Gabon is the latest African country to shut down its internet as election protests grow

The authorities of Gabon close down the internet on Wednesday (Aug. 31) following the statement president Ali Bongo changed into re-elected by means of a slim margin for a 2d seven-12 months term in office. The flow showcased the tensions already gripping the u . S . A ., with the capital Libreville experiencing a night time of violent clashes, looting and arrests, at the same time as the principle opposition candidate, Jean Ping, said he feared for his protection and went into hiding.
Gabon Telecom, the u . S .’s largest telecom company, which also routes 91% of the country’s IP addresses, shut down the net round 9 pm local time, according to Doug Madory, the director of internet evaluation at Dyn. The pass, he says, left just a few organizations on-line that utilize change means of connectivity, together with satellite communications. The cutoff comes amidst reviews of gradual internet bandwidth and constrained get entry to all through the weekend.
“Over and over, we’ve visible that internet shutdowns serve as early caution mechanisms of human rights violations, and Gabon may also prove no exception,” Deji Bryce Olukotun, the senior global advocacy manager at the digital rights advocacy group get admission to Now, said. “Authorities within the of a must turn the internet on as quickly as possible.”Jean Ping has contested the election results.

Gabon is the state-of-the-art African usa to close down the net as submit-election tensions develop inside the united states of america. Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Chad andRepublic of Congo are all examples of countries that blocked internet services all through current polls. Ghana’s police chief became additionally sharply criticized earlier this year for suggesting that social media structures be blocked at some stage in the upcoming widespread election in December.
Gabon’s consequences were released overdue on Aug. 31 night time, a day late, prompting clashes. Ping’s headquarters were bombed, and protestors broke down the countrywide meeting’s gate and set it on hearth. At least humans were killed in step with the opposition, and police arrested At the least 1,000 human beings at some stage in the unrest.
The president’s workplace has since accused Ping of coordinating and planning the clashes, and requested him “to call off his thugs and forestall vandalizing the metropolis.”
Speaking to the click on Thursday (Sept. 1), Bongo reiterated his distress approximately the election riots. “Democracy doesn’t take a seat properly with self-proclaimed victory, with corporations formed to purpose destruction,” he said. “Democracy is not well matched with an attack on [the building] of national Television and on parliament.” Notwithstanding the net shutdown, Bongo and Ping have been both capable of use social media structures on Sept. 1 to call for harmony, upholding the guideline of regulation, and to pray for those who were killed, injured or jailed at some stage in the clashes.

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