Somalia’s Government Accused of Imposing Internet Shutdown

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) –The chairman of Wadajir opposition party Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame said the Somali federal government was behind an “intentional” internet blackout that particularly affected the capital Mogadishu and southern regions of Somalia.

Mr Warsame stressed that the government forced the intentional blackout due in part to the political climate following the ousting of prime minister in no-confidence vote by parliament.

“Sources have told me that the government was behind the intentional internet blackout. Internet service providers should make clear to public those who were behind the outage,” said Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, adding “citizens have right to accurate information pertinent to the cause of blackout.”

Netblock, an international internet rights watchdog said the outage had nation-scale and was not a total impact, giving indications of an intentional blackout affecting cellular and fixed-line networks.

“The disruption has not been conclusively attributed to any international technical outage or cyber-attack,” Netblock said in a statement, adding “a preliminary analysis of sub-sea cable networks shows no ongoing international cable cut affecting multiple countries. Most, but not all, of Somalia’s leading business and residential service providers are believed to be affected.”

Despite Somali government denying involvement in the internet blackout that came a day after prime minister was ousted in a swift parliament vote of no-confidence, political analysts have been indicating that the move would pave the way for similar blackouts. Somalia’s internet cut follows a multi-week internet shutdown imposed by authorities in neighboring Ethiopia.

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