News / Africa

New Video Attributed to Boko Haram Threatens Long War

A poster advertises for the search of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in Baga village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, in the north-eastern state of Borno, Nigeria, May 13, 2013.
A poster advertises for the search of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in Baga village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, in the north-eastern state of Borno, Nigeria, May 13, 2013.
Heather Murdock
In Nigeria, many people believe Abubakar Shekau leads Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group blamed for thousands of deaths. A man who sounds like Shekau is heard in a new audio message distributed to journalists, raising questions about claims the terrorist is dead.

Boko Haram used to post its videos on YouTube, but now it sends copies to a couple of journalists in northern Nigeria who distribute them to trusted colleagues and eventually the news agencies. Often the videos are transferred to audio-only files to accommodate the shoddy communications network in northern Nigeria.

This is the latest Boko Haram audio file making its way around Nigeria. It is distinctly the voice of Abubakar Shekau, or a very good impersonation of him. Speaking in the local Hausa language, he says Boko Haram has seized enough weapons to maintain a sustained war to turn Nigeria into his version of an Islamic state, which includes death for non-believers.

But he does not take responsibility for any specific recent attacks, most notably the September 29 raid on a college dormitory where about 40 students were killed, some while they were sleeping.

Nigerian authorities say Boko Haram is losing its power in northern Nigeria. Army spokesperson Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru says, “Our operations in the northeast have continued to [destroy] terrorist activities, thereby denying them freedom of action. For the last few weeks there were incidences of Boko Haram terrorists, unprovoked malicious attack and wanton destruction of life and property.”
He says Boko Haram is still conducting attacks, but the military is moving in on the group and apprehending suspects.

Other authorities say that recent security forces successes against Boko Haram include the killing of Shekau.

This is a video released last week of a man who looks and sounds like Shekau saying he is alive. Security forces later told Nigerian newspapers the video was doctored to “sustain a non-existent continuum in leadership.”

But some analysts say both the Boko Haram statements - whoever they came from - and the security forces' claims are a smokescreen, designed by powerful politicians to keep the public confused and the northeast in chaos.

Clement Nwankwo, who heads the Policy and Legal Advocacy Center in Abuja, says, “If you have a military presence in virtually all parts of the north then you are able to determine the number of people that come and vote. If there is fear then it means that a lot of people in the area where you think you do not have support do not necessarily come out and vote.”

During the past four years, Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for attacks on schools, churches, mosques, security forces, banks and the government. Nwankwo says in the past some authorities have declared Shekau dead, while others maintained he was alive.

The only thing 100 percent verifiable, he says, is that innocent people continue to be killed.

Abdulkareem Haruna contributed to this report from Maiduguri

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid