In photos: Nigeria's civil war
Published 1918 GMT (0318 HKT) January 15, 2020
Also known as the Biafra war, Nigeria's civil war was one of the most divisive conflicts in post-independence Africa.
The war broke out in May 1967 when Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the military governor of Nigeria's eastern region, declared the independence of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria. The decision to break away stemmed from tensions between the Igbo ethnic group in the east and the Hausa group in the north. Reconciliation talks were unsuccessful and Ojukwu and his followers broke away following violence against Igbos living in the north.
The breakaway republic comprised of 9 states in Nigeria's eastern region. The declaration of independence led to a civil war between the region and the rest of Nigeria, who opposed secession.
An estimated 1-3 million people were killed during the 30-month long war. The conflict ended in January 1970 when Ojukwu fled the country, and Nigeria reabsorbed Biafra with a 'no victor, no vanquished' policy.