Opposition groups and the business community in Burkina Faso have expressed their displeasure over the recent extension of mobile internet suspension in the country.
This comes a day after the 96 hour extension took effect in the country.
Opposition leader, Eddie Komboïgo, believes the government’s action is an infringement on the rights of the public. "Today we have demonstrations scheduled by civil societies to express their dissatisfaction with governance over security. The government is getting scared and decided to cut off the internet. This is an attack on individual and public freedoms. ......" he bemoaned.
As at January 2021, there were 5.46 million internet users in the Burkina Faso. Internet penetration in the country stood at 25.7 percent within the same period, with 21.52 million mobile connections which is equivalent to 101.5 percent of the total population.
This is an indication many people have more than one mobile connections.
Issouf Bancé is a business man who has been hardly hit by the directive. He explained the negative impact this directive is likely to have on him. "Because of the coronavirus, I haven't travelled for two years, but I still order. So when I'm here, I have to communicate to get my equipment loaded and brought in, but how are you going to do that? ....
"We are in trouble, because we communicate with Europe. We are artists and we prepare trips, and so the lack of internet really puts us in danger, because it is the poorest who suffer the most. Because the wifi works, but we don't have wifi,...." Yacouba Touré, Sculptor also added.
Network data from NetBlocks confirm a significant disruption to mobile internet connectivity in Burkina Faso from around 10:30 p.m. UTC Saturday 20 November 2021 affecting cellular service.
Metrics verified user reports of mobile data disruptions on providers including Orange (AS37577). The data blackout is likely to limit the free flow of information online and disrupt news coverage.
The Burkinabe government has cited public safety as the reason for the internet suspension. This decision has come at a time when the country is experiencing series of demonstrations and growing political uncertainties over insecurity.