Wednesday, President Obama sent a letter to Congress informing them of his plans to deploy up to 300 troops to Cameroon to aid in the fight against Boko Haram.
According to the president, 90 military members have already been sent to the West African nation to assist a regional force comprised of soldiers from Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Benin, in fighting the terrorist group.
“On October 12, 2015, approximately 90 U.S. Armed Forces personnel began deploying to Cameroon with the consent of the Government of Cameroon,” Mr. Obama wrote. “This deployment is in advance of the deployment of additional U.S. Armed Forces personnel to Cameroon to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations in the region. The total number of U.S. military personnel to be deployed to Cameroon is anticipated to be up to approximately 300.”
While U.S. forces will be armed, the president insisted they will be serving in non-combat roles.
“These forces are equipped with weapons for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security, and they will remain in Cameroon until their support is no longer needed,” he explained.
Officials in Nigeria and Cameroon have accused Boko Haram of being responsible for thousands of murders and terrorists acts in the region, including the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in the northern Nigerian area of Chibok.