The war begins

Northern massacres of Igbos lead to mass immigration and secession

After a mass pogrom of Igbos in the north and a mass movement of Igbos back to the East would lead to Odumegwu Ojukwu, the premier governor in the east, to call for secession.


Unsatisfied with the peace talks, however, Ojukwu declares independence of the Republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967. Nigeria rejects the declaration of independence, sparking a bloody war from January 1967 to July 1970.


The following states recognized Biafra as a nation: Republic of Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Zambia.

Other nations provided support and assistance to the Republic of Biafra: Israel, France, Portugal, Rhodesia and South Africa.

Ojukwu Declares Independence

Ojuwku declares independence of Biafra from Nigeria on May 30, 1967.

Fellow countrymen and women, you, the people of Eastern Nigeria: Conscious of the supreme authority of Almighty God over all mankind, of your duty to yourselves and posterity; Aware that you can no longer be protected in your lives and in your property by any Government based outside Eastern Nigeria.

Here is the full declaration of independence

With oil interest in Nigeria, the U.K. sent arms to the Nigerian government.

The U.S. appeared to stay neutral but helped Biafra through the Red Cross.