UN shocked: African nations break internet human rights promises
Despite their support for the 2021 UN resolution on human rights on the internet, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Somalia, and Nigeria have collectively enforced 16 restrictions since then.
The Cybersecurity company Surfshark has found that some African nations have “broken their word” regarding the resolution.
It is disturbing that even though these countries supported the initiative, they still implemented internet restrictions, which were typically used by repressive governments to manipulate the public and suppress free speech.
Sudan, which is affected by political instability and conflict, has faced several widespread internet disruptions since the military coup in the country in 2021. Somalia has the worst internet access rate globally, with only about 2% of its population regularly online. In contrast, Elon Musk’s company Starlink has shown interest in providing internet services in Somalia, but the company will be subjected to high vetting by the National Communications Authority.
Burkina Faso has also imposed four restrictions since the resolution’s adoption, including a ban on Facebook, and in Nigeria, internet shutdowns resulted in the loss of an estimated R1.6 billion.
Currently, authorities suspended mobile internet access throughout Mauritania due to widespread protests, which followed the death of Omar Diop while in police custody.
The internet disruptions in other African countries, including Somalia, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Nigeria, are alarming and illustrate the importance of promoting an open and accessible internet.