Internet Shutdowns In Great Lakes Sub-Region (1996-2021)





April 2015

·      All social media was shut down (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube)

·      Protests against Nkirunziza's third term bid

·      The government’s reason for the shutdown was for National Security

May 2020

·      All social media was shut down (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube)

·      The move was towards reducing access to information over the anticipated election

Republic of Congo


March 2016

·      All internet/SMS and telephone services were shut off for 48 hours

·      This was a result of the election protests

·      The reason for the shutdown was for national security, safety and illegal publication of the election results

·      The shutdown lasted 48 hours March 2020

·      Total Internet shutdown

·      The disruption was carried on through the election day until the announcement of results

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)


January and February 2018

·      Total internet shutdown

·      It was as a result of the social unrest to denounce postponement of elections for another year

·      It lasted three days.

·      December 2018

·      Shut down on mobile and fixed-line connections and social media disruptions.

·      It happened as the country went to the polls to replace Joseph Kabila

·      It lasted a 24 hours Uganda

February 2006

·      Blocked access of website for Radio Katwe

·      Reason was claimed to be for publishing malicious and false information against the NRM and it presidential candidate

April 2011

·      Temporary directive to ISPs to block Facebook and Twitter for 24hours

·      During the walk to work protests over the rising fuel and food prices

·      The reason provided was to prevent violence

·      The restriction lasted four days

February 2016

·      All social media platforms and mobile money services

·      Took place on the eve of the presidential elections

·      This lasted four days

May 2016

·      All social media platforms and mobile money services

·      This happened a day before President Yoweri Museveni’s inauguration ceremony for his fifth term

·      This lasted for 24 hours

January 2021

·      Total internet blackout and circumvention tools blocked

·      Took place during the election day and continued even after the results were announced



December 2007

·      Government banned all live broadcasting (traditional media blackout) and SMS

·      This was in response to the 2007 post-election violence

·      This led to the introduction of the National Cohesion and Integrated Commission (NCIC)



April 2010

·      Sudanese authorities blocked YouTube and Google

·      This was in response to a video on YouTube portraying election rigging by the National Electoral Commission Workers

September 2012

·      YouTube was banned

·      The reason was for not removing the Innocence of Muslims film on YouTube.

December 2018

·      Sudanese authorities blocked access to all social media sites.

·      This was as a result of the protests calling for the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir

·      This lasted eight days

April 2019

·      Social media blocks we re-introduced

·      They were geared to stop the circulation of posts on the demonstrations

·      The ban was lifted after Omar al-Bashir declared to step down.

June-July 2019

·      Restrictions on the Internet

·      As protest rocked Sudan

·      The reason for the restrictions was to prevent flow of information

·      The ban was lifted at the beginning of August 2019

September 2020

·      Internet services were suspended.

·      It was during the Secondary Education Exams

October-November 2021

·      Internet access was blocked and phone line intermittently disrupted

·      This happened during a military power cease that dissolved the transitional administration



February 1996

·      First official incident of internet censorship in Africa

·      The ban was on “The post” newspaper website for publishing a ban edition of the paper

·      The government threatened a ban on the Country’s main ISP(Zamnet)

August 2021:

·      All social media was shut down (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

·      This happened during the presidential elections.



October 2020

·      The Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) ordered telco service providers to suspend access to bulk short messaging services (SMS) and bulk voice services.

·      Disruption to social media and online communication platforms via multiple internet providers as of Tuesday 27 October 2020 a day before the General Elections

South Sudan


August 2021

·      Internet services were disrupted and cellular and some fixed line experienced outages

·      It was a response to planned protests against the Salva Kiir and Riek Machar administration



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