Presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi says it is true Ugandan soldiers plundered the neighboring Congo during the civil war.
“On the issue of the ICJ (International Court of Justice), I would like to state that I represented Uganda at ICJ,” he said at the presidential live debate held on Serena hotel in Kampala on Saturday.
He said at the ICJ, the issue was not about illegality of entry but about plunder of resources.
“It is important we make this clear.”
Museveni says he was defending Uganda
President Museveni defended himself saying he intervened in Congo to defend “ourselves”.
He said the NALU rebels were basing themselves in Congo and killing people in Rwenzori.
“We could not accept that. We had to fight them and now Col. Besigye can go to Rwenzori region and campaign peacefully.”
“I don’t know why people who went to court on this matter didn’t win the case.”
He said nobody can play around with the security of Uganda as long as he is still the President of Uganda.
“The ADF is still in Congo but the last time they came here, they were 100 and only 13 went back.”
In December 2005 the ICJ ruled that the Republic of Uganda, by acts of looting, plundering and exploitation of Congolese natural resources committed by members of the Ugandan armed forces in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and by its failure to comply with its obligations as an occupying Power in Ituri district to prevent acts of looting, plundering and exploitation of Congolese natural resources, violated obligations owed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo under international law… and unanimously, decided that failing agreement between the parties, the question of reparation due to the Democratic Republic of the Congo shall be settled by the Court…
Uganda lost the case brought against it at the International Court of Justice by the Democratic Republic of Congo for plunder of its natural resources due to an avoidable mistake by defence attorneys, a senior official has said.
Justice Julia Sebutinde, whom the UN voted as a judge of the World Court in December 2011, in the first of an insider’s account on a verdict likely to cost the country $10 billion, said Uganda’s legal team erred when they submitted to the court as its evidence a report of a commission of inquiry chaired by Justice David Porter.
The said report confirmed pillage of DRC’s resources, but absolved implicated top Uganda government and military officials including President Museveni’s brother Salim Saleh whom a 2001 UN panel of experts named adversely in its report on illegal exploitation of Congo’s wealth.
It would appear the government acted in haste to clear the names of those close to the centre of power, and inadvertently ended up legally selling out the country.
Uganda had by the time court ruled on the case in 2005 paid foreign lawyers representing it $865,000 besides expenses on the Attorney General and other officials.
The DRC government subsequently made claims of $6-10 billion in compensation, a figure Kampala disputed.