REBUTTLE: Uganda Appeals UN Court Ruling On Democratic Republic Of Congo Case

Uganda has appealed the UN Court decision to award DRC USD$325m in compensation


KAMPALA, Uganda[SHIFTMEDIA NEWS]  Uganda has rebutted the decision by the International Court of Justice  (ICJ) ordering Uganda to pay eastern neighbour  Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo (DRC) $325m (about sh1.1 trillion) over a conflict that lasted from 1998 until 2003.

Hague-based ICJ, which is the UN’s top court, delivered the ruling on Wednesday (February 9, 2022).

DR Congo had sought $11b (about 38.8 trillion) in reparations over the devastating conflict.

Judges at ICJ said Kinshasa had failed to prove that Uganda was directly responsible for any more than 15,000 of the hundreds of thousands of people believed to have died in the conflict.


“The court sets out the total amount of compensation awarded to the DRC, which is 325 million US dollars,” said Joan Donoghue, the chief judge of the UN court.

Responding to the ICJ judgement, Kampala Government said:

”We have noted the decision of the court and while the award is not as outrageous as the claims made, we are of the opinion that the decision did not meet the standard of fairness we expected.

We challenge and reject the findings of wrongdoing on the part of the UPDF which was singled out notwithstanding the acknowledgement by the court of the existence of so many belligerents in the conflict. The UPDF was and remains a disciplined force and a force for good in all the countries it has operated in to this day.

The conflict from which this dispute arose was resolved in a peace accord in Lusaka which confirmed the existence of the problems faced by the countries neighbouring the DRC.

As it turns out, the courts decision is yet another failure to understand or appreciate African matters and makes no contribution to current efforts at resolving, on our own, the security issues that persist.

This, however, shall not deter us from continuing to engage the government of the DRC to resolve this matter. Kiryowa Kiwanuka, Attorney General.


Wednesday’s Judgement

Wednesday’s judgment caps a long legal battle. In 2005, the ICJ ruled that Uganda had to pay reparations, but the two countries never settled on an amount and no money was ever paid.

In defence, Uganda’s representatives rejected what they called “staggering” demands for the claim, telling the court last year that the $11b claimed by DR Congo was “disproportionate and economically ruinous”.

“It essentially seeks to make Uganda responsible for everything that happened in the conflict,” Uganda’s former Attorney General, William Byaruhanga, told the court.

Founded after World War II, the ICJ rules in disputes between countries, mainly based on treaties. Its decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Currently, Congolese and Ugandan troops are back in the region, but this time in an unprecedented offensive against the Allied Democratic Forces, the region’s deadliest militia, which the Islamic State group calls its affiliate.


Shift Media News

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