INTERNET SHUTDOWN IN CHAD FOR THE LAST ONE YEAR
The citizens of Chad have been in the dark in regards to internet. This is as a result of internet censorship implemented by the government in that country.
Interested parties such as companies which depend on internet to conduct their business have resorted to the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) which are more expensive.
This social media blackout commenced in March 2018 after recommendations were made by some quarters to change the constitution in order to allow President Idriss Deby to remain in power till 2033.
The Civil Society leadership in the country strongly believes that the internet shutdown was as a result of expose done after videos of violent clashes among the Zaghawa tribe were shared online on WhatsApp. The government used the censorship as part of its strategy to repress discontent.
Chad has in the past experienced numerous community clashes. These violent conflicts were as a result of ethnic and religious animosity since 1960 when the country gained her independence from France.
It is sad that since March 2018, Chadians have not accessed online services such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. It is worth noting that this is not the first time to experience the internet shutdown. The 2016 internet shutdown last for a total of 8 months. This happened after a disputed presidential election which installed Deby in the office for his 5th term.
Internet shutdowns are not new in African states. They are regularly used to suppress the voice of the citizens and limit self-expression.
In the current financial year (2019) along the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Zimbabwe have enforced internet shutdowns for a variety of reasons.