Boko Haram Rejects Suggestions of Surrendering in Latest VideoApril 18, 2016 in Boko Haram, Nigeria
Boko Haram released a new video on Friday, 1 April denying any suggestions that it would surrender. The latest video comes just over a week after the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, appeared in a rare message looking dejected and frail.
Shekau, who was not seen on camera for more than a year, released an unverified video late last month, stating that 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. While last month’s video prompted speculation from the Nigerian army that the Islamist group was on the verge of collapse in the face of a sustained military counter-insurgency, in Friday’s newly released video, Boko Haram maintained that 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. In the video, which was posted on YouTube, an unidentified masked man wearing camouflage said in a prepared script in Hausa that “you should know that there is no truce, there is no negotiations, there is no surrender…This war between us will not stop.” The masked man in the video also stated the Shekau was still the head of the “West African wing,” likening Boko Haram to the Islamist insurgencies in Iraq, Libya and Syria. The video, which was markedly better quality than Shekau’s and which included Arabic subtitles, featured nine masked Boko Haram fighters standing on sandy ground in an undisclosed desert location. It remains unclear if the masked people in the video include Boko Haram’s leader.