Obama sends 47 US troops to South Sudan amid heavy fighting

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama says he's deployed 47 US troops to South Sudan amid a worrisome outbreak of fighting there.

Obama tells Congress in a letter that the troops arrived Tuesday and are tasked with protecting US personnel working in South Sudan, the US Embassy in Juba and American property in the country. He says they'll stay until the security situation improves enough that they're not needed.

The president says the troops are "equipped for combat."

Obama says another 130 US forces are positioned in nearby Djibouti, ready to be sent in to South Sudan if needed.

Renewed fighting between opposing army forces has raised fears of a return to civil war. The fighting has included attacks by government forces on a UN peacekeeping base and a camp housing displaced civilians.