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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Oil, British interests and the Nigerian civil war
Author:Uche, ChibuikeISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Great Britain
Subjects:Nigerian-Biafran War
foreign intervention
petroleum industry
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40206616
Abstract:Using newly available evidence, mainly from the Public Records Office (now the National Archive) in London, this article unravels the true extent of the role that British oil interests played in the decision of the British government to insist on a 'One Nigeria' solution in the Nigeria/Biafra conflict. While the official position of the British government was that its main interest in the Nigeria conflict was to prevent the break-up of the country along tribal lines, the true position was more complex. Evidence in this paper suggests that British oil interests played a much more important role in the determination of the British attitude to the war than is usually conceded. Specifically, Britain was interested in protecting the investments of Shell-BP in Nigerian oil. Furthermore, Britain was also at the time desperate to keep Nigerian oil flowing in order to mitigate the impact of its domestic oil shortfalls caused by the Middle East Six Day War. Supporting a 'One Nigeria' solution was considered its safest bet in order to achieve the above objectives. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]