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‘Rancour’ in Boko Haram over attacks on IDPs

‘Rancour’ in Boko Haram over attacks on IDPs
February 16
11:16 2016

The recent attacks on the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have created rancour within the rank and file of the Boko Haram sect, Salkida Ahmad, the Nigerian journalist known to have access to commanders of the group, has said.

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The latest of such attacks led to the loss of more than 60 lives in Dikwa, a town in Borno state. Suicide bombers struck just at the time occupants of the camp were queuing up for food.

In a report on Salkida.com, Ahmad quoted a source within the group as saying that many Boko Haram leaders were silently grumbling and others openly voicing their opposition to the elusive Abubakar Shekau over these “unexplained attacks on the innocent”.

The source, according to Ahmad, said the only explanation given for these attacks was that the people had run to government-held territories.

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The source added that some of the group’s leaders saw the IDPs as supportive of government’s war against the sect, therefore, deserving of the attacks.

To some members, an attack on an IDP camp shows “nowhere is safe for these people and continues to pile pressure and embarrassment on the government,” Ahmad’s source said.

But a leading member within the leadership rank dismissed this line of argument and warned against attacking displaced persons.

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“We cannot be subjecting more hardship and grief to the people more than the army of the Kufr (unbelievers) subjects them to,” the source said.

According to Ahmad, a growing number of the Boko Haram militants were unhappy with the individual vengeful ploy and attacks, as opposed to the group’s original doctrine-driven campaign.

“What we now have is people are left to choose between the army of Kufr and us, and lately, the people are increasingly choosing the Kufr,” Ahmad quoted the source as saying.

In the past, no prominent leader of the group had cause to oppose the decisions of Shekau, Ahmad said.

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When asked why their affiliate headquarters of the ‘Islamic’ State in Syria and the Levent had not advised the leadership of the West African Province against these indiscriminate attacks on those taking refuge in IDP camps, and focus their attacks on combatants, a leader of the group said the headquarters does not depend on news stories to make their assessment.

“They depend on liaison officers that seem to be okay with such attacks, which they attribute to high level of ‘Kufr’ in these areas or activities that support it,” the leader was quoted as saying.

Ahmad said besides the fact that the group was walking on a tight rope, “there has been a raging disquiet in their ranks on the way things are being run, leading to breakaway and desertion, leaving those that can’t leave to grumble quietly.

He quoted multiple sources as revealing that many members had moved to Libya, Syria and other battlegrounds to fight, promising the comrades they left behind to come back “when things have changed”.

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Others are reported to have rejoined the growing Al Qaeda cells in the region.

Ahmade quoted a Boko Haram deserter as saying he was “convinced that the innocent that we killed in cold blood will change places with us on the day of judgment”.

“They may find solace in the Lord and those of us that have not changed our ways, may burn in hell,” he said.

But a source in support of the group’s actions, opposed the deserters’ view, saying the violent campaign will continue.

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“Our group remains strong in our resolve to continue this violent campaign against constituted authorities all over West Africa,” he was quoted as saying.

“There is a plan to reconcile the various disagreements, which is inevitable whenever several people come together for a common cause.”

“Those who say we will burn in hell don’t understand the complicating issues. Our wives and children have also been killed, maimed, abused and displaced as well.”

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