Kuwait Got $50 Billion Relief For Iraq's War Crimes: Congo Gets Zero For Rwanda And Uganda Aggression
Part One in a special series on the war of aggression against Congo
A recent news Associated Press update didn't make the front-pages of The New York Times but every Congolese citizen and victims of wars of aggression everywhere need to pay attention to it.
Saddam Hussein is long dead and buried but the United Nations makes sure that Iraq still pays for the crimes committed by his armed forces when he invaded Kuwait in 1990.
As The Associated Press reported on January 24: "The U.N. panel that settles claims for damages from victims of Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait has paid out another $1.3 billion — bringing the total so far to $40.1 billion."
The report adds, "The U.N. Compensation Commission did not disclose the identities of the claimants on Thursday but said the money goes toward settling two claims for damages to Kuwait's oil fields, as well as production and sales losses. The Geneva-based commission was established by the U.N. Security Council in 1991 and is funded by a 5 percent tax on the export of Iraqi oil."
The report concludes: "It has approved $52.4 billion in total compensation to more than 100 governments and international organizations, and makes payments every three months."
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been the victim of several invasions and genocidal wars of aggression from Uganda and Rwanda dating back to 1997. The most recent war of aggression just ended recently when President Barack Obama telephoned Rwanda's President Gen. Paul Kagame and told him to stop supporting M23.
In reality, M23 is a cover for Rwanda's and Uganda's invasion of Congo. The United Nations' Group of Experts report found that Rwanda's regular army soldiers marched alongside M23 fighters when it seized the Congo city of Goma, where war crimes were committed and reported my major media including The New York Times. The BBC reported that the invasion force carried off $1 million in cash from the Central bank in Goma.
Separately, Human Rights Watch reported that M23, whose chain of command as the United Nations reported leads to Rwanda's Defense Minister James Kabarebe, carried out "widespread war crimes."
Already in 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Uganda liable for what amounted to war crimes, including massacres and plunder of Congo's resources and agreed with Kinshasa's claim of $10 billion. Later, as reported in The Wall Street Journal on June 8, 2006, Uganda's President Gen. Yoweri Museveni urged then United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to block a separate ICC investigation for criminal liability against Uganda's political and military leadership which would include Museveni himself. The general didn't want to end up being indicted like the Sudan's Omar Hassan al-Bashir eventually was in 2008.
So, in addition to $10 billion dating from 2005, Congo is owed potentially billions more as a result of the crimes committed since then by its unfriendly neighbors Uganda and Rwanda. And as far back as 2000, the United Nations had already recommended that Congolese businesses were entitled to compensation from Uganda and Rwanda.
Both Uganda and Rwanda have been supported by the U.S. for many years.
Where are Congo's best lawyers and other international lawyers with conscience who can extend helping hands to Congo's victims of aggression similar to Kuwait's 1990 victims?