5 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BIAFRA-NIGERIA WAR
Did you know that Muhammad Ali supported Biafra? Check out our blog on prominent Black American figures, like Ali, who supported Biafra.
- In 1968, renowned rock legend Jimi Hendrix, alongside folk singer Joan Baez, performed at a Biafra war benefit show in Manhattan, performing for free in order to raise money for refugees of the conflict. Photo Joan Baez and Jimi Hendrix chat between acts at a Biafran Relief Benefit. https://www.theguardian.com
- The Biafran side predominantly engineered and produced their own weapons and only received non-political Joint Church Aid assistance. Meanwhile, Nigeria received assistance from both Russia (then the Soviet Union) and the North-Atlantic Alliance, particularly Nigeria’s former colonial master, Britain, as well as from much of Muslim North Africa. Egyptian pilots flew Russian-made MIGs against the breakaway enclave, which had no air force of its own. https://www.jstor.org/
- During the war between 500,000 and 3,000,000 refugees fled the county.
- John Lennon rejected an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) title from the queen in protest of Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria Biafra war. Britain heavily backed Nigerian forces to support British oil interests. https://www.bbc.co.uk/
- In 1969, Biafra appealed unsuccessfully for support from the Organisation of African Unity, as member states generally did not want to support internal secessionist movements. Nevertheless, some African countries, such as Tanzania, Zambia, Gabon, and Côte d’Ivoire, provided support. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4185729
Read more about the Biafra war here.