Sudanese Internet Shutdown Causes Stir

Khartoum — HUMAN rights experts have criticised a shutdown of the internet by the military administration in Sudan amid tensions in the Northeast African country.

The internet blockade is seen as part of a campaign by the administration to quash dissent despite an agreement reached with civilians on the running of the country following a coup against longtime president, Omar al-Bashir in April.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC), which assumed power, has ordered the shutdown and mobile operators, Kanartel MTN, Sudatel and Zain have complied.

United Nations (UN) human rights experts denounced measures taken by the authorities.

They jointly stated the internet shutdown was in violation of international human rights law and could not be justified regardless of circumstances.

"We urge the authorities to immediately restore internet services," the experts stated.

The internet shutdown is seen as part of a larger effort to stifle free expression and association of the population and curtail the ongoing protests after security forces killed scores of protesters opposed to a deadlock on the military's control of the turbulent country.

Internet services have been shut down several times since the beginning of the year as al-Bashir faced pressure to quit after almost 30 years in power.

African governments faced with protests from disillusioned civilians have resorted to internet shutdowns to curb demonstrators from mobilising.

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