Maiduguri, Nigeria – The enigmatic leader of Boko Haram, Abubakr Shekau, has released yet another video full of 25 minutes of fire and brimstone, with demands of swift, bloody retaliation against Nigerian forces ands its citizens. This latest video comes just days after the Nigerian Army claimed victory against the insurgent group by destroying Boko Haram’s stronghold in the Sambisa Forest on the outskirts of the city of Maiduguri, located in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno State.
On December 22nd, troops from the Nigerian Army, along with a local militia known as the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) of Maiduguri, conducted a full-on assault against what Nigerian intelligence called ‘Camp Zairo.’ This camp was the last of Boko Haram’s major strongholds and the headquarters for the terrorist group’s leader, Abubakr Shekau. The sweep-and-clear mission named ‘Operation LAFIYA DOLE’ successfully combined air and ground forces. The Nigerian forces, along with the CJTF, executed a coordinated assault following an intense artillery barrage onto Camp Zairo, sending Boko Haram fighters scattering in a desperate attempt to counter the early morning raid—to no avail. The Nigerian assault force proved too overwhelming, and what was left of the Boko Haram fighters, and apparently their leader, ran off into the Sambisa, allowing the Nigerian troops to capture its de facto headquarters. The Nigerian government heralded this as an overwhelming victory and a crushing blow to Boko Haram.