The government of Uganda through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has protested the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to compensate the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) saying that it was unfair, wrong and its intended to disrupt peace within the two countries and the entire Great Lakes region.
On Wednesday, ICJ passed a judgement on the question of reparation in the case concerning armed Activities in DRC. In the ruling, Uganda was ordered to pay DR Congo over USD325 million as compensation for the damage that Uganda allegedly caused to DRC during an external armed conflict between 1998-2003.
However, according to the document seen by this website dated 10th Feburay 2022 and stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the judgement was singled sided since in the 2005 ruling, in which Uganda was asked to pay USD11.5bn, DRC was also required to demonstrate and prove the exact injury that was suffered as a result of Uganda’s intervention. Unfortunately, DRC did not meet any of the requirements as the previous ruling demanded.
The government asserts that since DRC failed to present the requirements as it was ordered in 2005, it’s still unclear how the court arrived at the figure of USD325 million.
“For the record Uganda disputes and rejects the findings of wrongdoing by the Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF), widely known as one of the most disciplined forces in the world. In Uganda’s view, the court’s judgement on reparation does not contribute to peace and security or the spirit of cooperation between the countries and the wider Great Lakes Region. Nor does it inspire confidence in the courts as the fair and credible arbiter of international disputes,” said government.
It added that Uganda considers the judgement unfair and wrong just as the previous 2005 judgement on liability.
However, the government regretted that the judgement came at the time when the two countries are continuing to strengthen their relations in which Uganda’s government is doing all in its means to assist and work with the DRC government in different areas, including security, infrastructure, regional economic integration, etc since the problem that led to Uganda’s presence in the DRC between 1998 and 2003 were not solved.
The government also revealed that the judgment is undue interference in African affairs generally, a fact towards which the court appears insufficiently sensitive, which is one of the main reasons why there is so much chaos on the African continent.
Uganda nevertheless promised that it will continue to discuss the matter with the DRC government for the process of securing a lasting mutually acceptable solution.
The government added that Uganda was not alone in the DRC during the relevant period and the court itself acknowledged the presence of numerous other belligerents and this was confirmed during the signing of the peace cord in Lusaka, however, it was unfortunate that Uganda has been singled out always.
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