Sudanese Conflict Aggravates Humanitarian Crisis with Internet Blackout

In an urgent call for connectivity amidst chaos, international human rights organizations have decried the strategic internet blackout initiated by armed forces in Sudan. Members of the global #KeepItOn coalition, numbering over 300 and spanning 105 countries, are at the forefront of the plea, advocating for unhindered internet access so that civilians can obtain crucial information and humanitarian aid can be delivered effectively.

Since hostilities escalated in April 2023, Sudanese factions have used internet disruptions as a tactical measure to stifle communication. This tactic has endangered lives by blocking routes to essential services and aid. The conflict, having already caused the death of thousands and the displacement of nine million individuals, is worsened by the suppression of digital communication channels, a pattern that is disrupting emergency responses and amplifying human suffering.

These disruptions to Sudan’s telecommunications began on February 2, 2024, following the RSF’s takeover of key internet infrastructure in the capital, Khartoum. Attacks on network operators by both the RSF and SAF have led to wide-scale communication outages, confirmed by global internet monitoring services such as Cloudflare Radar.

Amid ongoing conflict is a plea for peace and connectivity. International law recognizes the freedom of information as a human right, essential even in times of strife. The present situation in Sudan thus not only risks lives but also violates international human rights standards. Any furtherance of silence cloaks ongoing abuses, hindering both aid and the path to accountability.

FAQ

What is the current situation regarding internet access in Sudan?
Armed forces in Sudan have instigated a strategic internet blackout to control communication amidst ongoing hostilities. This has blocked access to essential services and aid, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict.

Who is advocating for the restoration of internet access in Sudan?
The global #KeepItOn coalition, consisting of over 300 organizations from 105 countries, is advocating for the restoration of unhindered internet access so that civilians can receive vital information and aid.

When did the telecommunication disruptions in Sudan begin?
The disruptions began on February 2, 2024, subsequent to the RSF (Rapid Support Forces) seizing control of key internet infrastructure in the capital, Khartoum.

How are internet disruptions affecting the conflict in Sudan?
Internet disruptions are making it difficult to deliver humanitarian aid and are endangering lives by blocking routes to essential services. They are also disrupting emergency responses and contributing to the amplification of human suffering.

Are internet disruptions in Sudan a violation of human rights?
Yes, the suppression of digital communications in Sudan is a violation of international human rights standards, which recognize the freedom of information as a fundamental human right, even during conflict.

Which organizations have confirmed the communication outages in Sudan?
Internet monitoring services like Cloudflare Radar have confirmed the wide-scale communication outages in Sudan resulting from attacks on network operators by the RSF and SAF (Sudanese Armed Forces).

Definitions

Strategic Internet Blackout: A deliberate shutdown of internet access by a state or military group to control communication and information flow.
#KeepItOn: A global coalition that fights against internet shutdowns and advocates for uninterrupted internet access as a fundamental right.
Rapid Support Forces (RSF): A paramilitary force in Sudan.
Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF): The regular armed forces of Sudan.
Cloudflare Radar: A service that provides global insights into internet traffic, security, and performance.

Suggested Related Links

United Nations
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
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