Biafraball was a historical countryball located in Africa.

History

Biafraball, born as a 8-icon.png 8ball, was adopted colnized by UK-icon.png UKball and more recently, Nigeria-icon.png Nigeriaball. Biafra was known to have huge stocks of oil reserves and so Britain wanted to protect his former colonies for economic purposes.

In 1966, a military coup erupted where southern military officers executed 30 political officials, including the Nigerian Prime Minister and the northern premier. In revenge, northern military officers staged a counter-coup, killing the masterminds.

From June through October 1966, pogroms in the North killed an estimated 8,000 to 30,000 Igbo, half of them children, and caused more than a million to two million to flee to the Eastern Region. 29 September 1966, was considered the worst day; because of massacres, it was called 'Black Thursday'.

Ethnomusicologist Charles Keil, who was visiting Nigeria in 1966, recounted:

The Federal Military Government also laid the groundwork for the economic blockade of the Eastern Region which went into full effect in 1967.

Breakaway

On 27 May 1967, Gowon proclaimed the division of Nigeria into twelve states. This decree carved the Eastern Region in three parts: South Eastern State, Rivers State, and East Central State. Now the Igbos, concentrated in the East Central State, would lose control over most of the petroleum, located in the other two areas.

On May 30, a colonel of the Nigerian miitary and also a governor of the Eastern region, Odumegwu Ojukwu declared the independence of Biafra from Nigeria, with himself as president.

The Federal Military Government immediately placed an embargo on all shipping to and from Biafra—but not on oil tankers. Biafra quickly moved to collect oil royalties from oil companies doing business within its borders. When Shell-BP acquiesced to this request at the end of June, the Federal Government extended its blockade to include oil. The blockade, which most foreign actors accepted, played a decisive role in putting Biafra at a disadvantage from the beginning of the war.

Although the very young nation had a chronic shortage of weapons to go to war, it was determined to defend itself. Although there was much sympathy in Europe and elsewhere, only five countries (Tanzania, Gabon, Côte d'Ivoire, Zambia, and Haiti) officially recognised the new republic. Britain supplied amounts of heavy weapons and ammunition to the Nigerian side because of its desire to preserve the country it had created. The Biafra side received arms and ammunition from France, even though the French government denied sponsoring Biafra. An article in Paris Match of 20 November 1968 claimed that French arms were reaching Biafra through neighbouring countries such as Gabon. The heavy supply of weapons by Britain was the biggest factor in determining the outcome of the war.

Several peace accords were held, with the most notable one held at Aburi, Ghana (the Aburi Accord). There were different accounts of what took place in Aburi. Ojukwu accused the federal government of going back on their promises while the federal government accused Ojukwu of distortion and half-truths. Ojukwu gained agreement to a confederation for Nigeria, rather than a federation. He was warned by his advisers that this reflected a failure of Gowon to understand the difference and, that being the case, predicted that it would be reneged upon.[citation needed]

When this happened, Ojukwu regarded it as both a failure by Gowon to keep to the spirit of the Aburi agreement and lack of integrity on the side of the Nigerian Military Government in the negotiations toward a united Nigeria. Gowon's advisers, to the contrary, felt that he had enacted as much as was politically feasible in fulfillment of the spirit of Aburi. The Eastern Region was very ill equipped for war, outmanned and outgunned by the Nigerians. Their advantages included fighting in their homeland, support of most Easterners, determination, and use of limited resources.

The UK, which still maintained the highest level of influence over Nigeria's highly valued oil industry through Shell-BP, and the Soviet Union supported the Nigerian government, especially by military supplies.[citation needed]

The Nigerian Army in 1967 was completely unready for war. The Nigerian Army had no training or experience of war on the operational level, still being primarily an internal security force. Most Nigerian officers were more concerned with their social lives than military training, spending a disproportionate amount of their time on partying, drinking, hunting and playing games. Social status in the Army was extremely important and officers devoted an excessive amount of time to ensure their uniforms were always immaculate while there was a competition to own the most expensive automobiles and homes. The killings and purges perpetuated during the two coups of 1966 had killed most of the Sandhurst graduates as by July 1966 all of the officers holding the rank above colonel had been either killed or discharged while only 5 officers holding the rank of lieutenant colonel were still alive and on duty. Almost all of the junior officers had received their commissions after 1960 and most were heavily dependent the more experienced NCOs to provide the necessary leadership. The same problems that afflicted the Federal Army also affected the Biafran Army even more whose officer corps were based around former Federal Igbo officers. The shortage of experienced officers was a major problem for the Biafran Army, made worse by a climate of paranoia and suspicion within Biafra as Ojukwu believed that other former Federal officers were plotting against him.

Despite the Biafran Army being poorly trained and lack modern weapons, they're still determined to fight. Some European countries even supported Biafra, most notably France, who gave them German captured weapons from World War II and also supplies such as ammunition. Some Europeans fought as mercenaries, such as Rolf Steiner from Germany, who commanded the 4th Commando Brigade of Biafra.

However, the Nigerian Army began making offensives deep into Biafran territory. They also started a blockade, which starved the population, most notably children.

Gallery


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