By Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe
An summary of clash and intervention within the 3 African states of Nigeria, Angola and Zaire. issues coated contain the self-determination, territorial integrity and the inviolability of post-colonial borders. The impression of nations akin to the united states, USSR and Cuba also are tested.
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Extra info for Conflict and Intervention in Africa: Nigeria, Angola, Zaïre
While members of the mission made no public comments on the politics of the country before returning to Moscow, it was highly likely that the Soviet officials would have viewed the situation as conducive to encourage an increase in Soviet influence in a country that had remained unfriendly for many years. Already, Moscow had been allowed by the federal government to send a trade mission to Nigeria. This was a gesture that had been unthinkable just 16 months before. Up to November 1967, that is four months after the beginning of the civil war and six months after the Biafran Nigeria 21 secession, the Soviet Union continued to maintain its 'evenhanded' attitude to both sides of the conflict.
The first phase displayed the initial Biafran opportunity to repulse and contain federal military assaults on the northern fronts. This was followed by the Biafran breakthrough on the western front which resulted in the successful capture of the mid-west region from the federal army. The federal counterattack on this front which drove the Biafrans out of the mid-west and the losses of their capital (Enugu) and the southeast port of Calabar by mid-October 1967, undermined all other significant military offensives that the Biafrans initiated throughout the rest of the war.
Travels between the Soviet Union and Nigeria were restricted by Lagos. It also discouraged Nigerians taking up Soviet scholarships tenable for study in the Soviet Union. A statement once made by Balewa typified his government's attitude to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe: 'I and my colleagues are determined that while we are responsible for the government of the federation of Nigeria and for the welfare of its people, we shall use every means in our power to prevent the infiltration of Communism and Communist ideas into Nigeria'.