Mobile Internet Cut in Mauritania Due to Unrest After Presidential Election

Tue Jul 02 2024
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NOUAKCHOTT: Mobile internet services have been disrupted in Nouakchott, Mauritania’s capital, since Monday night, following incidents of unrest triggered by the announcement of incumbent Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani’s victory in the presidential election, AFP reported.

Reports from witnesses indicated disturbances in several working-class neighborhoods of Nouakchott on Monday evening, shortly after the final provisional results declared Ghazouani’s comfortable re-election win in Saturday’s poll.

As of Tuesday, Nouakchott appeared relatively calm, with businesses operating as usual, despite the absence of official comments from authorities regarding the mobile internet blackout.

Governments globally have increasingly resorted to internet restrictions during times of civil unrest or political upheaval, a tactic employed to control the flow of information and communication among citizens.

In response to the election outcome, Biram Dah Abeid, the second-place candidate and prominent anti-slavery activist, denounced what he described as “massive fraud” and raised the prospect of organizing peaceful street demonstrations. Abeid indicated he awaited further election results from his own monitoring teams before making a final decision on future actions.

The aftermath of Mauritania’s previous presidential election in 2019, which saw Ghazouani ascend to power, was marred by violent clashes and the detention of political opponents. During that period, the country experienced a 10-day internet blackout, underscoring the government’s use of restrictive measures amid heightened political tensions.

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