23 Sep 2014

Controversy over alleged killing of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau

Nigeria and Cameroon were, yesterday, locked in an argument over who killed Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and where he was killed.

In a rare public show by the Cameroonian army (Armee Camerounaise), photos of Shekau were made public alongside a statement claiming he was killed during a cross-border raid deep inside Nigeria by its military.

A Cameroon military source, according to Cameroon Concord, said on Sunday night that Shekau was killed following an aerial bombardment of his hideout inside Nigeria.

On the other hand, the Nigerian Army is also laying claim to the same feat but without photographic evidence yet. The Nigerian Army said its soldiers might have killed Shekau in Konduga, a town some kilometres away from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

According to a report posted on its twitter handle, DHQ said yesterday that, “there was no raid whatsoever in any part of Nigeria’s territory in pursuit of terrorists as claimed in some reports allegedly quoting Cameroon military authorities.
“All operations on-going in the environs of Konduga and all associated border locations within the country are completely being undertaken by Nigerian troops.”
Reportedly, the Cameroon armed forces since Sunday have been in serious combat against thousands of Boko Haram fighters trying to enter Cameroon via Fotokol from Gamboru Ngala in Nigeria.

This came amid confusion over Shekau’s identity as military experts are trying to ascertain whether the dead ‘Shekau’ was Isa Damsaka or Bashir Mohammed, who are both top commanders believed to be posing as Shekau.

The Nigerian military claimed that its troops might have killed Shekau on September 17 during a desperate attempt by the sect to capture Konduga as part of their plot to eventually march on and capture Maiduguri.
“It is getting more certain that the terrorist commander who has been mimicking Shekau in those videos is the one killed in Konduga on September 17, 2014, the military revealed.
The military, however, cautioned that “the process of confirming the dead body we have is the same as that character who has been posing as Shekau is ongoing. He is definitely a prominent terrorist commander. I don’t want to say anything about this yet, please.”

The military source insisted that the resemblance between Shekau and the corpse in their custody is too striking to be a coincidence. They cited his facial marks, beard and teeth in addition to the recovery by Nigerian troops of some of the armoured vehicles and Hilux SUVs that had featured in previous videos of the prime suspect. The source assured that the Defence Headquarters will soon address the nation after full investigation of their latest discovery.

The counter-claims by both countries have raised some posers: Who actually killed Shekau and where was he killed and how authentic are the claims?


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