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Appeal goes out to UN, Africa Union over Burundi social media shutdown

Michael Malakata | May 4, 2015
Access, a global human rights group, has appealed to the United Nations and the African Union to intervene in the Burundian government's decision to block mobile social media amid protests aimed at stopping President Pierre Nkurunziza's third-term bid.

On Monday this week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a statement condemning the violence and dispatched the UN special envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Said DJinnit, to consult with Nkurunziza and other politicians.

Andrew Makanya, managing director of Internet Solution Zambia, called on governments in the region to take their politics away from the Internet. Aside from human rights issues, such actions are detrimental to the economy, he noted.

"If the trend of shutting down Internet and mobile phone services continue, it will scare away investors in the telecom sector because during the periods of shutdowns, operators and Internet service providers make losses and are never compensated," Makanga said.


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