Ethiopia’s internet has been shut down due to protests against the government. However, no reason has been given for Ethiopians’ inaccessibility to the internet.
This is not the first time Ethiopia’s internet has been blocked as a result of protests. In time past, the government has accused the opposition of using Facebook and Twitter to instigate protests in the country.
During a religious festival which took place in the Oromia region on Sunday, at least 55 people died in a stampede. This happened after the people began protesting and demanding political freedoms.
The opposition blamed the security forces as guilty of the stampede, as the security forces had reportedly opened fire on the protesters.
On the contrary, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, said the security forces were not to be blamed because the protesters staged a “pre-planned mayhem” which led to the death of many in the Oromia region during the Irrecha thanksgiving festival.
Following the stampede, more protests took place on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city. Even more of these broke out in the areas of Alem Gena and Sebeta. These areas, which are also Oromia regions, have heavy police presence patrolling the area.
Africa News reports that the internet blockage has been lifted partially. The sources claimed that fixed line internet services are working but mobile internet services are not.
The protests in Ethiopia, which are largely carried out by members of the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups, resurged in 2015 over a land dispute with the government. Since then, many have been unlawfully detained for playing a part in these protests.
Human Rights Watch has since called for an independent investigation to determine what really happened during the festival.