Senegal suspends internet access amidst election chaos

07 February 2024

The Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Affairs asked telecom operators on 4 February 4 to ‘temporarily’ suspend access to mobile internet in Senegal from 10pm, to limit ‘the dissemination of several hateful and subversive messages relayed on social networks.’

Access to mobile data from cell phones was cut off from 5 February in Dakar, impacting 18.59 million mobile internet users.

This initiative by the Senegalese government follows the indefinite postponement of the presidential election, which was scheduled for 25 February by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.

This is not the first time that the Senegalese government has opted to suspend internet access in a context of political crisis. In June 2023, internet access was temporarily cut off following demonstrations by the population against the two-year prison sentence of opponent Ousmane Sonko. The Internet was cut off again in July after Sonko's arrest for ‘violent theft.’