Senegal says mobile phone internet shutdown over

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The Senegalese government says it has reinstated internet access for mobile phones, although the connection has proved to be problematic for many on Wednesday, even for those using virtual private networks (VPNs).

In its statement, the communications ministry had said access to some social media platforms would remain restricted.

This follows deadly protests that erupted last week after opposition leader Ousmane Sonko was sentenced in absentia to two years in jail for immoral behaviour, but cleared of rape charges.

His supporters fear the conviction could prevent the 48-year-old from contesting next year's presidential election. Sonko, who is also mayor of the southern city of Ziguinchor, said the case against him was politically motivated and effectively remains under house arrest in the capital, Dakar.

More than 100 civil society organisations and opposition groups have called for more demonstrations this coming Friday and Saturday over suspicions that President Macky Sall might seek a third term - although he has not confirmed that he will.

The government says the internet shutdown was necessary to stop hateful and subversive messages and videos, but rights groups accuse it of censorship.

In addition to hindering opposition protests, it hampered many businesses - including those in the informal sector that rely on the internet for their day-to-day operations.

Source: BBC 

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