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Al Shabab orders Somalia’s biggest phone Network Provider go off air

Hiiraan Online
By Shafi’i Mohyaddin
Monday, February 03, 2014

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Mogadishu (HOL) - For the 3rd successive day, people in some southern regions have been denied access to telephone services, from the biggest network provider in Somalia, the Hormuud Telecom, after AlShabaab fighters ordered the company to go off air.

On Saturday, the Al Shabaab militants ordered Hormuud telecom Somalia to switch off its Network providing systems in the southern Lower and Middle jubba regions and as well as the western Gedo region along the border with Ethiopia.

It was not yet clear for which reason the Islamist group ordered the country’s biggest Network Company to go off air.

The mobile phone money transfer system known here as EVC+ is also missing. People use the EVC+ for their daily life purposes such as shopping, sending money to each other and even when eating or drinking at restaurants or coffee shops. All these important services have been missing in the three regions since Saturday.

Reports coming from the middle Jubba region indicate that the militants also arrested some staff members from Hormuud Telecom’s compound in the region’s provincial capital of Jilib.

The arrested staff members include the company’s regional chief executive Mahmoud Haji Salad. The fate of the jailed staff members was not yet known.

Neither the federal government of Somalia nor the Hormuud Telecom Somalia was yet available for comment.

Last month AlShabaab told Somalia’s two main network providers Hormuud Telecom and Nation Link Telecom to cancel the installation process of the high speed Fibre Optic broadband internet cables south-central Somalia and it was not yet sure whether this move was part of the enforcement of Al Shabab’s internet ban.

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