International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Uganda to pay $325 million in reparations to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Wednesday for its role in conflicts in the northeastern mineral-rich province of Ituri.
United Nations highest court chief judge, Joan Donoghue said Uganda must pay $225 million for damages to people, $40 million in property damage and $60 million for damages to natural resources, said Donoghue, while reading the judgment.
The ruling comes nearly two decades after the ICJ ruled in 2005 that Uganda had to pay reparations.
The 2005 judgment determined Uganda’s obligation to pay but the court’s task Wednesday was to rule on the nature and amount of reparation owed.
Kinshasa claimed more than $11 billion for the occupation of its restive region during the 1998 – 2003 war that claimed thousands of lives but according to Donoghue, there was “insufficient evidence to support the DRC’s claim of 180,000 civilian deaths for which Uganda owes reparation.
Based on evidence reviewed, the court has found that neither the materials presented by the DRC nor reports provided by court-appointed experts are sufficient to determine a precise or even approximate number of civilian deaths for which Uganda owes reparation, the court said.
“Evidence presented to the Court suggests the number of deaths attributable to Uganda falls in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 persons,” she said.
Rulings by the UN’s highest court that pertain to disputes between states cannot be appealed.
The conflict involved nine African countries, where Uganda and neighboring Rwanda backed rebel groups that sought to overthrow the Kinshasa government.
In Ituri alone, the court determined that the conflict displaced 100,000 to 500,000 people.
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