Publisher: University of Port Harcourt

The Diplomacy of War and Peace: The Nigerian Civil War

Emma M. Gbenenye
KEYWORDS: Diplomacy, War, Peace, Nigerian Civil War


Most civilized people have throughout the ages condemned conflicts or wars as inhumane, uneconomic and in every way regrettable. Groups or nations have continued to practice it in pursuit of dynastic interests and of national interest respectively. Conflict situation is the anti-thesis of diplomatic harmony primarily because of the failure of human community to learn from lessons of the past. The Nigeria civil war evoked a great controversy, not only in Nigeria itself but in Britain, France, Portugal, Russia, United States and South Africa. The position of these foreign countries, including, Tanzania Cote d'Voir, Gabon and indeed the organization of African Unity OAU (now AU) were of crucial military and diplomatic importance to the conflicting sides. The battle field end of the Nigerian-Biafran conflict led commentators to conclude that the OAU peaceful settlement efforts were ineffective. The paper posits that the ineffective performance of the OAU in the conflict was a function of a cluster of factors which include the OAU chartes, strategies and tactics of the body, and the attitudes of the disputants and major power intervention.

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