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Algeria’s Weather Investments takes on government over Orascom Telcom

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The owner of Algeria’s Djezzy unit, Weather Investments, reported that it has filed a $5 billion lawsuit against the Algerian government over its stake in the local telecom operator. It is the continuation of massive controversy with the unit, which had been embroiled in a battle over its subsidiary Orascom Telecom of Egypt.

Orascom Telecom Egypt is at the centre of a legal dispute between Weather Investments and the Algerian government. (Image: File)

According to officials, the lawsuit was registered with the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Weather said in a statement that Algeria “has repeatedly breached its international legal obligations under an investment treaty between Algeria and the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union.”

It added that the government in 2001, when Orascom won the license to erect the mobile network in Algeria, “committed to a number of protections, including a promise to refrain from arbitrary interference in operations.”

However, the company said on Monday that Algeria “has since 2008 pursued a campaign of interference and harassment which has cost Weather Investments over USD 5 billion in damages.”

Among the accusations from Weather are tax claims, “restrictions on foreign payments, security restrictions on certain operations, criminal investigations into some Djezzy employees, and most recently, the attempted forced sale of all or part of Djezzy to the Algerian state.”

The company argued that it had attempted to settle with the Algerian government as far back as six months ago, but to date, the government has not made any move to compromise, forcing it to take action.

Joseph Mayton

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