled on the northern boundaries of the Eastern Region, ready for the quick thrust and capture of the Rebel capital. Civil defense exercises were conducted in the North, but the capital, Lagos, remained unmoved by the threat of war. This unconcerned attitude, as well as the incorrect reading of the force requied, revealed the poor intelligence capability that would hamper Federal efforts throughout the war. The Rebels likewise failed to comprehend the potential for violence. Probably due to ego, they did not believe the Federals had the capability or resolve to defeat them. The Biafrans felt they would win because their struggle was just, and moral courage and perseverence would win the day for them. As order broke down in Nigeria, the Rebels did start building defensive positions and training militias and civil defense personnel; but they were hesitant to invest their limited monies to outfit and prepare an armed force. Again, they believed this was unnecessary because right was on their side. Consequently their soldiers received only superficial training, and there were not enough weapons to arm units. Officers were scarce and often went into battle before they completed their training. This helped keep officer attrition rates high, which consequently debased unit stability and with other factors seriously damaged unit cohesion and integrity. The Federals experienced similar problems with the rapid expansion of their forces. Junior leaders could not be trained fast enough to fill the enlarged army. Inexperi- enced, poorly trained and ineptly led soldiers manifested their lack of professionalism and indiscipline by massacres of innocent civilians and a failure to effectivley execute infantry tactics. The Federals were overly cautious and dependent on artillery in their advances. They would saturate objectives with artillery fire, then move up on to the objective and consolidate their force. Further movement to shell the next objective. 1 Division was especially noteworthy in the cautiousness in its operations. The division would prepare for a mission for six months, gathering resources and training. The offensive would take place, but as soon as the objective was seized, the division would consolidate its gains and take another six months to prepare for the next operation. Had they pursued their successes, there were several times when more aggressive actions might have brought the Federals immediate victory. Examples are the first shelling of Onitsha, the fall of Enugu and the capture of Port Harcourt. Instead, delays allowed the Rebels to recoup from setbacks and establish new defensive positions. This tactical shortcoming stands in contrast to a strategic strength given to the Federals by their leader, Major General Jack Gowon. Conservative and unflappable, Gowon gave stability to the Federals. When the police action strategy proved inadequate, he orchestrated a methodical, forceful strategy which resulted in a blockade of Biafra and her subsequent inability to continue the war. The implications of seige warfare were heightened by the introduction of modern media to the battlefield. While starvation was probably the factor which ultimately caused Biafra to fall, it was also a factor in obtaining world-wide support for the Rebels and gave false hope to its leaders and initially prolonged the war. Both the morality of the seige and the exploitation of the media were key issues of he war. Far more than Gowon's character permeated Federal thought and action, Major General Emeka Ojukwu's personality dominated Rebel activity. He was the single unifying figure in the Biafra story. Ojukwu was able to motivate and direct the Rebels to incredible accomplishments in the face of never ending shortages and constant defeats. He adeptly achieved tactical successes, but he failed to implement a strategic plan that could bring victory. a. He accurately saw the potential of the Midwest Invasion and introduced bombers to the war, but he failed to comprehend the long term effects of both actions. b. He capitalized on airlift to sustain Biafra after losing his sea lines of communcations. c. He realized the tactical deficiencies of the Federal Army but ignored those of his own army, and he failed to resort to all out guerrilla warfare while his people still had the means and will to resist. d. Finally, he hoped that if he held Biafra long enough, the Federals would become frustrated and give up. Unfortunately, Ojukwu underestimated the Federal reslove in relation to Biafra's ability to