US Embassy to Reopen in CAR

The United States is reopening its embassy in the Central African Republic after a nearly two-year diplomatic absence.

In a letter to Congress on Thursday, President Barack Obama said 20 U.S. troops arrived a day earlier to secure the embassy in Bangui.

Obama did not give a firm date for the arrival of new diplomatic staff. However, the soldiers are seen as the first step toward reestablishing the mission, which closed in late 2012 amid rebel threats to overthrow the government.

The decision comes as the United Nations begins a new peacekeeping mission in the country, where the government struggles to function amid widespread violence following a March 2013 coup.

About 1,500 international peacekeepers will join 4,800 African troops already on the ground to restore law and order.

That force is expected to double in size by the end of the year.

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