As the world’s attention has been focused on terrorism in France, Cameroonians received a new message from Boko Haram that the North African “caliphate” intends to swallow their turf.
A new 17-minute video from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was posted Monday on YouTube.
“Oh Paul Biya, if you don’t stop this, your evil plot, you will taste what has befallen Nigeria … Your troops cannot do anything to us,” Shekau said to Cameroon President Paul Biya. The country’s government has been fighting infiltrating terrorists in the country’s north.
If the Catholic president Biya, who has vowed to “wipe out” Boko Haram, does not “repent,” Shekau said, “you will see what will come from Allah, the all-powerful who has control over everything in respect of chastisement and calamity.”
“Your troops are nothing. Even Nigerian soldiers couldn’t do anything to us. Even U.S. troops couldn’t do anything to us. Not even the troops of the whole world.”
White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked Monday if Boko Haram’s gains meant that U.S. strategy in the region is not working.
“It shows that — that there is — you know, that they face a very serious threat in Nigeria. And you know, the — the United States is — it does have this relationship with Nigeria that we value. It’s a military-to-military relationship. We also share some other intelligence assets that have been deployed to fight Boko Haram,” Earnest responded. “But this is certainly something that we’re concerned about.”
Shekau directly addresses the people of Cameroon, which is about 20 percent Muslim: “Know that a man cannot be a Muslim without rebelling against democracy.”
After Boko Haram stormed a “key multinational military base” in Baga, Nigeria, on the shore of Lake Chad, it was reported this week that the terrorist group has captured “all local government councils” in northern Borno state.
“This is indeed a sad moment for my people who were plunged into bloodshed by the insurgents,” the region’s senator, Maina Ma’aji Lawan, told the BBC. “Security forces with active support of the youth have been working hard to protect the area from several attacks in the past. But due to the large number of the terrorists and dangerous weapons they used in the latest onslaught these patriotic persons were unable to resist them.”
The Nigeria Security Network marked July as the point when Boko Haram’s advancements entered “a dangerous new phase” — and the point when the terrorists began “to operate like a conventional army.”
While Boko Haram units outside of the northeast continue to stage “hit-and-run assaults” largely for “psychological effect,” in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states they are now “aggressively challenging the Nigerian military through direct confrontation in open and sustained battle,” including the reported use of tanks and artillery. As in Iraq, some government soldiers have fled from Boko Haram assaults. Units lack proper equipment or enough rounds of ammunition to take on the terror group.
“There is definitely something wrong that makes our military abandon their posts each time there is an attack from Boko Haram,” Lawan said. “The soldiers were trying to repel the attack but that wasn’t going to happen because a lot of the soldiers were without their guns and some were running into the town.”
Boko Haram is believed to have kidnapped some 18 female Nigerian soldiers in Baga.
Dozens of townspeople were murdered by the terrorists. Some people trying to flee across Lake Chad in canoes drowned when overloaded boats capsized.
— Stratfor (@Stratfor) January 6, 2015