On 31 July, after jailing opposition leader Ousmane Sonko and dissolving the political party that he leads, Senegal’s government ordered a nationwide mobile Internet shutdown. The communications ministry said the shutdown was meant to curb “hateful messages.”
“We fear the government,” Mohammed Diouf, a Dakar school teacher told me. “The government does not want the world to know what is happening in our country.” He said the internet shutdown left him unable to communicate with other protesters. “There is brutal oppression, and many young demonstrators have been killed and injured. The security forces use live fire, that is the situation,” said Diouf, who opted to use a pseudonym out of fear of reprisal.
[Mady] Dia and Diouf both said they’d withdrawn money when the protests began, expecting that the banks would likely close and that financial services would be crippled were the authorities to impose an Internet shutdown.