(Nigeria 1968)

International Operation Name: not applicable

International Operation Dates: not applicable

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name:  Africa

Location:  Nigeria

Canadian Operation Name: (Nigeria 1968)

Canadian Operation Dates: 1969/08/02 – 1968/08/09

Mission Mandate: To transport food aid into and throughout Nigeria on behalf of the International Commission of the Red Cross.

Mission Notes:

In July 1967, a secessionist movement in eastern Nigeria (Biafra) declared its independence. The Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG) quickly moved to bring the secessionist state back under Nigerian control. As a result, the nascent Biafran government found itself isolated and cut off from all food and basic necessities.

On 31 July 1968, the Canadian Government agreed to the provision of two Hercules aircraft to fly to Nigeria with relief supplies in support of the International Commission of the Red Cross (ICRC), and shuttle supplies inside Nigeria if such an agreement could be reached between the ICRC and Nigerian and Biafran authorities. This was unrealistic given that the FMG did not want foreign aircraft to fly into Biafra, possibly giving the break-away state any form of official recognition.

One Hercules from 436 Squadron departed for Lagos on 2 August with 8,000 lbs of medical supplies and 36,000 lbs of dried cod. It arrived in Lagos on 5 August and headed back to Canada that same day, returning to Canada on 9 August.

No shuttle service could be arranged between the ICRC and the FMG, hence the second Hercules never left Canada.


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