Conflict and Intervention in Africa: Nigeria, Angola, Zaïre by Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

By Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

An summary of clash and intervention within the 3 African states of Nigeria, Angola and Zaire. subject matters lined comprise the self-determination, territorial integrity and the inviolability of post-colonial borders. The impact of nations akin to the united states, USSR and Cuba also are tested.

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To the contrary, the Nigerian Civil War continued to intensify in every dimension until the federals achieved total victory in January 1970. The final point raised by the British government to justify its arms supplies to Lagos was to check the growth of Soviet military cooperation with the federal government. As we have already stated, the Soviet Union became involved in the Nigerian conflict in early August 1967, after Britain (and the United States) refused to sell a squadron of fighter aircraft to the Nigerian airforce.

The US embassy in Lagos had viewed the deteriorating political situation in Nigeria, especially after the 29 July 1966 coup with great apprehension. The Ambassador, Elbert Matthews, as well as the then British High Commissioner to Nigeria (Francis Cumming-Bruce), intervened in the delicate talks that went on among the officers who overthrew the Aguyi-Ironsi regime, especially with respect to the future of the federation. Their initiative played an important role in dissuading the northern officers in control of Lagos from declaring the secession of the northern region from the federation.

There was a continuing disagreement within the French government over the Nigerian Civil War. This was between the President's Secretariat for African Affairs (headed by the influential Gaullist Jacques Foccart) and the Quai d'Orsay itself (the Foreign Ministry). Foccart's office was actively pro-Biafra and wanted outright full French diplomatic recognition of the new republic, and President de Gaulle lent support to this position. Foccart had met several Biafran roving envoys, such as Michael Okpara, Kenneth Dike and Godwin Onyegbulam, since the outbreak of hostilities.

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