Sudan coup leader Gen al-Burhan issues conditions to restore internet

Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan

Sudan’s military ruler, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has said the internet will be restored “in phases if we feel that the media is telling the truth”, highlighting continued threats to media freedom and accessibility following the 25 October army take over.

Internet freedom monitor, Netblocks, said on Wednesday that the outage persists since the service cut was reported following the coup.

Local media reporting on developments, including protests that broke out following the coup, have also been limited.

State-run Sudan TV has predominantly broadcast messages by Gen Burhan between hours of patriotic and cultural music, while the website of the government news agency, Suna, has not been updated since 24 October.

Online mobilisation has remained crucial to drawing attention to public anger over Sudan’s latest coup. But it is not clear how some are sharing messages online given the internet outage.

The Facebook page of the Ministry of Information and Culture, which appears to be loyal to ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, has posted several statements expressing defiance towards Gen Burhan and calling for protests.

Mr Hamdok was arrested and briefly detained at Burhan’s home, before being released and placed under house arrest.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) – which was at the forefront of peaceful protests that led to the removal of former President Omar al-Bashir – has also mobilised protests and a civil disobedience campaign on its official Twitter and Facebook pages.

It has also posted dozens of images and videos from the demonstrations in the capital Khartoum. Huge protests are planned for Saturday.

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