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Five African countries ‘backtrack’ on UN Internet pledge

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Africa , Sudan , 02 Jun 2023

A new report says five African countries, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Mauritania and Nigeria broke the United Nations (UN) resolution on human rights on the internet.

Surfshark’s Internet Shutdown Tracker says there were a total of 16 internet disruptions in these 5 African countries during or after the adoption of the resolution.

The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution on human rights on the internet aims to protect and promote human rights online. Surfshark says it uncovered the five countries supported the resolution in 2021 but ‘didn't stay true to their word’.

Of the five, Sudan stands out as the country that has “broken its word” the most in Africa, with 9 internet disruptions since the resolution’s adoption in 2021, says the report.

Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, Surfshark spokeswoman, explains: "In today’s world, internet shutdowns have become a major concern. Authoritarian governments frequently employ them as a means to manipulate the public and stifle free speech.

“The UN resolution on human rights on the internet aims to make countries openly condemn these shutdowns and other ways of restricting online speech. However, it's concerning that even though 5 African countries publicly supported the resolution, they still imposed internet restrictions.

“It’s important to promote an open and accessible internet and pressure countries to uphold their commitments regarding human rights online.”

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