1st Edition

Postcolonial Conflict and the Question of Genocide The Nigeria-Biafra War, 1967–1970

Edited By A. Dirk Moses, Lasse Heerten Copyright 2018
    478 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    478 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume is the first, comprehensive and balanced historical account of the momentous Nigeria-Biafra war. It offers a multi-perspectival treatment of the conflict that explores issues such as local experiences of victims, the massive relief campaigns by humanitarian NGOs and international organizations like the Red Cross, the actions of foreign powers with interests in the conflict, and the significance of the international public sphere, in which the propaganda and public relations war about the question of genocide was waged.


    1. The Nigeria-Biafra war: postcolonial conflict and the question of genocide

    Lasse Heerten and A. Dirk Moses


    Section I Genocide and the Biafran bid for self-determination

    2. Irreconcilable narratives: Biafra, Nigeria and arguments about genocide, 1966-70

    Douglas Anthony

    3. Marketing genocide: Biafran propaganda strategies during the Nigerian civil war, 1967-1970

    Roy Doron

    4. The case against Victor Banjo: legal process and the governance of Biafra

    Samuel Fury Childs Daly

    5. The Biafran secession and the limits of self-determination

    Brad Simpson


    Section II A global event

    6. The UK and ‘genocide’ in Biafra

    Karen E. Smith

    7. France and the Nigerian civil war, 1967-1970

    Christopher Griffin

    8. Israel, Nigeria, and the Biafra civil war 1967-1970

    Zach Levey

    9. Strange bedfellows: an unlikely alliance between the Soviet Union and Nigeria during the Biafran War

    Maxim Matusevich

    10. West German sympathy for Biafra, 1967–1970: actors, perceptions and motives

    Florian Hannig

    11. Dealing with ‘genocide’: the ICRC and the UN during the Nigeria-Biafra war, 1967-1970

    Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps

    12. Humanitarian encounters: Biafra, NGOs and imaginings of the Third World in Britain and Ireland, 1967-70

    Kevin O’Sullivan

    13. ‘And starvation is the grim reaper’: the American Committee to Keep Biafra Alive and the genocide question during the Nigerian civil war, 1968-1970

    Brian McNeil

    14. ‘Black America cares’: the response of African Americans to civil war and ‘genocide’ in Nigeria, 1967-1970

    James Farquharson


    Section III Trauma and memory

    15. Women and the Biafra-Nigeria war

    Gloria Chuku

    16. ‘Biafra of the mind’: MASSOB and the mobilization of history

    Ike Okonta

    17. Memory as social burden: collective remembrance of the Biafran War and imaginations of socio-political marginalization in contemporary Nigeria

    Edlyne Anugwom

    18. The Asaba massacre and the Nigerian civil war: Reclaiming hidden history

    S. Elizabeth Bird and Fraser Ottanelli

    19. Imagined nations and imaginary Nigeria: Chinua Achebe’s quest for a country

    Mpalive-Hangson Msiska


    A. Dirk Moses is Professor of Modern History at the University of Sydney. He is the author and editor of many publications on history, memory and genocide, including Colonial Counterinsurgency and Mass Violence: The Dutch Empire in Indonesia (2014, edited with Bart Luttikhuis) and the Journal of Genocide Research (senior editor).

    Lasse Heerten is head of the project ‘Imperial Gateway: Hamburg, the German Empire, and the Making of a Global Port’ at the Freie Universität Berlin. Prior to this, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Human Rights at the University of California at Berkeley. His first book, a global history of the humanitarian crisis in Biafra, will be published by Cambridge University Press.