Boko Haram’s leader “kills himself” in a fight against rival jihadists

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau committed suicide in a fight against a rival, the Islamic West African State (ISWAP), a jihadist fighter, according to a voice the AFP received from the group on Sunday.

His death revolutionized the rebellion of a 12-year-old jihadist in Nigeria, who killed more than 40,000 people in the northeast and left about 2 million homeless.

Boko Haram has not yet officially commented on the death of the leader, but said the Nigerian army is investigating the claim.

“Shekau preferred to be humiliated in the afterlife rather than being humiliated on Earth. He exploded an explosive and died instantly,” resembled ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi. The voice spoke in Kanuri.

The undated audio was provided to AFP from the same source that delivered the previous message from the group.

In a voice, ISWAP explained in a voice that he had sent a fighter to the Boko Haram outpost in the forest of Sambisa, found Shekau sitting in his house and participated in a shootout.

“From there he retreated and fled and ran around the bushes for five days, but the fighters continued to search for and hunt him before finding him,” the voice said.

After finding him in the bush, ISWAP fighters urged him and his followers to repent, but Shekau refused and committed suicide.

“We are very happy,” said the voice, saying Shekau is “a major troublemaker, persecutor, and destructive leader in the nation.”

ISWAP separated from Boko Haram in 2016 and opposed Shekau’s indiscriminate targeting of Muslim civilians and the use of female suicide bombers.


“He is the one who committed unimaginable terrorism and atrocities. How long has he lost people? How many times has he destroyed and abused people?” Said.

Over the last two years, ISWAP has launched a major attack on Nigerian troops and has emerged as the more dominant force in the region.

Nigerian troops may face more integrated jihadist forces as the group is currently trying to absorb Shekau fighters and territory, analysts say.

However, ISWAP can also struggle to control or persuade the Boko Haram faction, which is loyal to Shekau, on the outskirts of San Visa, especially in border areas.

“Maybe it’s not over yet,” said one security source. “ISWAP needs to conquer or convince these camps to consolidate in order to fully consolidate their control.”

Jihadist internal conflicts could provide an opportunity for Nigerian troops to seize.

However, if ISWAP absorbs some of Shekau’s soldiers and weapons, it could block the road to Borno’s capital, Maiduguri, said Pekkabi Consulting, a risk group specializing in Africa. Was.

“If ISWAP persuades Shekau to join the army, they will control most of the enemy’s army and will be in most uncontrolled spaces in the northeast,” he said in a memo.

Since 2019, Nigerian troops have withdrawn from villages and small bases, hiding in so-called “super camps.”

After ISWAP hijacked San Visa, he sent a message to locals in the Lake Chad area to welcome the “caliphate” he declared, said Baga fisherman Sarau Ardika.

Locals were expelled from the lake island after ISWAP accused them of spying on them for the military. Al Barnawi said he could return for fishing and trade after paying taxes, with a guarantee that he would not be harmed, Aldika said.

abu-lhd / gd

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