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 contain the self-determination, territorial integrity and the inviolability of post-colonial borders. The effect of nations reminiscent of the united states, USSR and Cuba also are tested.

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On 17 August the Biafran army captured the town of Ore, a strategic western regional junction 160 miles from Lagos. This was a very serious military reversal for the federals, who until then were making appreciable progress on the northern and southern fronts (the Biafran thrust into Nigerian territory was through the western front). Britain responded favourably this time: armoured vehicles (including Ferret armoured cars), artillery weapons, rocket launchers and assorted ammunition were dispatched to Lagos.

80 General Philip Effiong, Chief of Biafra's General Staff, was later to reflect on the impact of French support on the Biafran struggle: 'the bastards did more harm than good by raising false hopes and by ~roviding the British with an excuse to reinforce Nigeria'. 1 44 Conflict and Interoention in Africa Nature of Arms Supplies From September 1968 until the end of the war in January 1970, the French government was involved in supplying arms to Biafra. The whole operation was handled and supervised by Foccart's Africa Division Office of the French presidency, and the French secret service - the Service de Documentation Exterieure et Contre-Espionage.

Yet Biafra never stood the remotest chance to turn the scale in the battles due to the defensive characteristics of the weapons delivered, nor to contemplate emerging victorious from the war. The Biafrans, however, utilised the limited diplo~atic status they had in France to improve their arms purchases from private sources in Europe. Well-known arms merchants such as Pierre Lorez, Paul Favier and Roger Faulques handled most of these purchases, including transportation to Biafra by way of Lisbon and the Island of Sao Tome, off the Biafran coast.

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