Barack Obama issued a letter to Congress on Friday deploying 100 combat ready troops to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Central Africa.
As of October 12, 12 troops have been sent to multiple Central African countries to aid in removing LRA leader Joseph Kony from leadership.
Kony has led forces for over two decades, acting as a prophet claiming to channel the Holy Spirit. His followers have significantly dwindled over recent years. Obama contends that the U.S. troops are to help “remove [Kony] from the battlefield.”
In 2004, the International Criminal Court indicted Kony for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
“Subject to the approval of each respective host nation, elements of these U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” wrote Obama in his letter addressed to Speaker of the House John Boehner.
“For more than two decades, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa,” added Obama.
Obama also contended that the troops, although armed for combat, will only assist host countries in communication and identification, and will only fight in self defense.
The LRA began in the late 1980’s, claiming to be a Christian-based group seeking to establish Christian government, under the guidelines of the Ten Commandments, in the Sudan and Congo.
“We’ve got a hundred troops being sent over there to fight these guys-and they claim to be Christian,” said Rush Limbaugh on his radio show.
Due to Rush Limbaugh’s uninformed rant of the LRA, in which he said they are Christians fighting Muslims in the Sudan, many are accusing him of backing the rebel force which has participated in crimes against humanity.
"Rush is factually incorrect," contended the Huffington Post.
"The LRA is fighting for the Muslims in Sudan. Indeed, they were partially underwritten by Khartoum to kill the Christian Dinkas in Southern Sudan," added the newspaper.
According to the Washington Post, the LRA has abducted 30,000 children, forcing them to fight in their 20 year old military. Many of the female children abducted are turned into sex slaves for higher ranking officers in the rebel army.
“Support among the Acholi has dwindled, and adults ceased to enlist in the LRA. But children were more easily manipulated. The LRA began snatching them from villages,” wrote the newspaper.
The LRA has been in operation since the late 1980’s, and in 2001 the U.S. designated it a terrorist organization.