hold out. The Federal learning curve caught up with him when the Nigerian Army took advantage of their successes without consolidating their gains from November 1969 to January 1970. Ojukwu failed to understand that obstinancy on both sides meant the war would be resolved on the battlefield and not by other means such as negotiations. This last point highlights a shortfall for both sides, unity of command or purpose. On the Federal side, the three divisions operated independently, competing among themselves for men and materiels. This allowed the Rebels to use their interior position to advantage. Ojukwu shifted resources from front to front based on the most urgent threat. This worked well until the Federals launched their final coordinated attack. On the Rebel side, unity of command was lost because of the fear and suspicion that seized Biafra. While fighting the Federals, Ojukwu also had to maintain his position. To do this, he set the military and civilian leaders against each other. By making each weaker, he solidified his hold on power, but the resulting political infighting greatly detracted from the war effort. A major lesson of the Nigerian Civil War was that technology must fit the situation. The airplane had significant importance in Nigeria. Jet aircraft represented tremendous psychological and destructive capacities not seen before in Black Africa. Yet the MIG's and Ilyushin's could not stop the gunrunners or close Uli Air Strip. On the other hand, the use of reconnaissance helicopters forced a halt to military activities, and Count von Rosen's Minicons virtually cut off oil from the Midwestern Region in the later stages of the war. In the same way, French support in 1968 showed how the right materiels (in this case small arms, ammunition and anti-tank weapons) could turn the war into a stalemate and temporarily alter the balance of power, so that the Biafrans went on the offensive. The French support also demonstrated how (by Western standards) relatively small amounts of war materiels could still critically affect the battlefield equilibrium in the wars of developing nations. In closing, one point needs to be reviewed. The Biafrans fought for more than two and a half years against a numerically and materielly superior force. During that time, shortages of critical items abounded, mass starvation occurred, Federal incursions reduced Biafra to one tenth of its original size, and paranoid fear of extermination was rampant. Corruption and political infighting grew. The gravity of the situation seems incomprehensible, yet the Rebels fought on with what was generally regarded as higher morale than their adversaries. In the end the most significant lesson of the Nigerian Civil War may be the strength and flexibility of the indomitable human spirit. END NOTES INTRODUCTION 1. Frederick Forsyth, The Biafra Story, (Baltimore: Penquin Books, 1969) p. 7. CHAPTER 1 1. Colin Legum and John Drysdale, Africa Contemporary Record 1968-1969 (London: Africa Research Limited, 1969), p. 2. 2. Ibid., p. 3. 3. John Hatch, Nigeria: Seeds of Disaster, (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1970), pp. 141-3. 4. John R. Sullivan, Breadless Biafra, (Dayton: Pflaum Press, 1969), p. 86. 5. Legum, op. cit., p. 4 6. Ibid., p. 5. 7. Ibid., p. 5. 8. Ibid., p. 5-6. 9. General Olusegun Obasanjo, My Command, (London: Heinemann, 1980), p. xi. 10. Billy J. Dudley, Instability and Political Order: Politics and Crisis in Nigeria, (Ibadan: Ibadan University Press, 1973), p. 88. 11. Zdenek Cervenka, The Nigerian War, 1967-1970, (Frankfurt: Bernard and Graefe Verlag fur Wehrwesen, 1971), p. 131. 12. Dudley, op. cit., p. 88. 13. Harold D. Nelson, Ed., Nigeria: A Country Study, 4th Ed., (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982) p. 243. 14. Charles Lewis Taylor and Michael C. Hudson, World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972), pp, 34-47. In a compilation of various indicators, this work shows how little Nigeria stressed its military in 1965. Examples: Click here to view image 15. Nelson, op. cit., p. 243. 16. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 134. 17. Ibid., p. 133. 18. Ibid., p. 138. 19. Quoted by Robin Luckham, The Nigerian Military, (Cambridge: University Press, 1971), pp. 32-33. 20. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 134. 21. Time, October 14, 1966. pp. 44-47. CHAPTER 2 1. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 138. 2. Neville Brown, "The Nigerian Civil War," Military Review, vol. 48, October 1968, p. 27. 