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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 December 2005, 15:38 GMT
Uganda 'respects' DR Congo ruling
Residents of Bunia were left destitute by the fighting over land and resources
Uganda is accused of massacring Congolese civilians
Uganda "respects" a world court ruling that it was wrong to invade Democratic Republic of Congo, Information Minister James Nsaba Buturo has told the BBC.

However he refused to say whether Uganda would pay compensation of up to $10bn, demanded by DR Congo.

The International Court of Justice ruled this amount was "appropriate".

Uganda sent troops into DR Congo during the 1998-2003 war but insists this was to protect its borders from rebels and not to loot natural resources.

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DR Congo accused Uganda of invading its territory and massacring civilians. Several African states were involved in the war, which left 3m people dead.

'Good neighbours'

Mr Buturo said Uganda had previously been invaded from DR Congo.

On the question of compensation, he said that the Ugandan government would consult and negotiations would then be held with the Congolese authorities.

"We are good neighbours," he said.

DR Congo brought the case saying its sovereignty had been violated, and demanding compensation for plundered minerals and other resources.

Ugandan army spokesman Maj Felix Kulaigye denied that the army had been inolved in looting.

ICJ president Shi Jiuyong told the court Ugandan troops had "created an atmosphere of terror pervading the life of the Congolese people".

Uganda pulled its troops out of eastern DR Congo in 2003, but Kinshasa says its neighbour still supplies arms to Ugandan warlords who continue to steal the country's natural resources of gold, diamonds and timber.

This year, the United Nations accused Uganda and Rwanda of violating an arms embargo by shipping weapons across DR Congo's borders.


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