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The Biafran Separatist Movement and Its Influence on Nigeria's Nation-State Building

Zhang Yongpeng;Liu Yuhan;School of International Politics and Economics,University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences;  
Nation-states are the main actors in modern international relations,and nation-state building is a process in which state building and nation building go on synchronously. Nigeria is an important country in Africa,but it is a country “made up” by several former British colonies. Up to now it only has 60 years of history,and its nation-state building process is particularly difficult and complicated. The Biafran separatism has long existed and has launched wars or movements,which has become a major problem or challenge affecting the unity and stability of Nigeria and its nationstate building. The legacies of colonial rule,the harm of tribalism and the influence of interest competition are the main reasons for the emergence of the Biafran separatist movement. The Biafran War has played an important role in the history of Nigeria's nation-state building. On one hand,it has played a positive role in avoiding the division of the country and has maintained the national unity. However,on the other hand,the war has caused major casualties and property damage,inflicting a great deal of trauma on the entire country and nation. The war has become heavy historical memory for the Igbo and many other minorities in south-east Nigeria,and has also become the root of the resurgence of the Biafran separatist movement in the late 1990s.
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