Boko Haram’s shadowy leader, Abubakar Shekau, has made his first appearance in months, dismissing recent claims of attacks by Cameroonian President Paul Biya, on its fighters.
While threatening world leaders in the 27-minute footage, the elusive kingpin, who spoke in the local languages Hausa and Kanuri, as well as Arabic, also claimed responsibility for a spate of suicide bombings.
In the video, which was obtained by AFP on Friday, Shekau can been seen in his usual trademark pose in front of a sub-machine gun, flanked by two masked militant fighters.
Shekau said the recording was made on Thursday and that he was “in good health”, contrary to claims he may be injured.
He however appeared subdued compared with previous appearances.
Criticising regional leaders, he singled out Cameroon’s President whose government on Wednesday said troops had killed 60 Boko Haram fighters and arrested 21 others in recent weeks.
Government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary also said more than 5,000 civilian “hostages” had been freed in operations along the border with Nigeria from February 27 to March 7.
But Shekau said: “We fought along the Cameroonian border. You lied that you killed 60 of our fighters, that you arrested 20 of our men, that you freed 5,000 of your people.
“Paul Biya, is it that you can’t live off lies? Is it with this that you are going to convince the West, your leaders? It is unfortunate. Be careful, Paul Biya.”