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DRC orders social media block to thwart unrest at the end of Kabila's term

DRC orders social media block to thwart unrest at the end of Kabila's term

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have issued a directive to telecommunication companies in the country to block social media from Sunday to curb unrest as the mandate of President Kabila ends.

This directive was contained in a letter issued by the Regulatory Authority of the Post and Telecommunications of Congo (ARPTC) which states that Facebook, Twitter, Skype, YouTube and LinkedIn should be blocked temporarily.

A source told AFP that the shutdown should start from Sunday 1800 GMT, which is the day the mandate of President Kabila ends according to the constitution, and a day the opposition coalition led by Étienne Tshisekedi vowed to hit the streets to unseat Kabila.

The Minister of Telecommunications, Thomas Luhaka, has however indicated by SMS that he was “not informed” of the measures when AFP contacted him earlier on Thursday.

Kabila is required by constitutional term limits to step down when his second mandate ends on December 19 but a constitutional court ruled that he can stay on until a new successor is elected.

Elections have been postponed to April 2018 after the electoral commission complained of inadequate resources to conduct the process.

The opposition accuse Kabila of manipulating the system to cling on to power, while a faction of the opposition has agreed and through a national dialogue, got one of its members appointed Prime Minister.

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