How can and should a future Republic of Biafra handle the issue of regional West African security?
After attaining independence, the future Republic of Biafra should be ready to play a major role in creating the regional security framework that ensure stability and prosperity for Biafrans and West Africans in general.
West Africans have experienced the horror and loss associated with wars:
- There have been civil wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast
- There have been coups d’état in Gambia, Niger, Guinea
- Since gaining independence, there have been armed conflict due to ethnic and religious reasons in Benin, Nigeria and Mali
50 years after the end of the Biafra War that lead to the death of almost 1 million Biafrans, it’s apparent that armed conflict cannot fundamentally resolve disputes and conflicts. Lasting peace in the West Africa region will not come through the use of force or the threat to use force.
Therefore, any regional security concept has to mitigate or minimize the probability of conflict. The future Republic of Biafra has to call on all West African countries to shed their old way of thinking and replace it with a new more robust regional security concept that seeks and safeguards security according to international norms.
The independence of Biafra and its aftermath will require a brand new regional security concept that will fundamentally be anchored by dialogue and cooperation with the northern Nigerian government and all the West African governments.
Lasting peace in the future Republic of Biafra will require commitment to a more open government that keeps the public abreast of all the inner machinations of government and its efforts to secure regional cooperation from other West African governments to ensure regional peace.
The government of the future Republic of Biafra will have to learn to adapt to a more evolved regional security need. A successful security concept for Biafra and the region will have to take into account:
- Political disenfranchisement of ethnic groups
- Oil and energy
The future Republic of Biafra will have to offer its regional neighbors a regional security concept that will rise above one-sided security concepts currently adopted by a majority of the West African countries.
The future Republic of Biafra will need its regional neighbors into order to build a productive nation. It is therefore imperative that stakeholders start thinking about and commit to seek common security through mutually beneficial cooperation.
- What common interests does Biafra have now with its regional neighbors?
- How will cooperation be helping propagate social progress?
50 years after the Biafra war, the world has changed. The future Republic of Biafra will have to contend with a more connected world with the international situation depicted by relaxed international relations and growing world economy.
The future Republic of Biafra will have to develop a regional security framework that includes:
- Military readiness
- Political capital
- Economic stability
- Science and technology advancement
- Environment concerns
- Food security
- Energy security
Diversity should be at the cornerstone of a security concept that the future Republic of Biafra is willing to commit to. The current state of the West Africa shows a region that shares greater common security interests. West Africa is more interdependent on one another for security.
Biafra stakeholders and the future Republic of Biafra should be willing to build a national and regional security framework on the basis of the following 5 principles:
- The future Republic of Biafra should commit recognizing norms governing international relations, and adhere to all international charters
- The future Republic of Biafra should commit to resolve territorial and border disputes and other controversial issues peacefully through negotiations
- The future Republic of Biafra should commit to help reform and improve the existing regional economic and financial organizations and promote common prosperity in line with the principle of reciprocity and mutual benefit and common development
- The future Republic of Biafra should commit to help combat terrorism and transnational crimes in the region and safeguard territorial integrity
- The future Republic of Biafra should commit to the effective disarmament of pro-Biafra groups with broad participation in line with the principle of justice, comprehensiveness, rationality and balance
The above 5 principles are not new to any newly formed country. They are rather the basic tenets to forming effective and lasting security frameworks. They should progressively be adjusted to reflect the reality of new Republic of Biafra.
The policy of the future Republic of Biafra should be that of being a strong advocate of the regional security concept.
Biafra should sponsor joint initiatives with other West African countries to jointly cultivate a new concept of security, which focuses on enhancing trust through dialogue and promoting security through cooperation.
The future Republic of Biafra should call for the establishment of a new West African security concept at bilateral meetings and multi-lateral for and make the regional security concept an important component of its foreign policies.