3. Ibid., p. 28. 4. A. A. Madiebo, The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War, (Enugu: Fourth Division Publishers, 1980), p. 9. 5. Brown, op. cit., p. 27. 6. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 139. 7. Ibid., p. 139. 8. Ibid., p. 139. 9. Joseph Okpaku (Ed.), Nigeria: Dilemma of Nationhood, (New York: The Third Press, 1972), pp. 293-294. 10. Sir Robert Thompson (Ed.), War in Peace, (New York: Harmony Books, 1982), p. 159. 11. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 139. 12. John De St. Jorre, The Nigerian Civil War, (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1972), pp. 150-151. 13. Brown, op. cit., p. 25. 14. Ibid., p. 26. 15. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 140. 16. Time, January 26, 1970, p. 18. 17. Madiebo, op. cit., p. 118. 18. Time, August 2, 1968, p. 25. 19. Rolf Steiner, The Last Adventurer, (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1978), p. 87. 20. Brown, op. cit., p. 26. 21. Raph Uwechue, Reflections on the Nigerian Civil War, (New York: Africana Publishing Corporation, 1971), p. 8. 22. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 151. 23. Sir Rex Niven, The War of Nigerian Unity 1967-1970, (Totowa: Rowman and Littlefield, 1971), p. 132. CHAPTER 3 1. Colonel R. A. Adebayo quoted by Fola Oyewole, Reluctant Rebel, (London: Rex Collings, 1975), Introduction. 2. Obasanjo, op. cit., pp. 14-15. 3. Ojukwu quoted by A. A. Madiebo, op cit., p. 19. 4. Story related by Obasanjo, op. cit., p. 12. 5. Madiebo, op. cit., pp. 149-151. 6. Oyewole, op. cit., p. 30. 7. Obasanjo, op. cit., pp. 16-17. 8. New York Times, August 1, 1967, p. 7, col. 1. 9. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 51. 10. New York Times, June 29, 1967, p. 1, col. 3. 11. Quoted by Jimoh Lawal, "NigeriaClass Struggle and the National Question," Nigeria: Dilemma of Nationhood, (New York: The Third Press, 1972), p. 281. 12. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 127. At the start of the war, two thirds of the oil production and virtually all the oil processing facilities were in the secessionist Eastern Region. 13. John De St. Jorre and Fola Oyewole, among others, report the routine travel of senior Nigerian military officers (Ibo) from Benin to the East immediately before the attack. The presumption is clandestine preparations for the assault. 14. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 169. 15. Madiebo, op. cit., p. 157. 16. Niven, op. cit., p. 116. 17. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 169. 18. Madiebo, op. cit., p. 158. 19. Oyewole, op. cit., pp.42-44. 20. Time, September 1, 1967, p. 20. 21. New York Times, September 20, 1967, p. 6, col. 3. 22. Elechi Amadi, Sunset in Biafra, (London: Heinemann, 1973), p. 48. 23. Oyewole, op. cit., p. 77. 24. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 172. CHAPTER 4 1. Gowon reportedly maintained a copy of Carl Sandburg's Lincoln biography, The War Years, on his desk later in the war. Time, August 23, 1968, p. 27. 2. Raph Uwechue, op. cit., p. 197. 3. Time, January 26, 1970, p. 22. 4. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 273. 5. Even when they went to the Russians for capital equipment, the Nigerians paid cash. 6. Obasanjo, op. cit., p. 19. 7. Ibid., p. 19. 8. New York Times, September 28, 1967, p. 12, col. 3; September 30, 1967, p. 21, col. 7; October 1, 1967, p. 8, col. 1. 9. Obasanjo, op. cit., p. 20. 10. Madiebo, op. cit., p. 175. 11. Bruce Hilton, Highly Irregular, (London, The Macmillan Company, 1969), p. 127. Oyewole (op. cit. p. 128) notes that when Umuahia was later captured by the Federals, the Biafrans spoke of the govenment as "decentralized." 12. Michael A. Samueli (Ed.), The Nigeria-Biafra Conflict, (Washington: The Center for Strategy and International Studies, Georgetown University, 1969), p. 19. 13. New York Times, September 23, 1967, p. 10, col. 4. 14. Obasanjo, op. cit., p. 20. 15. Forsyth, op. cit., p. 123. 16. Obasanjo, op. cit., p. 43. 17. Brown, op. cit., p. 30. 18. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 61. 19. Brown, op. cit., p. 31. 20. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 188. 21. Ibid., pp. 188-189. 22. Time, October 4, 1968, p. 36. 23. Obasanjo, op. cit., p. 47. 24. New York Times, October 9, 1967, p. 11, col. 1. Lester A. Sobel (Ed.), Facts on File Yearbook, (New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1968), p. 507. 25. Madiebo, op. cit., pp. 191-192. 26. New York Times, November 3, 1967, p. 11, col. 1. 