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Sun, 16 Oct 2011 11:35 - Updated Sun, 16 Oct 2011 11:35

Obama sending American soldiers to Uganda to aid fight against Lord's Resistance Army


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Washington - President Obama has deployed a small contingent of elite troops to aid Ugandan government forces battling a murderous insurgent group.

The first troops departed for the Central African nation Wednesday, part of a complement that will total about 100 American soldiers.

They'll assist in the fight against the Lord's Resistance Army, Obama wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders.

"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," Obama said.

The team will consist of advisers - a job historically done by U.S. Army Special Forces - plus "associated headquarters, communications, and logistics personnel," Obama told House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), asking for their support.

"All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of U.S. military personnel during their deployment," Obama added.

LRA leader Joseph Kony claims to be a medium channeling the Christian God.

Under Kony's leadership, the group engages in murder, rape and kidnapping throughout Uganda.

The outfit also plunders in neighboring southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the White House.