The leader of Boko Haram has declared that Gwoza is the start of an Islamic caliphate. The city no longer belongs to Nigeria. In a video released today, August 24, 2014, Abubakr Shekau states:
“Thanks be to Allah who gave victory to our brethren in Gwoza and made it part of the Islamic caliphate,”
At this point, militants execute dozens of civilians lying face down in a ditch. It is believed that a minimum of 90% of the people captured/killed in this city were Christian.
Boko Haram has been systematically making its way in and around Borno State (as well as other areas). The group has declared a war on Christians, stating that it desires to create an Islamic Nigeria. It is starting with Borno State, as that is where the group got its start. It has been gaining ground around the capital of the state and many are predicting that the capital will be taken over soon.
It is unclear, at the moment, if IS and Boko Haram are cooperating with each other. However, there can only be one Islamic Caliphate. So in order for that to happen, the two groups will have to work together, or oppose each other. Although many in the intelligence community are focusing in on whether or not this cooperation is occurring, we will have to wait some more to find out what happens.
|Borno State, Nigeria|
Gwoza was once predominantly Christian. It is a town in northern Nigeria in the Borno State. It borders Cameroon. On August 5, Boko Haram seized the town and massacred more than 100 people, many of whom were identified as Christians.
The Nigerian army has been ordered to retake the town. However, the troops have twice refused to do so until they have first received arms and equipment upgrades. As is the case in many conflicts, the government is simply outgunned by the insurgents/terrorists.
Cameron Thomas, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, said, “Today,
a once-predominantly Christian town in northeast Nigeria joined the
Islamic caliphate at the expense of far too many Christians martyred,
displaced, and terrorized at the hands of armed extremists. For years,
Boko Haram has waged a campaign of terror against Christians, moderate
Muslims, educators and students, and law enforcement and military
personnel for the establishment of a separate Islamic state; which,
today, they felt capable of declaring. Such a declaration should serve
as rallying point for the international community to come together and
lend its full support to the Nigerian state in its battle against Boko
Haram, and all other extreme ideologies plaguing the stability of not
only that state, but the entire region. We mourn with the families of
those brutally executed on camera, and join with others in praying for
the security and well-being of those under the oppressive hand of the
world’s newest self-declared regime.”