Listen to Today's Edition
Uganda paid the first installment of $325 million in war reparations to the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) this week, which is compensation for losses caused by wars in the 1990s when Ugandan troops occupied Congolese territory, Reuters reported Monday.
Officials from both countries confirmed that the $65 million installment was paid at the beginning of the month. The payment is one of five annual installments Uganda has pledged to pay the DRC as part of a compensation scheme set up by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The issue of war reparations began in 1999 when the DRC asked the court to order Uganda to pay $11 billion in compensation for the killings, looting and general economic damage caused by Ugandan troops occupying eastern parts of Congo in the 1990s.
Ugandan soldiers had been fighting rebels in the DRC for three years before crossing back to Uganda in 2001.
In 2005, the ICJ ruled that Uganda had violated international law by occupying parts of the DRC and supporting other armed militias during the 1998-2003 conflict. Initially, the court ordered the two parties to negotiate reparations between themselves, but eventually stepped in after the DRC told the ICJ that talks had stalled.
In February, ICJ judges ordered Uganda to pay $325 million in five yearly installments, starting in September.
The court also broke down the compensation into different categories: It assessed $225 million to be paid for the “loss of life and other damage to persons,” including rape, the recruitment of child soldiers and the displacement of nearly half a million people.