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Telegram 685 From the Embassy in Nigeria to the Department of State, January 21, 1970, 2101Z

US Government State Department


January 21, 1970, 2101Z

The telegram highlighted observations of Colonel Eugene Dewey, U.S. relief expert, following his recent visit to the enclave area. He reported a developing disaster of major proportions. At least one million people were in acute need, but relief was being hampered by the military in occupied areas.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, SOC 10 Nigeria, POL 23 Nigeria. Secret. Repeated priority to London. Also repeated to Geneva and USUN. A February 3 telegram from the CIA to the White House Situation Room stated that a source had reported that Gowon had expelled DEWEY. Gowon explained that he expelled DEWEY because he was personally responsible for overdrawn and sensational reporting after his first visit to the enclave, and much of the subsequent overseas agitation about conditions around Owerri were traceable to his original report. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 742, Country Files, Africa, Nigeria, Vol. I)

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Biafran War Database.
Editor: Azuka Nzegwu.

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