August 1, 2021

mort du chef de Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau

By dint of being declared dead, before resurfacing like an evil genius on springs, belching and threatening, Abubakar Shekau had seemed shrouded in an almost supernatural force, that of a jihadist with nine lives who healed, perhaps more than everything, his own caricature, and pushed the excess in everything: in the massacres as in the clowning of his appearances; in the violence inflicted on the populations as in the vision taken to the extreme of a jihad which rejected even the executives of the organization Islamic State (IS).

Abubakar Shekau, in his early fifties, had at least succeeded in one point: claiming to embody the very figure of jihadism in Nigeria, even though he had been, for more than a decade, only the leader of one of the main factions of this movement encompassed under the generic term of Boko Haram, which had achieved worldwide fame due to its use of kidnappings of young people, including the 276 high school girls in the city of Chibok, in 2014. “Neither Barack Obama, nor Francois Hollande, nor Benyamin Netanyahu, nor Ban Ki-moon [l’ancien secrétaire général des Nations unies]nor Queen Elizabeth will kill me ”he would say triumphantly some time later, sporting a siwak (tooth-brushing stick) as oversized as any other marker in his communication.

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No more demon of the absolute, like that of antics, Abubakar undoubtedly died around mid-May, according to a testimony attributed to Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, former accomplice, longtime rival, and current leader of the subsidiary of the Islamic State covering the so-called West African province (wilayat gharb Ifriqiya, also called Iswap, acronym for the translation of this name in English). In a recording broadcast on Friday, June 4, the latter confirms that on May 18, during an offensive by Iswap forces in the Sambisa forest, west of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, in the northeastern Nigeria, Shekau a “Preferred humiliation in the hereafter to earthly humiliation” and blew himself up to avoid being captured by the group he originally created in 2015.

Way of the insurgency

It therefore took a settling of scores between jihadists to come to the end of this man for whom a reward of 7 million dollars (5.7 million euros) had been promised by the United States and colossal sums, no doubt. to the tune of several billion dollars, spent by Nigeria to put an end to the insurgency of Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda Awati Wal-Jihad (“group of those engaged in the propagation of the teachings of the Prophet and of jihad”) , the real name of what in common parlance we call Boko Haram.

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