by contributing author James Farquharson ‘[t]he lack of American diplomatic initiative [in the Nigerian Civil War] is very apparent. The will to clear the “political hurdles” in this genocidal tragedy lies lost somewhere in the swamps of the Mekong Delta’. Washington Notes on Africa, American Committee on Africa, December 1968. On the evening of the 15th October 1969, Senator Eugene McCarthy strode on the stage at the Philharmonic Hall in New York. The senator from Minnesota, and former Democratic presidential candidate, was one of the main speakers at an ‘Evening for Biafra’ a sell-out concert to raise awareness about the humanitarian emergency sparked by the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). Alone on stage, McCarthy delivered a short, sharp rebuke to the policies adopted by the erstwhile Johnson and the current Nixon Administration towards the civil war. ‘We want to change American policy on Biafra’, boldly declared McCarthy, ‘[i]t doesn’t take much analysis to come up with a position on Biafra. Two million have died in over two years of war. That alone is enough to warrant a change in policy’. The so-called Republic of Biafra, the Eastern Region of Nigeria whose secession had prompted the outbreak of hostilities… Read full this story
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