South Sudan’s government has been availed of US$4.48 million by the country’s Council of Ministers to aid its legal appeal against the now defunct mobile operator Vivacell.
Reuters reports that South Sudan’s government switched off Vivacell’s services overnight in March 2018. The government argued that Vivacell had not obtained a licence after South Sudan gained independence, and was instead using a licence issued by Sudan which enabled it to circumvent taxes and licence fees totalling US$66 million.
Vivacell’s parent firm Al Fattouch Group argued that it was using the Sudanese licence legally and therefore owed no taxes. It launched a case against South Sudan in the International Court of Arbitration for restitution of US$3 billion, of which it was eventually awarded US$1 billion.
Eye Radio reports that the government of South Sudan is now looking to overturn this ruling, and will use the funds granted by the Council of Ministers to hire domestic and overseas law firms to challenge the settlement.