“The unprecedented cut-off of the mobile internet in Burkina Faso is a serious violation of the individual rights and freedoms so much advocated by the founding fathers of the internet”, this is what emerges from the statement of Internet Society via its Burkina chapter. “These 96 + 96 hours of Internet outage cause an economic loss of $34.8 million (20 394 456 242 CFA francs) according to the netblocks index,” said the organization.
It urges governments and policymakers around the world to support policies that keep the Internet accessible to all, in order to develop strong economies and give people the opportunity for a prosperous future.
The full statement below:
Since Saturday, November 20th, 2021, it is with great regret that we have witnessed the sudden and unjustified disconnection of mobile internet, representing 70% of national traffic, throughout the country.
This disconnection, unprecedented in Burkina Faso, is a serious violation of individual rights and freedoms as advocated by the founding fathers of the Internet. This is all the more incomprehensible when one notes that the Internet cut-off comes at the end of the Digital Week (SN), whose reflections were focused on the challenges of a successful digital transformation.
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This deliberate suspension cannot be justified in any way
Indeed, the Internet is not only the main means of communication in the country but also the preferred tool for the promotion of economic and social activities. As evidenced by the launch of the e-commerce tool “Garbal-Yaar” by the same government on the eve (Friday, November 19, 2021) of this flagrant violation of freedoms and rights to information.
The Internet Society, through its Burkina Faso chapter, reaffirms its position that “We urge governments and policymakers around the world to support policies that keep the Internet accessible and strong in order to develop strong economies and give people the opportunity for a prosperous future.”
The organization protests against this untimely shutdown and demands the restoration of mobile internet in a better timeframe. It is also necessary to take into account the fact that the extension of the Internet cut for another 96 hours, does more harm than good in that it contributes to installing an atmosphere of suspicion and the spread of false information.
In any case, this incident should not be allowed to continue. That is why the Internet Society Burkina Faso Chapter is calling on the government to strictly adhere to its commitment to maintaining an open Internet accessible to all without any conditions.
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First published in lefaso.net, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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