Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya’s opposition leader to take poll dispute to Supreme Court

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's 'unprecedented transgression'

Read more

THE DEBATE

US racial tension - How far should freedom of speech be allowed to go?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Burkina Faso attack: How to restore security in the Sahel region?

Read more

THE DEBATE

India and Pakistan mark 70 years of independence: Can the two countries ever reconcile?

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

India: Cows at heart of political debate

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Trump again blames both sides for Charlottesville violence

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Macron: The shadow of a doubt'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Talks to begin on revamping NAFTA trade deal

Read more

Africa

Three months after pulling the plug, Cameroon restores internet to anglophone region

© Pius Utomi Ekpei, AFP | Cameroon's president Paul Biya has ordered the restoration of internet to the country's anglophone region.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-04-21

Cameroon's government said on Thursday it had restored the internet to its restive anglophone region, three months after cutting it amid protests against the predominantly French-speaking government of President Paul Biya.

Cameroonian forces have cracked down on protests in the English-speaking region that erupted last October, beating and arresting protesters, some of whom face the death penalty in military courts.

The unrest has exposed national divisions between the regions of Cameroon that were historically colonised by the French and the British. It has also been a lightening rod for
opposition to Biya's 35-year rule.

"It seems that the conditions that preceded the suspension of the internet to that part of the national territory have much changed," Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma said in a statement.

"The head of state therefore instructs the (communications) minister ... to re-establish internet connections in the northwest and southwest regions."

Pulling the plug on the internet was a particular blow for Cameroon's 'Silicon Mountain', as it was called locally, a cluster of tech start-ups in the region that had been flourishing prior to the crackdown.

At least six protesters have been shot dead and hundreds others arrested during the rare challenge to state authority, prompting criticism from human rights groups.

Activists had condemned the internet shutdown as a form of collective punishment.
At the end of World War One, the League of Nations divided the former German colony of Kamerun between the allied French and British victors.

After independence in 1960, voters from the smaller English-speaking zone opted to join Cameroon rather than neighbouring Nigeria, but they have often felt marginalised by the Francophone government in Yaounde.

"Finally, it's back. I'm on Facebook right now, so I'm very happy," said a user in the northern city of Bamenda after the internet was restored. "Everyone is getting back in contact to let each other know the lines are OK."

(REUTERS)
 

Date created : 2017-04-21

  • CAMEROON

    #BringBackOurInternet: English-speaking Cameroon hit by digital blackout

    Read more

COMMENT(S)