Internet in DRC partially restored after three-day blackout; SMS remains blocked

23 Jan 2015

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has experienced a three-day internet blackout during anti-government protests this week. According to The Wall Street Journal, late on 19 January the government ordered telcos to block broadband and SMS services after anti-government protests spread from the capital Kinshasa to the eastern Kivu provinces.

Information minister Lambert Mende confirmed that ‘two radio stations were closed and the Ministere des Postes, Telephones et Telecoms temporarily [shut down the] internet because they were being used to spread violence.’ BBC reporter Maud Jullien has confirmed that fixed line internet connections were restored yesterday afternoon but mobile internet and SMS services remain cut.

The protests erupted in response to a potential extension of President Joseph Kabila’s time in power beyond his constitutionally mandated two, five-year terms. Mr. Kabila’s second term expires in 2016.

Congo, Dem. Rep.