Nigeria: Boko Haram - U.S. Places $7 Million Bounty On Shekau

(file photo).

The United States government has placed a $7 million (N2.5 billion) bounty for information that leads to the arrest of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the insurgent group, Boko Haram.

This was announced via a tweet by the U.S Department Rewards for Justice Programme on Wednesday.

"The United States Department of State is offering a reward of up to $7 million for information leading to the arrest to the terrorist Abubakar Shekau boss of #BokoHaram

Mr Shekau took over the leadership of the deadly group in 2010 following the killing of Mohammed Yusuf, its former leader.

He garnered public attention in 2014 globally following the abduction of over 300 female schoolchildren from a school in the town of Chibok, in Borno State.

The development later generated a social media outburst campaign across the world with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls among celebrities, activists and former US first lady Michelle Obama.

"I abducted your girls," he said. "I will sell them in the market, by Allah. I will sell them off and marry them off."

In June 2012, the United States Department of State designated Mr Shekau as a terrorist and effectively offering a reward of up to $7m (£4.6m) for information about his location.

On June 21, 2012, the country designated Shekau a "specially designated global terrorist" under executive order 13224.

The Boko Haram group kicked off as a religious institution and a critic of the affairs of the government. In 2014, it regenerated to neighboring Chad basin countries in Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

It has caused the death of over 35,000 persons in the ongoing crises in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states and other parts of Nigeria since the beginning of the conflict in 2009, according to the UN.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.