September 22, 2021

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Can separatists in West Africa strongarm their way to independence? | DW News

2 min read

Nnamdi Kanu is the leader of a separatist group calling for an independent State of Biafra. His followers call themselves the ‘Indigenous People of Biafra’ and they’ve not given up their dream of their own homeland in southeastern Nigeria. The region has seen a surge in attacks, with some 130 police officers killed this year alone. In May, Nigeria’s security forces launched an operation to quell the violence which many fear may lead to a new war.
But the conflict between Biafran separatists and the Nigerian government is much older than this recent outbreak.
Meanwhile, reports from Cameroon indicate English speaking separatist militias have joined forces with their Nigerian counterparts. A development that has led to fears of an acceleration in violence. The Biafran secessionists and the Ambazonian Defence Force in southwestern Cameroon share a common border, and a joint purpose: to establish their own states. They say they are already sharing weapons.
One way to defuse the crisis in Nigeria would be good governance. Yet for some in the region it was actually the election of President Muhammadu Buhari, himself a veteran of the Biafran war, that reawakened calls for independence. Now the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu has only heightened tensions.

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#Biafra #Ambazonia #Separatism

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