Ethiopia is Blocking the Internet Again To Stifle Unrest in Its Troubled Eastern Region

Ethiopia’s government has regressed to an old habit: shutting down the internet. From a report: Reports show the internet has been blocked in the eastern cities of Jijiga, Dire Dawa, and Harar following violence and simmering political tensions. Over the past weekend, federal troops were deployed to the eastern Somali regional state, leading to a standoff with local police, lootings, and death. The region’s leader Abdi Mohamoud Omar, better known as Abdi Iley, was forced to resign and replaced by his finance minister Ahmed Abdi Mohammed. Following the unrest, officials cut off internet access to the region, with no explanation from either the ministry of communications or the sole mobile operator and internet provider Ethio Telecom. The move is indicative of an old Ethiopian government trick, blocking the internet or access to specific social media sites like Facebook and Twitter during anti-government protests or unease.



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