Headline June 28, 2019/ '' ' SUDAN'S INTERNET SUNTAN ' ''


IN A LUSH GARDEN cafe in Sudan's capital, a group of students sit eyes glued to mobile phone screens, seeking ways to bypass the Internet blackout imposed by army rulers.

'' It's as if we have gone back in time - we are cut off from everything, even from the outside world,'' said student Mohammed Omar, 25, sitting around a wooden table with his friends at a cafe in an upscale Khartoum district.

Internet on mobile phones and fixed land connections has been widely cut across Sudan since the violent dispersal of a protest camp outside army headquarters on June 3 that left dozens dead and hundreds wounded.

The ruling military council proposed the blackout to prevent further mobilisation of protesters, according to users.

'' They cut the Internet so that people can not communicate, to prevent them from gathering,'' said Omar, who had regularly attended protests that rocked Khartoum for months.

Initial protests were sparked by a tripling of bread prices in December, and led to the downfall of long-time president Omar aI Bashir on April 11.

But the protesters did not stop there, quickly demanding that the military council that seized power hand over to civilian rule.

Even routine activities like checking social media or booking a taxi through an online app has now become nearly impossible.

'' My parents live abroad, the Internet was our only means of communication,'' said Omar, sporting a neat goatee and an elegant knee-length truffle grey tunic.

''Before we could see each other on video, now I have to make an international call,'' he added.

At the cafe, some sat around wooden tables, while other typed on their phones and some browsed on their laptops. Here, an hour of Internet costs 50 Sudanese pounds, which is approximately one dollar.

Generally across Sudan, the Internet is now accessible only through land telephone lines or fibre optic cables, and the connection is erratic. In one Khartoum mall, customers swarm several mobile shops and cyber cafes that offer rare access.

At the shops entrances, men and women - sitting, standing or leaning against the walls - have their eyes fixed to their mobile phones.

''Cutting the Internet is one of the means by the military council to widen the gap between [the protest movement] and the people,'' prominent protest leader Mohammed Naji aI-Assam told reporters this week.

The impact of the blackout was felt Tuesday night when few came out onto the streets, even as protest leaders called new night-time demonstrations.

Human Rights Watch slammed the blackout as ''gross violation''. For the generals the Internet and social media are a threat. 

And on Wednesday, the authorities prevented a consumer protection association from holding a press conference on the Internet blackout.

Businesses, hit by a blackouts are struggling to keep their services going. Kamal, an employee of an international travel agency, said his company - which regularly books tickets for embassies and UN agencies - has been forced to make bookings through phone calls and text messages, because they can't access the Internet.

The main factor was the ''very poor'' Internet connection at her office, she said. The Internet blackout has been imposed by the generals ''to put an end to the revolution,'' she said.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Sudan, and then the world.

The World Students Society - for every subject in the world, the total and exclusive ownership of the students of the world, thanks AFP.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of Sudan, and then the world. See Ya all on Facebook - The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com - for Great Global Elections and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

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SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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