Obama Sends 100 Troops to Fight Ugandan Rebels
October 15, 2011 BNO" -- WASHINGTON, D.C. : U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday announced the deployment of around 100 U.S. special operations troops to Uganda to fight the rebel group known as the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
In a letter to Congress, Obama informed that in the next months further U.S. troops will be shipped out to other African countries as well, including South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
However, the President noted that although the deployed 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."
In May 2010, President Obama signed into law the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act which reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to support regional partners' efforts to end the 'atrocities' committed by LRA in central Africa.
The United States' decision to send a group of military advisers to assist the forces that are countering the LRA, the U.S. State Department said, is part of the comprehensive, multi-year strategy that seeks to help mitigate and end the threat posed to civilians and regional stability by the LRA
The strategy outlined four strategic objectives for U.S. support, including the increased protection of civilians, the apprehension or removal of Joseph Kony and senior LRA commanders from the battlefield, the promotion of defections and support of disarmament, demobilization, reintegration of remaining LRA fighters and the provision of continued humanitarian relief to affected communities.
The LRA, formed in the late 1980s, has operated for over 20 years and is known for having murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children.
Since 2008 alone, the LRA has killed more than 2,400 people and abducted more than 3,400 others. The United Nations estimates that over 380,000 people are displaced across the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan as a result of LRA activity.
Since 2008, the United States has provided over USD 40 million in critical logistical support, equipment and training to enhance counter-LRA operations by regional militaries.