UN Court’s Congo Ruling Is ‘Undue Interference, Unfair & Wrong’-Says Uganda

UN Court’s Congo Ruling Is ‘Undue Interference, Unfair & Wrong’-Says Uganda

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By Spy Uganda

The Ugandan government rejected a ruling ordering it to pay the Democratic Republic of Congo 325 million U.S. dollars in reparations over a brutal 1998-2003 war between the two nations.

International Court of Justice (ICJ) Chief Judge Joan Donoghue on Wednesday said Uganda must pay the DR Congo $225 million for damage to persons, $40 million for damage to property, and $60 million for damage to natural resources.

In response, Uganda’s Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka said in a statement “the decision did not meet the standard of fairness.”

“We challenge and reject the findings of wrongdoings on the part of the UPDF which was singled out notwithstanding the acknowledgment by the court of the existence of so many belligerents in the conflict,” Kiwanuka said.

The long-running dispute was first brought to the ICJ in 1999, more than 20 years ago.

The court in 2005 ruled that Uganda had violated international law by occupying parts of Ituri with its troops and supporting other armed groups during the war.

Initially, the Hague-based court ordered the two countries to negotiate reparations, but in 2015 the DR Congo returned to the tribunal saying there had been no progress in the talks.

Kiwanuka however in his statement said the Ugandan government would continue engaging the DR Congo government to resolve the matter.

“As it turns out, the court’s 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,” he noted.

The ICJ rules in disputes between countries, and its decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

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