Trump deploys 80 US troops to Gabon in case 'violent demonstrations' occur after contentious presidential election

c130US Air Force Photo

  • President Donald Trump announced that 80 US troops were deployed to Libreville, Gabon, in the continent of Africa, to provide security for Americans and "diplomatic facilities" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Trump said in a statement to congressional leaders that he deployed the troops on Wednesday in the event "violent demonstrations" happen after Congo held its presidential election on December 30.
  • Congo is expected to release provisional results of the election early next week; however, some election monitors warned that the results may have been tainted.

President Donald Trump announced that 80 US troops were deployed to Libreville, Gabon, in the continent of Africa, to provide security for Americans and "diplomatic facilities" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Trump said in a statement to congressional leaders that he deployed the troops on Wednesday in the event "violent demonstrations" happen after Congo held its presidential election on December 30.

Trump said the troops "will remain in the region until the security situation ... becomes such that their presence is no longer needed," and that he may deploy additional forces to Gabon "if necessary."

Congo is expected to release provisional results of the election early next week; however, some election monitors warned that the results may have been tainted. The international community has raised concerns that a disputed result could cause unrest, as was the case after the 2006 and 2011 elections.

The electoral commission accused the country's Catholic Church, which represents 40% of the country's 80 million people, of "preparing an insurrection" by saying it knows the winner of the presidential election. Representatives of the Church's bishop's conference claimed the votes revealed a clear winner - a move seen by some people as a warning against potential vote rigging by the government.

On Thursday, the US State Department called on the electoral commission to ensure votes were accurately counted and threatened to impose sanctions against those who undermined the process or threatened peace and stability in the country.

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