Uganda says paid first instalment in Congo war reparations

KAMPALA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Uganda has paid $65 million in the first instalment of a total $325 million it was ordered to pay neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo as compensation for losses caused by wars in the 1990s when Ugandan troops occupied Congolese territory.

In a case first brought against Uganda in 1999, Congo asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to compel Uganda to pay it $11 billion as reparations for the deaths, looting and general economic damage caused by Uganda's military occupation of parts of Congo in 1990s.

"It's true we have paid $65 million as the first instalment," said on Monday Finance Ministry Spokesman Apollo Munghinda, adding the payment was made on September 1.

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Congo's government spokesman Patrick Muyaya confirmed that the first of five instalments had been received.

After lengthy proceedings, the ICJ, United Nations' highest court, ruled in 2005 that Uganda had violated international law by occupying parts of eastern Congo and supporting other armed groups during a conflict that raged from 1998 to 2003.

The court, which deals with disputes between states and whose rulings are final and without appeal, ordered the two parties to negotiate reparations. In 2015 however, Congo told the court that the talks had stalled.

The ICJ judges finally ruled in February this year that Uganda should pay $325 million in five yearly instalments of $65 million, starting in September this year. read more

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Reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kampala Additional reporting by Stanis Bujakera in Kinshasa Editing by James Macharia Chege

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