27. Madiebo, op. cit., p. 196. 28. Oyewole, op. cit., p. 85. 29. Niven, op. cit., p. 123. 30. Obasanjo, op. cit., p. 50. 31. Time, May 31, 1968, p. 31. Sir Rex Niven, op. cit., p. 127, points out that Adekunle may have wanted to add to the supply and health problems the Rebels were already experiencing. 32. The London Times among other sources declared that the war was militarily won. 33. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 257. CHAPTER 5 1. Uwechue, op. cit., p. 133. 2. Ntieyong U. Akpan, The Struggle for Succession 1966-1970. (London: Frank Cass, 2nd Edition, 1976), p. 25-26. 3. Ibid., p. 92. 4. Ibid., p. 92-93. 5. Oyewole, op. cit., p. 126. 6. Madiebo, op. cit., p. 174. 7. Ibid., p. 171. 8. Oyewole, op. cit., p. 127. 9. Madiebo, op. cit., p. 210. 10. Amadi, op. cit., p. 143. A. A. Madiebo argued that this conceptually is the reason the Biafrans were so unprepared for war. They did not want to take on the expensive process of outfitting their army because they felt that "determination" and "will power" were all that were needed to secure their just cause. Madiebo, op. cit., p. 108. 11. Quoted by Akpan, op. cit., p. 95. 12. Ibid., p. 95-95. 13. Madiebo, op. cit., p. 173. 14. Akpan, op. cit., pp. 98-100. CHAPTER 6 1. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 271. 2. Time, October 4, 1968, p. 36. 3. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 64. 4. Oyewole, op. cit., p. 64. 5. This morale was based in large measure on the belief that extermination was the alternative to the fight for survival for the Rebels. Biafran units were often formed on short notice, decimated and deactivated or incorporated into other units constituted for a new emergency. That the Biafrans were successful in the incredible disorganization can only be attributed to their intense motivation and front line leadership. Note: a) The Biafrans commissioned 10,000 officers during the war of which about 3,000 were killed (Oyewole, op. cit., Introduction, page unnumbered). Even with this high incidence of officer casualties, the Rebels displayed the suspicious distrust of their officer corps noted earlier. b) Morale was high in front line units in spite of large number of casualties. In its first six months of existence, 4 Commando Brigade (led during that time by the mercenary Rolf Steiner) sustained 8,400 killed, wounded and missing in action in a unit with an average strength of 5,000 soldiers (Steiner, op. cit., p. 119). 6. Michael Mok, Biafra Journal, (New York: Time-Life Books, 1969), p. 64. 7. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 54. 8. Obasanjo, op. cit., p. 24. 9. Ibid., pp. 56-57. 10. Hilton, op. cit., p. 125. 11. Oyewole, op. cit., p. 87. 12. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 79. 13. Akpan, op. cit., p. 191. Ojukwu noted these issues in a memorandum to the president of the Ivory Coast, but he claimed the improved leadership was due to an infusion of foreign officers to direct the Nigerian forces. 14. A. H. M. Kirk-Green, Crisis and Conflict in Nigeria, vol. II, (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 112. 15. Peter Schwab (Ed.), Biafra, (New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1971), p. 118. CHAPTER 7 1. New York Times, July 10, 1967, p. 1, col. 4. 2. New York Times, October 8, 1967, p. 5, col. 1. 3. Hilton, op. cit., p. 74. 4. Time, August 23, 1968, p. 28. 5. Cervenka, op. cit., p. 154. 6. Brown, op. cit., p. 26. 7. Schwab, op. cit., p. 113. 8. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 336-337. 9. Time, June 6, 1969, p. 38. 10. Schwab, op. cit., p. 79. 11. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 338. De St. Jorre notes that von Rosen's air force accomplished the opposite of his intension. The Federals increased their bombing and the pace of the war. 12. Ibid., pp. 315-316. 13. Brown, op. cit., p. 26. 14. De St. Jorre, op. cit., p. 318. 15. Madiebo, op. cit., p. 284. SELECTED BIBILIGRAPHY A. Books and Special Reports Ademoyega, Adewale. Why We Struck. Ibadan: Evans Brothers (Nigergia Publishers) Limited, 1981. Expanation and history of the coup attempt in January 1966 by one of the key participants. This book gives a feel for the dynamics that led to the coup, the personalities and motivations of the plotters, and the naivete which doomed the plot from its beginning. Used for background information, this work is heavily biased, almost a complete defense of the plotters. Akpan, Ntieyoug U. The Struggle For Succession 1966-1970. 