Saturday August 25, 2018
Authorities in Ethiopia shut off internet access son Aug. 4, after the Ethiopian military rolled into Jigjiga and it’s surrounding areas, seizing the regional assembly and TV station while strategically setting up checkpoints in key area’s leading in and out of the city. The military was acting swiftly to oust regional President Abdi Mohammed Omar - better known as Abdi Iley- after a tense political standoff that led to the destruction of property, looting, beatings and the deaths of at least 31 people.
Addis Ababa (HOL) - Residents in Ethiopia’s Somali regional state have said that internet connection has been restored in the area of the federal government cut out mobile and broadband connection for nearly three weeks.
Residents in Jigjiga, Dire Dawa and Harrar have said that their connection was restored on Friday afternoon.
The Ethiopian government has never issued a statement regarding the internet blackout; not on August 4th when they cut off the connection, or on Friday afternoon when connectivity resumed.
It is the first time since internet access has been cut off since the Ethiopian parliament lifted the state of emergency in June. The government imposed emergency rule in February, a day after former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned unexpectedly to make way for “reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy". His resignation culminated three years of violent unrest that was marked by massive street protests and ethnic violence.
The Ethiopian government retains a technological monopoly and wields complete control over the country’s communications infrastructure. It has legally barred the registration of new ISPs and does not allow for any circumvention of existing communication infrastructures. State-owned Ethio Telecom is the sole provider of telecommunication services in Ethiopia.
Full or partial internet blackouts in Ethiopia are common when there is political unrest in the country.