Nigeria: Captured girls 'face rape danger'

The Nigerian schoolgirls who remain captives of Boko Haram militants "definitely" face the danger of being raped, a senior United Nations official has said.

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US forces land in Chad in search for missing schoolgirls

80 American military personnel have landed in Chad to help with the search for more than 200 missing Nigerian schoolgirls.

The forces have been deployed to help find and return the girls who were kidnapped last month by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

US deploys '80 military personnel' to find missing girls

President Barack Obama said the US has deployed around 80 military personnel to Chad as part of its effort to help find and return more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

Obama sent a letter to Congress saying the personnel will support the ongoing operations. Credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing

In a letter to Congress on Wednesday, Obama said: "These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area.

"The force will remain in Chad until its support in resolving the kidnapping situation is no longer required.

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RAF spy plane still grounded in Senegal

An Raytheon Sentinel, of the type grounded in Senegal due to a technical fault. Credit: MoD/Crown Copyright

A state-of-the-art surveillance plane sent by the UK to help in the search for over 200 kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria is still grounded over 1,300 miles from its destination as the RAF tries to fix it.

No estimates are being given by the Ministry of Defence for how long it may be stuck at Dhakar airport but a spokesman said it remained hopeful it would be ready to join the international rescue effort "sooner rather than later".

British spy plane breaks down en route to Nigeria

The aircraft left RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire on Sunday. Credit: MoD

A surveillance jet sent by Britain to help search for more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls missing in Nigeria has broken down en route.

The state-of-the-art Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft was forced to stop in Senegal with an unspecified technical problem, the Ministry of Defence said.

A spokesman said they hoped to have it repaired and on its way to join the international rescue effort "sooner rather than later".

RAF plane joins search for Nigerian schoolgirls

The aircraft left RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire this morning. Credit: MoD

An RAF reconnaissance plane has joined the hunt for the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls after leaving Britain today.

The 5 (Army Cooperation) Squadron aircraft has a suite of intelligence-gathering and surveillance equipment that the Ministry of Defence says will join US efforts to find the girls from a base in Accra, Ghana.

Group Captain Rich Barrow, RAF Waddington Station Commander, said: "The Sentinel with its wide area search capability and long endurance is perfect for this task.

"UK personnel will help to analyse the information gathered to improve the intelligence picture for the Nigerian authorities."

UK 'stands firmly behind Nigeria' against Boko Haram

The UK has pledged its full support in the fight against Islamic insurgency group Boko Haram, the Foreign Secretary said following a Paris summit with West African regional leaders.

William Hague said the UK will host a follow-up meeting next month to review its progress.

Foreign Secretary William Hague Credit: PA

Mr Hague said in a statement: "Today’s summit sent a powerful signal: the region is united against Boko Haram and against terrorism in all its forms.

"The UK, alongside France, the US, the EU and our other international partners, stands firmly behind Nigeria and its neighbours and will help turn today’s commitments into action."

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Campaigners demand answers from Nigeria's president

A Bring Back Our Girls campaign organiser has said the group have sent the Nigerian president a letter demanding an audience with him after Goodluck Jonathan spoke at a Paris summit today.

Hadiza Bala Usman said: "Even without a confirmation, we intend to march to the president on Thursday to ask him questions as citizens to demand to know what is Nigeria's government doing."

World leaders target Boko Haram's guns and money

World leaders hosted by French President Francois Hollande in Paris will target the weapons and cash being used by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has kidnapped over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls.

French President Francois Hollande (right) and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan attend a joint news conference in Paris Credit: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The French president said Boko Haram has ample funds, highly sophisticated weaponry and advanced training with some of the world's most experienced terrorists.

Intelligence officials from the US, Europe and Africa shared information while heads of state and top diplomats agreed to improve policing of frontiers, share intelligence and trace the weapons and cash that are the group's lifeblood.

Stars support #BringBackOurGirls campaign at Cannes

Actress Salma Hayek was among several stars to hold up placards in solidarity with the Bring Back Our Girls campaigns.

The viral hashtag is in support of the Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Islamic insurgents Boko Haram almost a month ago.

Actress and producer Salma Hayek holds a placard which reads "Bring back our girls" Credit: Reuters

French actress Julie Gayet also held up a sign during a photocall on the red carpet arriving for the Tribute to animated films at the Cannes Film Festival.

Actress Julie Gayet (R) and director Lisa Azuelos hold a placard which reads "Bring back our girls Credit: Reuters
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