January 11, 2015
BOKO HARAM SPLIT BY FACTIONS, LEADERS SAY
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan. 11, 2015 -- Top leaders of Boko Haram in Nigeria tell The American Reporter their organization is in danger of breaking up as factions within it threaten to break ties to the original leadership over the division of the spoils of war.
The Boko Haram officials say they fear that some of the widely criticized actions of Boko Haram - seizing young girls and selling them into sex slavery, for instance - are also causing Islamic groups such as al-Qaeda in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan to reconsider their financial backing.
"We will not last another month if things do not change," one leader trained in Great Britain said. "We are seeing soldiers slip away in the dark every night."
One commander roused his troops in the morning and found that only half of his original 200 men remained in uniform.
"The rest were gone," he said. Most probably returned to their villages, he believes, while others now feel unwelcome back home and have nowehere else to go.
In the past week, news reports say that as many as 2,000 people were feared dead after Boko Haram militants razed Baga, a small city near Lake Chad, and killed its inhabitants and those of neighboring villages. News reports say the attack was Boko Haram's "deadliest ever."
The number of dead could not be independently confirmed, and the Nigerian Army is apparently afraid to confirm or deny anything about Boko Haram due to threats of retaliation.
Meanwhile, neighboring countries including Chad and Cameroon fear their nations could be destabilized by the Boko Haram violence and Islamic extremism.
The officials who spoke to the American Reporter did so with assurances that their names would not be printed as they do not have authorization from superiors to talk to the media and can be executed for doing so.
But several of the organization's most senior officials broke their silence for The American Reporter's Lesotho correspondent.
Other nations that support the Islamic extremism of Boko Haram on religious grounds are not funding them as they formerly did, the leaders say.
They say funds and plundered goods received are not being divided fairly among field commanders, who are responsible for paying and feeding their troops, they said.