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ICJ orders Uganda to pay $325 million in DRC case

International Court of Justice


✳ The total amount of compensation awarded to the DRC is US$325,000,000. This global sum includes US$225,000,000 for damage to persons, US$40,000,000 for damage to property, and US$60,000,000 for damage related to natural resources.

✳ The total sum is to be paid in annual instalments of US$65,000,000, due on 1 September of each year, from 2022 to 2026. The Court decides that, should payment be delayed, post-judgment interest at an annual rate of 6 per cent on each instalment will accrue on any overdue amount from the day which follows the day on which the instalment was due.

✳ The Court is satisfied that the total sum awarded, and the terms of payment, remain within the capacity of Uganda to pay. Therefore, the Court does not need to consider the question whether, in determining the amount of compensation, account should be taken of the financial burden imposed on the responsible State, given its economic condition

The Hague, Netherlands | THE INDEPENDENT | The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Uganda to pay $325 million war reparations to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Wednesday’s ICJ judgment of $325 million (Sh1 trillion) compensation awarded against Uganda for invading and causing atrocities in DRC as part of the Second Congo War (1998-2003), only covers one area in a conflict that involved nine states and 25 armed groups that left millions dead and displaced.

On June 23, 1999, the DRC instituted respective proceedings in the ICJ against its eastern neighbors Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda relating to violations of international law in the context of the Great Lakes conflict.

When a judgment was issued 16 years ago in 2005, DRC were demanding $11bilion.

In an article in Articles of War, Ori Pomson a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law of the University of Cambridge states that, “Whereas the parties discontinued the proceedings against Burundi and the Court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction reinstituted proceedings against Rwanda in 2006, the Court adjudicated on its merits the DRC’s application against Uganda and issued a judgment in late 2005.”

Head of the delegation of Uganda, Deputy Attorney General Jackson Karugaba Kafuuzi. PHOTO UN/ICJ

The court’s ruling in 2005 was for reparation, but negotiations on the matter between Uganda and DRC failed over the years.

The last public hearing on the case was last year, where Uganda assembled a team of 23 for the The Hague case led by then Attorney General William Byaruhanga.


In today’s judgment, read by the court’s president, Justice Joan E Donoghue, she noted that the reparation awarded to the DRC for damage to persons and to property reflects the harm suffered by individuals and communities as a result of Uganda’s breach of its international obligations.

The panel of judges includes Ugandan, Julia Sebutinde.

“In this regard, the Court takes full cognizance of, and welcomes, the undertaking given by the Agent of the DRC during the oral proceedings regarding the fund that has been established by the Government of the DRC, according to which the compensation to be paid by Uganda will be fairly and effectively distributed to victims of the harm, under the supervision of organs whose members include representatives of victims and civil society and whose operation is supported by international experts. In distributing the sums awarded, the fund is encouraged to consider also the possibility of adopting measures for the benefit of the affected communities as a whole.”

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