For the vanquished: The case for Reconciliation and Transitional Justice in the 1967 - 1970 Nigeria-Biafra conflict

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London
Department Name: War Studies


This research project addresses the importance of
transitional justice in the 1967 - 1970 Nigeria-Biafra war. It
critically explores the role of memory and latent trauma in
creating various narratives of the conflict and the
consequences of these factors on an already splintered
'Nigerian' national identity. Following the theme of memory
and trauma, It also considers various marginalised
experiences of the conflict, particularly those of women
and minoritised ethnic groups in the seceeding 'Biafran'
region, in a bid to paint a complex picture of the extent of
violence and the claims of persecution. In so doing, it
exposes the convenience of narrative construction,
particularly on the part of the Biafran side, to present a
claim of genocide.
At the heart of this paper are policy-based
recommendations for implementing a national transitional
justice programme. Centring the experiences of disaffected
communities and regions, this project proposes measures
to be taken to validate the experiences of victims and
commence a process of national healing. These
recommendations are also rooted in analyses of other
approaches to reconciliation and transitional justice.
Transitional justice is consequently presented in this paper,
as a three-pronged approach, consisting of 'understanding,
acceptance and memorialisation', with a particular focus on
arts-based approaches to national healing.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000703/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
2437201 Studentship ES/P000703/1 30/09/2020 31/12/2024 Ninette Amarachi Iheke