biafra zionist movement
Some members of the Biafra Zionist Movement during the re-declaration of independence in November 2012Youtube

The Biafra Zionist Federation (BZN), which supports the reinstatement of the Biafra state in Southern Nigeria, has stormed a radio station announcing the rebirth of the Biafran Republic.

In a statement released after the incident, the group explained it had lost faith in the country following years of neglect and continuous killing of Igbos (an ethnic group concentrated in Southern Nigeria).

Biafra History

The republic of Biafra was created in eastern Nigeria in 1967 and reintegrated in 1970.

The republic was created by the Igbos, who did not want to be associated with the northern Nigerians due to religious and ethnic tensions between the two groups. The meaning of the name Biafra remains unknown.

After an almost three-year-long conflict between Biafra and Nigeria over oil hegemony in the country - which resulted in thousands of deaths - the Biafran army agreed to a ceasefire.

Biafra was reintegrated to Nigeria, but the Igbos never felt part of the nation.

Shortly after the forced reintegration took place, some Igbos formed the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob) which organised rallies to raise awareness on Biafra.

The Nigerian government accuses Massob of violence. The groups's leader, Ralph Uwazuruike, was arrested in 2005 and is still detained on treason charges.

Biafra Zionist Movement origins

The Biafra Zionist movement, led by Barrister Benjamin Onwuka, was created in the early 2000s. It spun out of Massob, and advocates the legitimacy of Briafa.

BZM declared a new state of independence on 5 November 2012, at an event during which at least 100 peaceful protesters were arrested.

"No amount of threats or arrests will stop us from pursuing our freedom - self-determination for Biafrans," said Edeson Samuel, national chairman of BZM.

"We were forced into this unholy marriage but we don't have the same culture as the northerners. Our religion and culture are quite different from the northerners."

Biafra Zionists Mission and Relations with Israel

On its Facebook page, the group states its mission is "to unite and liberate the good people of Biafra from the injustice, terrorist attack, marginalisation and all other evil happenings in Nigeria.

"The people of the Former Eastern Region of Nigeria are the most oppressed and marginalised people."

BZN also expressed its support to Israel, which the group claims supports the movement.

"[BZN] is an ally of Israel because Israel is behind the Movement. God bless the Jewish people, keep and protect the state of Israel."