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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0102 MS 380252
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies
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Full title: Biafra
Date(s): Created 1968-1971
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 file
Name of creator(s): Unknown


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Republic of Biafra was a short-lived secessionist state, established in 1967 by the Ibo (Igbo) people of south-eastern Nigeria. Biafra proclaimed its independence on 30 May 1967 after the Islamic Hausa and Fulani peoples, who dominated the Nigerian federal government, massacred between 10,000 and 30,000 of the Christian Ibo. Lt. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (military governor of the Eastern region of Nigeria, 1966-1967) led the new secessionist state of Biafra, 1967-1970. The country took its name from the Bight of Biafra (an arm of the Atlantic Ocean). It comprised roughly the East-Central, South-Eastern and river states of the federation of Nigeria, where the Ibo predominated. Biafra's original capital was Enugu, but Aba, Umuahia and Owerri served successively as provincial capitals after the Nigerian forces captured Enugu. Civil war followed the proclamation of independence, beginning in June 1967. Nigeria imposed economic sanctions on Biafra from the start of the secession, and by 1968 Biafra had lost its seaports and become landlocked. Starvation and disease followed. The Biafrans surrendered on 15 January 1970. Estimates of mortality range from 500,000 to several million.


Scope and content/abstract:

Press cuttings, articles and papers relating to Biafra, 1968-1971.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Unpublished handlist for the South African Materials Project (SAMP) arranged by MS number. For an alphabetical listing of all SAMP materials (including material deposited at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies) refer to The South African Materials Project, compiled by Brian Willan, edited by Patricia M Larby (Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, London, 1980).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated as part of the Southern African Materials Project 1973-1976, organised by the Centre for International and Area Studies.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The School of Oriental and African Studies also holds the Nigerian Civil War Collection (Ref: MS 321463) and papers of the Committee for Peace in Nigeria (Ref: MCF/CPN).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
15 May 2000

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