Congo seeks reparations from Uganda at World Court
The Democratic Republic of Congo accused Uganda today of "massive" human rights abuses, looting and destruction in a war on its territory and demanded compensation from its neighbour at the World Court.
The Congo, rich in gold, diamonds and timber, was the battleground for rebels, local factions, tribes and neighbouring countries, including Uganda, in a 1998-2003 war in which four million people died, mainly from hunger and disease. "Uganda played a considerable role in the murderous war which tore apart the Congo for five years," Maitre Tshibangu Kalala, the Congolese representative, told the court at the start of public hearings today.
Congo took Uganda to the World Court in 1999, accusing it of responsibility for human rights abuses and "armed aggression". It called for compensation for what it said were acts of looting, destruction and removal of property. Congo says Uganda committed "violations of international humanitarian law and massive human rights violations", the World Court said in a statement.
Cases at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court, can take years to be completed. The court is the UN's highest and its ruling in the case will be final and not subject to appeal.
Uganda has filed a counter claim, accusing Congo of responsibility for attacks on Ugandan citizens and diplomatic buildings in Kinshasa and unspecified acts of aggression against Uganda. A Ugandan representative declined to comment on the case and said his country would outline its position on Friday. Kisimba Ngoy, Congo's justice minister was quoted by UN radio as saying reparations could amounts to billions of dollars. http://www.congopanorama.info/alaune.shtml