Worse, some of the religious differences that emerged before and after that dreadful carnage are still with us today. During the course of hostilities that lasted almost four years, a lot of other shortcomings surfaced in Africa's most populous nation, including the kind of corruption that, until then, had always been linked to countries rich in oil. Disunity, incompetence and instability - from which Nigeria never really recovered - also emerged. Two bloody army coups followed after the rebels capitulated, together with an appalling series of massacres, mostly of southern Christians by Muslim northerners. Half a century later the slaughter continues.
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