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Filippov V.R. Republic of Biafra as a focus of French foreign politics

Published in journal "Conflict Studies / nota bene", 2016-2 in rubric "The global geopolitics of modern conflict", pages 99-113.

Resume: By the means of historical reconstruction the author inquires into the causes and the nature of the 1967-1970 civil war in Nigeria, which was one of the bloodiest conflicts on the African continent of the post-colonial period. A comprehensive analysis of historical sources, including media publications, witness recollections, investigations by the press, interviews with prominent politicians and diplomats, allows to shed light on the motives, both obvious and obscure, that drove both sides of this bloody conflict. The author focuses attention on defining the role of the United Kingdom, France, the USA, Soviet Union and certain African countries (such as the Republic of Gabon, and the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire) in igniting the civil war in the republic of Nigeria. The author also makes an accent on the effects of the Françafrique geopolitical doctrine in this conflict. The methodological basis of this work includes the systemic, structural-functional, comparative political approaches, as well as the methods of analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, observation.This work points out the firm connection between the events in Nigeria and the genocide of the Igbo people in the Biafra region of Nigeria. The author substantiates a conclusion that the Élysée Palace supported the separatists of Biafra for three years, offering logistical and military support, as well as political and diplomatic patronage to the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra in order to protect the economic and political interests of Paris in this oil-rich region. The author considers that the civil war in Nigeria was a prominent sign of the hidden struggle between France, on one hand, and the Anglo-Saxon side (the USA, the UK). The author also substantiates the conclusion that the aid that Soviet Union offered Nigeria's federal government was intended as a means to spread the influence of communist ideology to the countries of tropical Africa. This research was performed with the financial support of Russian humanitarian science foundation, project ¹ 15-01-00363 "Foreign intervention into third world country affairs during the Cold War period: multi-layered analysis experience".  

Keywords: France, Biafra, Global politics, Global instability, International relations, Diplomacy, Interests, State, Security, Risks

DOI: 10.7256/2409-8965.2016.2.18324

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