Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2019

Imagine spending more than a year without being able to access the internet. Without being able to send a message via WhatsApp, laugh at a meme, or chat with friends about football on Facebook. This is the reality in Chad, an African country that was virtually offline from March 2018 until July 2019 – a year, three months and 17 days.

The country had already gone through other periods of blackout. The internet was suspended in the country at least twice in 2018 during protest waves and in 2016 the country spent eight months with access to social networks blocked after controversial elections.

Currently, only 6 percent of the population can access the internet. The government blamed technical problems for the blackout, but did nothing in the way of offering solutions until it recently decided to lift restrictions. Activists and human rights organizations, on the other hand, point to a government aimed at preventing the population from accessing information and organizing to protest against President Idriss Déby, who seeks to remain in power indefinitely.

Full article at The Mantle’s website. Date of publication: 24/10/2019.

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