Activists tracking the internet blackout in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone regions say it is entering the 60th day. The government on September 30, 2017 placed restrictions on access to social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp.
Cameroon’s Minister of Post and Telecommunications had earlier promised the government had no plans to cut the internet, saying, on September 27, that stories of an imminent shutdown were mere rumors.
On the eve of October 1, 2017, an anniversary of Southern Cameroon’s independence and reunification with West Cameroon, some English speaking Cameroonians anticipated a symbolic declaration of independence by the two Anglophone regions.
The Cameroon government also during this period deployed thousands of troops to the North West and South West Regions of the country ahead of the anticipated October 1.
Authorities also announced temporary restrictions on travel into Nigeria in the wake of violent protests, sparked by ongoing complaints of economic and political discrimination and demands for more Anglophone rights in the predominately Francophone country.
This is not the first time there has been an internet disruption in Cameroon, an earlier one was a total blackout in the northwest and southwest regions. It was only lifted in April 2017 after over three months.
Mobile telephone network service providers in the country have also refused to take responsibility or clarify the reason for the shutdown, they have been blaming the disruptions on technical issues.