The Government of Uganda has faulted the International Court of Justice’s ruling saying it has failed to understand and appreciate African matters.
Yesterday, the International Court of Justice ordered Uganda to pay DR Congo $325 million in reparations for damages caused by the Ugandan troops in eastern Congo over two decades ago.
Uganda was accused of plundering Congo resources and killing Congolese in the two wars when Uganda invaded Congo the then Zaire in early 2000s.
Speaking earlier today, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, the Attorney General of Uganda said the decision did not meet the standard of fairness as expected.
“We challenge and reject the findings of wrongdoing on the part of the UPDF which was singled out notwithstanding the acknowledgement by the court of the existence of so many belligerents in the conflict. The UPDF was and remains a disciplined force and a force for good in all the countries it has operated in to this day,” he said.
He said the conflict from which this dispute arose was resolved in a peace accord in Lusaka which confirmed the existence of the problems faced by the countries neighboring the DRC.
“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 persists. This however shall not deter us from continuing to engage the government of the DRC to resolve this matter,” Attorney General said.
History of the DRC-Uganda reparations case
Congo first brought the case before the court in 1999.
In 2005 the ICJ ruled Uganda had to pay compensation for invading Congo in a war that left hundreds of thousands of people dead and displaced millions.
At its height, the conflict drew in nine African countries, with Uganda and Rwanda backing rebel forces against the government in Kinshasa.
The Hague-based court ordered Uganda and DRC to negotiate reparations, but could not reach an agreement. In 2015 the DRC took the case back to the ICJ for a final decision on the amount of compensation.
The DRC told the court it wanted more than $11 billion in reparations. Uganda said it could ruin its economy.
The ICJ rules in disputes between countries, and its decisions are final and cannot be appealed.