Boko Haram leader threatens Cameroon, promises them Nigeria's fate

The Islamic sect leader, Abubakar Shekau,in a new video message on YouTube, has threatened  Nigerian neighboring country, Cameroon; saying that the same fate that Nigeria has been battling with, would befall them very soon.

The video posted on January 5, was directly addressed to Cameroon's President, Paul Biya, after repeated fighting between the militants and troops in the country's far north.

"Oh Paul Biya, if you don't stop this, your evil plot, you will taste what has befallen Nigeria ... Your troops cannot do anything to us," Shekau said in Arabic.

Paul Biya has been mentioned by Shekau before, but it is first time that he has directly addressed Cameroon and is the first admission that Boko Haram has been actively operating in the country.

Boko Haram fighters had in the past launched attacks on northeastern Nigeria from bases inside Cameroon but recent months have seen an increase in strikes within the country. The attacks have taken a similar form to those in Nigeria from hit-and-run raids to kidnappings.

It is still very fresh in mind that the fighters, last weekend, captured the key town of Baga and the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad area, enhancing its control of the remote state of Borno. It is  also no longer news, that the sect, which began its violent attacks since 2009, has taken over many territories in the northern Nigerian states, and has equally declared some towns as its Islamic caliphate.

Cameroon's far north region, which adjoins Borno to the east, came under increasing fire, especially on December 28, when Yaounde deployed fighter jets against the insurgents for the very first time. Biya personally ordered the airstrike after the militants had crossed the border and seized a military camp in the area.

The aerial bombardment, hailed as a new phase in the counter-insurgency, forced the Islamists to flee.  Shekau, in military fatigues and green rubber boots, speaks for more than 17 minutes in the video, flanked by four masked Boko Haram fighters, two of whom hold the militants' black flags. Two others fighters are seen standing on the back of pick-up trucks fitted with heavy machine-guns. Shekau fires an assault rifle into the air at the end of his address.

It also used the group's preferred Arabic name "Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad" or "People committed to the propagation of the Prophet's teachings and jihad."

Boko Haram roughly translates from the Hausa language widely spoken in northern Nigeria as "Western education is forbidden."

In the video, Shekau praises his fighters "inside Cameroonian soil" and calls on Biya to "repent." "If you do not, you will see what will come from Allah, the All-Powerful who has control over everything in respect of chastisement and calamity," he says, waving his right index finger. "Your troops are nothing. Even Nigerian soldiers couldn't do anything to us."

He also calls on the people of Cameroon to "rebel against democracy and shun it." Cameroon's president has made a series of strong statements against Boko Haram and in October last year vowed to go after the group "until it's totally wiped out."

In May last year, he said that a Paris meeting of Nigeria's neighbors was designed to "declare war on Boko Haram." But a key agreement at the summit to set up a regional force has yet to be implemented. Cameroon has been increasingly vocal in its criticisms about the lack of a coordinated response against Boko Haram and called for support from neighboring countries.

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