Boko Haram threatens Cameroon with violence 'unless it embraces Islam' in latest video

Boko Haram calls on Cameroon to "desist" its constitution and democracy for being "unIslamic"

Kiran Moodley
Thursday 08 January 2015 12:43
Boko Haram leader threatens Cameroon in YouTube video

A new video, purportedly from the leader of the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram, threatens to increase violence in Cameroon unless the neighbouring country embraces Islam.

The video was released on YouTube this week and shows a man firing shots into the air with a Kalashnikov and standing alongside other militants. It is alleged that the man speaking is Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, although this has not been verified. The Nigerian military claimed it had killed Shekau in 2013 but he has appeared in several videos since then claiming to still be alive.

Boko Haram, which means "Western education is forbidden", has killed thousands and kidnapped hundreds as it attempts to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. It has also begun targeting neighbouring Cameroon over the last year: on New Year's Day, suspected Boko Haram militants killed at least 15 people in northern Cameroon.

Boko Haram came to international attention in April 2014, when 276 girls from Chibok secondary school were abducted by the militant organisation, leading to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

According to Human Rights Watch, Boko Haram has abducted more than 500 women and girls since 2009. These abductions have intensified since May 2013 after Nigeria imposed a state of emergency in areas of the country where Boko Haram is most active.

The latest video addresses Cameroon President Paul Biya.

"I advise you to desist from following your constitution and democracy, which is unIslamic," the man says, reading from a script.

"The only language of peace is to repent and follow Allah, but if you do not then we will communicate it to you through the language of violence."

While the video is difficult to verify, it does follow the style of previous Boko Haram releases, with a bearded man, allegedly Shekau, standing surrounded by masked men with AK-47s, with four-wheel-drives with mounted guns parked behind them.

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