One year without internet in Chad: Citizens have been offline since March 2018
29 March 2019
For nearly one year's time, citizens in Chad have been unable to access the internet, in spite of the UN Human Rights Council resolution of 1 July 2016 condemning any government that intentionally prevents or disrupts online access.
Service providers attribute the disruption to technical problems, but organizations like Internet without Borders say that the government has ordered mobile phone companies to cut internet access. It appears that the government is attempting to muzzle citizens’ freedom of expression and to prevent the free circulation of information.
In Chad, the number of citizens with internet access is proportionally the lowest in Africa. On average, 37.4% of people in the continent have access to the internet. In Chad that rate is only 5%.
Pablo Michelot, editor in chief of l'Encre Noir, a current affairs website for the black community, addressed the subject in a recent blogpost titled “The world is a village from which Chadians are excluded”. He commented:
Translation Original Quote
For more than a year now, social networks have been barred in the Republic of Chad, following the country's move to keep President Idriss Déby in office beyond 2030. In 2016, the president said that “Chad cannot focus on a system that runs into difficulty when power changes hands.”
The number of social media users is rising in other African countries, but in Chad it is a different story. In the twelve months to January 2019, social media use has fallen by 150,000 users, or 54%.