Fresh protests have erupted in DRC in contest against the manner in which Uganda has duped President Felix Tshisekedi over settlement of a pending debt of $13Billion as compensation for damages incurred during the occupation of Congo.
Twenty years ago, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces rolled its tanks and foot soldiers and occupied parts of Congo including engaging in local politics and creating an extra province.
Mobilised through ‘Synergie Bilenge’ platform, hundreds of Congolese Youth on Thursday took to the streets outside the Justice Ministry headquarters rejecting Uganda’s recent offer of friendship and negotiations instead of cash $13billion.
“We are very surprised and worried, to see that President Felix flew to Uganda from 09 to 10 November 2019, and preferred to give priority to friendship, negotiations against the interests of the people (the victims), instead of justice,” the protestors furiously said on Thursday outside the Justice Ministry building.
According to them Tshisekedi trip to Kampala resulted in the DRC and Uganda jointly notifying the International Court of Justice to postpone the compensation hearings to an unknown date.
Protestors are demanding from the Congolese government; to urgently notify the ICJ for the resumption of hearings by proposing a close date;
They also want the government to assemble a team composed of lawyers and experts to defend the DRC at the ICJ as well as the financial means for the assumption of responsibility as soon as the resumption of the trials;
Finally the protestors prefer, as a matter of priority, justice and not negotiations as well as amicable settlement on a matter that has made thousands of families cry in the DRC.
On November 10th, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had suggested to his counterpart Tshisekedi that he wanted to build two major tarmac roads inside Congo both 100km each to allegedly link Bunagana-Goma and Beni-Kasindi.
“Our countries have signed a raft of bilateral agreements but importantly we have stressed the need to improve the trade relations between Uganda and DR Congo,” Museveni said last month.
However, the protestors do not like this process of settlement through negotiations or trade friendship but need cash as per judgment of the International Court of Justice that condemned Uganda to pay a compensation of cash worth $13Billion.
Uganda has for almost 14 years refused to pay the DRC and because of this failure, the International Court of Justice had ruled to take up this matter and resolve it legally.
The date for Compensations hearing was set for 18-22nd November but the two leaders jointly wrote a letter requesting the ICJ court to extend the date of hearing to an unspecified date.