HE war in Biafra, which has so far killed or wounded an estimated 100,000 people, "must be stopped now" said a Catholic missionary who returned to Britain on Friday after seven years' service in Nigeria.
According to Dr. Anne Seymour, 33, lay missionary, "it's sheer horror" in the war zone. "In recent weeks I've seen mothers and babies machinegunned in the markets and streets. I've seen hospitals bombed and innocent people, far from any military target, shelled and bombed."
This week while the opposing sides in the war argued about possible sites for peace talks Dr. Seymour has been scurrying around the Home Counties trying to raise money to pay for urgently needed food and medical supplies for the war victims.
In Biafra itself there is terrible misery, but morale is high. Dr. Seymour and other independent observers believe that the Biafrans are genuinely afraid of genocide if the Nigerian Federal Government has an outright military victory.
ANTI-BRITISH Both sides in Nigeria are building up anti-British feeling and unless the war ends soon relations with Britain could be irreparably harmed, especially as British arms are being used in the war.
Dr. Seymour, who flew into London on Friday night, was quick to start raising funds for her people back in Biafra. She got L5 from a Catholic teacher on the train home to Worthing.
"The donor was a perfect stranger. We got talking in the train and she was so appalled by my story she immediately handed over the £5 and invited me to speak at her school.
"On Sunday London University Catholic students gave me the £19 collections from their Masses. The Catholic Women's League have told me that they have already sent relief funds and are hoping to send more.
"The chairman of a bank raised £30 for me on Monday and a friend has offered to pay all my travel expenses during my appeal. I know this is only a drop in the ocean, but the generosity so far is most encouraging."
REALIST Dr. Seymour, a convert, flew to Britain at the request of Fr. Donal O'Sullivan, Regional Superior of the Holy Ghost Fathers, who needs urgent help.
"Depending on the war situation I intend to go back to Awgu at the end of May," said Dr. Seymour. "I'm not afraid of being killed. I'll go back providing there is a plane
to get me there."
She first went to Nigeria in 1961 where she works with the Sisters of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, of Onitsha. London educated, Dr. Seymour has spent the greater part of her time in Awgu, which in recent weeks has become the front line for the war
"Trying to cope with the thousands of refugees has thrown a burden on us, but in recent months the bombing by the Nigerian Air Force has made the position extremely difficult," said Dr. Seymour, who has been working alongside 280 priests and 60 nuns, as well as other lay helpers in Biafra.
"In Awgu the first raid was on January 31, when 24 civilians were killed and about 60 injured. But the people have almost .forgotten this raid be cause on February 17 about 120 were killed and 300 injured.
"The parish priest, Fr. Peter Brady, stood in the hospital's car park and as the severely injured were brought out of the ambulances he baptised them or gave them the last rites. Then we tried to do what we could with the limited drugs, bandages, etc. we had available.
New Archbishop of Montreal
DOPE PAUL has appointed Mgr. Paul Gregoire, 57, as the new Archbishop of Montreal. He was an auxiliary to Cardinal Leger, who left the Montreal post to go to work among the Lepers in the Cameroons.