Internet blackout in Ethiopia


Netblocks, a nonprofit organization that monitors the internet in real time, is reporting an Internet cut across Ethiopia today, Saturday June 22nd, 2019, amid reports of coup attempt targeting Amhara regional state government. Nationwide connectivity currently now at 10% with capital and most states offline.

The incident is ongoing.

Netblocks says that it is as yet unclear which party has ordered the internet shutdown, although timings suggest the nationwide disconnection was imposed after the plot was uncovered. Hence, it is not evident whether the internet shutdown is implemented by those who organised the uprising, or by government forces who seek to suppress it.

The disruption constitutes a significant restriction on the flow of information in and out of Ethiopia, making it difficult to assess the current situation on the ground.

In recent weeks Ethiopia has experienced a series of nationwide blackouts causing significant social and economic harm and stoking dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Media is reporting that this is a coup attempt and that army chief has been shot.

Ethiopia is not the only country blocking the internet. During the same period, the Sudan and Venezuela have continued to exercise political censorship, while coverage of protests in HongKong is reportedly being filtered at scale. Additionally, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and other social media have been blocked in Algeria.