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

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US Air Force Photo

  • President Donald Trump announced that 80 US troops were deployed to Libreville, Gabon, in Africa, to provide security for Americans and “diplomatic facilities” in 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 Africa, to provide security for Americans and “diplomatic facilities” in 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.

President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power for 18 years, promised to leave office, but said he would remain active in politics.

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 conference of the church’s bishop said the votes revealed a clear winner – a move seen by some people as a warning against 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 the country’s peace and stability.