Restive Cameroon imposes social media blackout

January 30, 2017 7:57 am5 comments

SOCIAL MEDIAYAOUNDE, (CAJ News) – CAMEROON has blocked internet access in the southern regions to halt mounting protests by minority English-speaking communities protesting alleged marginalisation by the government.
The blackout in the impoverished Bamenda and Buea, making money transfers impossible, comes amid rising tensions between government forces and protesters outraged at the administration of longtime President Pau Biya.
He is blamed for complicity in the grievances by the protestors.
The African Investigative Publishing Collective (AIPC) said the shutdown was impacting on operations of the media covering the protests and a ploy by the government to cover up the rights violations in the region where four people have been killed by live bullets and dozens arbitrarily arrested in protests.
Schools and medical facilities have been closed because of the unrest.
AIPC called for solidarity protests against the blackout.
“In view of the poverty that reigns in many parts of Cameroon, which the Biya government has notably failed to address during its decennia-long reign, this adds injury to injury.”
Biya’s government has justified the blackout alleging “people with evil intentions” were using social media to propagate false information to threaten the public and create panic.
AIPC dismissed the argument.
“It is nonsensical and familiar in a world increasingly pervaded by a disdain for facts.”
The Central African’s country’s 24-million population is predominantly Francophone with 80% speaking French.


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