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Français

Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Overview of the case

On 28 December 1998, Guinea filed an Application instituting proceedings against the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in respect of a dispute concerning “serious violations of international law” alleged to have been committed upon the person of Mr. Ahmadou Sadio Diallo, a Guinean national. In its Application, Guinea maintained that

“Mr. Ahmadou Sadio Diallo, a businessman of Guinean nationality, was unjustly imprisoned by the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after being resident in that State for thirty-two (32) years, despoiled of his sizable investments, businesses, movable and immovable property and bank accounts, and then expelled.”

Guinea added:

“[t]his expulsion came at a time when Mr. Ahmadou Sadio Diallo was pursuing recovery of substantial debts owed to his businesses [Africom-Zaire and Africontainers-Zaire] by the [Congolese] State and by oil companies established in its territory and of which the State is a shareholder”.

To found the jurisdiction of the Court, Guinea invoked in the Application the declarations whereby the two States have recognized the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Court.

On 3 October 2002, the DRC raised preliminary objections in respect of the admissibility of Guinea’s Application. In its Judgment of 24 May 2007 on these preliminary objections, the Court declared the Application of the Republic of Guinea to be admissible “in so far as it concerns protection of Mr. Diallo’s rights as an individual” and “in so far as it concerns protection of [his] direct rights as associé in Africom-Zaire and Africontainers-Zaire”. However, the Court declared the Application of the Republic of Guinea to be inadmissible “in so far as it concerns protection of Mr. Diallo in respect of alleged violations of rights of Africom-Zaire and Africontainers-Zaire”.

In its Judgment of 30 November 2010 on the merits, the Court found that, in respect of the circumstances in which Mr. Diallo had been expelled on 31 January 1996, the DRC had violated Article 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 12, paragraph 4, of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Court also found that, in respect of the circumstances in which Mr. Diallo had been arrested and detained in 1995-1996 with a view to his expulsion, the DRC had violated Article 9, paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Covenant and Article 6 of the African Charter. The Court further decided that “the Democratic Republic of the Congo [was] under obligation to make appropriate reparation, in the form of compensation, to the Republic of Guinea for the injurious consequences of the violations of international obligations referred to in subparagraphs (2) and (3) [of the operative part]”, namely the unlawful arrests, detentions and expulsion of Mr. Diallo. In addition, the Court found that the DRC had violated Mr. Diallo’s rights under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. It did not however order the DRC to pay compensation for this violation. In the same Judgment, the Court rejected all other submissions by Guinea relating to the arrests and detentions of Mr. Diallo, including the contention that he had been subjected to treatment prohibited by Article 10, paragraph 1, of the Covenant during his detentions. Furthermore, the Court found that the DRC had not violated Mr. Diallo’s direct rights as an associé in the companies Africom-Zaire and Africontainers-Zaire. Finally, the Court decided, with respect to the question of compensation owed by the DRC to Guinea, that “failing agreement between the Parties on this matter within six months from the date of [the said] Judgment, [this] question . . . shall be settled by the Court”.

The time-limit of six months thus fixed by the Court having expired on 30 May 2011 without an agreement being reached between the Parties on the question of compensation due to Guinea, it fell to the Court to determine the amount of compensation to be awarded to Guinea as a consequence of the unlawful arrests, detentions and expulsion of Mr. Diallo by the DRC, pursuant to the findings of the Court set out in its Judgment of 30 November 2010. By an Order of 20 September 2011, the Court fixed 6 December 2011 and 21 February 2012 as the respective time-limits for the filing of the Memorial of Guinea and the Counter-Memorial of the DRC on the question of compensation due to Guinea. The Memorial and the Counter-Memorial were duly filed within the time-limits thus prescribed. The Court delivered its Judgment on 19 June 2012.

In its Memorial, Guinea valued the mental and moral damage suffered by Mr. Diallo at US$250,000. The Court considered various factors in its assessment of that injury, notably the arbitrary nature of Mr. Diallo’s arrests and detentions, the unjustifiably long period of his detention, the unsubstantiated accusations of which he was the victim, his wrongful expulsion from a country where he had resided for 32 years and where he had engaged in significant business activities and the link between his expulsion and the fact that he had attempted to recover debts which he believed were owed to his companies by the Zairean State or companies in which that State held a substantial portion of the capital. It also took account of the fact that there was no evidence that Mr. Diallo had been mistreated. On the basis of equitable considerations, the Court found that the amount of US$85,000 would provide appropriate compensation for the non-material injury suffered by Mr. Diallo.

Finally, in its Memorial, Guinea valued the loss of earnings suffered by Mr. Diallo during his unlawful detention and following his unlawful expulsion at almost US$6.5 million. The Court ruled that Guinea had failed to prove the existence of any such loss. Consequently, it awarded no compensation on that basis.

The Court concluded that the total sum to be awarded to Guinea was thus US$95,000, to be paid by 31 August 2012. It decided that, should payment be delayed, post-judgment interest on the principal sum due would accrue as from 1 September 2012 at an annual rate of 6 per cent. The Court ruled that each Party would bear its own costs.


This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.

