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Togo cut off Mobile internet, fearing its utility during opposition protests

Security forces confront protesters in Togo’s capital, Lome

West Africa – The Togo’s government sanctioned its citizens with access to internet services in the past few days in an efforts to restrict social media communication as a plan opposition’s protest was being evolving.

The authorities cut off Mobile internet services in the country on Thursday, where new opposition protests were planned after an enormous anti-government demonstrations across the country.

Demonstrators in Togo’s capital, Lome

On social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which were still accessible using intermittent Wi-Fi access in the Togolese capital, Lome, users urged the government to restore services with immediate effect.

The Internet Without Borders group called the shutdown “an attack on Togolese citizens’ freedom of expression online,” the group statement read. Amnesty International’s Togo director, Aime Adi, said that the internet and mobile phone networks were completely off on Thursday in several cities in northern Togo.

Togo’s Information minister Gilbert Bawara told several local radio stations and related media groups on Wednesday evening that the government retained the right to enforce limits on access to the internet.

Amnesty’s Adi appraised that over 100,000 opposition supporters marched against the Togolese government in Lome and several other cities across the country on Wednesday.

Other opposition statistics put the digit at one million. The marchers want constitutional reform, including a limit on presidential mandates to two, five-year terms, and a two-round voting system.

Togo’s incumbent president, Faure Gnassingbe, took over in 2005 after the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who came to power after a coup in 1967.

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.

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