2nd Ed. London: Frank Cass, 1976. Author was chief secretary of the government and head of the Civil Service of Eastern Nigeria (later "Biafra") from 1966-1970. This book provided an insider's view of the operations of the Biafran government. Used as a principal source. Alade, R. B. The Broken Bridge. Ibadan: The Caxton Press, 1975. Background reading only. Amadi, Elechi. Sunset in Biafra. London: Heinemann Educational Books, Limited, 1973. An autobiography by a noted Nigerian novelist. The easy, direct style made this book enjoyable to read. The work was used to verify certain concepts or conclusions through the review of specific events detailed in the book. Excellent source of information on reestablishing control of former Rebel areas. Balogun, Ola. The Tragic Years: Nigeria in Crisis 1966-1970. Benin City: Ethiope Publishing Corporation. 1973. Review of Civil War years; used as back-up source for this paper. Cervenka, Zdenek. The Nigerian War 1967-1970. Frankfurt: Bernard and Graefe Verlag fur Wherwesen, 1971. Comprehensive research document on the Civil War, published shortly after the conclusion. This work is objective and an appropriate starting point for researchers. It contains an excellent bibliography and was published in English. Collis, Robert. Nigeria in Conflict. London: Secker and Warburg, 1970. A pro-Federal account of the war, this book is sketchy and greatly biased. Used for comparison. Critchley, Julian. Crisis Paper No. 7: the Nigerian Civil War: The Defeat of Biafra. London: Atlantic Information Centre for Teachers, 1970. This pamphlet outlines the events of the Civil War providing a chronology with brief accompanying analyses. Included are a wide selection of editorial quotes on the fall of Biafra from newspapers around the world. De St. Jorre, John. The Nigerian Civil War. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1972. Thorough, readable book by jounalist who spent extensive time in Nigeria before, during and after the war. He was objectives in his pronouncements and his detailed research was reflected in his well substantiated conclusions. Heavily used this reference. Dudley, Billy J. Instability and Political Order: Politics and Crisis in Nigeria. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press, 1973. Forsyth, Frederick. The Biafra Story. Baltimore: Penguin books, 1969. Interesting, but biased. Written while the war was in progress to tell the Biafra side. Gold, Herbert. Biafra Goodbye. San Francisco: TwoWindows Press, 1970. Short book recounting the author's personal involvement with Biafra. Polished work which often slips to stream of consciousness. Hatch, John. Nigeria: Seeds of Disaster. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1970. Review of factors leading to the Civil War. Excellent recapitualtion of causes for serious researcher. Higham, Robin. ed. Civil Wars in th 20th Century. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1972. Established context for the war in Nigeria in light of various aspects of civil warfare in this centruy. Hilton, Bruce. Highly Irregular. London: The Macmillan Company, 1968. Biography of the mercy missions, including proposed airlift by author. Concise background to the causes of conflict. Documents the suspicious nature of Biafran officials. Kirk-Greene, A.H.M., ed. Crisis and Conflict in Nigeria. 2 vols. London: Oxford University Press, 1971. Comprehensive collection of source documents on the Nigerian Civil War. Important reference due to selection of texts and profound analysis in both volumes. Legum, Colin, and Drysdale, John, ed. Africa Contemporary Record 1968-1969. London: Africa Research Limited, 1969. Best synopsis of factors leading to the Civil War. . Africa Contemporary Record 1969-1970. London: Africa Research Limited, 1970. Luckham, Robin. The Nigerian Military. Cambridge: University Press, 1971. Detailed analysis of the development of the Nigerian military during the period 1960 to 1967. Luckham outlined the factors which put the military in a position to seize power, examined both coups and studied the military as a social system and political entity. Exceptional research work. Madiebo, A.A. The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War. Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers, 1980. Major General Madiebo was commander of the Biafran Army from September 1967 to January 1970. He offered a unique, knowledgeable perspective characterized by candor and reason. His insider's view made this a major source. Mok, Michael. Biafra Journal. New York: Time-Life Books, 1969. Popular literature by a photo journalist who covered the Biafran side of the war. Admittedly biased, yet moving account of life in the horror of the war in Biafra. Nelson, Harold D., et. al. Nigeria: A Country Study. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982. Outstanding reference work. Niven, Sir Rex. The War of Nigerian Unity 1967-1970. Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield, 1971. Relatively objective overview despite pro-Federal orientation of book. Nwankwo, Arthur Agwunch and Ifejika, Samuel Udolhukwu. Biafra: The Making of A Nation. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970. Text provides a development of events leading up to the Civil War and a justification for the existence of Biafra. Obasanjo, Olusegun. My Command. London: Heinemann, 1980. Key figure in the post-independence history of Nigeria (Division Commander in war and later military ruler who turned government over to civilian leadership.) Outlines causes of Civil War and its early stages. Obasanjo details events that occurred after he assumed division command until the end of the war. One of the major works about the conflict. Obe, Peter. Nigeria: A Decade of Crises in Pictures. Apapa: Times Press Limited, 1971. Basic picture book with pro-Nigeria (Federal) cant by long time photographer for Lagos Daily Times. Ojukwu, C.O. Biafra. 2 vols. New York: Harper and Row, 1969. Selected speeches by the Biafra head of state. Okpaku, Joseph, ed. Negeria: Dilemma of Nationhood. New York: The Third Press, 1972. Oyediran, Oyeleye, ed. Nigerian Government and Politics Under Military Rule 1966-1979. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979. Oyewole, Fola. Reluctant Rebel. London: Rex Collings, 1975. Autobiography of Civil War experience by a Biafran staff officer. This work has significance because of its first hand insights into the conduct of the war in Biafra. Major source for this paper. Oyewole was released from prison to fight in the war. He returned to prison at the end. A thoughtfully objective account of the Biafran regime and its military operations. Samuels, Michael A., ed. The Nigeria-Biafra Conflict. Washington: The Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, 1969. Minutes from a one-day conference. Highlights the critical concerns of the day. Schabouvka, Henry Ka and Himmelstrand, Ulf. Africa Reports on the Nigerian Crisis. Uppsala, Sweden: The Scandianavian Institute of African Studies, 1978. Primarily tangential information. Study of press responses and attitudes to Nigerian Civil War. Schwab, Peter, ed. Biafra. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1971. Factual reference work recapping media accounts of war. Sobel, Lester A., ed. Facts on File Yearbook 1967. Vol. XXVII. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1969. Steiner, Rolf. The Last Adventurer. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1978. Authobiographical account of noted mercenary's experiences in Biafra, as well as Algeria and the Sudan. Stremlau, John J. The International Politics of the Nigerian Civil War 1967-1970. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973. Salient work on the topic. Sullivan, John R. Breadless Biafra. Dayton: Pflaum Press, 1969, Pro-Biafran publication by jounalist who visited Rebels in 1969. Concise, easy-to-read account of chain of events leading up to war. Taylor, Charles Lewis and Hudson, Michael C. World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972. Thompson, Sir Robert. War in Peace. New York: Harmony Books, 1982. Establishes context of conflicts since the Second World War. Uwechue, Raph. Reflections on the Nigerian Civil War. New York: Africana Publishing Corporation, 1971. Primarily politico-social analysis of Civil War. Objective conclusions about the war considering pro-Biafra reference of author. B. Periodicals Brown, Neville. "The Nigerian Civil War." Military Review, October 1968, pp. 20-31. Grinaldi, J.S. Major, "The Effect of Political Geography on Nigeria's Solidarity." Marine Corps Gazette, July 1969, pp. 50-51. New York Times, 15 January 1966-15 February 1970. Sterling, Claire. "The Self-Defeating Civil War in Nigeria." The Reporter, 10 August 1967, pp. 23-30. Time, 14 October 1966; 1 September 1967; 31 May 1968; 23 August 1968; 4 October 1968; 6 June 1969; 26 January 1970. C. Interviews Becka, Mary, Major, USA. Research Analyst for Western Africa, Defense Intelligence Agency. Arlington. Virginia, March 8, 1984. Hubard, William, Lieutenant Colonel, USA. Current Analyst, Africa Branch, Defense Intelligence Agency. Washington, D.C., October 21, 1983. Isom, William G., Lieutenant Colonel. Director, African Studies, National War College. Washington, D.C., March 9, 1984. Stoakley, William, Dr. (Ph.D., History). Research Analyst for Western Africa, Defense Intelligence Agency. Arlington, Virginia, March 8, 1984. Click here to view image
