FEATURE ARTICLE

Thursday, January 22, 2009
zekwueme@wi.rr.com
New Berlin, Wisconsin, USA
BIAFRA: NO STATUTE OF LIMITATION ON MURDER OF ND'IGBO

My heart goes out to the mothers, the wives
Who bear when the hawk snatches its game at dawn.

My heart goes out to those whose sorrow mops the pavements of the blood of their own, those whose tears wet the streets
daily, whose souls sorrow weighs down like stone on a mule,
whose tears must now mingle with mine; A prodigal sings your pain, mothers. - Oguibe, A Song from Exile, 1990

his is a narrative of a forgotten war and its most vulnerable victims - the children. This is a story of the most vicious, most savage crime of black people on black children. This is the forgotten story of the unfortunate children of Biafra.

A few days ago, the world demanded that truck loads of relief be shipped to the embattled people of Gaza. Israel made sure that food and medicines were being delivered for three hours every day to the besieged and embattled people. The effect is to some how protect vulnerable civilians from the more of the most horrendous, most damaging consequences of any war - hunger. Bombs could still be falling, rockets flying and buildings exploding, but at least the civilian non combatants - children, mothers and elderly could eat even a little - to stand a chance to fight or die another day.

But the Biafran children had no such luck. In their thousands, bloated, kwashiorkored and starved to death, they died horrendous, agonizing miserable deaths. They died at the feet of Nigeria, at the hands of fellow black people, fellow Nigerians. Death by hunger as everybody knows is the most inhuman, most savage, most beastly act of war ever meted out to children anywhere. Nigerian soldiers and politicians planned and carried out these dastardly massacres of little innocent children. And why did the children have to die? Your guess is as good as mine. Nigerian soldiers and politicians made sure that the Biafran children paid the price, the blood price for the oil the elitist Nigerians now enjoy. Click on the first link below to watch a video of the horrifying spectacle as a few Biafran children were airlifted out of Biafra by Caritas to San Antonio. https://www.newsplayer.com/plight-of-biafran-children-video

Also, do not forget to read what New York Times had to say about the starved children of Biafra on August 1, 1987 https://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE3DD103DF932A3575BC0A961948260 - New York Times August 1, 1987

"This is misleading: American doctors found 480,000 children in serious condition as a result of inadequate relief weeks after Biafra was conquered. ''It is necessary to keep in mind,'' I write, ''that the 31.4 percent of the children under 5 found suffering edema, marasmus or kwashiorkor in early February 1970 were not the same children as the 42.2 percent under 4 in that condition the previous October. Many of the latter had died, their statistical numbers being replaced by those who slipped from moderate to severe malnutrition, then into death, and so on.'' There is no mystery about the generation of Biafran children born between 1963 and 1970. Most died. Representatives of the Red Cross and the World Council of Churches kept a careful count, which leads to the conclusion that some 2 million starved, three-quarters of them small children. As a result, shortly after the war, an official consensus emerged that only ''1 million had died, rather than the 2 million once feared.'' You repeat this ''official'' figure. It should be challenged whenever it appears as a continuation of the cynicism with which governments dealt with one of the most brutal man-made tragedies of our time." - DAN JACOBS New York, July 15, 1987.

These crimes against the children of Biafra must never be allowed to stand. They must never to go unpunished. All good men and women must stand up to be counted as the collective conscience of a nation. British Government must be put on notice because that government was duplicitous for acquiescing to the starving deaths of these children. The Governments of Egypt and Russia (Soviet Union) were all instrumental to these starving murders of the Biafran children.

Everyone I guess has now forgotten this ugly crime. Some prefer not to remember, others prefer to completely forget that horror. We call it "see no evil, hear no evil" It was too grave and too painful. Let the sleeping dog lie, they say. Revisiting this crime some say, is akin to resurrecting the primordial darkness, the eerie ghost of the bloodied Biafra. Still, that ghostly darkness is still pervading and slowly torturing the consciousness of all Nigerians.

