Fifty years on the effects of Biafra are still felt

The Biafran War ended in 1970 after more than a million people had been killed, mostly from starvation. But despite that, calls for secession remain strong in Nigeria's southeastern regions.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

In this file picture, a Biafran War veteran commemorates his fallen comrades 50 years after the Nigerian Civil War.

More than a million people were killed in Nigeria’s brutal civil war, also known as the Biafran war.

The three-year war may have ended in 1970, but the effects of the war linger and there are still calls being made for secession of the country’s oil-rich southeastern region, where the Igbo people live.

Many people accuse the government of failing to invest in the southeast since the end of the war in 1970, blighting development. Some see it as a punishment for the conflict.

Support for secession has increased since the arrest in late 2015 of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the pro-independence Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement.

TRT World’s Fidelis Mbah reports

Last year, demonstrations marking Biafra's independence bid turned bloody. Amnesty International said the military gunned down more than 60 people.

Since August 2015, more than 150 people have been killed in pro-Biafra protests, said Amnesty's Nigeria director Osai Ojigho. Nigeria's government denies the claim.