Boko Haram leaders vow to defeat sub-regional force


Boastful Boko Haram leader, Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, has vowed to defeat the regional force assembled to fight the terrorists who are spreading their offensive beyond Nigeria to Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Shekau said: “Your alliance will not achieve anything. Amass all your weapons and face us. We welcome you,” in a 28-minute speech broadcast on international stations and on YouTube.

The subdued voice of Shekau said, “We are going to fight the world on the principle that whoever doesn’t obey Allah and the Prophet will either obey or die or become a slave.”

Shekau dismissed the size of the Multinational Joint Task Force, which had previously been set at about 7,500 but raised to 8,500 men in arms.

“You send 7,000 troops? Why don’t you send 70 million? This is small. Only 7,000? By Allah, it is small. We can seize them one by one. We can seize them one by one,” he said in Arabic.

Shekau also directly threatened Chad’s President Idriss Deby, whose forces have attacked Boko Haram in the northeast towns of Gamboru and Malam Fatori in recent days.

The latest mocking video broadcast came few hours after the terrorists yesterday attacked a prison in Niger overnight, hours before the country’s parliament was due to vote on joining a regional offensive against the insurgents.

The insurgents also yesterday abducted more than 30 people, including those aboard a packed bus in separate attacks in Cameroon and Niger.

Niger’s parliament was due to vote yesterday on whether to authorise the army to cross the border into Nigeria to participate in the regional coalition against Boko Haram.

Residents and military sources were quoted as saying that heavy gunfire rang out as Niger’s army repelled the attack by the insurgents.

They said this was the Boko Haram’s third assault on the border town of Diffa in four days as the insurgents make good their pledge to attack Niger if it joined the regional military offensive.

Residents said, even though many had fled, but the authorities ordered locals to stay in their homes and mounted roadblocks around the town by late morning.

A military officer said on the condition of anonymity that with the attack, “It is now evident that Boko Haram has its cells, its sleeping networks in the town and the region of Diffa.”

He said investigation was on going as it was not immediately clear how many people were killed or wounded, or whether any of the prisoners were freed.

A member of the National Guard, which runs prison security, said more than 100 suspected Boko Haram militants were held in Niger, but none of them in Diffa.

On Saturday, the governments of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Benin agreed to establish an 8,700 strong multi-national force to tackle the insurgency.

Also, Boko Haram yesterday abducted more than 30 people, including those aboard a packed bus in separate attacks in Cameroon and Niger.

Three Cameroonian towns were attacked and in Niger, the town of Diffa was attacked for the third time in recent days.

In northern Cameroon, the fighters seized a bus with 20 people in Koza late Sunday and then drove it back towards the Nigerian border, some 18 kilometres away, resident Bouba Kaina said in agency reports.

Early yesterday, another Cameroonian town, Kolofata, was attacked by extremists who looted food and livestock. The town had recently been retaken by Chadian troops who have been helping Cameroon fight Boko Haram.

In Niger, Diffa was attacked overnight, the third attack since Friday on the town which has tens of thousands of refugees who have fled Boko Haram’s attacks elsewhere. Calm had returned by yesterday morning, but residents are rattled.

“Gunfire and heavy explosions were heard throughout the night until the early hours of the morning,” said Adam Boukar, who runs a radio station in Diffa.

Diffa first came under assault Friday, as Boko Haram militants also besieged the town of Bosso. Then Saturday night, the fighters renewed their assault on Diffa with fighting that lasted until 5 a.m.

On on the regional military coalition, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in a video posted on YouTube said, “You are sending 7,000 of your soldiers. Why don’t you send 7 million? The 7,000 is little and we can kill them step by step … your soldiers are infidels and God’s soldiers are victorious.”

He also told the people of Chad and Cameroon to renounce democracy to be true Muslims. He ridiculed the force planned by “you tyrants of Africa” and tells Chad’s President Idriss Deby that he will “burn in hellfire.”

Newswatch – culled from:


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