In this Thursday, May 8, 2014 file photo, Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan speaks during the World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja, Nigeria. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)
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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan meets with leaders of neighboring states in Paris on Saturday for talks aimed at forging a common strategy against Islamist militants holding more than 200 schoolgirls.Experts say the group's ability to wreak havoc across large swaths of mostly Muslim northern Nigeria is strengthened by the porous nature of the borders in the region, which makes it easier for militants to escape from the security forces and to pick up supplies, most notably arms.France has particular experience in that area, having recently secured the release of a French family that was kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram fighters in Cameroon and then held in Nigeria for two months.Although the French believe that the intervention in Mali inflicted significant damage on groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), military planners remain concerned about the implications of potential alliances being forged between militants in northern Nigeria, Mali and the north of the profoundly unstable Central Africa.In terms of concrete help for Nigeria's anti-terrorism efforts, Paris has signalled that it could put Rafale fighter planes and drones it has based in the region at the disposal of Jonathan's government for surveillance activities.
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