Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

25 August 2014

Nigeria: 'We Don't Believe in Nigeria' - Boko Haram Declares an Islamic Caliphate

analysis

According to Boko Haram, north-eastern Nigeria no longer belongs to the Nigerian government. Instead, it's now part of an Islamic Caliphate. We're not yet sure who exactly this Caliphate answers to, but it's certainly not President Goodluck Jonathan. What's Jonathan going to do about it?

And so it came to pass. In another lengthy, vitriolic and at times gruesome video, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau declared the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in north-eastern Nigeria. "We are in an Islamic Caliphate," said Shekau, flanked by masked fighters and cradling a machine gun. "We have nothing to do with Nigeria. We don't believe in this name."

Boko Haram's Caliphate is based in north-eastern Nigeria, and is centred around the cities of Damboa and Gwoza. Its establishment is no surprise (as predicted in the Daily Maverick earlier this month). Since April, Boko Haram - or Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Prophet's Teachings for Propagation and Jihad), which is the group's actual name - has drastically changed its tactics, seeking to occupy territory in addition to its usual guerrilla attacks.

This is, apparently, in conscious imitation of the success enjoyed in Iraq and Syria by the...

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