US to send troops to Uganda to help fight LRA rebels

US President Barack Obama has said he is sending about 100 US soldiers to Uganda to help regional forces battle the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army.

The BBC reports

Although combat-equipped, the troops would be providing information and advice “to partner nation forces”, Mr Obama wrote in a letter to US Congress.

A small group is already in Uganda, and the troops could later be deployed in other central African nations.

The LRA is blamed for mass murder, rape and kidnapping in the region.

“I have authorised a small number of combat-equipped US forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of (LRA leader) Joseph Kony from the battlefield,” Mr Obama wrote on Friday.

But he stressed that “although the US forces are combat-equipped… they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defence”.

Mr Obama did not provide any details about the deployment duration, but a US military spokesman later told the BBC that the “forces are prepared to stay as long as necessary to enable regional security forces to carry on independently”.

In 2005 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrests warrants for five leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

The U.S. government has long opposed the ICC, undermining its authority with bribes and threats.

Research resources on the Lord’s Resistance Army
International Criminal Court arrest warrants for LRA leadersoffsite

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This post was last updated: May. 9, 2014