Internet in Sudan Disrupted During Suspected Military Coup

By Supriyo Chatterji / October 25, 2021

NetBlocks has released data on Sudan’s network statistics showing a significant disruption in the nation’s internet services on Monday, October 25, 2021. This disruption has impacted services offered by multiple providers, including mobile and fixed lines. As of 6:00 AM UTC (02:00 AM ET), the disturbance is still affecting Sudan’s network infrastructure.

Meanwhile, reports of a possible coup are emerging for which senior government officials, including four cabinet ministers and a ruling council member, have been detained. News footage showed armed forces surrounding Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok’s official residence. Moreover, the Sudan Professionals’ Association (Sudan’s main pro-democracy group) called on people to take to the streets against a "military coup."

Of course, this shortage implies crippling online communication between people located in the country and impeding news coverage of the recent incidents and as they happen. Since the hindrance is at the network level, it cannot be bypassed using tools such as VPNs. This disruption will most likely significantly reduce the internet connectivity and any ongoing internet coverage in the country.

This also occurred in the past - these targeted disruptions have been used to reduce social media accessibility and online political dissent in the last four years since the protests first ignited in Sudan in 2018, leading to the transition to civilian rule. The most prolonged internet disruption was recorded from December 21, 2018, up until February 26, 2019, for 68 consecutive days, when officials' directives curbed access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Another shutdown affecting mobile phones was implemented after that, from June 3 to July 9, 2019.

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