Obama sends U.S. troops to Uganda

Leader of the Lord's Resistance Army Joseph Kony in 2006 (file)
Leader of the Lord's Resistance Army Joseph Kony in 2006 (file)
Stuart Price/AFP/Getty Images

In a letter to Congress, President Obama announced today he’s deploying around 100 U.S. military advisers to lend their expertise in Uganda to help in the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army.

The White House and human rights groups accuse the rebel group of murdering, raping and abducting thousands of civilians over the course of 20 years. Approximately, 300,000 Africans have fled from the area.

The combat-equipped troops won’t engage in combat — unless it’s for self-defense. Instead, they will help “provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield.” The leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Obama’s said the move “furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.”

The first troops landed in Uganda on Wednesday, and more will arrive soon. They’re also expected to make stops in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.