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August 23, 1968
Eight years after Nigeria won its independence from Britain, civil war plagued Africa's most populous country. Heading the secessionist state of Biafra, the home of Nigeria's Ibo tribe, Oxford educated Lieut. Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was facing potential annihilation by his country's much larger modern forces, backed by Britain, Russia and much of Europe. "We are fighting this dreadful war not for conquest but for survival," Ojukwu told TIME.

"Now this path has become the road to the slaughterhouse here in the Ibo heartland." In a land described by TIME correspondent James Wilde as "depressing beyond description," 8 million Biafrans slowly starved to death. - Time Correspondent
I want to prevent even one Igbo having even one piece to eat before their capitulation. We shoot at everything that moves, and when our forces move into the center of Igbo territory, we’ll shoot at everything, even things that do not move.
Colonel Adekunle (the “Black Scorpion”) baring his mind to TIME correspondent in 1968.

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