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Ojukwu says Igbos still marginalised

Thirty years after the end of the civil war in southeast Nigeria, the problems which caused the conflict remain unsolved, former secessionist leader Chief Emeka Ojukwu said in an interview with the BBC on Wednesday. “None of the problems that led to the war have been solved yet,” Ojukwu said. Soon after independence in 1960 there were mounting ethnic and regional tensions which came to a peak on 30 May 1967 when Ojukwu, then the military governor of the eastern region, declared the Independent Republic of Biafra. After initial military gains the Igbo secessionist forces were pushed back and Biafra was eventually reabsorbed into Nigeria. “We have a situation creeping towards the type of situation that saw the beginning of the war,” Ojukwu told the BBC. After two and a half years of conflict in which some one million civilians were estimated to have died in fighting and from famine, the government promised the Igbo people that there would be no victors and no vanquished. However Ojukwu believes Igbos have been largely excluded from power ever since the end of the war in 1970 and that this could cause instability in the future, the BBC reported. Since the end of military rule in May 1999 there have been several reports of clashes between ethnic groups in Nigeria.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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