Senegal’s government has cut access to mobile internet services in certain areas because of deadly rioting in which “hateful and subversive” messages have been posted online, it said in a statement on Sunday.
The West African country has been rocked by three days of violent protests in which 16 people have died, one of its deadliest bouts of civil unrest in decades.
Last week, the government limited access to certain messaging platforms, but many people were able to bypass the outage with the use of virtual private networks that mask the location of the user. It extended the outage on Sunday to include all data on mobile internet devices in certain areas and at certain times, the statement said.
It did not specify which areas were impacted or at what times, but residents across Dakar said they were unable to access the Internet without a wifi connection on Sunday afternoon, a time of day when protests have generally started to gather steam.
The catalyst for the unrest was the sentencing on Thursday of popular opposition leader Ousmane Sonko to two years in jail, which could prevent him from running in the February presidential election.