Coup d'etat and internet shut down in Sudan

Sudan -

Coup d'etat and internet shut down in Sudan

Several government officials were detained by military forces carrying out a coup d'etat on Monday. Those detained include Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh, Information Minister Hamza Baloul, and Mohammed al-Fiky Suliman, member of the ruling Sovereign Council, Faisal Mohammed Saleh, an adviser to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok; the Prime Minister is also reported to be under house arrest. Ayman Khalid, governor of the state containing the capital, Khartoum, was also arrested In response to the military coup in Sudan, the Sudanese Professional Association has called on the public to take to the streets and defend democracy.

The SPA, Sudan’s main pro-democratic political group, also reports that there are ongoing internet and phone signal outages in the country. NetBlocks, which tracks disruptions across the internet, reported Monday it had seen a “significant disruption” to both fixed-line and mobile internet connections across Sudan with multiple providers. According to NetBlocks, “Metrics corroborate user reports network disruptions appearing consistent with an internet shutdown,”.

“The disruption is likely to limit the free flow of information online and news coverage of incidents on the ground.” Internet censorship has been used in conjunction with power grabs in recent years, most recently seen during the coup d'etat in Myanmar. By depriving the public of communications and information, coup takers aim to disrupt any opposition or organization the condemns their actions.

The arrests come after weeks of rising tensions between Sudan’s pro-democracy civilian leaders and the Islamic backed military leaders. A failed coup attempt in September has created a larger rift between those who want a plural democracy and islamic authoritarians who support the former dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir. In recent days tensions between the opposing groups has led to duel mass protests and camps.

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