French President Francois Hollande was to host an anti-terrorism summit on Saturday with Nigeria and its African neighbours to debate strategies to counter the Islamist extremist sect Boko Haram.
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and representatives from Chad Cameroon, Niger, Benin, as well as the United States and Britain are expected to attend.
Mr. Hollande called the meeting after Boko Haram abducted more than 300 girls from a school in the northern Nigerian town of Chibok on April 14. On Monday, the group released a video of about 130 of the mostly Christian girls, wearing veils and reciting the Koran.
The kidnapping caused an international outcry, with the US, Britain, Israel, China, France and Canada pledging support in the search for the girls.
The US government has sent help in the form of military officials, investigators and forensics experts.
France sent in a group of intelligence experts to assist in the search, after announcing last week it would build a cross-border anti-terrorism unit with 3,000 French soldiers in the Sahel zone.
Nigerian police offered a reward of 50 million naira (310,000 dollars) to anyone providing a lead on the whereabouts of the abducted children.
Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful,” has carried out deadly attacks on state institutions and civilians in the predominantly Muslim north of the West African country for several years.