17 May 2014

Nigeria: Paris Summit Discusses Boko Haram Security Threat

Photo: Présidence de la République
West African presidents meet at the invitation of President Francois Hollande of France.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is in Paris where he joins other regional leaders to discuss how to deal with the rebel group Boko Haram, which abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in northeastern Nigeria last month.

The security meeting hosted by French President Francois Hollande also includes the presidents of Nigeria's neighbors - Benin, Cameroon, Niger and Chad. Representatives from the U.S., EU and Britain are also expected at the conference.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Hollande Friday, in part to discuss the situation in Nigeria. The two countries are among Western nations that have given assistance to Nigeria in efforts to free the girls.

Boko Haram rebels abducted 276 schoolgirls on April 14. The mass kidnapping has sparked global outrage and accusations that Nigeria's government is not doing enough to win the girls' return. The government has said it is exploring "all options" to win their safe return.

Hollande said he called Saturday's meeting to discuss new strategies for dealing with the security threat posed by Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in West and Central Africa.

Boko Haram released a video this past week showing about 100 of the kidnapped girls, who were seen wearing hijabs and reciting Islamic prayers.

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