Internet Without Borders welcomes the decision of Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno to order the immediate restoration of access to social media. This decision puts an end to a 16 months censorship, whose serious consequences will continue to weigh heavily on the Chadian digital ecosystem.
“We are pleased that the government has finally heard the voices of Chadians and international civil society. Internet should not be used to serve political interests. We remain vigilant, we must now obtain a reduction in the cost of access and an improvement in the quality of the Internet in Chad. We call on the government, telecommunication operators, and the Chadian civil society to collaborate to this end,” said Abdelkerim Yacoub Koundougoumi, Central Africa Director at Internet Without Borders.
The restriction of social media has further tarnished the image of the Chadian government. President Déby Itno seems to have realized his mistake by ordering the lifting of this censorship. Hopefully this will not happen again, freedom of expression online is a right, “added Blaise Noubarassem, Representative of Internet Without Borders in Chad.
With 16 months of social media ban, Chad has just set a world record, and has broken its own record: in 2016, a similar censorship lasted 235 days, and cost more than 18 million euros to the Chadian economy.