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UN court insists Uganda must pay $325m to DR Congo



Uganda must pay the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) 325 million dollars in reparations related to the brutal conflict between the two nations from 1998 to 2003, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled.

ICJ stated this in a statement issued after delivering a judgment between the two countries from its headquarters in The Haque, Netherlands.

Delivering its judgement on Wednesday, ICJ broke down the compensation, awarding the DRC 225 million dollars for damage to persons, which includes loss of life, rape, recruitment of child soldiers and displacement of civilians.

The country will also receive 40 million dollars for damage to property, and 60 million dollars for damage to natural resources, including the looting and plundering of gold, diamonds and timber.

“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,” Joan Donoghue, the ICJ President said.

The DRC initially filed the case with the ICJ in June 1999, citing acts of armed aggression perpetrated by Uganda on its territory “in flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter and of the Charter of the Organisation of African Unity”.

At the height of the war, more than nine African countries were drawn into the fighting.

The Court ruled in December 2005 that Uganda had to make reparation to the DRC, but the sides could not reach agreement.

Uganda is ordered to pay the 325 million dollars in five annual instalments of 65 million dollars, starting in September.

The ICJ, also known as the “World Court”, is the highest judicial body of the United Nations.

The Court settles legal disputes submitted to it by States, in accordance with international law. It also gives advisory opinions on legal questions referred by authorised UN organs and specialised agencies.

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Cecilia Ologunagba

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