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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Legacies of Biafra: violence, identity and citizenship in Nigeria
Authors:Okonta, IkeISNI
Meagher, KateISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Volume:34
Issue:1
Pages:1-82
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Nigerian-Biafran War
nation building
identity
citizenship
Abstract:What was learned from the Biafran conflict? What was left unaddressed to trouble future generations? Four articles in this special issue of 'Africa Development' interrogate the contemporary legacies of the Nigerian civil war, in particular the unsatisfactory resolution of issues of identity, citizenship and democracy that arose from that conflict. The first two articles, by Ukoha Ukiwo and Kate Meagher, challenge the perception that civil conflict in Africa is a product of ethnic diversity and weak States. In 'Violence, identity mobilization and the reimagining of Biafra', Ukoha Ukiwo explores how in the period since the Biafran war State violence, rather than popular divisions, has contributed to eroding national cohesion from above. Paradoxically, ethnic diversity and informal institutions have contributed to knitting national cohesion together from below, as illustrated by Kate Meagher in 'The informalization of belonging: Igbo informal enterprise and national cohesion from below'. A second pair of articles, by Kathryn Nwajiaku and Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos, investigates how Biafra has shaped contemporary challenges to the State, from subnational minorities in the Niger Delta (Heroes and villains: Ijaw nationalist narratives of the Nigerian civil war) to international assertions of the 'responsibility to protect' (Humanitarian aid and the Biafra war: lessons not learned). Together, the four articles highlight three broad themes: the role of violence in nation-building; the reimagining of Biafra in ethnic struggles since the 1990s and in the international community; and the implications of the Biafran conflict for notions of citizenship in contemporary Africa. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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