Network data from NetBlocks confirm a significant disruption to internet service in Sudan from the morning of Tuesday 25 October 2022 affecting cellular and some fixed-line connectivity on multiple providers. The incident lasted approximately eight hours and came ahead of planned pro-democracy protests to mark the first anniversary of the 2021 Sudanese military coup, when internet shutdowns were imposed to silence public dissent.
ℹ️ Update: Internet connectivity is being restored in #Sudan after service was disrupted on multiple providers amid protests against the military junta and calls for civilian rule, one year after the 25 Oct 2021 coup; incident duration ~8 hours
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) October 25, 2022
News of an internet shutdown order issued to operators circulated a day prior to the incident, as demonstrators scheduled anti-coup protests in multiple cities of Sudan.
Metrics corroborate user reports of network disruptions appearing consistent with an internet shutdown affecting multiple internet providers. The disruption is likely to limit the free flow of information online and suppress news coverage of incidents on the ground.
Targeted internet disruptions, including shutdowns and social media restrictions, have gone hand in hand with political turmoil in Sudan since the onset of protests in 2018 that led to the transition to civilian rule. Total and near-total network disruptions, manifesting in a telecommunications blackout for most users, are among the most severe restrictive options available to authorities.
During the country’s longest recorded network disruption, Sudan cut social media for 68 consecutive days to quell protests, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp restricted from 21 December 2018 up until February 26 2019, according to NetBlocks internet measurements. A more extensive mobile internet shutdown left Sudan offline for 36 days from 3 June to 9 July 2019. The core internet blackout following the October 2021 coup lasted 24 days, with further incidents registered during subsequent anti-coup protests in January and June 2022.
As a result, Sudan ranks 2nd amongst African countries in terms of the intensity and severity of internet disruptions and social media restrictions per Surfshark’s internet shutdown tracker. Eight out of ten Africans have experienced the impacts of internet and social media shutdowns according to the research.
- Thousands march on anniversary of Sudan coup, 1 killed – Associated Press
- Tens of thousands of Sudanese protest on coup anniversary, protester killed – Reuters
- Sudan protesters defy crackdown to mark coup anniversary – France24 / AFP
- Interrumpido el acceso a Internet en Sudán en aniversario de golpe de Estado – Infobae / EFE
- Sudan Rocked by Protests Amid Warnings of a Coup – New York Times
- Sudan coup 2021: Internet ‘severely disrupted’ after military takeover – Middle East Eye
- Sudan coup leaders face backlash as internet shutdown continues – ZDNet
- Sudan Prime Minister’s house surrounded and top government officials reportedly arrested – CNN
- Sudan’s PM Hamdok under house arrest, ministers detained – Al Jazeera
- Possible coup underway in Sudan with government ministers arrested by military group * – DW
- Sudanese Prime Minister Detained in Apparent Military Coup – Wall Street Journal
- Sudanese premier reportedly under house arrest after military coup – DPA
- Sudan’s army detains PM and other civilian leaders in coup attempt – The Guardian
- Sudanese army dissolves government and imposes state of emergency – Financial Times
- US Embassy in Sudan warns Americans to ‘shelter in place’ amid apparent coup – The Hill
- Internet en Sudán sigue interrumpido en día de grandes protestas contra golpe – EFE / Swissinfo
- Press freedom under siege after military coup in Sudan – Reporters Without Borders
- Sudan still without internet despite court order to restore services – The National
- Group: Internet still disrupted in Sudan despite court order – AP
- Au Soudan, le pouvoir militaire rétablit la connexion Internet, coupée depuis le coup d’Etat – AFP / Le Monde
- Sudan’s police chief denies role in killing of protesters – AP
- Anti-Coup Protesters in Sudan Press Their Demand for Return to Civilian Rule – New York Times
- Sudan tightens security ahead of more anti-coup protests – AP
- Sudan: Umma Party head meets with coup leader, new Marches of Millions today – Radio Dabanga
- Thousands brave Sudan lockdown to keep up anti-coup protests – AFP / France24
- Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigns as security forces kill two people – ABC
- Tear gas and burning tyres as thousands rally in Sudan against coup – AFP/RFI
- Severe internet outage across Sudan amid reports of Darfur paramilitary attacks
- Social media disrupted in Sudan as protests converge in Khartoum
- Study shows extent of Sudan internet disruptions amid demonstrations
NetBlocks diffscans, which map the IP address space of a country in real time, show internet connectivity levels and corresponding outages. Purposeful internet outages may have a distinct network pattern used by NetBlocks to determine and attribute the root cause of an outage, a process known as attribution which follows detection and classification stages.
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