The Nigerian civil war of the late 1960s was one of the first occasions when Western consciences were awakened and deeply affronted by the level of the suffering and the scale of the atrocity being played out in the African Continent.
An in-depth look in the second paragraph on the 215th page of "The Biafra Story", one of the best selling books of Frederick McCarthy Forsyth, an English author, former journalist and spy, and occasional political commentator, lies the reason why the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu seems to always be apoplectic when issues about the Nigerian state is raised.
It reads: More than the pogroms of 1966, more than the war casualties, more than the terror bombings, it was the experience of watching helplessly their children waste away and die that gave birth in the Biafran people to a deep and unrelenting loathing of the Nigerians, their Government and the Government of Britain. It is a feeling that will one day reap a bitter harvest unless the two peoples are kept apart by the Niger River.
This book which marked Frederick Forsyth's transition from journalist to author is a record of one of the most brutal conflicts the Third World has ever suffered, it has become a classic of modern war reporting.
But it is more than that. It voices one man's outrage not only at the extremes of human violence, but also at the duplicity and self-interest of the Western Governments - most notably, the British, who tacitly accepted or actively aided that violence.
The combination of the dramatic events and the shocking exposures combined with the author's forthright and perceptive style makes The Biafra Story as compelling a read today as when it was first written.
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