Nigeria just marked 1,000 days since the Chibok girls’ abduction by Boko Haram fighters on April 14, 2014. Some of them have been released, 21 have managed to escape since their abduction, however, 200 girls still remain in captivity.
For a background on this story, read Boko Haram – Bring Back More of Our Girls.
Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly said that he remains committed to ensuring the schoolgirls will be reunited with their families’ soon.
The tears never dry, the ache is in our hearts – President Buhari
Is Boko Haram finished?
The Nigerian government has won back huge areas of territory from Boko Haram over the last few years but have continually failed to retrieve the girls or even claim any large victories against Boko Haram. On Christmas Eve 2016, the Nigerian government claimed to have won a decisive victory over Boko Haram. Government troops allegedly pushed Boko Haram fighters out of their last enclave in the Sambisa forest, crushed them, seizing their last base in the Borno state and acquiring massive amounts of intelligence. The Nigerian government claimed that the girls would be found within days and that Boko Haram is on the run and finished.
On the other hand, Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, appeared in a new video the day after the Nigerian government’s message, on Christmas Day, challenging Nigeria’s claim that the group had been scattered out of its stronghold in Sambisa.
If you indeed crushed us, how can you see me like this? – Abubakar Shekau
How many lives does Abubaker Shekau have?
There have been numerous reports through the years of Abubaker Shekau being killed, sometimes even backed by the security forces of neighboring countries, only to be wrong.
July 2009, shortly after Shekau took over leadership of Boko Haram, Nigeria claimed to have killed him.
July 2010, Nigeria’s security forces claimed to have killed him. He appeared in a video stating that although he had been shot, he survived.
August 2013, Shekau was allegedly shot and died. He released a video the following month. The Nigerian military claimed that the individual in a September 2013 Shekau video was not him, thus he must be dead and declared him as such.
September 2014, the Nigerian army stated that Shekau had been killed by the Cameroonian military during a Boko Haram raid. Shorter after, Shekau appeared alive in a video.
August 2016, the Nigerian Air Force announced that Shekau had been fatally wounded. The next month Shekau released a video mocking Nigerian commanders.
Although Boko Haram is on the run, they still pose a threat, often launching raids on remote villages and attacks on soldiers in neighboring Chad and Niger. The seven year old conflict with Boko Haram has caused more than 15,000 casualties and displaced millions in the northeast of Nigeria.