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Vivacell in talks with S. Sudan authorities after closure

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March 29, 2018 (JUBA) – The President of the Lebanese-based telecom operator (Vivacell), Pierre Fattouch is in South Sudan for talks with government, a day after authorities shut down the company.

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Chairman of Vivacell mobile network, Pierre Fattouch (Photo by John Agou)

Fattouch is seeking to end a dispute with the Juba government over the $60 million tax the mobile operator reportedly owes government.

The National Communications Authority (NCA) said Vivacell failed to pay over $60 million taxes since its inception, prompting its closure.

The Director-General of the regulatory body, Lado Wani Kenyi said they made some progress in the talks, but gave no details.

In a statement issued last week, the mobile operator, said it was working with the country’s authorities to resolve the current impasse.

"We are expeditiously working with the relevant authorities to have the matter resolved and we are confident that our operations shall continue across the country,” Vivacell said in a 21 March statement.

Owned by the Lebanon-based Fattouch Investment Group, Vivacell launched its Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) network in February 2009. By early 2011, however, the mobile operator said it had achieved network coverage in all South Sudan’s 10 state capitals, and along main roads from Juba to Yei and Bor.

South Sudan currently has two other mobile phone operators, MTN and Zain, with reportedly less than 4 million subscribers.

(ST)

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  • 30 March 12:06, by Kush Natives

    Now vivacell is feeling the heat after learning through hard way! Sorry vivacell, the interest will jump up really high, we already $60 million debt to collection agency, inoder to pay off such amount, we’ll be talking of $700,000 on top of the owed or debt. Plus, all your customers felt in line mistrust with you. So you will be looking for an another decade to consolidate all your mess.

    repondre message

    • 30 March 13:47, by Eastern

      You cattle camp champion, are you just waking up from your slumbers? Kenyans, Ethiopians, etc have been repatriating their loots from South Sudan for a very long time. The Lebanese companies like Phoenicia Super Market not far from Viva Cell head office is just another foreign company the regime can dare touch! This is the result of a country led by morons!

      repondre message

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