May the souls of the departed heroes rest in peace

-In a West African rain forest a group of Ibo [Igbo] … swore blood allegiance to   Biafra, a tiny and desperate breakaway nation threatened with extinction.

-For a year now the Biafrans have been trying to secede from the central   government of Nigeria, and civil war has raged with a savagery barely noticed   by   the rest of the world.

-In recent weeks, as federal troops tightened their strangle-hold on Biafra, the   secessionist Ibos faced the possibility of mass starvation.

Hundreds are dying   daily of malnutrition, and relief experts fear that unless massive food shipments   reach the beleaguered Biafrans soon, more than a million will die before   summer’s end. 

“Behind the savagery are the old regional rivalries (250 principal tribes and languages) which have troubled Nigeria since independence in 1960. …

“At least 50,000 died in the fighting as the federal armies pocketed the Ibos into an area less than one third Biafra’s original size.

The federal forces had arms from the Soviet Union, the United Arab Republic and Britain, which was anxious—for political and economic reasons—to keep Nigeria from disintegrating.

Outnumbered militarily two to one, the Biafrans have broken off peace talks and they vow to fight on.”

Michael Mok. LIFE, 12 Jul 1968. Photo by Romano Cagnoni.