The Cameroonian government has been accused of trying to muzzle protestors in its predominantly English regions through an internet shut down that has lasted five days.
Citizens began noting that internet access has gradually been cut off in a number of cities and towns in Bamende and Yaounde, the only two English regions in the Francophone country.
The shut down is reportedly a response to ongoing protests and strikes by local lawyers and teachers who claim that the Paul Biya-led government is allowing French to “sideline” English in the central African country.
A letter dated 18th January 2017 sent to the Post and Telecommunications ministry from the director of Cameroonin ISP, CAMTEL, with the subject line “Suspension of internet services in certain sensitive regions” confirms that necesary arrangements for the shutdown had been arranged, as instructed by the department’s minister, Libom Li Likeng.
ISPs and mobile networks, including MTN, were warned to respect the measures taken in close collaboration with the government or face clamp downs.
CAMTEL alleges that access has been restored, but users still report that there’s no internet access and are rallying behind the #BringBackOurInternet hashtag to demand government restores connectivity.
— Rebecca Enonchong (@africatechie) January 22, 2017
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[Image – CC Ranks]
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