Al-Shabab bans internet in Somalia

Rebel group says anyone caught using internet outside internet cafes will be considered to be working with the "enemy".

by
    Al-Shabab said internet providers have 15 days to comply with the order [EPA]
    Al-Shabab said internet providers have 15 days to comply with the order [EPA]

    Somali rebel group al-Shabab has announced that it has banned the use of internet through mobile handsets and fibre optic cables throughout Somalia. 

    In an announcement broadcast on Wednesday by a radio station affiliated with the group and later in a statement released to local media, al-Shabab said telecommunication companies had 15 days to comply with the order.

    "Any individual or company that is found not following the order will be considered to be working with the enemy and they will be dealt with in accordance Sharia law." the statement said.

    It was not immediately clear if internet providers in Somalia will follow the order. The two main internet providers in Somalia, Hortel Inc and Nationlink Telecom, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Al-Shabab has been losing ground to Somalia's internationally recognised government troops and African Union peacekeepers, but the al-Qaeda-linked group still controls significant part of the country.

    Mobile internet (3G) was introduced to Somalia a year ago and has proven popular. Fibre optics arrived in Mogadishu in November last year and homes are yet to be connected.

    Somalia has one of the lowest internet penetration in world with just over 1 percent of Somalia's estimated 10 million population connected.  

    Most of those who access the internet in Somalia do so through the many internet cafes that dot the country's big cities and towns. The ban, al-Shabab said, will not affect the cafes.

    Follow Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: @Hamza_Africa

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.