The Washington Times - December 29, 2012, 05:27PM

With rebels advancing on the capital city of the Central African Republic, the U.S. has deployed about 50 combat troops to neighboring Chad to support the evacuation of U.S. Embassy personnel and American private citizens, President Obama notified Congress in a letter Saturday.

Mr. Obama said he took the action “due to the deteriorating security situation in the Central African Republic and the potential threat to U.S. citizens.” The evacuation of Americans from Bangui, Central African Republic, began on Thursday.

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The president said the troops, although equipped for combat, were deployed as a stand-by and evacuation force “solely for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property” until the evacuation from the Central African Republic is completed.

Rebels in the Central African Republic seized the city of Sibut on Saturday, 114 miles from Bangui. Countries in the region have agreed to send more forces to support the government of President Francois Bozize.

In October 2011, Mr. Obama sent about 100 U.S. military personnel to Uganda to aid in the hunt for warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army.