On Sunday, Islamic terrorist Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau (pictured) released yet another video, declaring that he had finally created a caliphate. In addition, hundreds of Nigeria’s military reportedly fled to Cameroon, according to various reports.
During the 52-minute video, Shekau declared the town of Gwoza of Borno State a part of his Islamic caliphate, which is an Islamic state headed by a supreme religious or political leader.
“Thanks be to Allah who gave victory to our brethren in Gwoza and made it part of the Islamic caliphate.
“By the grace of Allah we will not leave the town. We have come to stay.”
Watch Abubaker Shekau’s latest video here:
As Face2Face Africa has repeatedly reported, Gwoza has been mercilessly hammered in the past year: In June, six villages were attacked there.
In fact, the reported attacks were so vicious there, that much of the burying of the dead was left to the elderly.
And earlier this month, even the Emir of the town, Alhaji Mohammed Idrissa Timta, was kidnapped from Gwoza, after his town was targeted once again.
Timta eventually escaped on his own about a week later.
But his father wasn’t so lucky. On May 30th, Idrissa Timta, the original Emir, was also abducted but then killed.
And while Nigerian authorities reportedly view Shekau’s claims as “empty,” experts are calling Shekau’s territorial advancement “unprecedented” and his ability to maintain the areas he has claimed achievable.
The United Nations humanitarian office (OCHA) earlier this month confirmed reports that Gwoza was under rebel control.
Boko Haram is also believed to be in control of other areas near Gwoza in southern Borno, as well as large swathes of territory in northern Borno and at least one town in neighboring Yobe state.
Boko Haram has also taken over one of two main police training academies in the area.
Nigerian Military Flees to Cameroon
Nearly 500 Nigerian troops and thousands of citizens reportedly fled across the border in to Cameroon over the weekend, after intense fighting with Boko Haram terrorists.
According to Cameroon Army Spokesman Lt. Col. Didier Badjek, the soldiers are currently in Maroua, which is about 50 miles from Nigeria.
At the news, the Nigerian Defense Ministry chalked up the move to “charging through the borders in a tactical manoeuvre.”
Authorities also said that once the soldiers crossed the Cameroonian border, they followed protocol and handed over their weapons and would be returning to their homeland shortly.
But just last week, a group of about 40 soldiers reportedly said that they refuse to fight until they receive appropriate arms and ammunition.
BBC News’ Tomi Oladipo also explains, though, that the “tactical manoeuvre” Nigerian authorities referred to belies serious issues, “This is the largest reported case of Nigerian troops fleeing from battle so far and it is even more telling that they have crossed the border into Cameroon. It is not clear whether these soldiers intend to return to the Nigerian army or if they have deserted altogether.
“The Nigerian military has insisted its forces are up to the task, but the fact that Boko Haram has been able to keep hold of Gwoza for some weeks now means residents of towns and villages across the north-east fear they could be next.”