As Nigeria comes under increasing pressure to track down more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls, France says it is making a specialist team available to help with the search.
Last month’s mass abduction, by Islamist Boko Haram militants, has sparked international outrage.
“This morning, the President of the Republic (Francois Hollande) asked us to establish contact with Nigeria’s president and to tell him that a specialist team, with all our means in the region, was at Nigeria’s disposal,” said Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister.
The US and Britain have already pledged help.
But, according to one analyst, offers of outside assistance need to be considered carefully.
“I think if the fact of the matter is that we don’t have sufficient capacity, then it’s appropriate that they seek for help,” said political analyst Jibrin Ibrahim.
“But in seeking for help abroad they need to be careful that they don’t bargain out our sovereignty as a nation.”
Boko Haram has threatened to sell the kidnapped girls, after abducting them in northeastern Nigeria – where it is fighting for an Islamic state.
Police are now offering a reward for information on the whereabouts of those taken.
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