US President Donald Trump told Congress on Friday the first of about 80 troops arrived in Gabon on Wednesday to protect US citizens and diplomatic facilities should violence break out in DRC‘s capital Kinshasa.
The first of these personnel arrived in Gabon on January 2, 2019, with appropriate combat equipment and supported by military aircraft,” Trump’s letter to Congress read.
“Additional forces may deploy to Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the Republic of the Congo, if necessary for these purposes.
“These deployed personnel will remain in the region until the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo becomes such that their presence is no longer needed.”
Congo’s electoral commission is scheduled to release the provisional results of the presidential election on Sunday, but it has said there could be delays because of the slow arrival of tally sheets.
Observers and the opposition say the election was marred by serious irregularities. Congo’s government says the election was fair and went smoothly.
Kabila’s ruling coalition is backing his hand-picked successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.