Uganda says ICJ ruling awarding reparations to DR Congo unfair

A general view of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier/File Photo

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KAMPALA, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Uganda said on Thursday it considered “unfair and wrong” a ruling by the International Court of Justice requiring it to pay $325 million in reparations to the Democratic Republic of Congo for its role in conflicts in resource-rich regions of the Congo. Ituri province.

In Wednesday’s decision, the court said Uganda was to pay the sum in five annual installments of $65 million, starting in September this year.

The total price was well below the more than $11 billion Congo had requested. The tribunal also rejected several claims, including broad compensation for macroeconomic damages, saying a clear link between Uganda’s actions and the alleged economic damages had not been demonstrated.

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“While the amount awarded is far less than that requested by the DRC, Uganda nevertheless views the judgment as unfair and wrong, just as the previous judgment of 2005 on liability was unfair and wrong,” the Ministry of Affairs said. foreigners in a press release.

The long-running dispute was first brought before the United Nations’ highest court in 1999. Decisions of the ICJ, which deals with disputes between states, are final and not subject to appeal.

The court ruled in 2005 that Uganda violated international law by occupying parts of the eastern Congolese province of Ituri with its own troops and supporting other armed groups during a war that raged from 1998 to 2003.

Uganda said its troops entered Ituri at Congo’s invitation. The court rejected this argument in 2005 and declared Uganda to be an occupying power in the province.

The court ordered the two countries to negotiate reparations, but in 2015 Congo returned to court, saying the talks had stalled.

In Thursday’s statement, the ministry said Uganda rejected any findings of wrongdoing against its military and regretted the decision came at a time when the two countries were in the process of mending their relationship.

“Uganda continues to discuss the matter with the DRC government with the aim of securing a lasting and mutually acceptable solution,” he said, calling the judgment “an undue interference in this process and in the African affairs in general”.

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Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Written by George Obulutsa; Editing by Gareth Jones

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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