President Obama has authorized a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy in Central Africa. President Obama said the aim is to drive the LRA rebels – the Lord’s Resistance Army – from the battlefield.
Elements of the LRA have launched many attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring countries and have been blamed for killings, abductions and rapes of civilians.
In a letter to Congress, President Obama said, “On October 12, the initial team of U.S. military personnel with appropriate combat equipment deployed to Uganda. During the next month, additional forces will deploy, including a second combat-equipped team and associated headquarters, communications, and logistics personnel. The total number of U.S. military personnel deploying for this mission is approximately 100. These forces will act as advisors to partner forces that have the goal of removing from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior leadership of the LRA."
Mr. Obama added, “Although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense. All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of U.S. military personnel during their deployment.”