On the 20th of July, 1968, representatives of Federal Nigerian and Biafra had their first talk in Niamey, Niger’s capital on convening of a new peace conference.
Colonel Ojukwu, the Biafran leader made clear three point plan which he says will achieve a lasting peace in Nigeria. One, Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu wants an immediate cessation of fighting. Secondly, he wants the removal of Nigeria’s economic blockade against Biafra and lastly the withdrawal of troops behind the pre-war boundaries, so as to enable the refugees return home.
On the other hand, Nigeria’s condition for peace put forward by the Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon was simple, that it will grant a cease-fire only when Biafra renounces secession. The last peace talk the two parties had in Kampala, Uganda broke down on this point.
During this negotiation, six nations of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Committee on Nigeria were present in Niamey. The Committee comprises of Heads of State or senior representatives of Ethiopia, Niger, Cameroun, Ghana, Congo-Kinshasa and Liberia.
At the end of the talks, General Yakubu Gowon and Biafran leader, Colonel Ojukwu agreed to hold another peace conference for fresh negotiations. The proposed peace conference was scheduled to take place in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference was held to discuss the possible ways of ending Nigeria’s 1-year old civil war.
On the 5th of August, 1968, the scheduled peace talks held in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia. The emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selasse who was present at the last peace talk in Niger, hosted the conference in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia.
During the peace talks, Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu delivered a 2hrs 10mins address, stressing and insisting on the fact that only sovereignty can guarantee security for Biafrans.
Unfortunately, Nigeria’s Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon was absent and didn’t grace the conference. His reasons for not being present were not known.