Nigeria declares Biafra separatist movement terrorist group

2017-09-16 21:21
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - Nigeria's military on Friday named the Indigenous People of Biafra a terrorist organisation, targeting a movement that 50 years ago tried to create a state for the Igbo people.

The declaration comes amid rising calls for secession in the southeast and reports of recent clashes between supporters and security forces. The movement's leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was freed earlier this year following a 2015 arrest that led to protests. He had been accused of terrorism.

The Nigeria's military statement claimed the Indigenous People of Biafra has formed a secret service and national guard, and it dismissed the movement's claims that its actions are nonviolent. The movement could not immediately be reached for comment.

Africa's most populous nation already faces the deadly threat of Boko Haram extremists in the country's northeast and militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

Mass atrocities 

President Muhammadu Buhari last month in a televised address vowed to "reinforce and reinvigorate the fight" not only against Boko Haram but against "ethnic violence fueled by political mischief makers".

Buhari, a former military dictator in the 1980s, was a brigade major who commanded troops in Biafra during the civil war decades ago in which soldiers were accused of mass atrocities.

Members of the separatist movement in May marked 50 years after that civil war saw more than one million people die, many of starvation, trying to create a state for the Igbo people. The Igbo are one of Nigeria's largest ethnic groups but remain largely marginalised in politics.

A Biafran state would include Nigeria's richest and devastatingly polluted oil-producing areas, already riven by violent demands for a more equitable share of wealth from one of Africa's biggest petroleum producers.

Amnesty International Nigeria said in a statement on Friday it was "deeply concerned by reports of violence across Nigeria following clashes between the military and supporters of IPOB". The rights group called on security forces to avoid using excessive force.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.