Abubakar Shekau ‘ousted’ as leader of Boko Haram

Abubakar Shekau, the head of the Boko Haram Islamist group that kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls last year, has been ousted as its leader, it has been claimed.

Shekau, who gained worldwide notoriety after appearing in a series of videos in which he threatened to sell the girls as slaves, has been replaced by another Boko Haram deputy who is said to be open to peace talks, according to Idriss Deby, the president of neighbouring Chad.

Mr Deby, whose forces have been fighting Boko Haram militants around Nigeria’s border areas, made the comments in a press conference on Tuesday in which he claimed that the group was now on the back foot militarily and would be finished “by the end of the year”.