International Court Of Justice (ICJ):
Uganda has been ordered to pay $325m (£240m) to the Democratic Republic of Congo for its role in the conflict there. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled Uganda had violated international norms as an occupying force between 1998 and 2003. The judges found that Uganda was responsible for the deaths of 10-15,000 people in the eastern Ituri region. Ugandan troops were also found to have looted gold, diamonds and timber.
- Now, Uganda must pay the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) $325 million in reparations related to the brutal conflict between the two nations from 1998 to 2003.
- The DRC initially filed the case with the ICJ in June 1999, citing acts of armed aggression perpetrated by Uganda on its territory “in flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter and of the Charter of the Organization of African Unity.”
- At the height of the war, more than nine African countries were drawn into the fighting.
- The Court ruled in December 2005 that Uganda had to make reparation to the DRC, but the sides could not reach agreement.
- ICJ was established in 1945 by the United Nations charter and started working in April 1946.
- It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, situated at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
- Unlike the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (USA).
- It settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions in accordance with international law, on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
- The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. These organs vote simultaneously but separately.
- In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies.
- In order to ensure a measure of continuity, one third of the Court is elected every three years and Judges are eligible for re-election.
- ICJ is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.