June 26, 1968

The government of the Republic of Biafra releases a “Charge to Humanity” statement outlining the deteriorating situation in Biafra

The Republic of Biafra had an active and successful public information program (which they described as a “propaganda” program, as was common in the period). The government hired Markpress, a public relations firm based in Geneva, to reach Western audiences about Biafra, providing arguments for its independence and updates about its situation, which was deteriorating rapidly by summer 1968.

The “Charge to Humanity” is typical of many of the Biafran government materials in that it highlighted the suffering of civilians and claimed that the Nigerians intended genocide against its people. “Biafra must have by now the highest death rate in the whole world,” the document states. “The unprecedented refugee problem and death rate have been imposed on Biafra by the war of genocide which Britain and Nigeria are waging against Biafran people. Among the 5,000 000 refugees are people whose cases are absolutely miserable and helpless…They are dying in hundreds every week in abject want and misery.”

“A Charge to Humanity,” released by the government of the Republic of Biafra on Wednesday, June 26, 1968. Archived by the Joint Distribution Committee (archives.jdc.org).
See Also:

Anthony, Douglas. “’Resourceful and Progressive Blackmen’: Modernity and Race in Biafra, 1967-70.” Journal of African History 51:1 (2010): 41-61.

Davis, Morris. Interpreters for Nigeria: The Third World and International Public Relations. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.

Doron, Roy. “Marketing genocide: Biafran propaganda Strategies during the Nigerian Civil War, 1967–70.” Journal of Genocide Research 16:2-3 (July 2014): 227-46.