The Hague-based International Court of Justice will from today (April 20) hold public hearings on selected days, in the case of reparations dispute between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The hearings of the case Armed Activities on the Territory of Democratic Republic of Congo vs Uganda will be held in a hybrid format with some court members attending oral proceedings in person and others participating remotely by video link in view of the global Covid-19 protocols.
“Representatives of parties to the case and the experts appointed by the court will participate either in person or by video link,” the court notified the litigants and public through its website.
The countries have failed to agree on the amount of money each is required to pay the other, despite a conclusion on December 19, 2005, of a legal battle between the neighbouring countries that started in1999 and was heard by ICJ.
The principal judicial organ of the UN on July 1, 2015, decided to resume proceedings in the case Armed Activities on the Territory of Democratic Republic of Congo vs Uganda, initiated on June 23, 1999.
The presence of Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces in the DRC from the 1990s to June 2003 led to accusations that the soldiers were destroying property, killing or injuring Congolese and illegally exploiting natural resources.
The ICJ judgment of 2005 found Uganda was under obligation to make reparations to the DRC for the injury caused for violation of human rights and the principle of non-use of force among others.
The DRC was also found to be under obligation to make reparations to Uganda for the injury caused by the country’s violation of obligations incumbent upon it under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.