BY Mildred Europa Taylor, 2:05pm February 09, 2022,

Uganda has just been ordered to pay $325m in reparations to DR Congo. This is why

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni. Photo: VOA

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday ordered Uganda to pay $325 million in reparations to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over a brutal war between the two countries more than 20 years ago.

“The court notes that the reparation awarded to the DRC for damage to persons and to property reflects the harm suffered by individuals and communities as a result of Uganda’s breach of its international obligations,” Judge Joan E. Donoghue, the ICJ president, said.

Donoghue outlined what the reparations were for: $225m for loss of life and other damage to persons, $40m for damage to property, and $60m for plundering natural resources including gold, diamonds, tungsten and timber.

The sum awarded was way below the $11 billion the DRC initially demanded from Uganda over the 1998-2003 war that claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions. The conflict at the time drew in nine African countries, with Uganda and Rwanda throwing their weights behind rebel forces against the Kinshasa government as they fought for control of the mineral-rich Ituri region in the DRC, AP reported.

The DRC first brought the case before the court in 1999. The ICJ ruled in 2005 that Uganda had to pay compensation for invading the DRC. The UN top court ordered the two countries to negotiate reparations, however, they were not able to reach an agreement.

The DRC took the case back to the ICJ in 2015 for a final decision on the amount of compensation. The DRC told the court it wanted more than $11 billion in reparations but Uganda argued that could damage its economy.

On Wednesday, the ICJ ruled that Uganda can pay the $325m compensation in installments of $65 million annually. Decisions of the ICJ are final and cannot be appealed.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 9, 2022


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