January 7, 1970

Nigerian forces launch its offensive “Operation Tail-Wind,” which successfully conquers towns of Owerri and Uli within 5 days

The final Nigerian offensive of the war took place January 7-12, 1970. The Nigerian forces successfully captured the strategically important towns of Owerri and Uli. Owerri was the Biafan capital at the end of the war (the final capital in a series of four capitals which kept changing due to territory changes during the war), and Uli was the location of the airfield “Annabelle” which was used to deliver humanitarian assistance and aid to Biafra. By this point in the war, Uli airfield had largely been destroyed by Nigerian forces, but the surrender at Uli—along with the capture of Owerii—were devastating blows to the Biafran forces and essentially meant the end of the war.

Refugees from elsewhere in the eastern region leave Owerri to return to their home villages after the capture of Owerri and the end of the war. Source: A. Abbas, 1970, Magnum Photos.