There is ongoing internet restriction in Togo after protests against the rule of its Presidnet Faure Gnassingbe. Users have complained that internet speeds are slow and access to social media platforms have been limited.
Government spokesperson Gilbert Bawara said while speaking to a local radio station, “Even in most developed countries, authorities take control of telecommunications in some cases,” he said
AFP news agency reported that mobile internet had been shut down in the capital but added that wi-fi networks were still working.
With this development, Togo has joined a string of African countries that shut their internet, the latest being Cameroon. Demonstrations took place in many cities in Togo against among others Togo’s President’s Faure Gnassingbe’s rule of 12 years, after the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had ruled for 38 years. Both Gnassingbe’s have cumulatively held power for 50 years.
The protests were organised by a coalition of opposition parties and civil society organisations. Local journalist Blamé Ekoué reported that organisers said that they would not relent in their push for a two-term presidential limit and for the release of some of their members who were arrested, charged and sentenced after similar protests last week. A government concession to bring about a two-term presidential limit, through a constitutional amendment, failed to dissuade the protesters.
Another internet shutdown in another African country and it seems to be very routine these days. The domino effect you may call it. I wonder why Africans seem incapable of ‘dominoeing’ good things. We mainly copy terrible precedents from other African countries, in a bid by our leaders to stifle opposition and hold on to power. For us in Nigeria, we are hoping that the domino effect doesn’t lead to internet shutdown come 2019. We hope the Nigerian government will choose to do the right thing and #keepiton