Compensation Plan for Ugandan Victims in the Northeast Gains Momentum

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
Compensation

The compensation plan for victims of illicit military activities by the Ugandan army between 1998 and 2003 in the provinces of Tshopo, Ituri, Haut-Uélé, and Bas-Uélé in the Northeast of the DRC is approaching its final stages.

The condemnation against Uganda was issued in February 2022 by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) after years of legal proceedings. The government has appointed officials to lead the public institution responsible for identifying and disbursing compensations.

Uganda is required to pay the DRC a total of $325 million in five installments. However, only the first two installments, amounting to $130 million, have been received thus far.

According to officials from Frivao, the Special Fund for the Distribution and Compensation of Victims of Illicit Activities by Uganda in the DRC and their beneficiaries, compensations will be distributed gradually as Uganda fulfills its obligations.

Mgr François Mwarabu, a Catholic priest and national coordinator of Frivao, knows the distribution key by heart. “There are already 69% of these funds earmarked for compensating individual and collective victims, 12% for repairing the property of victims, and 18% for damages to the country’s natural resources. This last portion is intended for the Congolese State.”

The government has already allocated $9 million from these funds, facilitating the restoration of electricity in the cities of Kisangani and Buta. The most challenging task for Frivao leaders is identifying the true victims 20 years after the crimes.

“These events were documented at the time. MONUC existed back then; we need to access its archives, as well as the ICRC human rights organizations, and civil society. We will need to cross-reference these old documents with new ones in circulation to ensure their accuracy.”

The International Court of Justice has mandated these Congolese officials to collaborate with three UN experts, holding the title of auditors, to ensure the effective use of the funds.

Soukaina Sghir

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