Originally posted on TIME:
(LAGOS, Nigeria) — Boko Haram has a new commander willing to negotiate with Nigeria’s new government, Chad’s President Idriss Deby announced Wednesday, fueling speculation the extremist group’s previous commander has been killed.
Rumors of the death of Abubakar Shekau have grown since the leader has not appeared for months in videos broadcast by Nigeria’s homegrown Islamic militant group.
“There is somebody apparently called Mahamat Daoud who is said to have replaced Abubakar Shekau, and he wants to negotiate with the Nigerian government,” Deby said in comments broadcast by Chad state radio. He did not say where the information came from.
“I would not advise negotiating with a terrorist,” said Deby, though he himself led one failed attempt last year. Other attempts under Nigeria’s previous government also failed, partly because the group is believed fractured into several factions.
Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government is open to talks…
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