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Britain's Injurious Peace Games in the Nigerian Civil War, 1967-1970

On October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained her independence from the British colonial rule. On July 6, 1967, the country was engulfed in a civil war fought between the Federal Military Government of Nigeria, led by Major-General Yakubu Gowon, and the defunct Republic of Biafra, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. Les mer
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On October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained her independence from the British colonial rule. On July 6, 1967, the country was engulfed in a civil war fought between the Federal Military Government of Nigeria, led by Major-General Yakubu Gowon, and the defunct Republic of Biafra, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. As the former colonial power, and Nigeria's closest partner in the Commonwealth and, indeed, in the Western world, the outbreak of the war in 1967 presented Britain with a painful dilemma.

Throughout the war, Britain desired to help promote peaceful negotiation of the conflict in a way that allowed her still to maintain strong influence with the Nigerian government. The British government tried to keep close contact with both sides in an effort to bring them together. This book interrogates how the British officialdom attempted to promote atmosphere of peace during the Nigerian civil war and how such attempts failed to yield concrete result. The British-backed peace initiatives experienced a backlash owing to the massive pressures mounted against her military support to the Nigerian government. While seeking the earliest possible peaceful solution to the war, the British government believed that it must in its own interest maintain close relationship with the Nigerian government so long as it has a reasonable prospect of bringing the war to a successful conclusion or risk jeopardizing its interests in Nigeria in jeopardy.

While much work on the Nigerian Civil War has treated the major causes of the war and even added some global perspectives to it, this book is the first of its kind that studies British diplomatic involvement in the war. Its main targets are students of diplomatic history, diplomats, professional researchers and the general public.

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