SENIOR BOKO HARAM MEMBER SENDS LETTER OFFERING DIALOGUE…MILITARY PRESSURE FRAGMENTING GROUP – REUTERS

Imam Abubakar Mohammed Shekau, Boko Haram leader

Imam Abubakar Mohammed Shekau, Boko Haram leader

26 November, 2012
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria
(Reuters)

A purported senior member of Islamist
militant group Boko Haram has distributed a letter requesting talks with the government, a day after a double suicide bombing blamed on the sect killed at least 11 and wounded 30 in an army barracks.

The letter was signed by Sheik Abu
Mohammed Ibn Abdulazeez, a man known by local security sources to be a
sect member but considered to be a
moderate. If the letter is genuine, it would appear to mark a change of tack for the Islamists that fits ill with a spate of violent episodes, including the bombing of the military church on Sunday. That bombing showed a degree of sophistication not seen from Boko Haram for months.

Nearly 3,000 people have died violent
deaths related to the conflict since the
sect launched its uprising in 2009,
according to a count by Human Rights
Watch. Boko Haram has replaced
militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta over that time to become the biggest security threat to Africa’s top energy producer.

The letter was handed to the national
head of the union of journalists, Aba
Kakami, who has often received and
distributed statements from the sect,
usually claiming attacks against high
profile targets or warning of them. Communication with the shadowy
Islamists, who are fighting to impose
sharia, Islamic law, on Nigeria, has been
even more sporadic than normal since the military killed their spokesman Abu Qaqa in September in a gun battle.

Abdulazeez first contacted journalists in
Maiduguri earlier this month, setting
conditions for peace talks in
teleconference and nominating former
military ruler and northerner Muhammadu Buhari as a mediator. Buhari has since declined the offer.

“We are by this letter of invitation to our
respected elders proving to government
that we are not joking with the
government, but we are awaiting the
response of those concerned,” the letter
said. Abdulazeez said he was speaking on behalf of Abubakar Shekau, the sect’s
leader.

But even if Abdulazeez does represent
Shekau, the extent to which Boko Haram
is controlled by Shekau is in doubt, and
analysts think military pressure has
fragmented it.

The letter nominated as mediator Imam Gabchiya, an official from the university in the city of Maiduguri, in the heartland of the Islamist insurgency against President Goodluck Jonathan’s government. There was no immediate reaction from government officials, but Jonathan said on November 18 that no talks were going on with Boko Haram while they remained faceless and in the shadows.

The handover of the letter came three
days after Nigeria’s army offered a 290
million naira ($1.8 million) bounty for
information leading to the capture of 19
leading members of the sect.

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3 Responses to SENIOR BOKO HARAM MEMBER SENDS LETTER OFFERING DIALOGUE…MILITARY PRESSURE FRAGMENTING GROUP – REUTERS

  1. makanaky says:

    This is not surprising at all to me considering the way the Nigerian forces have been decimating the group in recent times, ICC report is still fresh meaning the hierachy of BH and their sponsors within and outside the country must have a rethink as the consequences are very grave.
    There is a slow but sure attitude of ordinary sympathisizes of BH who are begining to see the madness of the group and are no longer willing to phantom their message,modus operandi and thus leaning towards the path of government.
    However, one sure way to continue to make gains is for the security forces to continue to be discipline and maintain proffessionalism at all times even amidst provocation but systematically continue to decimate the group with minimal civilian lives within the context of the law.
    I will not be surprise if the group seizes hostility as nobody wants to be identified with the group anymore.

  2. jimmy says:

    1.The disciplined approach to DECIMATION must continue this is the best way towards fragmentation of b.h.
    2. Demystification of there so called devout Muslim leaders must continue. America started to make headway in IRAQ when they continuously pointed out that these terrorists were not pious but people who were hell bent on killing as many Muslims as possible. they also pointed out how the 9/11 terrorists visited brothels before committing there dastardly deeds.

  3. peccavi says:

    Story, story, story.
    Get your popcorn and prepare for the bullshit
    Abeg, the story will not chang until 2015 and beyond

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