Image Credit: Quartz Africa
Image Credit: Quartz Africa

The government of Gabon shut down internet on Wednesday August, 31st following the announcement of President Ali Bongo being re-elected by a slim margin for a second seven-year term in office.

According to Doug Madory; the Director of internet analysis at DYN – Gabon Telecom, which routes over 91% of the country’s IP addresses, shut down the internet around 9 pm local time, he said.

Doug notes that Gabon Telecom, left only a few companies online that utilize alternate means of connectivity, such as satellite communications. The cutoff comes amidst reports of slow internet bandwidth and limited access during the weekend.

However, many people stood up to complain about it, including; Deji Bryce Olukotun; senior global advocacy manager at the digital rights advocacy group Access Now, who said that internet shutdowns serve as early warning mechanisms of human rights violations, and Gabon may prove no exception,” Quartz Africa reports.

Other sources have it that despite the internet shutdown, Ali Bongo and Jean Ping were both able to use social media platforms the following day to call for unity, upholding the rule of law, and to pray for those who were killed, injured or jailed during the clashes.

On the other hand, Gabon isn’t the only African country to shut down the internet as post-election tensions grow. Other countries, that do fall under this same category include; Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Chad and Republic of Congo.