internet shutdown #KeepItOn

Sudan: millions surviving armed conflict need internet, access to information

Content note: The following post contains references to violence.

Authorities in Sudan must immediately stop disconnecting people from the internet, blocking access to information and secure communication channels when it is needed most. As armed conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) escalates, millions on the ground are in urgent need of reliable internet to secure food, water, and navigate safe evacuation routes amid ongoing violence and turmoil.

People in Sudan are facing dangerous and stressful situations, disconnecting them from each other, the world, and information is making an already horrific situation worse. Authorities must not disrupt internet access in Sudan, and instead do everything in their power to protect people and enable safe passage — securing internet access is vital. Felicia Anthonio, #KeepItOn Campaign Manager at Access Now

Telecommunications operator MTN implemented a shutdown on April 16 for approximately 10 hours, based on Cloudflare records and on-the-ground reports. It also appears that Sudatel has been down since Sunday, April 23, with only approximately 50% of the usual traffic on Monday. The reason for these disruptions is still unknown. 

The internet is a critical humanitarian structure in times of conflict. Since the conflict broke out, people in Sudan have flocked to social media to stay connected, secure food and water for trapped families, search for safe routes to escape the violence, and share updates. We urgently call on the warring parties in Sudan —and the international community— to ensure the internet remains accessible during these uncertain times. Marwa Fatafta, MENA Policy and Advocacy Manager at Access Now

It is alleged that the fighting in Sudan has led to damage and power issues in most of the internet service providers’ data centres across the country. 

Reports continue to emerge from Sudan of a dangerous disinformation campaign between both parties, including the use of hijacked Twitter accounts, the spread of fake news, further confusing and exposing the danger currently being faced by millions of people across the nation.

Authorities in Sudan must #KeepItOn.