President Barack Obama has announced that he has sent about 100 U.S. troops to central Africa to help and advise government forces battling Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army rebels who are accused of murder, rape and kidnapping children.
In a letter to the U.S. Congress, Obama says the American troops will serve as trainers and advisers only, and will not engage in combat except in self-defense.
In the letter, Obama said the first U.S. forces arrived in Uganda on October 12, and could later be deployed in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo to help hunt down the rebel group's leader, Joseph Kony.
The mission marks an expanded U.S. role in sub-Saharan Africa, with the country's troops being deployed in the field to support local forces who are in direct combat with insurgents.
Obama says the mission will support the national security interests of the United States, and the State Department said the American troops had been dispatched with the consent of Uganda's government.
compiled from agency reports