Postcolonial Conflict and the Question of Genocide: The Nigeria-Biafra War, 1967–1970, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Postcolonial Conflict and the Question of Genocide

The Nigeria-Biafra War, 1967–1970, 1st Edition

Edited by A. Dirk Moses, Lasse Heerten


466 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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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.

Table of Contents


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

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

The Routledge Global 1960s and 1970s Series

As the decades that defined the Cold War, the 1960s and 1970s helped shape the world we live in to a remarkable degree. Political phenomena including the almighty tussle between capitalism and communism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, apartheid in South Africa, uprisings against authoritarianism and independence from colonial rule for a large swathe of the nations of the Global South helped define the period but the sixties and seventies were as much about cultural and social change, with lives the world over altered irretrievably by new standpoints and attitudes. Traditionally, analysis of the era has largely been concerned with superpower posturings and life in Europe and America, but this series, while providing full coverage to such impulses, takes a properly global view of the era.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Africa / General
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century