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Referendum: EU High Representative Replies Biafra,Organization of Emerging African States

January 19, 2016

Federica Mogherini, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security has replied Biafra agitators and the Organization of Emerging African States (OEAS) over their call for a referendum.

The OEAS had earlier requested that the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security utilizes their good office to help bring about a referendum for Biafra’s independence.

The OEAS also called for release of all Biafran political prisoners, a stand down of Nigerian forces, and a snap referendum to be held within 90 days.

In response to their request, Mogherini replied Dr., Jonathan Levy, OEAS Chief Administrative Officer, stressing that, the European Union’s official position is that while it has strong diplomatic and economic ties with Nigeria, “protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms remains a priority for the EU and we encourage the authorities [Nigeria] in every occasion to respect such rights.”

The EU went on to advise the OEAS and Biafrans that self-determination and border changes must be in accordance with established international law. The OEAS has called for an internationally recognized referendum on Biafra independence or autonomy. The EU has indicated it will only recognize a Biafra born via international law and not armed secession.

To achieve a referendum, the OEAS advises all nonviolent means should be utilized including general strikes, economic boycotts, work actions, demonstrations, lawsuits, and civil disobedience. Nigeria is a member of The International Labor Organization (ILO). The ILO recognizes the right to engage in general strikes and the right to strike is also recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 (Article 8(1)(d)).