Uganda to Compensate DRC Billions in Court Ruling

The Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Treasury- Ministry of Finance, Ramathan Ggoobi. PHOTO/FILE

Summary:

  • The Ugandan government is set to disburse Shs247 billion to the Democratic Republic of Congo for court-awarded compensation while allocating Shs197 billion to Roko Construction Company and Lubowa Specialized Hospital, showcasing a dual focus on international obligations and domestic infrastructure development.

Government is planning to pay billions of shillings to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in court awards for the resources plundered during the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) deployment in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to the national budget framework paper for the 2024/25 financial year, government has planned to pay Shs247 billion for the aforementioned cause.

A 2001 UN report found Uganda’s army, guilty of looting minerals, coffee, timber, and livestock during an earlier deployment in DRC.

In February 2022, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Uganda to pay $325 million (Shs1.234 trillion) to DRC.

Addressing the parliamentary finance committee, the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Treasury- Ministry of Finance, Ramathan Ggoobi, highlighted Uganda’s financial priorities for the 2024/25 fiscal year. He emphasized three major expenses, including the disbursement of Shs247 billion to the Democratic Republic of Congo out of a total allocation of Shs1.23 trillion.

“Government is also planning to pay Shs247Bn in 2024/25 to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in court awards for the resources plundered during the UPDF deployment in DRC,” he said

The disbursement of Shs247 billion to the Democratic Republic of Congo follows a protracted legal battle, culminating in a court ruling in favor of the neighboring nation. A 2001 UN report found Uganda’s Army, guilty of looting minerals, coffee, timber and livestock during an earlier deployment in DRC. In February 2022, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Uganda to pay US$325m (Shs1.234Trn) to DRC.

This sizable financial commitment by the Ugandan government reflects its adherence to international legal obligations, underscoring a diplomatic resolve to honor court decisions and foster regional cooperation. The move signals a concerted effort to maintain diplomatic goodwill and adherence to legal frameworks, ensuring stability and amicable relations within the East African region.

The remaining allocations involve disbursements to Roko Construction Company and Lubowa Specialized Hospital.

“The government intends to invest Shs197 billion in Roko Construction Company and Lubowa Specialized Hospital. This commitment fulfills the government’s obligation to honor four promissory notes for Lubowa International Specialized Hospital and two bills of exchange for Roko’s share purchase, slated to mature within the FY2024/25.”

Ggoobi highlighted that the allocation of Shs197 billion to Roko Construction Company and Lubowa Specialized Hospital signifies the government’s dedication to bolstering critical infrastructure within Uganda. This substantial financial support for both sectors aligns closely with the government’s overarching goal of stimulating economic growth and tackling essential infrastructure gaps in healthcare and construction across the nation.

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