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Africa News of Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Burkina Faso disrupts internet amid coup plot arrests - Group

Internet disruption has been a major features across Africa Internet disruption has been a major features across Africa

Internet rights monitoring group, NetBlocks ie reporting of an internet shutdown in Burkina Faso amid talk of coup attempts in the country.

The West African country becomes the second on the continent to disrupt the internet.

The first was Sudan where anti-government protesters have defied the lack of connectivity, tear gas and live bullets to protest what they consider a power grab by the military.

Netblocks statement: Internet disruptions observed in Burkina Faso amid coup plot arrests

Network data from NetBlocks and third-party traffic data confirm significant disruptions to internet service in Burkina Faso from the afternoon of Monday 10 January 2022.

The incident comes as authorities are reported to have made arrests related to an alleged coup plot," a January 11, 2022 statement read.

NetBlocks metrics also corroborate user reports of service issues on provider Orange (AS37577) in effect as of Tuesday 11 January 2022, indicating the likely restriction of Facebook and WhatsApp."

Other details about the situation

Google Transparency metrics indicate that traffic was significantly disrupted at national scale for some 15 hours from Monday afternoon until around 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning:

The social media and messaging app restrictions can be worked around with the use of circumvention software or VPNs.

What’s happening in Burkina Faso?
For several months, authorities feared that some officers to attempt a coup. Burkina Faso has faced growing security challenges in recent years, leading to discontent among the public and in the ranks of the military.

A lieutenant colonel and others were arrested on January 10 in relation to an alleged coup plot. Protesters called for the president to take action or resign earlier in the week. The present internet disruptions are understood to be related to these events.

Burkina Faso has previously shut down mobile internet access amid political unrest and the shooting of protesters by a French military convoy in November 2021, issuing two 96-hour long shutdown orders to providers.