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Wednesday, March 2, 2022

UN Court orders Uganda to pay $325m in reparations

On Jan 22,2022, in 22nd match of   ICC Under-19 World Cup - Opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi struck 144 and No. 4 Raj Bawa smacked 162 to give India the second-biggest win in the history of Youth ODIs as the Covid-hit team trounced Uganda by 326 runs in their final Group B encounter in Tarouba. The pair's partnership of 206, that propelled India to post the tournament's first 400+ total, was also the highest third-wicket stand in Under-19 World Cup history. 

Western World depicts most African countries as suffering from poverty, disease and lawlessness.  Have near heard or read of this place as named the Pearl of Africa because of it’s a unique natural destination as compared to other African countries basically because of its large forested area composed of national parks and wildlife reserves giving home to a large numbers of primates including chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, butterflies and birds.  The country has more than  10 national parks with a number of wildlife and forest reserves ~ that is Uganda


Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala. The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country.   Beginning in 1894, the area was ruled as a protectorate by the UK, who established administrative law across the territory. Uganda gained independence from the UK on 9 October 1962. The official languages are English and Swahili. The previous ruler was notoriously known across the globe - Idi Amin Dada Oumee,  a Ugandan military officer who served as the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Popularly known as the "Butcher of Uganda," he is considered one of the most brutal despots in world history. During his years in power, Amin shifted from being a pro-western ruler enjoying considerable support from Israel to being backed by Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko, the Soviet Union, and East Germany. As Amin's rule progressed into the late 1970s, there was increased unrest against his persecution of certain ethnic groups and political dissidents, along with Uganda's very poor international standing due to Amin's support for the terrorist hijackers in Operation Entebbe. During his regime,  many Indians fled Uganda  and came back to India. 

Uganda is in news ! – the  UN’s top court recently  ordered Uganda to pay the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) $325m in reparations over a brutal war between the African neighbours that began in the late 1990s.“The court notes 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 court’s president, US judge Joan E Donoghue, said. 

The compensation order came more than 15 years after the UN court ruled in a complex, 119-page judgement that fighting by Ugandan troops in DRC breached international law. In 2005 the ICJ ruled that Uganda had to pay reparations, but they were never paid. The sum awarded was well below the request for more than $11bn in damages DRC had demanded for the occupation of its volatile northeastern Ituri region.

The court broke down the compensation into different categories of damages. It assessed $225m for “loss of life and other damage to persons” that included rape, conscription of child soldiers and the displacement of up to 500,000 people.Ugandan soldiers who had been fighting Ugandan rebels in DR Congo for the previous three years, cross back into Uganda.  It assessed another $40m for damage to property and $60m for damage to natural resources, including the plundering of gold, diamonds, timber and other goods by Ugandan forces or rebels they supported. 

The ruling by the Hague-based court is a blow to DRC after a long legal battle for compensation over the devastating 1998-2003 conflict that left thousands of people dead.Judge Donoghue said there was “insufficient evidence to support the DRC’s claim of 180,000 civilian deaths for which Uganda owes reparation”.“The court considers that the evidence presented to it suggests that the number of deaths for which Uganda owes reparations falls in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 persons,” she added. 

At its height, the conflict drew in nine African countries, with Uganda and Rwanda backing rebel forces against the Kinshasa government as they jostled for control of the mineral-rich Ituri region.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
2nd Mar 2022. 

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