Those who happen to live in the Central African Republic have not exactly gone through a bed of roses over the years, ever since the country gained its independence in 1960. Of course, there are the relevant growing pains of a nation which are to be expected, and with that, the advent of technology in the landlocked region cannot be avoided. However, it seems that the government has issued a forced shut down of text messaging services throughout the Central African Republic after fears of potential violent demonstrations reared its ugly head, with SMS being used as the vehicle of choice to carry out those plans.
Central African Republic authorities have told mobile phone operators to suspend text messages following calls on services for a nationwide civil disobedience campaign to protest against violence. An organization called Collectif Centrafrique Debout has been distributing SMS messages since the weekend asking people to stay home starting Thursday following more inter-communal bloodshed in the capital Bangui. The government did not say who was behind the campaign but in the mass messages, the organization urged people to stay at home until there is complete disarmament, especially of the PK5 Muslim neighborhood. “On the instruction of the Prime Minister…in order to contribute to the restoration of security in the country, the use of SMS by all mobile phone subscribers is suspended,” Communications Minister Abdallah Assan Kadre said in a statement. The suspension will be in effect until further notice. Central African Republic has been gripped by ethnic and religious violence since northern Seleka rebels, who are mostly Muslim, seized power in the mainly Christian nation in 2013.