The U.S. government has deployed roughly 80 American troops to Gabon over the weekend after a messy election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo raised concerns about potential violence in neighboring countries.

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President Trump’s January 4 letter to the Speaker of the House reads:

United States Armed Forces personnel have deployed to Libreville, Gabon, to be in position to support the security of United States citizens, personnel, and diplomatic facilities in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. This deployment of approximately 80 personnel is in response to the possibility that violent demonstrations may occur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in reaction to the December 30, 2018, elections there. The first of these personnel arrived in Gabon on January 2, 2019, with appropriate combat equipment and supported by military aircraft. Additional forces may deploy to Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the Republic of the Congo, if necessary for these purposes. These deployed personnel will remain in the region until the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo becomes such that their presence is no longer needed.

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The oil-rich nation of Gabon has been plagued by accusations of corruption and electoral fraud, most recently when President Ali Bongo was elected in 2016 to replace his father Omar who died in office in 2009.

Countries around the world have shut down their internet for various reasons over the years. Algeria, for instance, briefly shut off its country’s internet back in June in an effort to stop students from cheating on exams. Turkey also blocked access to most social media sites, including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, during an attempted coup in that country during the summer of 2016.

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[BBC and NetBlocks]