October 11, 1968
Canadian MPs Charge Genocide by Nigeria
The Canadian Government has rejected the report of two opposition members of Parliament who recently visited Biafra and reported that the Nigerian army practiced genocide against the Igbos.
Mitchell Sharp, the Minister of External Affairs, told a special committee of the House of Commons that Canada could not accept an opposition proposal to ask United Nations intervention to stop the Nigerian civil war. “Of course there have been atrocities on both sides,” Mr. Sharp told a reporter after his session with the committee last night. “But as for genocide we have no evidence of it.” Mr. Sharp said that if the Government had concrete evidence of genocide in Nigeria, “I would be the first to ask for intervention by the United Nations.”
To back up the opposition’s demands, Andrew Brewin of the New Democratic party and David MacDonald of the Conservatives made a quick private inspection trip to Biafra. They returned early this week, reporting that 6,000 Ibos died of starvation every day.
“A gifted, courageous people are facing extinction and it is not a distant prospect,” Mr. Brewin said in his report to Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. The two members of Commons said that during a 36-hour stay in Umuahia, the Biafran-held town, they talked with Biafran leaders, civilians and got information from white clergymen and teachers who had lived in the area for several years. (New York Times)
October 12, 1968
Another Canadian MP Charges Genocide
A visiting Canadian Member of Parliament, Stephen Lewis, said today in Umuahia “that anybody who says that there is no evidence of genocide by Nigeria against Biafra is either in the pay of Britain or being a deliberate fool.” Mr. Lewis, speaking at a news conference, commented on a report by an international team of observers in Nigeria that there was no evidence of starvation. “If you want to see genocide, come to Biafra,” he said. He added that he had a conclusive proof of genocide perpetrated by the Nigerians. (Agence France-Presse)