Obama: US troops sent to aid evacuation of diplomats in Central African Republic

President Obama sent approximately 50 U.S. military personnel to Chad earlier this week to aid in the evacuation of U.S. embassy personnel and U.S. citizens from the neighboring Central African Republic.

In a letter to congressional leaders on Saturday, Obama cited the “deteriorating security situation” in the Central African Republic and the threat to U.S. citizens.

U.S. embassy personnel and several private U.S. citizens were evacuated from the Central African Republic capital of Bangui on Thursday.

Obama said the “stand-by security force” was deployed for the sole purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property.

Rebels in the Central African Republic have seized at least 10 northern towns, according to the Associated Press, and on Saturday seized a city 114 miles from Bangui.