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U.S. prepares to reopen embassy in Central African Republic

The U.S. is preparing to reopen its embassy in the Central African Republic after its closure in December 2012 due to the deteriorating security environment.

By JC Finley
U.S. prepares to reopen embassy in Central African Republic
President Barack Obama notified Congress on September 11, 2014 that he has deployed 20 U.S. military personnel to the Central African Republic to bolster security for the reopening of the embassy in Bangui. (UPI/Pete Marovich) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama notified Congress, as mandated by the War Powers Resolution, that he deployed U.S. military personnel to the Central African Republic to protect the American embassy in Bangui as it prepares to reopen.

In a letter addressed to Congress, Obama wrote:

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"On September 10, 2014, approximately 20 U.S. Armed Forces personnel deployed to the Central African Republic to support the resumption of the activities of the U.S. Embassy in Bangui.

This force was deployed along with U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security personnel for the purpose of protecting U.S. Embassy personnel and property. This force is expected to remain in the Central African Republic until it is replaced by an augmented U.S. Marine Security Guard Detachment and additional U.S. Department of State civilian security personnel as the security situation allows.

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This action has been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.

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I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in these actions."

The U.S. suspended embassy operations on December 28, 2012 due to the deteriorating security environment. In March 2013, the Muslim-backed Séléka group took control of the capital, Bangui, and removed Christian President François Bozizé, leading to more than a year of ethnic and religious violence.

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In August, acting Prime Minister Kamoun Mahamat announced the establishment of a new transitional government, garnering praise from the U.S. "as they undertake this vital work to bring peace and security, justice, stability, and prosperity to their country."

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