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Congo: Govt orders phone and internet blackout

Congo: Govt orders phone and internet blackout

Republic of the Congo

Mobile phone and internet services will be blocked on Sunday as electorates in the Republic of Congo vote in a crucial presidential poll, reports the AFP.

The information, the AFP said was contained in a letter from the country’s Interior Minister to the telecommunications operators.

The interruption is expected to last until Monday morning.

“For national security reasons, make sure you block communication including sending of text messages,” the Minister wrote in the letter.

According to a government source, the move will not affect polling on Sunday and will not impede the opposition’s access to the results.

The country’s opposition has reportedly planned to compile its own results from the poll to help it contest any irregularity that may occur.

Earlier on Saturday, opposition candidate Jean-Marie Mokoko was summoned by police. He told news agencies it was a strategy to intimidate him ahead of the polls.

General Mokoko was recently questioned over a viral video on the internet in which he speaks about a plan to overthrow incumbent president Denis Sassou Nguesso.

Sassou Nguesso who has ruled the Republic of Congo for 32 years will face other 8 candidates in Sunday’s poll.

His candidature was made possible after a constitutional change which has been described by the opposition as a “constitutional coup”.