Finally ending a lengthy silence of several weeks, the man that Nigeria claimed (again) to have killed in September issued a video confirming that there is no ceasefire deal and there is no deal on the kidnapped Chibok girls, contrary to the claims of Nigeria’s government:
In a video released on Friday, [Boko Haram leader] Abubakar Shekau said: “We have not made ceasefire with anyone. We did not negotiate with anyone. It’s a lie.
“We will not negotiate. What is our business with negotiation? Allah said we should not.”
Shekau also claimed that the militants were holding a German national, thought to be a teacher, who was kidnapped by gunmen in July.
There was no indication of when or where the group’s latest video was shot.
The BBC’s Tomi Oladipo in Lagos says the video will come as a huge embarrassment for the Nigerian government after it said it had secured a ceasefire with Boko Haram.
Nor is there likely to be a deal (tragically):
But the Boko Haram leader said the girls were “in their marital homes” after being married off by the group.
Last week, Human Rights Watch said in a report that Boko Haram was holding more than 500 women and young girls captive and that forced marriage was common in the group’s camps.
I don’t root for failure in a terrible situation like this, but I have to point out that I predicted exactly how this would pan out. There was never a deal to begin with, as everyone should have suspected from the moment that there was no matching announcement by Boko Haram. This video is actually the first comment on the situation at all. This was either a gigantic mistake by the Nigerian government or a spectacular lie. Whichever it was, it sounds like time has run out (potentially quite a while ago) for the girls taken in May and probably many taken since then, due in large part to the ongoing ineptitude of the Nigerian government and military.
This should also “come as a huge embarrassment for” all the Western media outlets that reported it as fact, despite its obvious absurdity.