Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadist group has confirmed the death of its chief Abubakar Shekau, who sources say died during infighting with a rival Islamic State-allied faction, according to a video message from its presumed new commander.
B/Haram Gets New Commanders After Shekau’s Death
In the short video in Arabic, top Boko Haram commander Bakura Modu, also known as Sahaba, urged his faction’s commanders to remain loyal despite the loss of their historic commander.
Shekau’s death was seen a major shift in Nigeria’s conflict, though Islamic State in West Africa Province or ISWAP has recently emerged as the dominant force in the more than decade-long Islamist insurgency in the country’s northeast.
The video, provided to AFP by a source close to Boko Haram and confirmed to be Bakura Modu by another local source, illustrates that jihadist infighting is far from over in Africa’s most populous nation.
Shekau, who gained notoriety after kidnapping nearly 300 schoolgirls in 2014, killed himself last month rather than surrender after IS-allied rivals attacked his base camp in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state, security sources said.