1960-1969 | Backing dictatorships | Nigeria

Minister – backing Nigeria’s assault on Biafra will benefit B.P. and Shell

4 December 1967 On 4 December 1967, Commonwealth Minister George Thomas urged Denis Healey, the Defence Secretary, to step up Britain’s military aid to Nigeria’s Federal Military Government. Five months earlier, Nigeria’s generals had launched a full scale invasion against the province of Biafra, which had dared to assert its right of self-determination. Over the…

1960-1969 | Arms exports | Backing dictatorships | Nigeria | Uncategorized

Newspaper reveals UK supplying Nigerian Junta with fast patrol boats

17 August 1967 Today in 1967, the Birmingham Post revealed that, despite Britain’s commitment to neutrality in the war between Nigeria’s military junta and the secessionist state of Biafra, and despite the government’s claim that it would only provide the generals with military equipment which was defensive in nature, two British built fast seaward class patrol boats…

1960-1969 | Arms exports | Backing repressive regimes | Nigeria

Minister – oil means we must back Nigeria’s junta against Biafra

8 August 1967 Today in 1967, the Commonwealth Minister George Thomas submitted a confidential memo to Prime Minister Harold Wilson reminding him that Shell-BP, then partly owned by the British government, ‘have much to lose if the F.M.G. (Nigeria’s Federal Military Government) do not achieve the expected victory’ against Biafra, which had declared independence after…

1960-1969 | Arms exports | Backing repressive regimes | Nigeria

Memo – We want to help Nigeria’s junta ‘any way we can’

7 July 1967 On 7 July 1967, the British government decided to explain apologetically to Major-General Yakubu ‘Jack’ Gowon, the leader of Nigeria’s military junta, that although it strongly sympathised with his efforts to crush any attempt by the persecuted Igbo population of Biafra to secede as an independent state, it would be diplomatically awkward…

1960-1969 | Arms exports | Backing repressive regimes | Nigeria

Harold Wilson lies to cover up British complicity in Biafran war crimes

27 March 1969 On 27 March 1969, Prime Minister Harold Wilson lied in a press interview, to cover up the huge scale of British arms exports to the Federal Military Government (FMG) of Nigeria, which was waging a war of genocide against the secessionist state of Biafra causing over two million deaths from famine. The…