Democratic Republic of Congo: Conviction of 13 youth activists is a shameful act to suppress dissent (02.04.2022)

Congolese authorities should address these activists’ legitimate demands for effective protection of civilians in the conflict, instead of preventing them from speaking out.

LONDON, United Kingdom, April 2, 2022 – Today’s conviction of 13 activists from the citizen movement Lutte pour le Changement (LUCHA) by a military court in Beni is a scandalous attempt to silence critical voices, said Amnesty International.

“The conviction of these 13 activists simply for having exercised their right to freedom of peaceful assembly is another scandalous and shameful attempt to suppress dissent in DRC,” said Flavia Mwangovya, Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes Region

The activists – who have already been held arbitrarily for five months – were sentenced to a further 12 months in prison for their participation in a peaceful demonstration in November last year.

“The conviction of these 13 activists simply for having exercised their right to freedom of peaceful assembly is another scandalous and shameful attempt to suppress dissent in DRC,” said Flavia Mwangovya, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes Region.

“The sentence must be quashed, and these activists must be immediately and unconditionally released,” said Flavia Mwangovya

“The sentence must be quashed, and these activists must be immediately and unconditionally released. Congolese authorities should address these activists’ legitimate demands for effective protection of civilians in the conflict, instead of preventing them from speaking out.

“President Tshisekedi must lift abusive restrictions on civic space under the pretext of the state of siege, and completely revoke the power given to military courts to judge civilians, in accordance with international human rights standards.”

RDC: Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23) – Communique Officiel (25.03.2022)

RDC: Communique de la Cellule de Communication de l’Inspection Generale des Finances (18.03.2022)

RDC: Mouvement Citoyen Filimbi – Communique No. 34 – 15 Mars 2015 – 15 Mars 2022 (15.03.2022)

RDC: President National du Parti du Peuple pour la Reconstruction et la Democratie (PPRD) – Communique Officiel (14.03.2022)

National Unity Platform (NUP): Statement on the Decision of the International Court of Justice in the DRC versus Uganda Case (10.02.2022)

The ICJ Case Judgment [DRC V. Uganda] set precedence for more cases [towards the other nations participating in Congolese Wars between 1996 – 2003]

Yesterday’s landmark ruling in the International Court of Justice is astonishing and vastly important. As it sends a message and opportunities for the Democratic Republic of Congo to seek remedy from all the parties that looted, destroyed and directly added harm to the conflicts in the two major Congolese wars, which lasted from 1996 to 2003.

All of these years, it wasn’t only Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) who invaded the then Zaire or Democratic Republic of Congo. There was several of other parties and militias that participated in it. Which was sponsored by various of parties and took part in the looting, destruction and killings. Therefore, it is right that the Government of Uganda is punished and have to pay, but the DRC have to build on this.

The DRC have to go after all the other ones who participated in the Congolese Wars. There is a need to collect evidence, witnesses and documentation, which will be deemed fit for the ICJ. Because, the DRC has been able to prove and challenge the Ugandans in the same Court. Now, it is time to do that with others. Since, we all know the Ugandans wasn’t alone in this and it was several of other parties, nations and warlords who took part. They all should pay for the grievances and harm it has committed in the DRC.

In the first Congolese War, the nations participating, which we know of was also Rwanda, Burundi, Angola and Eritrea. While in the second Congolese War there was also several of others participating in the warfare. This time it is been proven that Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Tchad.

We know there was several of militias that had foreign support as well. These was various of them and they had real relevance and amassed vast fortunes for the ones trading illicit mineral resources. That’s why we know the participants did use the war for profits and earn wealth on the plights of the DRC, which is just the bleak reality of all of this.

That’s why the DRC and authorities in Kinshasa shouldn’t just celebrate the victory of yesterday. They should run wild and start cases against the other parties in the conflict as well. That would be justified and fair. To go after all the nations and their armies who was in the wars. To go after the ones sponsoring and making it possible for militias to collect, earn and profit of warfare in provinces across the DRC. That would be justified and get the Republic some relief of the suffering, which it has been living through and continues to have.

It is not like the monsters of these wars are gone. They are still prominent and has possible state sponsored militias within the DRC. It is not like the neighbours has totally left and doesn’t profit on the porous borders between the republics. That what it does and this should give Kinshasa more reasons to go after them.

