It is 2019 and you are probably still sending out messages to your loved ones to wish them a happy new year.
But in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC, sending a simple SMS text message might be very impossible to do right now.
The government on Monday cut internet connections and SMS services as the country awaits results from last weekend’s chaotic presidential election.
So what does the government there say is its reason for doing this? According to Barnabe Kikaya bin Karubi, a senior adviser to President Joseph Kabila, the cut is to preserve public order after “fictitious results” began circulating on social media.
Now, this measure surely has not gone well with many in the country and in fact major western countries.
In a joint statement of the EU and the United States, which was also signed by the representatives of Canada, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden, a call was made for the government of the DRC to unblock the means of communication, including internet access and the media.