Chad president says Boko Haram has a new leader

Aug 18, 2015 Chad’s President Idriss Deby recently announced that Boko Haram’s fearsome leader Abubakar Shekau who had been wounded in fighting has stepped down as the head of the group and has been replaced by Mahamoud Daoud.

Shekau made international headlines in 2014 when the sect released a video in which he threatened to sell some 200 abducted school girls from Chibok as slaves.

President Deby made this known at a celebration to mark the 55th years of Chad’s independence:

“I believe we hit hard against Boko Haram. And who is saying Abubakar Shekau is alive? He is just one man. But who says he is alive? Now, today we have a certain Mahamoud Daoud who has taken the baton from Abubakar Shekau and who a couple of days ago, I think, asked to hold a dialogue with the Nigerian government. I don’t know if journalists here heard about this. As far as I am concern I strongly advise against holding a dialogue with terrorists,” said Deby.

He went on to predict the complete eradication of the sect before the end of the year

“Boko Haram has been decapitated, that is certain, and Boko Haram will disappear as a result of the joint forces put in place which will be operational in a few days,” he added.

However, Ebun Adegboruwa, a political analyst based in Lagos, while speaking to reporters pointed that Deby’s predictions of Boko Haram’s imminent demise could be premature.

“Who becomes the leader of Boko Haram is irrelevant to the damage they are doing to our nation in terms of the violence and deaths that we are recording. Whether is is Shekau, whether is is Daoud, the fact that the Boko Haram insurgency has the capacity to inflict harm on the Nigerian nation, on Chad, on Cameroon is what matters to us and by now you will recall that there is an affiliation with ISIS over some four or five months ago whereby the group has now officially been absorbed as the West African chapter of ISIS. So in that regard even the local leadership of Boko Haram will not determine the extent of their fight because now they have instructions from Syria or from Libya,” said Adegboruwa.

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