Parts of Cameroon are now entering their tenth day without internet access due to a government-ordered blackout that began the night of January 17-18, part of a wider crackdown in the country’s Northwest and Southwest provinces, impacting about 5 million people.
Unlike most of Francophone Cameroon, these provinces are predominantly Anglophone, a point that’s become a bone of contention as the central government tries to quash talk of federalism, which it regards as illegal separatist agitation, and curtail protests and strike actions by local residents as part of a larger crackdown that has seen mass arrests and civilian casualties since last year.
Activists have dubbed the latest action as “digital apartheid,” as both officials and service providers are staying fairly quiet about the specifics of the blackout. Since internet penetration is so limited in the country, just 11 percent, the focus of the effort is on mobile users: 80% of the population …