Progress of War to Save Nigerian Unity
Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is torn by a civil war that rivals the Viet Nam conflict in bloodshed and bitterness. Gen. Yakubu Gowon, 32-year-old head of the Nigerian federal government, has proclaimed March 31 the deadline for bringing hostilities to an end and instituting a plan to subdivide the country's present four regions into 12 states. It is by no means certain that the deadline will be met. The Ibo people of the secessionist Eastern Region, which has declared itself the independent nation of Biafra, have fought on stubbornly despite a series of defeats at the hands of the federal forces. Unless Gowon's troops soon force Biafra to surrender, many observers feel that the Nigerian conflict may ...