Myanmar govt orders internet shutdown in Rakhine and Chin amid escalated tensions

Internet shutdown in Rakhine by Government

Authorities have ordered telecom companies to shut down internet services in Rakhine State, amid increased fighting in the area. An article in Reuters quoted Telenor Group as saying that the Ministry of Transport and Communications had directed all telecom companies to “temporarily” suspend internet services in nine townships in Rakhine and Chin states. The order is a result of “disturbances of peace and use of internet activities to coordinate illegal activities”. Speaking at a press conference, a military spokesperson said the army had no knowledge of the shutdown. “Telenor Myanmar has been asking for further clarification on the rationale for the shutdown. It is emphasized that freedom of expression through access to telecom services should be maintained for humanitarian purposes,” the company said. Throughout this year, much of Rakhine State has been the scene of intense fighting between the military and the Arakan Army, which is not related to the Rohingya issue in the restive state.

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