The government on Sunday decreed a ban by Thursday on the video-sharing app and popular encrypted messaging to curb propaganda “ terrorist “. An online betting site is also targeted.
This decision comes as the second phase of the military offensive against radical Al-Shabaab Islamists, who have been leading a bloody insurrection against the central government in Mogadishu for more than 15 years, approaches. In its statement, the Ministry of Communication and Technology said it had ordered internet providers to cut off access to the three platforms by August 24, under penalty of legal action, the nature of which has not been specified.
According to the ministry, TikTok, Telegram and the 1XBET site are used by “terrorists” and “groups spreading immorality” in order to “spread violent images and videos and mislead public opinion”. Their prohibition must allow, according to the ministry, “to accelerate the war (…) against the terrorists who have shed the blood of the people of Somalia”.
To curb their propaganda, internet providers will be called upon. The Ministry of Communications has given them until next Thursday to cut off access to the three platforms, under penalty of legal action. This decision comes on the eve of a second critical phase of the military offensive against the Shebabs, the Islamist group which has challenged the central government in Mogadishu for more than fifteen years. Last Thursday, Somalia’s president said he wanted to eliminate Islamists from the country within the next five months.