Extractions: INTRODUCTION This ERA BRIEF seeks to clarify and present the understanding of "resource control" from the perspective of communities and peoples of the Niger Delta. There is now an emerging A TENDENCY TOWARDS proliferation of views and interpretations of "resource control", an issue that is now sweeping the country like wildfire in a hot harmattan afternoon. (The debate may move to Europe and America should the communities and peoples of the Niger Delta so desire DON'T SEE HOW THIS FITS IN). BUT What exactly do the peoples and communities of the Niger Delta mean, when they say they want to "control (their) our resources"? ORIGINS Resource control as a concept has traveled a very long and languid road to its present formulation. In the late 18th and early 19th century it was understood as a struggle by indigenous peoples of the Niger Delta to participate in trade and in the politics of self-government in the region. The principal resource then was "palm oil". The communities and peoples of the area became involved in what would today have been described as a struggle for "resource control and self determination". King William Koko of Nembe, Nana Olomu of Itsekiri and Jaja of Opobo perhaps best exemplify this tendency towards self assertion and a desire not to be under any people or any government especially "foreign".
Entr'@ide Directory of women and children in africa 2952, avenue Lima in Peru - Case Postale - CH-1610Oron-la-Ville defending the rights of the indigenous peoples - 236, avenue http://entraide.sb.free.fr/directory.html
Declarations the oron People made on June 25 th 1999 at oron. individuals concerned with humanand environmental rights and indigenous and minority peoples' rights, to http://www.ndwj.kabissa.org/Declarations/declarations.html
Extractions: NDWJ Home Who we are Declarations Press Release ... Links Niger Delta Women for Justice Beginning with the Ogoni Bill of Rights in 1990, the ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta have declared the intention and determination, to reclaim their human dignity and fundamental rights. These declarations, The Ogoni Bill of Rights, The Kaiama Declaration, Aklaka Declaration of the Egi People, The Oron Bill of Rights, The Warri Accord, Resolutions of the First Urhobo Economic Summit, form the basis for the struggle for self-determination and control of resources by each nationality. Ethnic Declarations of the people of the Niger Delta The First Niger Delta Indigenous Women's Conference for Women of Bayelsa State The Oron Bill of Rights The Ogoni Bill of Rights The Aklaka Declaration ... The Ikwerre Declaration Demands of the First Niger Delta Indigenous Women's Conference for Women of Bayelsa State held at Yenagoa, 25-27th November 1999 A) TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT Conference notes that the Niger Delta People ought to be able to develop themselves and the inability of the people to do this, is as a result of certain inimical laws exiting in Nigeria's various constitutions and other statute books, and the lack of will by the federal government to plough back our resources for our development. Conference therefore calls for:
Extractions: Twist that as you will, every single (modern) American not of Amerind origin can trace their roots, early or late, to an old continent and someone who chose to come to a new world in search of something better, something greater, something freer than what they had left behind. The Mayflower bore the first "immigrants" to these shores. Eventually the thirteen colonies that resulted from that crossing and those that followed would break away in blood and Revolution, and the rest, as they say, is history. But they were all immigrants, those first colonists, and their children who were born in this country were the children of immigrants. It was only 226 years ago that the Declaration of Independence was signed by the founders of the American nation as we know it today. Only 211 years since the first Congress of the United States of America passed the Bill of Rights. This is a young nation, still brash with its youth, and still not so very far away from its immigrant roots.
