Internet cut in Al Shabaab-controlled areas, report says

27 Jan 2014

Telecoms companies operating in areas of Somalia controlled by Al Shabaab have complied with demands by the militant group to shut down internet services, IT News Africa reports, citing local news site Hiraan Online. Earlier this month Al Shabaab rebels gave telecoms operators 15 days to comply with a ban on the provision internet services or face attacks. In response, the government called on companies to resist any coercion, with a statement from Somalia’s Minister of Interior and National Security, Abdikarim Hussein Guled, saying: ‘The Somali government strongly condemns such acts which show continued brutality and terrorist tactics of intimidation by trying to ban Somalis from using the internet’. It added that the government would work with telecoms companies to ensure that they are free to provide internet and other communications services to customers. However, local press claim that militants have entered the buildings of telecoms operators, forcing them to shut down internet services, while some residents in south and central areas are said to no longer have connectivity.