Chad social media ban reaches one-year mark

Discussion in 'Africa' started by Disir, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    Restricting access to the internet in the face of popular social and political movements is becoming an increasingly common strategy in Africa. This is particularly true of authoritarian governments who, according to CIPESA, account for 77% of the blackouts across the continent over the past five years.

    The first two months of 2019 certainly followed in this pattern as five repressive countries – Algeria, Zimbabwe, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan – experienced shutdowns. Unlike in Chad, however, these blackouts were mostly short-lived.

    In Zimbabwe, for example, the judiciary quickly ruled the move unconstitutional and ordered the government to restore access amid public unrest. In Gabon, internet access returned after an attempted coup was suppressed. In the DRC, localised restrictions were only imposed for a limited time around elections. In Algeria, disruptionsthat occurred during protests against the ailing President Bouteflika only lasted a number of hours. The only outlier was Sudan, where the shutdown lasted for 68 days amid anti-government protests.

    There are several factors that affect the length of shutdowns, but one reason disruptions in Chad have been able to last an entire year is the relative lack of external pressure. According to Juliet N. Nanfuka of CIPESA, central African countries “tend to attract less regional or international attention in the face of government excesses, compared with East Africa or Southern Africa.”

    Julie Owono from Internet Without Borders echoes this observation and suggests that Western powers may be reluctant to criticise President Déby given their close security partnership with Chad in the fight against Islamist militants. As a recent African Arguments article noted, France has become so supportive of Chad’s regime that it even acceded to Déby’s recent request to conduct air strikes against political rebels.
    Chad social media ban reaches one-year mark - African Arguments

    According to our reporter, the government considers social media a serious threat.

    Rebel movements hostile to President Deby are still active in the country. In February the French military, at the request of the Chadian army, attacked a heavily armed rebel convoy arriving from Libya.

    According to a security official interviewed by our reporter, the government believes social media could enable rebel leaders to recruit more young people.

    There have also been cases of civilians capturing unlawful killings and beatings and publishing them online, which the government is keen to stop.
    The country where social media has been cut for a year

    Access to social media to overthrow the government............I'm trying to think of a country that is ok with that.
     

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