Biafra 5 Shillings Banknote – Face and Back
The Palm Tree stands in front of the Rising Sun. The national anthem of Biafra is “The Land of the Rising Sun”1, written by Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first president of Nigeria, and considered the father of Nigerian nationalism.
The Republic of Biafra is the name of a 1960s secessionist state in Western Africa. The Ibo people, sometimes called Igbo, predominantly occupied the coastal region of southeastern Nigeria including the delta of the mighty Niger River.2
Economic, cultural and religious tensions issued in a secessionist movement which led to the Nigerian Civil War lasting from July 1967 until January 1970. The independence of Biafra was recognized by a number of surrounding nations and was supported by with arms from France. Most of the rest of the world supported Nigeria’s claim to control over the region. Nigeria was further supported with supplies of military arms from Britain and the United States.3
The international movement known as Medicins Sans Frontieres, or, Doctors Without Borders, was born in response to the crisis in Biafra.4
A fuller history can be read here.