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Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi at the Elysee Palace, Paris. Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi at the Elysee Palace, Paris, April 27, 2021 (AP photo by Thibault Camus).

Two ICJ Rulings Highlight Africa’s Regional Integration Challenges

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022

Last week, the United Nations’ top court ordered Uganda to pay the sum of $325 million to the Democratic Republic of Congo for the East African country’s role in the brutal war there at the turn of the century. The International Court of Justice, or ICJ, ruled on Feb. 9 that Uganda had violated international norms as an occupying force between 1998 and 2003, and was responsible for the deaths of up to 15,000 people in Congo’s eastern Ituri region. Ugandan troops were also found to have looted precious gold, diamonds and timber from Congo.

The case is both an illustration of the failure of Africa’s continental and regional bodies to help resolve such disputes before they wind up at the ICJ, and a cautionary tale about the difficulties those bodies will face in achieving their ambitious goals of integration in the face of residual disputes among their member states. ...

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