Bebor Model Nursery And Primary School up by a variety of other peoples in the Ikwerre, Itsekiri, Kalabari, Ndoki, Nembe,oron and Urhobo. and human rights issues facing indigenous communities with http://home.austin.rr.com/dserrins/ogoni.html
Extractions: Bebor Model Nursery and Primary School is located in Bodo City in Gokana Kingdom in the Ogoni region of southeastern Nigeria. The Ogoni are a small minority tribe numbering approximately 500,000 out of a total Nigerian population of more than 120 million. They live on approximately 404 square miles of oil-rich land east of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria. The Ogoni comprise six different kingdoms: Babbe, Eleme, Gokana, Ken-Khana, Nyo-Khana and Tai. Bodo City in Gokana Kingdom is the largest populated settlement in Ogoni while Bori in Ken-Khana Kingdom is the commercial and transportation center of Ogoni. According to Shell Oil's own figures, between 1958 and 1993, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria took 634 million barrels of oil from Ogoni, valued at US$5.2 billion. The Ogoni themselves believe that $30 billion worth of oil has been taken from their land. In spite of their vast oil wealth, the overwhelming majority of Ogonis today still lack electricity and pipe-borne drinking water. Beyond this, their economy which is based overwhelmingly on subsistence farming and fishing has been greatly damaged by the pollution from gas flaring and repeated oil spills and blowouts. The Ogoni first came to worldwide attention in the 1990s. Unwilling any longer to accept fundamental violations of their human rights, the environmental devastation of their homeland or their continued abject poverty despite living on an oil-rich land, Ogoni leaders drafted a charter document outlining their self-determination claims entitled
Untitled Document indigenous peoples had suffered massacres since 1990, and in the indigenous insurrectionin the Niger Delta has been Egi people of 1999, the 1999 oron Bill of http://www.uoguelph.ca/~lbrownhi/
Extractions: International Co-ordinator, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People Much has been written about the terrible human and environmental disasters surrounding the production of crude oil and natural gas in Nigeria. This study is one of the few to focus on the gendered aspects of the petroleum political economy in Africa. As such, it examines the transformation of social relations between rich and poor women and men and the distinctively gendered features of new kinds of solidarity and fightback. Over the past four decades of oil exploitation, a kind of communal symbiosis of gender was broken down by deals through which certain men appropriated communal land, the fundamental basis of indigenous people=s livelihood and community. These men illegitimately sold common property rights to foreign and state corporations. Through such 'male deals', defined below, the state and corporations have divided communities and devastated the ecosystem. Starting in 1980, and continuing through today, the dispossessed women and men of the Nigerian oilbelt have formed new social relationships that reach across gender lines to oppose oil corporations' exploitation. These 'gendered class alliances' have contributed to the success of community campaigns against corporate oil extraction and have resulted in the construction of inter-ethnic alliances.
Extractions: This list includes links to websites made by Nigerians, on Nigeria and on Nigerians. I'm collecting this link list mainly because of my own interest. Still I hope it finds some other users too. One target group I hope find this list useful are people like me: those who want to know the country, maybe visit it. Also I hope the Nigerian children and other Nigerians in diaspora could use this to stay in contact with their homeland. As I am studying media studies, I have included some links to pages that have material I don't quite agree with. This is for the purpose to not only know about Nigeria but also to study the image Nigeria has in the net. So please bear in mind that some pages tell more about their author than about their topic. Note that I use the Finnish system in dates: dd.mm.yy. For example 1.3.99 means first of march. Send your suggestions and comments to email@example.com . Thank you for visiting. See also Riikka's home
Cultural Policy In Nigeria problem is also important, as most indigenous languages do process of defining theidentity of Nigerian peoples and individuals oron Museum oron Akwa Ibom State. http://www.wwcd.org/policy/clink/Nigeria.html
Extractions: How This Document Was Prepared Nigeria is one of the largest (923,768 km2) and geographically, socially and culturally most diversified African countries. It is the most populous country of Africa (the population estimated at 110 million in 1990), and potentially one of the richest. Richly endowed with human and natural resources, benefiting of a large internal market, Nigeria is, however, highly dependant on external economic sector, particularly oil revenues (93 per cent of exports in 1989). The domestic industry is import dependant. More then 60 per cent of population is employed in agriculture, which provides the bulk of Nigeria's food and raw materials supply and non-oil exports. Rich resources, large internal market and human potentials did not prevent Nigeria from being a low income country with GDP per capita declining from about 1,000 US dollars in 1980 to about 250 dollars in 1990. The world oil crisis, poor agricultural development, and internal civil war are usually cited as the main reasons for such an economic decline.