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The Houthi movement and undersea communication cables and Internet blockades

Yemen’s government has warned of Houthi sabotage of vital undersea communications cables, including internet connections, that run under the Red Sea and connect Asia with Europe. The group declared access to maps showing the route of undersea communication cables in the Bab al-Mandab Strait. However, experts are sceptical about the Houthis’ technical capabilities to cut the cables lying at the bottom of the ocean, even with the help of Iran, which supports them.

There was an interruption in Internet access in Sudan, which may be related to the activities of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which have been fighting the Sudanese army in the civil war for almost a year. According to NetBlocks, disruptions occurred in the services of Internet providers Uganda Telecom and MTN. In turn, RSF accuses the Sudanese army of shutting down the Internet in its territories. The Senegalese authorities, however, cut off citizens’ access to the Internet “due to the dissemination of hateful and subversive messages on social networks in the context of threats and disruptions to public order.” This is a reaction to the protests and actions of the opposition to postpone the date of the presidential elections from February to December this year.

In Pakistan, Internet and mobile telephony services were suspended throughout the country during the parliamentary elections, including for safety reasons. Only Wi-Fi networks were supposed to work. The elections were held on high alert, with tens of thousands of soldiers and paramilitary units on duty amid threats of increased violence.

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