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BOKO HARAM

Boko  Haram is an Islamic radical and militant group operating in North and Central Nigeria, on the demographic border region between the Muslims in Nigeria, living mainly in Northern Nigeria and the Christian inhabiting mainly the South of the country. The term “Boko  Haram” comes from the Hausa word BOKO meaning “Western or non-Islamic education” and the Arabic word HARAM meaning “sin”. 

Boko  Haram  was founded in 2002 in Maiduguri, central Nigeria, by Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf. In 2004 it moved to Kanamma, Yobe State of Nigeria, on the far North-East in the edge of the Sahara desert on the border with Niger where other Islamic militant groups like MAGHREB al-Qaeda are operating too. In Kanamma  Boko  Haram set up a base called “Afghanistan”, used to attack nearby police outposts, killing police officers.  Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf is hostile to democracy and the secular education system, vowing that “this war that is yet to start would continue for long” if the political and educational system was not changed. Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf himself was killed by Nigerian troops on 07/31/2009 (see – Bauchi 07.26.09 ). 

Boko  Haram includes members who come from neighboring Chad and speak only in Arabic and not one of the Local Nigerian languages to demonstrate their loyalty to the Islamic Kuraan.  In a 2009 BBC interview, Yusuf stated that the belief that the world is a sphere contrary to Islam and should be rejected, along with Darainism and the theory that rain comes from water evaporated by the sun. 

In the recent years Boko  Haram is staging attacks against Christian communities in central Nigeria on the fluid border line between the Northern Muslim tribes of Nigeria and the Southern Christian tribes (see – Jos 03.08.10 ). In Nigeria The Muslims are the majority of the population with 50.4% relative to 48.2% Christians. 
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Abubakar Shekau became the leader of Boko  Haram after Mohammed Yusuf was killed in 07/2009. Nigerian authorities believed that Abubaker Shekau was killed himself too during clashes between security forces and Boko  Haram militants but he reappeared in a video a year later, in 07/2010, claiming leadership of the group. In the video, Abubakar Shekau indicated that he had been shot in the thigh but survived the fighting (see also –  Boko-Haram Allegiance ). 

 

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