Local media in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum are reporting that internet services across the region have been interrupted, with many outright stating that the internet is down.
This is after reports that Sudan’s military seized power during a coup on Monday, arresting members of a transitional pro-democracy government that itself overthrew the long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir during a citizen uprising two years ago.
NetBlocks is reporting that the network disruptions are severe and appear to be consistent with an internet shutdown. They write that the disruption has likely been implemented to block the free flow of information online and news coverage of incidents on the ground.
⚠️ Update: Internet connectivity in #Sudan is now severely disrupted with further cuts observed from 4:30 a.m. UTC, manifesting in a telecommunications blackout for many, amid reports of an military coup and the detention of senior government officials.
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) October 25, 2021
They also say that this type of disruption affects connectivity at the network layer and cannot always be circumvented by software like VPNs.
What is Happening in Sudan?
According to Reuters, sporadic violence and gunshots rang across the streets of Khartoum as the military began its coup on the North African country which led to at least 12 being injured.
Sudan’s ‘Sovereign Council’ which took power from Al-Bashir in 2019 has all but been dissolved. Prior to this military takeover, the council had been sharing power between the military and civilians.
It is believed that the coup is being led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who headed the council and announced a state of emergency as the coup began.
“We guarantee the armed forces’ commitment to completing the democratic transition until we hand over to a civilian elected government,” he said, setting elections for July 2023.
“What the country is going through now is a real threat and danger to the dreams of the youth and the hopes of the nation.”
The Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, has been reportedly detained and taken to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the military takeover.
Sudan’s military has accused the civilian political parties it had been sharing power within the council of mismanagement and of “monopolising power.”
A coalition of rebel groups and other political parties have since aligned themselves with the armed forces and have sought to dissolve the civilian cabinet, which includes the Prime Minister.