Let’s hope they work on it and pursuits justice, because it’s the only reasonable thing to do. The DRC should go after the other parties now, as they won over the Uganda. There are other government that should shake their boots and worry about the future tab they have to return to Kinshasa. That would only make sense at this point.

Yes, it will take years and years to get it happening, but yiu see the pay-off in the end. The DRC know how things work and should build on it. As it has the strength and wisdom to pull it off. Peace.

Uganda: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Statement of the Government of Uganda regarding the Judgment of the International Court in the Case concerning armed activities on the Territory of teh Congo (DRC V. Uganda) – (10.02.2022)

Uganda: Government Citizen Interaction Center – Statement – On the Congo Versus Uganda in the ICJ (10.02.2022)

Kamplootholo: The ICJ orders the Government of Uganda to pay US$325m to the DRC!

The International Court of Justice has today awarded the Democratic Republic of Congo damages for the warfare, looting and destruction of which the Uganda People’s Defence Force did between 1998 and 2003. This was done on behest of the State House and the high ranking officials of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Many who is living lavish in Kampala and earned fortunes of the war. They are now footing the bill on the state and the taxpayers who has pay for their looting of the DRC.

The ICJ have really hit a major blow the Government of Uganda and the armed conspirators of Kampala. As they are now held accountable for the conflict and has to pay cost or damages to the DRC. As there is evidence and proof of the looting of in the Ituri province in this period. It also shows how it was killing and adding other sufferings to the region as well.

Therefore, the NRM and UPDF have far from a clean slate. The judgement is proving that the sins of the past is starting to haunt the current regime. As their record is delivered. Now, it isn’t going after the henchmen, but now targeting the whole state. This means everyone involved and the whole government have to answer for this. Which shows the ramification of the army commanders, the NRA elites and everyone else should answer for this. Since it is now targeted on every single soul of the Republic. This should be on the heads, the generals and everyone who used the warfare for personal gains, which we know is people associated with President and even some relatives. Therefore, Museveni and allies should pay-up and cough up the funds. Though we know the bill will eventually be paid by others, as it is deemed the state tab and not the persons in question who did the deeds.

Just take a look:

The total amount of compensation awarded to the DRC is US$325,000,000. This global sum includes US$225,000,000 for damage to persons, US$40,000,000 for damage to property, and US$60,000,000 for damage related to natural resources. The Court states that the total sum is to be paid in annual instalments of US$65,000,000, due on 1 September of each year, from 2022 to 2026. The Court decides that, should payment be delayed, post-judgment interest at an annual rate of 6 per cent on each instalment will accrue on any overdue amount from the day which follows the day on which the instalment was due. The Court declares itself satisfied that the total sum awarded, and the terms of payment, remain within the capacity of Uganda to pay. Therefore, the Court finds that it need not consider the question whether, in determining the amount of compensation, account should be taken of the financial burden imposed on the responsible State, given its economic condition (see above). The Court notes that the reparation awarded to the DRC for damage to persons and to property reflects the harm suffered by individuals and communities as a result of Uganda’s breach of its international obligations. In this regard, the Court takes full cognizance of, and welcomes, the undertaking given by the Agent of the DRC during the oral proceedings regarding the fund that has been established by the Government of the DRC, according to which the compensation to be paid by Uganda will be fairly and effectively distributed to victims of the harm, under the supervision of organs whose members include representatives of victims and civil society and whose operation is supported by international experts. In distributing the sums awarded, the fund is encouraged to consider also the possibility of adopting measures for the benefit of the affected communities as a whole” (International Court of Justice – ‘Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda)’ 09.02.2022).

This here is a signal and it sends a message. Yes, this isn’t directly punishing or charging the ones culpable or involved in the conflict. No, this is charging the whole republic and adding a huge blow to the finances of the Government of Uganda. The elites of Kampala who earned fortunes on the war should feel the blow and the wind in their direction. As this is stating the illegal war and what it did was wrong, which was a reason for this damage or costs. The 325 million US Dollars in damages cannot be taken under the rug.

Yes, we know the GoU is building some roads inside the DRC, but that will clearly not clear the slate or the tab of the state. Secondly, the Ugandan government is now in debt to Kinshasa and it has to be responsible. If the state doesn’t follow the court orders and such. The DRC and ICJ will challenge it yet again. This is really telling and the victims of the DRC is now vindicated. As it is proof and proper evidence of the war-crimes committed by Ugandan counterparts. Peace.

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