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Times Of Israel - Biafran Jews Mark 50 Years Since Independence Was Declared

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Biafranpalace
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PostBiafranpalace on Mon 29 May 2017, 11:53 am



Nigeria on Tuesday marks 50 years since the declaration of an independent Republic of Biafra plunged the country into a civil war, amid renewed tensions and fresh calls for a separate state.

The main pro-independence groups — the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) — have called for a day of reflection.

Among the IPOB are one of the largest ethnic groups in the central African nation, the Igbo people, and among them is a small minority of practicing Jews, who believe they are descended from the tribes of Israel.

During the last 30 years or so, many Igbo Jews have moved to match their tradition of Jewish descent with the practice of rabbinic Judaism, the learning of Hebrew, observance of kosher dietary laws and observance of Jewish holidays. Many Igbo Jews are passionately Zionist.

In 1970, after nearly three years of fighting, Biafran soldiers, who were outnumbered 10 to one by federal troops and under-equipped, laid down their arms.

The conflict caused an estimated million deaths, many of them by starvation after the secessionist region was blockaded.

With surrender went their dreams of a separate state for the Igbo people, who are the majority in the southeast.

Half a century later, Biafra remains an extremely sensitive subject in Nigeria.





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