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Cameroon: Internet shutdown costs $1.39m


A coalition of rights groups monitoring internet outage has disclosed that Businesses in Cameroon have lost over $1.39 million as the internet shutdown in the country enters a fourth week.

The government ordered the suspension of internet services to the English speaking North-west and South-west since January 18 as lawyers’ and teachers’ strike escalated into violence.

In a letter to the Cameroon firms, it says the conservative estimate did not take into account the long-term effects such as the disruption of supply chains and the significant amount of remittance that Cameroons living abroad sent to the affected regions.

The lobby group said it had earlier informed the government that the shutdown violated human rights.

“We write to urgently request your support in restoring internet access in the South West and North West regions of Cameroon. We ask that you publicly identify the steps you are taking to restore access to the internet in Cameroon,” the letter reads.

The mobile voice and data service companies in the country is yet to officially comment on the statement.

African largest mobile network MTN Cameroon, a subsidiary of the South Africa telecom giant, is the biggest network in the country with a 51 percent market share.

Cameroon’s Internet Outage Is Draining Its Economy https://t.co/XFQfQvUQOx

— Chris Curran (@cbcurran) February 18, 2017

However, the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (CNDHL) in a statement has indicated that the mission of observation and investigation in respect of the cases of violations of human rights in the Northwest and Southwest regions lead to a resolution stating that it is necessary to find a neutral mediator, credible and accepted by all.

The group said it intends to continue to ensure a mediation in search for a durable solution that would lead to a final end to the crisis.

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