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Victimhood and the Nigerian Civil War

Adeyinka Makinde

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The concatenation of violence in Nigeria from 1966 to 1970, a train of events which involved communal fighting, army mutinies and a civil war, is correctly viewed as a period during which the ethnic Igbos of the country’s south east bore the overwhelming brunt of the suffering. They died at the hands of rampaging mobs of their fellow citizens, as well as through the munitions employed by the Federal armed forces. They were also the victims of mass starvation. This suffering was of course a focus of Western news reporting of the conflict and of the machinery of propaganda employed by the secessionist state of Biafra.

Today, their plight is still referred to by pro-secessionist Igbo activists, as well as by the wider community of Igbos through the commemoration of events such as the Asaba Massacre of October 1967. But there is another often neglected side to the story, that is, of .....