27 Nov 2011

Death of former Biafran leader

10:21 am on 27 November 2011

The former leader of the Nigerian breakaway state of Biafra, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, has died in Britain after a long illness.

Colonel Ojukwu's declaration of secession in 1967 sparked the Nigerian civil war, in which more than a million people died.

He remained a prominent figure in Nigerian politics, running twice as a presidential candidate in the 2000s.

A spokesman in Anambra state said he had been ill after suffering a stroke. He was 78.

The BBC reports Colonel Ojukwu went into exile after Biafra surrendered in 1970, returning more than a decade later after he was officially pardoned.