16 January 2014

Somalia: Mogadishu Mayor Urges Telecom Companies Not to Take Any Notice of Al-Shabaab's Internet Ban

Photo: World Bank
Internet cafe in Kampala, Uganda.

The Mayor of Mogadishu and Governor of Banadir region, Mohamed Mohamud Nur 'Tarzan' has called on private telecommunication companies to ignore the Al-Shabaab's ban on the use of the Internet. He said the Internet was a necessity for the Somali people and that Al-Shabaab attempt to ban its use demonstrated the extremist group's brutality and intimidation to the Somali people. He said "the constitution guarantees freedom of expression and every citizen has the right to access information without fear," adding "we will not allow our citizens to be deprived of internet access and smart phones". In response to Al-Shabaab's decree, the Mayor said "The Government will work with all telecommunications companies and ensure that they are free to provide Internet and other related communications services." Al-Shabaab last week ordered Internet providers to stop their activities within 15-days and warned residents in areas under their control not to use the Internet on mobile phones

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