ICJ ruling: Uganda pays first installment of war reparations to DR of Congo
Uganda has paid $65 million in the first installment of a total $325 million to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) it was ordered to pay by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as compensation for losses caused by wars in the 1990s when Ugandan troops occupied Congolese territory.
In a case first brought against Uganda in 1999, DRC asked the ICJ to compel Uganda to pay it $11bn as reparations for the deaths, looting and general economic damage caused by Uganda’s military occupation of parts of DRC in the 1990s. After lengthy proceedings, the United Nations’ highest court ruled in 2005 that Uganda had violated international law by occupying parts of eastern DRC and supporting other armed groups during a bloody conflict that raged from 1998 to 2003. The ICJ, which deals with disputes between states and whose rulings are final and cannot be appealed, ordered Uganda and DRC to negotiate reparations.
However, after the talks between both parties stalled in 2015, the ICJ took over the case and it was not until February this year that its judges finally ruled that Uganda should pay $325m in five yearly installments of $65m, starting in September this year. The ICJ broke down the compensation into different categories of damages, including $225m for “loss of life and other damage to persons,” another $40m for damage to property and $60m for damage to natural resources. Ugandan soldiers who had been fighting rebels in DRC for the previous three years crossed back into Uganda at the Mpondwe border point in October 2001.