For the second straight day internet has been shutdown in Democratic Republic of Congo. The government says it wants to prevent speculation about election results.
Internet was shutdown on Monday a day after the country held crucial general elections. On Tuesday the government again cut internet connections and SMS services across the country.
Sunday’s presidential election is expected to give the country the chance to have a new President who will take over from Joseph Kabila.
Results from Sunday’s elections continue to be collated and tallied. Final results will be announced on January 15 and the new president sworn in on January 18.
The elections took place without President Joseph Kabila. President Kabila took over as president from his father Laurent who was assassinated in 2001.
He has failed to hold elections during his tenure on several occasions, a decision that sparked violence for years.
A senior adviser to President Joseph Kabila, Barnabe Kikaya bin Karubi is quoted by Reuters as saying that the shutdown of the internet was to prevent “fictitious results” being circulated on social media.
“That could lead us straight toward chaos,” Kikaya told Reuters. He signals there might be restoration of connection on January 6 when collation of results are done.
Meanwhile a joint statement from the European Union, the United States, Canadian and Swiss heads of mission in Kinshasa called for and end to the shutdown.
“We request that the government refrains from blocking means of communication, in particular access to the internet and the media,” said the statement.