It is not impossible to wake up, to galvanize the just peoples of the international communities (UNICEF) to seek a redress. International people of conscience must be mobilized against the inhuman pain and injustices suffered by Biafran children. No, it is not impossible. All that is required are a few good men and women of conscience, a few good people with fortitude and determination to seek justice for the executed children of Biafra. Appropriate UN organizations should be put on notice. These UN agencies must be invited to take a second look at the Biafran war. Such an action can be nothing but cathartic at best. This is what the doctor had just ordered for Nigeria. Nigeria needs to be exorcized from the children-eating demons of the civil war. This for a fact is, absolutely necessary and essential.

Nobody as far as I know, had ever requested a mere apology. Nobody either had volunteered any. The Igbo people and all other nationalities of the Eastern Region are still waiting for an apology from the Nigerian government. They might as well wait for ever. Ten years after the Rwanda genocide, the murderers as well as suspects are still being picked up all over the world and tried. Rose Kabuye in particular, a close associate of President Kigame of Rwanda was recently arrested in Germany and immediately handed over to France for questioning. This is yet to happen in Nigeria. While some Rwandan genocide perpetrators have been sentenced and some are currently awaiting trial, the people that committed this evil against Biafran children are still walking around enjoying the fruit of their infamy. Why not? They have gotten away with murder.

Nigerians need to look inward to find the truth and the courage to face the darkest days of Nigerian-Biafran conflict. Those were the very dark days when black African animals ate their own young, own offspring for the sake of oil. Please take a look at these grotesquely bloated, distended-bellies, scarecrow of children. They could have been yours but by the grace of God. These children could have been yours children. If you have tears prepare to shed them now - to paraphrase Shakespeare.

This discussion should not degenerate into a pro or anti Biafra rhetoric. No body should have to get away with murder. Whether you are against Biafra or for Biafra, this crime should have nothing to do with your position one way or the order. The world needs to know about the starved children of Biafra. Nobody had ever apologized let alone paid any price or compensation for these egregious crimes. Everybody knows that there is no Statute of Limitation on murder.

Listen to what Nigeria Finance Minister in 1968 had to say:

As Federal Finance Minister of Nigeria in 1968, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, later a contender for the Presidency of Nigeria, stated: "starvation is a legitimate weapon of war, and we have every intention to use it against the rebels."At the peace talks in Niamey, Niger in August 1968, Nigeria refused to consider the opening of a monitored food corridor to allow food relief for starving civilians in Biafra including children and the elderly. Under the provisions of Appendix D, Article 2 of the United Nations Convention, "deliberately inflicting on a group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part" is qualified as genocide and whether carried out in time of peace or war is qualified by the convention as a punishable crime under international law. The irony, of course, is that although the death toll in Biafra topped 1 million in 1968 thanks in large part to Chief Awolowo's policy of strategic starvation, the United Nations reported "no genocide" in Biafra. - Oguibe

"All is fair in war, and starvation is one of the weapons of war. I don't see why we should feed our enemies fat in order for them to fight harder." - Awolowo

Listen to the commander of the 3rd Marine Commando of Nigerian army put it more tersely:

"I want to see no Red Cross, no Caritas, and no World Council of Churches, no Pope, no missionary and no UN delegation. I want to prevent even one Ibo (child) from having even one piece to eat before their capitulation. We shoot at everything that moves ....and when our troops march into the centre of Ibo territory, we shoot at everything even at things that do not move… "- Benjamin Adekunle, (Black Scorpion)

If the two statements above is not self-indicting of murder and war crime I don't know what is.

Black inhumanity to black

Black Africans are a weird lot. We dance, cavort and sing kumbaya as President Obama is about to take office. Do we have the good nature, the focus and the capacity to look inwards and ask troubling questions about ourselves and of ourselves? Or are we like Adolf Hitler described in 1936 "just going through the external motions" of civilized people. The time to act is now -not tomorrow or next month. Now! Some of the perpetrators of these horrible crimes against international human rights laws are still alive today. Nobody has ever apologized nor got penalized. The Oputa report (that could have shed some light on this crime) is gathering dust where it is buried deep in blinding officialdom. It will never see the light of day just like these dead children. There may never be justice for these murdered children. There may never be justice for the kwashiorkor children of Biafra.

People of conscience, men and women of good will would you help to right the wrong done to the innocent children of Biafra that were starved to death.


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