The modern state of Nigeria was the product of a merger, by the British, of the North and Southern Protectorates with the Colony of Lagos in 1914. Prior to the amalgamation, the country had been home to numerous kingdoms and tribes over millennia. Political independence was attained in 1960 but seven years later, the country plunged into a three-year civil war (1967-1970) prompted by an attempt by the Igbo-dominated Eastern region to secede from the federation and establish the Republic of Biafra. Over 1 million people died in the civil war, and in the decades after, the country oscillated between military dictatorships and multiparty civilian rule. Since the transition from military to civilian rule in 1999, Nigeria has seen a succession of four civilian administrations. However, intervals of violent conflicts have plagued Nigeria since independence, with political power shifting between the North and the South.