In Biafra’s view, the core of such new security concept should include:
This will ensure that at the core of it, the mutual trust helps the future Republic of Nigeria and the northern Nigeria government transcend differences in ideology and social system, discard the mentality of war and power politics and refrain from mutual suspicion and hostility. It will be the cornerstone of maintain frequent dialogue and mutual briefings on each other’s security and defense policies and major operations.
This will mean that all the West African countries should meet the objective needs of social development in the era of globalization, respect each other’s security interests and create conditions for others’ security while ensuring their own security interests with a view to achieving common security.
This will mean that all West African countries, big or small, are equal members of the international community and should respect each other, treat each other as equals, refrain from interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and promote the democratization of the international relations.
This will mean that all countries should seek peaceful settlement of their disputes through negotiation and carry out wide ranging and deep-going cooperation on security issues of mutual concern so as to remove any potential dangers and prevent the outbreak of wars and conflicts.
The future Republic of Biafra should insist that the new regional security concept should be flexible and diversified in form and model. It could be a multi-lateral security mechanism of relatively strong binding force or a forum-like multi-lateral security dialogue. It could also be a confidence-building bilateral security dialogue or a non-governmental dialogue of an academic nature. The promotion of greater interaction of economic interests is another effective means of safeguarding security.
The future Republic of Biafra should codify its belief that West Africa is diverse. Therefore its policy should be that of mutual-accommodation, mutual-learning and greater cooperation to achieve common progress and development of all West African nations. Additionally, it should codify in its foreign poliy that security cooperation is not just something for countries with similar or identical views and mode of development, it also includes cooperation between countries whose views and mode of development differ.
The future Republic of Biafra should strive to work actively to put the new regional security concept into practice. All stakeholders should prototype practices that give full evidence to the feasibility of the new regional security concept.
The future republic of Biafra should commit to vigorously seek settlement of disputes with its neighbors through peaceful negotiations.
- The future Republic of Biafra should resolve any land boundary questions and maritime questions with most of its neighboring countries through regular regional forums
- The West Africa countries should sign demarcation agreements which serve as the guiding principles and code of conduct for any and all future land boundary and maritime dispute
- After its independence from Nigeria, the future Republic of Biafra should reach consensus with all stakeholders regarding any outstanding disputes and issues. The consensus should be to maintain peace and stability in the disputed areas and resolve the issues through dialogue
- Disputes over territorial land and maritime access should not be allowed to hinder the future Republic of Biafra and its West African neighbors from developing strong cooperation and mutually productive relations that lead to the eventual buildup of stable regional security
The future Republic of Biafra should attach economic exchange and interaction as a tenet for lasting regional security.
- The future Republic of Biafra should closely work with other West African countries towards multi-channel, multi-dimensional and multi-faceted new economic cooperation by committing to actively participate in regional economic activity
- The future Republic of Biafra should be a stakeholder in the development of regional economic cooperation mechanisms that are geared towards bringing real and tangible economic benefits to the people of West Africa
- The future Republic of Biafra should consent and seek consent from other West African countries to enhance mutual exchange, mutual trust and cooperation between all West African countries and all stakeholders (regional and international) to help contribute to the security and stability of West Africa
The future Republic of Biafra should be heavily invested in the establishment and development of a regional security dialogue and cooperation mechanism.
- The future republic of Biafra should place great importance on and taken an active part in regional organizations and Forums
- The future Republic of Biafra should offer support to the northern Nigeria government by taking a lead in making an unequivocal stand and proposition of combating terrorism, separatism and extremism.
- The future Republic of Biafra should also take an active part in the international and regional counter-terrorism campaign and work steadily for greater regional economic cooperation.
- The future republic of Biafra should adopt a foreign policy that strongly advocates a regional and international security cooperation model of non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of any other countries or regions
After independence, the future Republic of Biafra should promoting confidence building measures and the preventive diplomacy.
- The future Republic of Biafra should seek to actively promote security through dialogue on an equal footing in line with the regional security concept