War Stories: A Memoir of Nigeria and Biafra
by John Sherman
War Stories: A Memoir of Nigeria and Biafra began as a journal kept by the author while he was a member of a food/medical team operated by the ... Show synopsis War Stories: A Memoir of Nigeria and Biafra began as a journal kept by the author while he was a member of a food/medical team operated by the International Committee of the Red Cross during the Nigerian Civil War. John Sherman first arrived in Nigeria in 1966 as a Peace Corps Volunteer, assigned to teach English at a secondary school in the country's Eastern Region. Less than a year later, he and the other Volunteers were evacuated from what had become the secessionist Republic of Biafra. The Nigerian army had invaded Biafra, beginning what would become a two-and-a-half-year civil war. Sherman remained with the Peace Corps and was reassigned to teach in Malawi, a country in southeastern Africa. During his year there, he and the rest of the world witnessed the desperate situation created by the civil war as pictures of starving children and other stark images of the conflict appeared in the media around the globe. Interrupting his Peace Corps service, he left Malawi in 1968 and returned to West Africa. He intended to enter Biafra, but he was unable to do so. Instead, upon his arrival in Nigeria, he joined the relief effort on that side of the war. He first worked at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria's capital, then he was sent to the war zone. He joined a team consisting of a doctor, two nurses, and a group of Nigerian Red Cross members who distributed food. The team operated clinics and feeding stations in towns and villages north of Port Harcourt, in an area that had, briefly, been a part of Biafra. They provided aid to thousands of people every week.