Case Concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo
(Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda)
2005 I.C.J. (Dec. 19)
- DRC was involved
in a civil war.
Rwanda, and other countries were all helping various rebel groups that
were fighting to overthrow the government of the DRC.
- In addition,
various other rebel groups were hiding in the DRC, launching attacks at
the governments of Uganda
- DRC brought a
case to the International Court of Justice, claiming that Uganda were
involving themselves an internal DRC conflict.
- Uganda argued
that they were only protecting themselves from anti-Uganda rebel groups
that were being given safe harbor in the DRC.
- That would
count as self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.
- The ICJ found
for the DRC.
- The ICJ looked
to their previous decision in Nicaragua v. United States (1986 I.C.J. 14 (June 27)), where they considered the legality of a
third-party country intervening in an internal conflict.
- The ICJ found
that Uganda did not have the consent of DRC to enter. Therefore it was a
grave violation of Article 2(4)
of the United Nations Charter.
- There was no
defense of Article 51, because
no one in DRC had performed an armed attack against
armed Ugandan rebel groups were launching attacks against Uganda from
DRC territory, but that wasn't being controlled by the DRC, and the DRC
didn't have the capability to stop them.
- Can rebel
attacks being launched from a failed-state's territory constitute an armed
attack to trigger Article 51?
- Based on the
decision in this case, the answer appears to be no.
- Then what can
a country do about it?
- Should there
be an "implied consent" if there is no centralized government
capable of giving consent?