Monday 27 June 2011

The Biafran War is over.

I have finally finished reading 'Half of a Yellow Sun' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the terrible tale of the ill fated Biafran war of independence against Nigeria. The war was fought between 1967-70, but was ultimately very one sided, and the Biafran people suffered horribly, many dying of starvation while the world looked on.

I am ashamed to say I knew nothing of the conflict before I read this book, and I am grateful that the author has opened my eyes. War is often told from the viewpoint of the victors, but Adichie comes from the losing side, and the inevitable Biafran slide from national certainty to utter collapse is delivered with no holds barred.

Loyalty, infidelity, rape as a weapon of war and many other themes are dealt with honestly and with brutal clarity. It was not a fun read, but I'm glad I stuck with it till the end. I tried not to look away, as we often do with war. The Biafra-Nigeria conflict may be over, but there seems to be no end in this world for the appetite for war.

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