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ICC Note: Firebrand Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appears in a new video, frail and indicating the near end to his leadership over the militant Islamist terror group that has ravaged northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad region with a devastating seven-year insurgency, according to reports. Newsweek reports that experts have deemed the video legitimate in which Shekau speaks about the impending transition away from him as Boko Haram’s head man. Under his watch since taking over for the deceased Mohammed Yusuf, Christians, in particular have suffered greatly at the hands of Boko Haram. The terror group reportedly killed more people in 2015 than the Islamic State, mostly Christians, and has notoriously abducted mostly Christian girls, subjecting them to sexual slavery, forced marriage, forced conversion, and possible conscription as suicide bombers. Boko Haram has historically targeted Christian villages in northern Nigeria for the worst killing and destruction.

By Conor Gaffey

3/25/16 Nigeria (Newsweek) – Boko Haram’s purported leader Abubakar Shekau has appeared in an unverified video that possibly signals a change in leadership in the Nigerian militant group.

Shekau took over the leadership of Boko Haram in 2009 after the death of its founder Mohammed Yusuf. Under his leadership, the group has waged a six-year insurgency in northeastern Nigeria—which spread in 2015 to neighboring countries Cameroon , Chad and Niger—killing tens of thousands and displacing more than 2 million people.

Shekau was last heard from in March 2015, when an audio message attributed to him was released pledging Boko Haram’s allegiance to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), after which it rebranded itself as the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

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