Coalition Petitions President Biya over Internet shut Down in Cameroun

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Emma Okonji

Continental leading At-Large Structure (ALS) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the DigitalSENSE Africa, in collaboration with the Cyber Rights Advocacy Coalition (CRAC) has petitioned the President of the Republic of Cameroun, Mr. Paul Biya, over the Internet shut down in the southern part of the country.

The group recalls the incident of Internet shut down in the two Anglophone regions of the Republic of Cameroun, namely the South West and North West came on the orders of government of Cameroun through the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and Ministry of Communications.

In an open letter on behalf of the coalition, made available to journalists, and endorsed by the Executive Director, Operations at DigitalSENSE Africa, Mrs. Nkemdilim Nweke, they expressed concern over the increasing number of internet shut downs in Africa, especially the Central African countries, describing it as alarming.

According to the coalition, out of an estimated 10 shut downs in recent times in Africa, seven were from the Central African countries including Cameroun, Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville, Chad, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo. This is in addition to Egypt, Sudan and Niger.

The coalition also said it is worried, hence, they are adding their voices formally alongside other local, continental and international civil society organisations on the protracted subject, which they said was uncalled for in the first instance at this era of information and communications technologies (ICTs) ruling the world.

In addition, they said they were disturbed that the Cameroun government’s action has led to disconnection and lack of Internet connectivity in two regions, at a time country like Canada a few days before, proclaimed a high-speed internet, a basic service “necessary to the quality of life” of all Canadians.
in the letter dated February 14 with titled: “Internet Shut Down in Anglophone regions of Republic of Cameroun,” the coalition condemned the action of the Cameroun government.

The coalition maintained that by collaborating with the African Union (AU), ECCAS, it would be able to resolve whatever could have led to the shut down in first instance and to encourage countries to embrace a new slogan of ‘Internet is for everyone’, since any clampdown amounts to injury and violation of cyber rights of citizens.