Tuesday 11 January 2022

Nigeria once had balls

In 1960, France conducted the following nuclear tests in the Sahara desert:

13 February 1960: Gerboise Bleue ("blue jerboa"): 70 kt

1 April 1960: Gerboise Blanche ("white jerboa"): < 5 kt

27 December 1960: Gerboise Rouge ("red jerboa"): < 5 kt

Nigeria became an independent nation on 1 October 1960. When France exploded a nuclear device on 27 December 1960, the new independent Nigeria responded to France's Saharan nuclear test by ordering the departure of France's ambassador and his staff out of the country.

Full embargo was imposed on all French goods and diplomatic relations with France was suspended indefinitely. All French transit within Nigeria were barred in January 1961. Nigeria's ports and airports were closed to all French ships and planes.

This Nigerian action (full economic sanctions) hampered much of France's commercial relations with West Africa, a large portion of which were conducted through Nigerian ports.

Although many countries protested the French nuclear tests through verbal means, Nigeria was the only such country to take diplomatic and economic measures as well. Sudan did recall its ambassador in Paris but did send the French ambassador packing from Khartoum.

Diplomatic relations between these two countries would remain suspended until 1965.

By Olobe Yoyon 



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