B’ Haram releases new video, vows to disrupt polls

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Militant Islamist sect, Boko Haram, has vowed to disrupt the March 28 and April 11 elections.

“The elections will not be held even if we are dead. Even if we are not alive Allah will never allow you to do it,” the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, said in a new video on Tuesday evening.

The video appeared to be the first message released by the group on Twitter, a sign of its changing media tactics after previous messages were distributed to journalists on DVD.

Shekau was shown in unusual clarity in front of a solid blue background, dressed in black and with an automatic weapon resting to his right.

Despite the threat, experts doubt that the Islamist rebels have the capacity to disrupt voting nationwide, although election officials concede that voting may be difficult in parts of the North-East, especially on March 28 .

Meanwhile, the United States will help Cameroon’s army secure equipment to fight Boko Haram, its embassy in Cameroon said on Wednesday .

Boko Haram fighters have killed and kidnapped thousands in a six-year insurgency in Nigeria and are stepping up cross-border attacks on neighbouring countries despite a major regional offensive against them.

In the latest strike, Boko Haram fighters ambushed an army patrol near the town of Waza in Cameroon this week and an intense gun battle ensued, killing five soldiers.

“My government is working on a logistic pipeline of material that will enhance Cameroon’s ability to defend itself from Boko Haram,” US Ambassador to Cameroon, Michael Stephen Hoza, said in a notice published in a Cameroonian newspaper on Wednesday.

He did not elaborate on what would be provided, saying only that it would be “equipment necessary to defend the country.”

Earlier this week, the commander of the US Special Forces operations in Africa pledged to help African nations in the fight against the group.

Maj. Gen. James Linder of the US army said Washington would provide technology allowing African partners to communicate between cellphones, radios and computers.

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