East African Court of Justice, Arusha, Tanzania 26th March 2024: The East African Court of Justice First Instance Division dismisses Reference No. 17 of 2020 Juba Airport City Park Limited (Applicant) versus the Attorney General of the Republic of South Sudan, challenging the Government over alleged illegal expropriation of land measuring 886,555 square meters, without the Applicant’s consent and transfer the same, to the United Nations mission as being contrary to the Treaty of the East African Community.

The court in its ruling held that, it has no jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter because it was filed out of time as prescribed under article 30 (2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Article 30 (2) states that “The proceedings provided for in this Article shall be instituted within two months of the enactment, publication, directive, decision or action complained of, or in the absence thereof, of the day in which it came to the knowledge of the complainant, as the case may be”

In its determination, the Court added that, it does not have requisite jurisdiction to deal with issues that arose before a Respondent became a member of the Community. The Republic of South Sudan was admitted to the East African Community in 2016. The impugned acts appear to have taken place before or in 2011, which is not within the jurisdiction of this Court to impugn acts or omissions of a State which occurred before it became a party to the Community and the Reference was filed in June 2020.

It was the court’s conclusion that the Applicant was aware of the impugned acts since 2011 when the Respondent (South Sudan), pursuant to a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), extended the tenure of UNMISS in the suit land. That the Applicant was also aware that even after 5 years, in 2016, the land was never handed back to it. The court hence dismissed the matter with no orders to costs.

The Applicant was represented by Counsel Stephen Nelson and the Applicant’s representative Eng. Samuel Tabani Youziel was present in court. The Attorney General of South Sudan (Respondent) was represented by Counsel Biong Pieng Kuol.

About the EACJ

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the Organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. The Court was established in November 2001, its key mandate is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty. Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the capitals of the following Partner States: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania.

For more information please contact:

Christine Mutimura

Deputy Registrar,

East African Court of Justice.

Arusha, Tanzania

Tel: 255-27-2162149

Email: cmwekesa@eachq.org