Page 2, 13th December 1968

13th December 1968
Page 2

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Locations: Sao Tome, Abidjan, Libreville


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FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT 'WHILE children and young women were flown " out of Biafra to the Portuguese island of Sao Tome, to the Gabonese capital of Libreville and to the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan, politicians flew in. And the fighting and famine stayed just as brutal as ever.

This is the situation in Nigeria and breakaway Biafra this week, as world opinion demands a Ceasefire but offers no practical terms to obtain it.

The numbers of children running the gauntlet of Nigeria's patrolling Russian MiG fighters each night have been stepped up considerably. The intention is that "if we are overrun some will survive and the Biafran nation may rise again one day."

Hundreds are being crowded into aircraft leaving Biafra after delivering relief supplies and ammunition. The exit rate is expected to be increased. The reason is that from January 1 it will be impossible to move in adequate relief supplies.

The mass evacuation as a means of survival was revealed last week by Col. Ojukwu, the Biafran leader. A senior Biafran official said: "What the vandals [the Biafran name for Nigerians] are trying to do is to commit genocide by remote control.

"Statistics show that it is children under 10 and young women who arc dying of starvation. The vandals are trying to wipe out a whole generation and kill off the Biafran nation by starvation after having failed to do so by force of arms.

"BRITAIN'S BIG PART' "Britain is, of course, playing a big part in this effort. The High Commission in Lagos said the war would be over in two weeks. Eighteen months later it is still going on. Should not Sir David Hunt (the British High Commissioner in Nigeria) be fired?

"The British Government has consistently disregarded advice that the war will not cease with the capture of the main towns. It has also failed to appreciate that even in areas said to be under Nigerian control Gen. Crowon's forces never move off made-up roads."

A Catholic priest said that by using dirt tracks he was able to travel by car through heavy Nigerian troop concentrations between Onitsha and Enugu. He was on the way to Church missions still operating in the bush around the former Biafran capital.

Lord Brockway and Mr. James Griffiths, Labour M.P. for Llanelly, in Urnuahia for talks with Biafran leaders. sass an anti-British demonstration by a crowd of 10,000, angered by Britain's supply of arms to Nigeria. An effigy of Mr. Wilson and the Union Jack were burned near the Government building.

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