Internet connectivity restored in Niger Republic after post-election blackouts

*An industry association in Niger said the Internet connectivity outages had cost three private telecom firms about $145,000 per day besides disruptions to communications and financial system in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

After denying consumers the right to access information, disrupting communications and financial system for almost two weeks, Internet connectivity has been restored in Niger Republic regarded as ‘one of the world’s poorest nations.’

Niger Republic late Friday, March 5, after 10 days of interruption following unrest over official results handing the ruling-party candidate a win in last month’s presidential election, AFP report stated.

However, neither the government nor the West African country’s four telecom firms explained the outage, which staggered useful communications and financial system across the country for several days.

ROTAB, a civil society organisation (CSO), and lawyers’ association AJAN had both publicly announced filings of legal complaints in the hours before Internet access was restored.

In the capital Niamey, people began noticing connectivity was back around 11:30 p.m. (2230 GMT) Friday night, with a phone company messaging clients to say the service interruption was “independent of its will”.

An industry association said the outage had cost Niger’s three private telecoms firms around 80 million CFA francs (120,000 euros, $145,000) per day.

Earlier, two people died, and hundreds were detained in the unrest that broke out after Mohamed Bazoum, the anointed successor of incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou, was declared the winner of the February 21 presidential poll.

Niger has cut Internet access in the past, including access to social media and text messaging during 2015 riots over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed by French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, report noted.

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