After three weeks of web blackout for Sudan, the North African country has restored internet access, but only for one person.
Apparently, the military-ordered shutdown was brought to a stop because of the lone efforts of a Sudanese lawyer, Abdel-Adheem Hassan, who sued the concerned telecoms operator, Zain Sudan.
“Bull By The Horn”
About two days ago, the Sudanese Court ordered Zain Sudan, a subsidiary of Zain Kuwait and Sudan’s largest telecoms operator, to restore internet services to the country. But only Hassan, who filed the case in a personal capacity, is currently benefiting from the seeming reconsideration.
The lawyer, according to this report, will return to court this week over the shutdown, in a bid to give more Sudanese access to the internet.
According to Hassan, there is a court session today (June 25) and another on Wednesday (June 26), and he hopes the development will help one million people regain internet access to the end of the week.
Sudan, whose population currently stands at over 40 million, began this internet drama on June 3, in what was a near-total loss of access for mobile and fixed line connection for a large number of ordinary users. Nonetheless, connectivity in the country had improved from 2 percent to 10 percent as at last Thursday.
The restriction has not only hindered the speed and effectiveness of humanitarian operations but has incited protesters who demand that the Sudanese authorities restore web access as one of their criteria for resuming discussions about the formation of a transitional administration comprising both civilians and military officers.
“Data indicate that Sudan’s current internet restrictions remain more severe than those observed during the rule of Omar al-Bashir, including those applied in the final days of the regime,” Reuters reports.
The series of events stems from political unrest in the nation. Military forces removed President Bashir in April, after which a council of generals assumed power. The country has been in turmoil ever since, as Sudanese are relentlessly advocating for civilian leadership.
The United Nations has tried to intervene, but their urge for Sudan to grant human rights monitors access to the country has seemingly fallen on deaf ears.
In a related series of events, Ethiopia’s internet shutdown continues. The blackout which was initially initiated to prevent malpractice during the East African country’s national exams, has now metamorphosed into something tied to the military, just like Sudan’s.