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Cameroon govt sued over internet shutdown in Anglophone regions.

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The Cameroonian government has been hurled before the country’s top court over the imposition of an internet blackout on the restive Anglophone regions.

Two net freedom groups, Access Now and Internet Sans Frontieres (ISF) on January 19, intervened in a lawsuit “challenging a government-ordered shutdown in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions last year.

“We are providing expert advice on requirements under international human rights law and urging the court to end the shutdowns for good, a statement by Access Now said.

The two groups come under the banner of #KeepItOn coalition and have been documenting the cost of internet shutdowns. They are joining two earlier actions instituted in April 2017 seeking to have judicial pronouncement on the shutdown.

In the 2017 papers, the Cameroon government, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication and the sector agency Cameroon Telecommunication (CAMTEL) are listed as respondents. There are five petitioners including the Global Conscience Initiative and Global Links.

The government on September 30, 2017 placed restrictions on access to social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and whatsapp.

This was despite a government statement saying that no such plans were to be implemented. Activists doing a count say Thursday January 25, 2018; is the 118th day of shutdown.

September 30 was the eve of a symbolic declaration of independence by the two Anglophone regions under the Ambazonia State banner. At the time a heavy security deployment across the regions was also in place, subsequent clashes between separatists and security forces lead to deaths, injuries and mass arrests.

It was, however, not the first such disruption in the Central African nation, an earlier one was a total blackout in the northwest and southwest regions. It was only lifted in April 2017 after over three months.

Cameroon’s courts have the opportunity to set a global precedent in favor of human rights and the rule of law,” said Peter Micek, General Counsel of Access Now.

“By declaring the government’s shutdown order a discriminatory, unnecessary, and disproportionate decree, issued under flawed procedures, the court can provide remedy to Cameroonians and light a path for victims of shutdowns elsewhere.”

“A decision by Cameroon’s Constitutional Council to reaffirm the protection of Human Rights, and rule on the illegality of shutdowns, would send a historic and powerful signal to other countries of the Central Africa region,” said Julie Owono, Executive Director of Internet San Frontieres.

Between 2016 and 2017, most countries in the region arbitrarily used internet shutdowns for political reasons.

Motherland News

Protest leader arrested, charged with inciting violence in Zimbabwe.

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Armed police in Zimbabwe have arrested a political activist at his home on Wednesday, his lawyer said.

It comes as protests against fuel price hikes enters day 3 Wednesday. Evan Mawarire, a Harare pastor, rose to prominence as a critic of former leader, Robert Mugabe.

Beatrice Mtetwa is lawyer for Evan Mawarire.



Businesses and schools remain closed while mobile telecom networks enforce a government internet shut down in this Southern African nation.

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“I cannot say the stay away has been successful but at the end of the day we await to hear what the government will do because the people have spoken, they were not happy and up to now they are still in fear”, said Harare resident, Ronald Gwasira.

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“The way it looks people want to go to work but unfortunately it seems the transport operators are not willing to take them”, said Terrence Gumbi, another resident.

Wednesday is the third and final day of stay-at-home protests called by unions in response to the steep hike in fuel prices.

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Kenya: Uhuru Kenyata promises avenge terror attack in Nirobi.

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Kenyan security forces have neutralised all four terrorists involved in the attack on a hotel complex in the capital Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday.

Kenyatta said about 700 people had been safely evacuated, vowed to avenge the 14 “innocent” lives lost.



“We are a nation that never forgets those who hurt our children. We will pursue relentlessly those involved in the planning and execution of this attack,” the president said.

‘‘I take note of Kenyans who took to social media to spread hope and criticise false information. You have shown the world bravery, patriotism and love.’‘

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he attack in numbers

  • 14 civilians confirmed dead

  • 700 people safely evacuated

  • 4 attackers neutralised

Victims

An earlier estimate put the death toll at 15.

Timeline of the attack

  • Tuesday 3pm (local time): Attack on dusitD2 hotel begins with two explosions

  • Tuesday 5:55pm: Al Shabaab claims responsibility

  • Tuesday night: AU, EU, UN, United States, Somalia condemn the attack

  • Tuesday night : Police announces it has secured 7 out of eight floors

  • Wednesday 6am: Gunshots ring out as police say at least two groups of people still trapped inside complex

  • Wednesday 8am: President Kenyatta declares terror attack and security operation ‘over’.

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