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Sudan court orders internet services to be restored after weeks-long blackout

The internet blockade was an attempt to quell new protests against the generals [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 July, 2019

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A court in Sudan on Tuesday ordered telecommunications company Zain to restore internet services in the country, more than a month after they were blocked by army rulers.
A court in Sudan on Tuesday ordered telecommunications company Zain to restore internet services in the country, more than a month after they were blocked by army rulers following a deadly crackdown on protesters.

"Communications with Zain and other companies confirm that they are working on restoring services," lawyer Abdu al-Adhim Hassan told The New Arab, adding that the court order is "a victory for the Sudanese people."

Sudan's de facto ruling military council cut internet services because it said they "posed a threat to national security."       

Crowds of protesters were violently dispersed on June 3 by men in military fatigues, who stormed a weeks-long protest camp outside the army headquarters in Khartoum where they had camped to demand that the generals step down.

Military council spokesman General Shamseddine Kabbashi said at the time that social media "represents a threat for the security of the country and we will not allow that".

Following the measure, the citizen-led Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), a coalition of opposition groups that has represented the protesters in recent months, set restoration of the internet as one of the conditions to resume negotiations with the military council.

The internet blockade was an attempt to quell new protests against the generals, who have so far resisted handing power to a civilian administration as demanded by demonstrators, protest leaders say.

Tens of thousands of protesters were mobilised through online social media apps during the months-long campaign against the now ousted leader Omar al-Bashir.

Protest leaders have resorted to neighbourhood campaigns to keep their movement alive, with activists mobilising supporters in night-time gatherings, witnesses said.

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