Armed ViolenceNews

Boko Haram Lake Chad Franchise Showcases Weapons, Sniper

The Jamaat Ahlus Sunnah li Dawah wal Jihad (JAS) also known as Boko Haram shared a 10-minute propaganda video of the group’s franchise in the Lake Chad on Sunday.

The multilingual video that contained sections in English, French, Hausa, and Kanuri featured commanders in camouflage fatigue and masked fighters wearing magazine pouch vests.

The fighters were also shown practising combat drills and holding different variants of the Kalashnikov assault rifle with under folding, side-folding and fixed wooden stocks.

Boko Haram Lake Chad Franchise Showcases Weapons, Sniper

These rifles include what appears to be the Chinese Type 56 widely used by insurgents in the region and Zastava M21 most likely captured from the Cameroonian Armed Forces.

Boko Haram Lake Chad Franchise Showcases Weapons, Sniper

The Zastava M21 has appeared in previous pictures of the mainland Boko Haram fighters shared by the group or recovered by security forces.

Boko Haram Lake Chad Franchise Showcases Weapons, Sniper

An English speaking fighter dressed in a ghillie-type sniper veil spoke briefly and subsequently took a kneeling position to demonstrate his marksman skills using a Dragunov sniper rifle.

Boko Haram Lake Chad Franchise Showcases Weapons, Sniper
Nigerien sniper poses for VOA Africa near the Assaga camp in Diffa (VOA / Nicolas Pinault)

The Dragunov sniper rifle is common among Nigerien Army snipers involved in the military campaign against Boko Haram.

Boko Haram Lake Chad Franchise Showcases Weapons, Sniper
The Dragunov sniper rifle beside a Nigerien soldier at Flintlock 2020 near Atar, Mauritania. Photo by Sgt. Conner Douglas

The Boko Haram franchise, also known as the Bakura faction, operates around the northern part of the Lake Chad, which allows the terror group’s leader Abubakar Shekau to maintain influence in an area dominated by the breakaway Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

In September 2019, a group of fighters led by Ibrahim Bakura “Doron” pledged allegiance to Shekau in a video clip ‘Message of Congratulations and Glad Tidings from the Mujahidin in Lake Chad’.

On March 23, the group attacked a Chadian military camp on Lake Chad’s Bohoma Peninsula, overrunning the camp and killing at least 98 Chadian soldiers.

In response, Chadian President Idris Deby launched a retaliatory operation, Bahoma Wrath.

Last week, JAS released a video in which it claimed responsibility for an attack in Toumour, a community in the south-eastern part of the Niger Republic, where it killed 27 people and burnt over a thousand houses.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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