Internet Connection Was Cut Off in Lasanod Town in Somalia for 12 Hours

The internet access in the northern Somali town of Lasanod was forcefully shut down by the security forces of Somaliland, a self-declared region in northern Somalia that broke away and declared independence from Somalia in 1991. Clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces started in Lasanod town on December 26, 2022, and have been ongoing for a week until January 2, 2023.

A large number of security forces that were deployed to Lasanod forced the local internet providers of Somtel and Golis to shut down the internet connection in the early morning of January 1, 2023, and also cut off electricity for many hours in order to contain the protesters’ coordination and record the brutality of the security forces. The Internet connection, which had been down for nearly 12 hours, was restored in the night.

In the same way, Somaliland shut down the Internet in August 2022 to stop protests against postponing the region’s presidential election. On August 11, 2022, Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition of which Bareedo Platform is a member, criticized the move. The return of this kind of violation in January 1, 2023 is an unfortunate, and Bareedo Platform is calling on Somaliland authorities to end this and ensure free and open access to the internet.