Biafra (Igbo: Bịafra), officially the Republic of Biafra (Igbo: Ripọblik Bịafra), was a secessionist state in West Africa that separated from Nigeria and existed from May 1967 to January 1970.[4] Its territory consisted of the predominantly Igbo-populated former eastern region of Nigeria which is now divided into the present day southsouth and southeastern regions of Nigeria.[1] Biafra was formed by Igbo nationalists in response to a series of ethnic tensions shortly after Nigerian independence in 1960 that culminated in the 1966 massacres of Igbo people and other southeastern ethnic groups living in northern Nigeria.[5] The military of Nigeria proceeded to attack Biafra shortly after it declared independence in 1967, resulting in the start of the Nigerian Civil War (also known as the Nigerian-Biafran War).

Biafra was formally recognized by Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, and Zambia. Other nations, which did not give official recognition but provided support and assistance to Biafra, included France, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa, and Vatican City.[a] Biafra received aid from non-state actors, including Joint Church Aid, foreign mercenaries, Holy Ghost Fathers of Ireland,[6] and under their direction Caritas International,[7] and U.S. Catholic Relief Services.[8] Médecins Sans Frontières also originated in response to the suffering.

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