The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered the government of Uganda to pay $325 million in reparations to Democratic Republic of Congo for the invasion by Uganda of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during the 1998-2003 war.
The DRC’s claim was more than 11 billion dollars, an amount described by Uganda as exorbitant. The ICJ, the UN’s highest court, found that Uganda should pay the DRC $225 million for loss of life, $40 million for damage to property and $60 million for damage to natural resources, ICJ Presiding Judge Joan Donoghue said.
“The Court sets the total amount of reparations awarded to the DRC at US$325 million,” the judge said. “The Court considers that the evidence in the record suggests that the number of deaths for which Uganda owes reparations is between approximately 10,000 and 15,000 people,” she said.
The Hague-based ICJ ruled in 2005 that Uganda should pay reparations for invading the DRC during the second Congo war (1998-2003). This conflict involved up to nine African countries, including Uganda and Rwanda, which supported rebel groups in the mineral-rich east of the country.
The two successive wars that devastated the country – called Zaire until 1997 and then the Democratic Republic of Congo – between 1996 and 2003 resulted in several hundred thousand deaths.
Reacting to the ruling, Uganda said it considers the ruing “unfair and wrong”.