Cameroonian authorities have shut down the Internet in some parts of the country over recent protests.
These regions are in the North-West and South-West regions of the country. This shutdown comes on the heels of protests by English speaking Cameroonians who took to the streets to complain about the marginalization by the French-speaking led government.
People in these regions found out they could not communicate via the Internet since Tuesday, January 17, 2017. This Internet shutdown has not allowed for messages to be shared on social media too. The development came as a surprise to many as the government did not give any prior notice or warning.
According to Quartz, the shutdown came after the Cameroonian government banned two Anglophone pressure groups- Southern Cameroons National Council and the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium.
The leaders of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor and Dr. Fontem A. Neba were arrested on the same day in Buea and flown to Yaounde.
The government in the Central African Republic have been able to shut down the Internet in the English speaking regions because the optic fibre backbone in the country is owned and operated by Cameroon Telecommunications (CAMTEL). Internet and mobile communication providers in the country solely rely on CAMTEL for its operations.
These service providers were given strict instructions by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications to shutdown the Internet in the English speaking regions.
The Anglophone-Francophone clash started from Cameroon's pre-colonial days. Cameroon was a region founded by the British but ran by the French. Majority of the country's administrative structure is dominated by its French speaking citizens. With a population of 23 million people, Anglophone speaking Cameroonians make up 20% of the piopulation.
Cameroonians have also been receiving texts from authorities warning them not to post "information you can’t prove" on social media.