“Killed” Boko Haram leader, Shekau, in new video; denies ceasefire deal; says Chibok girls ‘married off’

Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader supposedly killed by Nigerian security forces, appeared in a new video released Friday, dismissing claims of a ceasefire deal with the government and dashing hopes of the return of school girls abducted by the group since April.

The Nigerian government announced October 17 it was suspending military operations against the extremist group after both sides agreed a ceasefire.

Part of the deal was to see the return of more than 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents from Chibok in Borno State on April 14.

After Boko Haram launched fresh attacks on towns in Borno and Adamawa States, and the girls failed to return on expected dates, the government said more talks were being held and that new attacks were carried out by splinter groups of Boko Haram.

In the new video released Friday, Mr. Shekau denied any ceasefire deal with the government. He said his group will continue to fight the Nigerian state.

Mr. Shekau denied links to Danladi Adamu, the man named by the government as Boko Haram’s representative at the talks.

He said Chibok school girls in the group’s custody have all been “married off”, and will not return to their families.

“We don’t know that impostor called Danladi Adamu, we have never asked him or his like to speak on our behalf because in this war there is no going back,” Mr. Shekau said. “The issue of the girls is long forgotten because I have long married them off.”

Details of the video and Mr. Shekau’s message, delivered in Hausa, will come later.

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