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Chad restores internet access after shutdown

Chad restores internet access after shutdown

Internet access has been restored in Chad after the government ordered a shutdown in response to national protest action backed by trade unions and civil society organisations using social media.

The organisation Internet Without Borders said shutting down the internet has become a classic security tactic adopted by the Chadian government.

"By cutting internet access, the Chadian government is violating human rights and international law, in particular resolution A/HRC/32/L.20 of 2016 which strongly condemns Internet cuts. In addition, the government is violating Article 27 of the Chadian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression," the organisation stated.

This is not the first time internet access has been suspended in Chad. During the April 2016 presidential elections that resulted in the re-election of President Idriss Déby Itno, internet access was blocked for 48 hours and is believed to have cost the country €18 million (approximately 13 billion CFA francs), according to Internet Without Borders.

Abdelkerim Yacoub Koundougoumi, president of the PACT citizen movement and member of Internet Without Borders, said, "This is not the first time that the regime uses this method, every time it faces a popular challenge, it uses on one side the army to crack down on the street and internet censorship to gag the people and the youth."

ITWeb Africa has reported on similar developments in Cameroon where in early January Anglophone regions continued to experience an internet shutdown.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo internet access was cut off twice in less than a month, since the beginning of 2018.

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