Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday 14 July that his government will extend security assistance to the Nigerian government in Biafra’s disputed region of the Niger Delta. The Ijaw and Ogoni peoples have suffered from oil induced environmental disasters and poverty for years while corrupt Nigerian government officials and business lords reap great wealth from the more than $51 billion in sales of petroleum annually. The United States of America imports 26% of the world’s petroleum and the combination of Biafran oil and Angolan oil provide more for that country than Saudia Arabia. The United Kingdom is heavily dependent on Biafran Oil. China has been moving to gain control over off-shore oil sites near the Niger Delta and Russia’s Gasprom is attempting to purchase control over much of this oil.
Biafra’s Provisional Government in Exile rebuked Britain’s Brown in a release (read full release in attachment below) calling for Britain to step back. Prime Minister Emmanuel Enekewechi is quoted in the Biafran release as calling for a “Three Step Solution” to the growing conflict in Biafra’s Niger Delta region. Noting that the UN General Assembly adopted General Assembly Resolution A/69/295 which recognizes the right of indigenous nations to social, economic and political self-determination, Enekewechi urges the United Kingdom, United Nations and other countries to embrace Article 3 of the UN Resolution and move toward a non-violent resolution of disputes in Biafra.
The Center for World Indigenous Studies has worked for several years now to facilitate a peaceful resolution to disputes over oil and political power with an eye to a peaceful transformation of Biafra into a fully sovereign republic. The United States, Britain, China and Russia have a great deal to gain by recognizing the Biafran government as the legitimate authority governing the Niger Delta. In this region, the world’s “sweet crude” is most highly prized, but now serves as the magnet for corruption, power plays by European and Asian powers. While all this occuring, the 40 million people of Biafra (Igbo, Igbibo, Ijaw, Ogoney and others) suffer from the toxic poisons of spilled petroleum from Shell and British Petroleum facilities. Oil money never reaches the people of Biafra leaving people to suffer in economic poverty. The petroleum crisis world-wide demands a solution in Biafra’s Niger Delta.
The only solution that will stabilize the area of the Niger Delta is to facilitate the full exercise of self-determination by the Biafran people without intereference from Nigeria’s corrupt officials, military or security forces. The UN has provided the opening door for this process with its adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007.
Biafra celebrated its 41st year last May since declaring its independence from Nigeria and has begun to step up its international efforts to build global support for an independent and sovereign Republic of Biafra. The full exercise of independence to stabilize the Niger Delta and bring prosperity to the peoples of Biafra is now an urgent matter for the whole world.
(c) 2008 Center for World Indigenous Studies
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