President Donald Trump informed leaders of Congress Friday that he has deployed troops to Libreville, Gabon, to protect U.S. citizens, diplomats and facilities located in Kinshasa.
“United States Armed Forces personnel have deployed to Libreville, Gabon, to be in position to support the security of United States citizens, personnel, and diplomatic facilities in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo,” the letter reads. “This deployment of approximately 80 personnel is in response to the possibility that violent demonstrations may occur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in reaction to the December 30, 2018, elections there.”
The president said the first troops arrived in Gabon on January 2 along with appropriate combat equipment and military aircraft. Additional troops may be deployed to Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the Republic of the Congo depending on the situation on the ground.
“This action was taken consistent with my responsibility to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of United States national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct United States foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive,” Trump said in the letter. “I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution.”