Institution of proceedings

Written proceedings

Memorial of the Republic of Guinea
(French version only)

23 March 2001
Available in:
French

Preliminary Objections submitted by the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(French version only)

1 October 2002
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
French

Counter-memorial of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(French version only)

27 March 2008
Available in:
French

Reply of the Republic of Guinea
(French version only)

19 November 2008
Available in:
French

Rejoinder of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(French version only)

5 June 2009
Available in:
French

Oral proceedings

Verbatim record 2006/50

Public sitting held on Monday 27 November 2006, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2006/51

Public sitting held on Tuesday 28 November 2006, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins and Vice-President Al-Khasawneh presiding, successively
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2006/52

Public sitting held on Wednesday 29 November 2006, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2006/53

Public sitting held on Friday 1 December 2006, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2010/1

Public sitting held on Monday 19 April 2010, at 10.50 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Owada, presiding, in the case concerning Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2010/2

Public sitting held on Monday 19 April 2010, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, Vice-President Tomka, Acting President, presiding, in the case concerning Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2010/3

Public sitting held on Monday 26 April 2010, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, Vice-President Tomka, Acting President, presiding, in the case concerning Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2010/4

Public sitting held on Monday 26 April 2010, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, Vice-President Tomka, Acting President, presiding, in the case concerning Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2010/5

Public sitting held on Wednesday 28 April 2010, at 4 p.m., at the Peace Palace, Vice-President Tomka, Acting President, presiding, in the case concerning Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2010/6

Public sitting held on Thursday 29 April 2010, at 4 p.m., at the Peace Palace, Vice-President Tomka, Acting President, presiding, in the case concerning Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Other documents

Orders

Order of 25 November 1999

Fixing of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 8 September 2000

Extension of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 7 November 2002

Fixing of time-limit: Written Statement of observations and submissions on Preliminary Objections
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 27 June 2007

Fixing of time-limit: Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 5 May 2008

Fixing of time-limits: Reply and Rejoinder
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 20 September 2011

Fixing of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial on the question of compensation
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Judgments

Summaries of Judgments and Orders

Summary 2007/3

Summary of the Judgment of 24 May 2007
Available in:
English French

Summary 2010/3

Summary of the Judgment of 30 November 2010
Available in:
English French

Summary 2012/3

Summary of the Judgment of 19 June 2012
Available in:
English French

Press releases

Press release 1998/46

30 December 1998
Guinea brings a case against the Democratic Republic of Congo to the International Court of Justice
Available in:
English French

Press release 1999/49

26 November 1999
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of Congo) - The Court fixes time-limits for the filing of written pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2000/28

13 September 2000
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of Congo) - Extension of the time-limits for the filing of written pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2002/33

13 November 2002
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of Congo) - Fixing of the time-limit for the filing by Guinea of a written statement on the preliminary objections raised by the Congo
Available in:
English French

Press release 2006/30

18 July 2006
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Preliminary objections - Public hearings to open on Monday 27 November 2006
Available in:
English French

Press release 2006/36

9 November 2006
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Preliminary objections - Schedule of public hearings to be held from 27 November to 1 December 2006
Available in:
English French

Press release 2006/41

1 December 2006
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Preliminary Objections - Conclusion of the public hearings on the merits; Court ready to begin its deliberation
Available in:
English French

Press release 2007/12

11 May 2007
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Preliminary Objections - Court to announce its Judgment on Thursday 24 May 2007 at 10 a.m.
Available in:
English French

Press release 2007/14

24 May 2007
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Preliminary Objections - The Court declares the Application of the Republic of Guinea admissible in so far as it concerns protection of Mr. Diallo's rights as an individual and of his direct rights as associé in Africom-Zaire and Africontainers-Zaire
Available in:
English French

Press release 2007/18

28 June 2007
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Fixing of time-limit for the filing of the Counter-Memorial of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Available in:
English French

Press release 2008/9

7 May 2008
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - The Court authorizes the submission of a Reply by the Republic of Guinea and a Rejoinder by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and fixes the time-limits for the filing of these pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2010/6

17 March 2010
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - The Court to hold public hearings from Monday 19 to Friday 23 April 2010
Available in:
English French

Press release 2010/9

20 April 2010
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Changes in the schedule of public hearings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2010/12

29 April 2010
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Conclusion of the public hearings Court begins its deliberation
Available in:
English French

Press release 2010/37

18 November 2010
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - The Court to deliver its Judgment on Tuesday 30 November 2010 at 10 a.m.
Available in:
English French

Press release 2010/39

30 November 2010
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - The Court finds that in carrying out the arrest, detention and expulsion of Mr. Diallo in 1995-1996, the DRC violated his fundamental rights, but that it did not violate his direct rights as “associé” in the companies Africom-Zaire and Africontainers-Zaire
Available in:
English French

Press release 2011/27

23 September 2011
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Question of compensation - The Court fixes time-limits for the filing of written pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2012/19

30 May 2012
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Question of compensation - The Court to deliver its Judgment on Tuesday 19 June 2012 at 3 p.m. - Reading to be broadcast live on the Court’s website
Available in:
English French

Press release 2012/20

30 May 2012
Swearing-in of Mr. Bhandari, new Member of the Court - The Court will hold a public sitting on Tuesday 19 June 2012 at 3 p.m. before delivering its Judgment on the question of compensation in the case concerning Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Available in:
English French

Press release 2012/22

19 June 2012
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) - (Compensation owed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Republic of Guinea) - The Court decides that the amount of compensation due from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Republic of Guinea for the injury suffered by Mr. Diallo is US$95,000
Available in:
English French