An Assessment of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to Self-Determination Under International Law
Sacha Journal of Human Rights Vol 6(1) 2016
12 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 4, 2017
This paper explores the rights of indigenous peoples under international law with particular focus on the rights to self-determination of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra in Nigeria. It is common knowledge that the movement for secession by the these Biafrans has recently resurfaced in national and international discourse. This paper therefore evaluates the relevant regional and international human rights laws and applies the provisions thereof to the explanation of the propriety of the rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to secede from the current national configuration of Nigeria. It argues that the indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) cannot invoke the contemporary international laws for the sake of gaining autonomy from the present Nigerian sovereign nation-state because the IPOB lack the basic criteria for nationhood. The paper concludes that the highest rights that the IPOB can achieve are well entrenched in the Nigerian constitution and hence, the task of gaining international backings with which to pursue and attain self-rule is probably impossible for the foreseeable future. We recommend that the current map of Biafra should be redesigned and that the IPOB urgently acquire a working board of trustees that will act as mouthpiece at local and international level.
Keywords: Biafra; Nigeria; Human Rights, Peoples’ Rights; IPOB, Indigenous Peoples; Self-Determination; Secession.
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