Boko Haram leader vows to disrupt Nigerian elections

Abubakar Shekau released the video on the group's new Twitter account

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The leader of the Islamist military group Boko Haram has said that Nigeria's presidential elections in late March will not take place peacefully.

Abubakar Shekau was speaking in a 15-minute video released on the group's new Twitter account on Tuesday.  The video has not been independently verified.

He warned leaders of Muslim countries to stop fighting the group and said the group would enslave anyone who does not support the Boko Haram cause.

He taunts the Nigerian government, saying: "You are claiming that we don’t know how to fight, but we forced your forces to flee from their bases and we freed our imprisoned brothers from the prisons that you oppressed them in, only praise be to Allah."

The Nigerian military claimed it had killed Shekau in 2013 but he has appeared in several videos since then claiming to still be alive.

The Nigerian government, under the control of Goodluck Jonathan, has already postponed the elections due to security concerns, with the polls originally meant to open last weekend on February 14. They are now scheduled for March 28.

"Allah will not leave you to proceed with these elections even after us, because you are saying that authority is from people to people, which means that people should rule each other, but Allah says that the authority is only to him, only his rule is the one which applies on this land," Shekau says.

"And finally we say that these elections that you are planning to do, will not happen in peace, even if that costs us our lives."

Boko Haram's latest threat comes as the U.S. military launches an annual training exercise in Chad with a number of armies from across the continent.

1,300 participants from 28 countries will take part in the the Flintlock exercise, lasting until early March. The routine first began in 2006 to fend off against the rise of al Qaeda groups in Africa. Now, Boko Haram is the biggest threat.

The group killed at least 10,000 people in Nigeria and has now started to attack neighbouring countries Cameroon, Niger and Chad.