Reparations to Namibia, DRC and descendants of slaves in the US

Uganda has paid neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the first instalment: US$65 million out of US$325 million compensation for losses incurred as a result of wars in the 1990s, when Ugandan troops occupied the territory of Congo. In 1999, the DRC petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to force Uganda to pay US$11 billion as compensation for the killings, looting and economic damage caused by the military occupation of parts of the DRC in the 1990s. In 2005, the ICJ ruled that by occupying parts of the eastern DRC and supporting other armed groups during the conflict, lasting from 1998 to 2003, Uganda violated the international law, and in February this year ordered Uganda to pay reparations.

The opposition in Namibia is demanding the renegotiation and restructuring of the Namibian-German Joint Declaration of May 2021, under which Germany pledged to pay US$1.1 billion in reparations for colonial-era crimes committed against the Herero and Nama ethnic groups in what is now Namibia. Among other requests, the opposition is calling for the inclusion of Herero and Nama descendants living in Botswana and South Africa in negotiations with Germany.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has called on the United States to begin the process of paying reparations to the descendants of slaves as part of providing “reparations for the legacy of the past”. The Committee noted that the US continues to perpetuate racial inequality through police violence, gun violence and environmental racism, and recommended the establishment of a reparations commission to initiate a process of justice.

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