Troops To Africa
October 15, 2011 by staff
Troops To Africa, Obama said Friday he is sending about 100 U.S. troops in central Africa to help fight the Lord’s Resistance Army, which the government accuses of a campaign by children of murder, rape and kidnapping, which spans two decades.
In a letter to Congress, Obama said the troops will act as advisors in their efforts to prosecute rebel leader Joseph Kony, but not engage in combat except in self defense.
Pentagon officials said the bulk of the U.S. contingent will be a special operations unit, which provides safety training and combat units in Africa.
The White House said troops first arrived in Uganda on Wednesday. Ultimately, they also deploy in southern Sudan, Central African Republic and Congo.
Considered one of the rebel groups in Africa’s most brutal, the Lord’s Resistance Army began its attacks in Uganda more than 20 years, but has been pushing westward.
The administration and human rights groups say their atrocities have left thousands dead and some 300,000 Africans have fled. They have accused the group of children take to strengthen its ranks of soldiers and sometimes forcing them to become sex slaves.
Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court under an order of 2005 for crimes against humanity in his native Uganda.
Obama’s announcement came in low-key fashion – a letter to Speaker of the House, John Boehner, R-Ohio, in which he said that the deployment “furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy. ”
Most of the troops deployed in the regional capitals of working with government officials and military commanders in the fight against the rebels and protect civilians, Pentagon officials said.
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