Article on the BBC about how the state of emergency in Nigeria has led to a TRIPLING of civilian deaths by Boko Haram attacks rather than reducing those attacks. It seems the state of emergency has made Boko Haram even more violent.
There is an utterly pathetic quote in there by a UK military officer who recounts a Nigerian officer asking him whether the British government could sell Nigeria a machine which could automatically identify whether a car contains a terrorist.
“I was asked by a senior commander if we could sell them the machine that can tell if a car driving down the road contains a terrorist…I tried to tell them that such a machine doesn’t exist, but then they just thought we were hiding it from them”.
Nigerian leader Major-General Gowon Interviewed After the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970
Nigeria’s federal leader Major-General Gowon speaks after the end of the Nigerian war on his nemesis – Biafran leader Chukwuemeka. Gowon said: “He didn’t do a Hitler. Ojukwu ran away and left these poor people that he led into such suffering…just left them…I hope his conscience will allow him to rest. God knows.”
Great BBC report about the end of the Nigerian civil war in 1970. Ukpabi Asika assumed control as administrator of the East Central State at the war’s end. This video analyses the awesome challenges he faced in trying to reconstruct an area destroyed by war, and people impoverished by a food blockade. Instructive that he said that the people he governed were “not expected to behave as defeated people”.
Great video by Sahara TV interviewing Al-Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndege who visited Maiduguri in Borno State. Due to Boko Haram activities in the the state’s , and the Joint Task Force’s (JTF) heavy presence, the state has been heavily militarised.
While residents welcome the JTF’s presence, daily life has been badly affected with normal routine civilian life being heavily disrupted by fighting between Boko Haram and the JTF, JTF curfews between 9pm and 6am. However residents are so frightened that they do not leave their homes before 11am since gun battles between the JTF and Boko haram tend to rage in the early morning.
Some residents also accuse the JTF of indiscriminately arresting civilians whom they suspect of being Boko Haram members, and of summarily executing suspects. In their defence, the JTF say it is next to impossible for them to distinguish civilians from Boko Haram members since Boko Haram members might live with family members who are not members.
Article by Chinua Achebe in today’s UK Guardian claiming that Nigeria is still haunted by the ghost of the Biafra-Nigeria civil war. Achebe makes a lot of claims, including:
*Nigerian troops and government were fighting a genocidal war against Igbos. He spoke of “the diabolical disregard for human life seen during the war” which was no”due to the northern military elite’s jihadist or genocidal obsession”.
*Yoruba leader Obafemi Awolowo advocated starving the Igbos and economically punishing them as the Yorubas were engaged in rivalry with the Igbos who were their economic competitors.
*The Nigerian government deliberately impoverished Igbos by decimating their bank accounts after the war, and banning the importation of items that were crucial to Igbo commerce.
*Igbo deaths outnumbered Nigerian deaths by 20:1. Igbo casualties were 2 million, while Nigerian casualties were 100,000.
*Igbos have not been reintegrated into Nigeria – contrary to the claims of the Nigerian government.
Is Achebe right? Are his claims misleading, accurate or only telling part of the story?
Liberia’s ex-President Charles Taylor has been sentenced to 50 years in jail by the UN war crimes court in the Hague (Special Court for Sierra Leone). Judge Lussick passed the sentence. Taylor is the first Head of State to be sentenced to jail by a war crimes court.
Excellent video clips of the Nigerian civil war featuring archive footage such as:
*An interview with Belgian mercenary Marc Goosens.
*An interview with Ojukwu.
*Discussion of the weapons disparity between federal troops and Biafran troops.
*An interview with a South African mercenary called Major Williams.
*The end of the war – Ojukwu’s departure, Effiong’s radio broadcast and ceremony at Dodan Barracks to end the war. I thought the sight of Effiong meeting Gowon for the first time in three years and telling Gowon he was “reporting for re-appointment and redeployment” was poignant.
*The end of war broadcast at Dodan Barracks by Gowon, in the presence of Colonel Obasanjo. I notice that Gowon very pointedly refused to call the Biafrans “rebels”, did not use words like “surrender”, and spoke of Biafran “acceptance” of one Nigeria.
An American soldier in Afghanistan went on a killing spree, going from house to house and killing 16 Afghan civilians who were sleeping in their beds. He apparently then calmly returned to his base and turned himself in.
One of the most emotional and harrowing films about child soldiers and the civil war in Liberia. The film’s “actors” include actual child soldiers. For those who want a realistic depiction of the brutality of Liberia’s civil war – watch this emotive film.
Great documentary by Al Jazeera on African soldiers who fought in Burma against the Japanese in World War 2. Includes interviews with Nigerian soldiers of the campaign. I believe Brigadier Babafemi Ogundipe also fought in the Burma campaign.