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The Nigerian Civil War

In: Social Issues

Submitted By spacle2xl
Words 1337
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Introduction
The Nigerian Civil War, 1967 – 1970, was an ethnic and political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the South-eastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed republic of Biafra. The war became notorious for the starvation in some of the besieged war-bound regions, and the consequent claims of genocide made by the largely Igbo people of those regions.

Causes of the Conflict
The conflict was the result of serious tensions, both ethnic and religious, between the different peoples of Nigeria. Like most modern African nations, Nigeria was an artificial construct, put together by agreement between European powers, paying little regard to historical African boundaries or population groups. The Nigeria which received independence from Britain in 1960 had a population of 60 million people of nearly 300 differing ethnic and tribal groups.
Of the ethnic groups that made up Nigeria, the largest were the largely Muslim Hausa in the north, the Yoruba in the half-Christian, half-Muslim south-west, and the Igbo in the predominantly Christian south-east. At independence a conservative political alliance had been made between the leading Hausa and Igbo political parties, which ruled Nigeria from 1960 to 1966. This alliance excluded the western Yoruba people. The well-educated Igbo people were considered by many to be the main beneficiaries of this alliance, taking most of the top jobs and leading business opportunities in the Nigerian federation.
The Yoruba westerners had supported a left-leaning, reformist party, the Action Group, which was antipathetic to the conservative northern Muslim bloc. A "palace coup" by conservative elements in the west, led to the formation of a more conservative Yoruba party, the NNDP, prepared to go into alliance with the Hausa northerners. This new political alliance excluded the Igbo-dominated East from power, and...

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