A man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader, released a chilling video ironically on Halloween night declaring that the 219 school girls held in captivity had all “converted” to Islam and were now “married” to Boko Haram militants.
The speaker also declared the ceasefire was a ruse, and that negotiations never took place. Furthermore, he said that the government had been meeting with a false representative of Boko Haram.
As Boko Haram insurgents make considerable advances in northeastern Nigeria capturing about 30 towns, there has been a geometric spike in IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) as people flee the region en masse. In late October, Jubilee Campaign’s local partners in Nigeria distributed emergency food to refugees in the village of Kogbaru. Over the last few months, thousands of Nigerians have fled to Kogbaru which was tiny resettlement camp of just 62 refugees when our team first visited in April, 2014.
The situation is dire. Six months later, we still have not heard back from the UN about allowing us to bring food to their camps in Cameroon where refugees are starving. Some of the refugees in this ad hoc resettlement camp fled from dysfunctional UN camps.
(Refugees receive Mana donations, a UN-approved nutritional formula for malnourished children.)
Mana Nutrition, a Georgia USA company, donated the food which Jubilee shipped to Nigeria. More help is needed urgently especially for those who cannot reach the UN camps in Cameroon or the Kogbaru camp in central Nigeria.
(Mass exodus of people fleeing Boko Haram)
In one community, the local chief emir read out an announcement that Boko sent to warn the villagers to convert or leave town before this week as they are next in line to be attacked. Our contacts in that community are now hiding in the bushes.