BOKO HARAM released a
new video Friday denying any
suggestions it would surrender,
just over a week after controversial
leader Abubakar Shekau
appeared in a video message
looking obviously frail.
Shekau, who was not seen on
camera for more than a year,
released an unverified video late
last month and said his time in
charge of the Nigerian jihadist
group may be coming to an end.
If the video indeed depicts
Shekau, he appears thin and
listless, delivering his message
without his trademark fiery
rhetoric, which lent credence to
claims that the group may indeed
be bereft of the spirit to indulge
further in deadly bombings.
This prompted speculation from
usual loud-mouthed government
officials that the terror group was
in fact at the verge of collapse in
the face of a sustained military
But yesterday’s video offered
no such conviction. Instead, Boko
Haram maintained it was a potent
fighting force, with fighters posing
with AK-47s in front of Toyota
Hilux pick-up trucks and a lorry
mounted with a military cannon.
“You should know that there is
no truce, there is no negotiations,
there is no surrender,” an
unidentified masked man
wearing camouflage said in a
prepared script in Hausa, in the video posted on YouTube.
“This war between us will not
The video, which was of
markedly better quality than
Shekau’s and included Arabic
subtitles, featured nine masked
Boko Haram fighters standing on
sandy ground in an undisclosed
desert location.
It is unclear if the masked
people in the video include the
Boko Haram leader.
Shekau was still the head of the
“West African wing”, said the
masked man in the video, likening
Boko Haram to the Islamist
insurgencies in Iraq, Libya and
In March 2015, Boko Haram
pledged allegiance to the Islamic
State group, another of the world’s
most deadly terror organisations.
But there were few signs Boko
Haram now styled as Islamic State
in West Africa Province (ISWAP)
has so far benefited from the
Nigeria’s army has since then
won back swathes of territory
from the militants, liberating
thousands living under Boko
Haram control.
An estimated 20,000 people have
been killed since Boko Haram
began its campaign of violence
in 2009 to carve out a hardline
Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.
More than 2.6 million people
have fled their homes since
then but some of the internally
displaced have begun returning.

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