CNN REPORTS – President Barack Obama is sending about 100 U.S. troops to central Africa to help hunt down the leaders of the notoriously violent Lord’s Resistance Army.
“I have authorized a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield,” Obama said in letter to the House Speaker John Boehner and Daniel Inouye, president pro tempore of the Senate. Obama was making a reference to the head of the guerrilla group.
“I believe that deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.”
U.S. military personnel will advise regional forces working to target Kony and other senior leaders. The president said the troops will not engage Lord’s Resistance Army forces “unless necessary for self-de fense.”
Obama said the United States has backed regional military efforts since 2008 to go after the group, but these efforts have been unsuccessful.
Obama notes that the Lord’s Resistance Army “has murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa” and “continues to commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan that have a disproportionate impact on regional security.