Gabon is the latest African united states of america to shut down its internet as election protests develop

The authorities of Gabon shut down the net on Wednesday (Aug. 31) following the announcement president Ali Bongo changed into re-elected by way of a narrow margin for a second seven-year term in the workplace. The circulate showcased the tensions already gripping the u. With the capital Libreville experiencing a night of violent clashes, looting, and arrests, even as the principal competition candidate, Jean Ping, said he feared for his protection and went into hiding. Gabon Telecom, the usa’s largest telecom organization, which additionally routes ninety one% of u . S . A .’s IP addresses, closed down the internet around nine pm neighborhood time, consistent with Doug Madory, the director of net evaluation at Dyn. The pass, he says, left just a few corporations online that make use of alternate manner of connectivity, including satellite tv for pc communications. The cutoff comes amidst reports of sluggish internet bandwidth and limited get admission on the weekend.

African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping arrives for the 18th African Union (AU) Summit in the Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2012. REUTERS/Noor Khamis/File Photo - RTX2NPLN

“Again and again, we’ve visible that internet shutdowns serve as early warning mechanisms of human rights violations, and Gabon might also prove no exception,” Deji Bryce Olukotun, the senior global advocacy supervisor on the virtual rights advocacy organization get entry to Now, said. “Government within the usa needs to flip the net on as soon as possible. African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping arrives for the 18th African Union (AU) Summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, on January 29, 2012.

REUTERS/Noor Khamis/File Photo – RTX2NPLN Gabon is the present-day African usa to shut down the internet as publish-election tensions develop within u. S  A .. Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Chad, OneRepublic of Congo are all examples of nations that blocked net offerings at some point of current polls. Ghana’s police leader changed into also sharply criticized earlier this yr for suggesting that social media systems be blocked during the approaching fashionable election in December. Gabon’s consequences were released past due on Aug. 31 night time, a day overdue, prompting clashes. Ping’s headquarters have been bombed, and protestors broke down the countrywide meeting’s gate and set it on the fireplace. At least humans have been killed consistent with the opposition, and police arrested At least 1,000 people at some point of the unrest.


The president’s workplace has, due to the fact, accused Ping of coordinating and making plans for the clashes and requested him “to call off his thugs and forestall vandalizing the town. Speaking to the press on Thursday (Sept. 1), Bongo reiterated his distress approximately the election riots. “Democracy doesn’t sit nicely with self-proclaimed victory, with corporations shaped to motive destruction,” he said. “Democracy isn’t always compatible with an assault on [the building] of national Tv and on parliament.” Regardless of the net shutdown, Bongo and Ping had been both capable of using social media systems on Sept. 1 to call for team spirit, upholding the rule of law, and to wish for people who have been killed, injured, or jailed at some stage in the clashes. Sign on for the Quartz Africa Weekly Quick — the most essential and thrilling information from across the continent, on your inbox.

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