Ethiopian Authorities Shut Down Mobile Internet and Major Social Media Sites
All mobile internet services have been shut down in Ethiopia for the last seven days, amid increasingly violent protest scenes and a recently declared a “state of emergency”.
Demonstrations have taken place with regular frequency in Ethiopia’s Oromia region since November 2015, with protesters demanding greater self-rule, freedom and respect for the ethnic identity of the Oromo people, who have experienced systematic marginalization and persecution over the last quarter century. Authorities have used deadly force against the protesters on more than one occasion. On October 2 alone, 52 people were killed. The Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), an opposition party, has reported a death toll of nearly 600 people.
While select social media and messaging platforms such as WhatsApp have been shut down sporadically as protests have grown more intense, in Addis Ababa, the capital, this is the longest sustained mobile Internet service shutdown that has taken place since they began.
The sudden silence of the protests on social media has left those tracking the movement over Facebook and Twitter worried.