• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Kenya records internet outages amid police crackdown

Kenyan protesters promise more rallies after at least 23 die in clashes

Kenya is currently experiencing major internet disruptions amid a crackdown by the police on protesters.

According to Internet Observatory Netblocks, this incident happened a day after authorities said there wouldn’t be any internet shutdowns.

The internet connectivity monitoring platform on X commented, “Confirmed: Live network data show a major disruption to internet connectivity in #Kenya; the incident comes amidst a deadly crackdown by police on #RejectFinanceBill2024 protesters a day after authorities claimed there would be no internet shutdown.”

Lilys Njeru, a journalist with the Nation Media Group, confirmed to BusinessDay, “Indeed, there’s internet throttling at the moment. I have been trying to make a post of X platform, but it doesn’t seem to work. Others have expressed the same challenge as well.”

However, according to Safaricom, this internet disruption was caused by an outage on two of its subsea cables.

“We have experienced an outage on two of our undersea cables that deliver internet traffic in and out of the country,” the telco said on Tuesday. It noted that it has activated redundancy measures to minimise service interruptions.

Read also: Kenya’s Ruto bows to pressure, says he is ready for conversation with protesters

The internet disruption has now extended to Uganda and Burundi, Netblocks updated. “The ongoing internet disruption has impacted Kenya as well as neighboring countries including Uganda and Burundi; the incident is likely to limit coverage of events on the ground where protests are held,” it said.

Kenya is experiencing protests over its Finance Bill 2024, with protesters breaking through police lines to storm the nation’s parliament, which, according to BBC reports, is currently on fire.

On Tuesday, Kenya’s National Assembly adopted the Finance Bill 2024, which had been heavily criticised because of the rising cost of living, in a record less than two hours, according to the Nation. The bill was adopted despite a boycott by oppositions both officially and from millions of ordinary Kenyans who have taken to the streets and online.

This led to a siege of the parliament by anti-tax demonstrators who have now gained access to the House. According to reports, the police have opened fire, killing at least one and injuring several.

“Police have shot four protesters, as witnessed by KHRC, killing one. We strongly condemn the police killing. Such actions are unacceptable and constitute a grave violation of human rights. Justice and accountability are imperative. We will vigorously push for police accountability,” the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), a human rights watchdog, tweeted after the clash.

This unfolding of events on Tuesday is the culmination of youth led Occupy Parliament protests across Kenya.