Burundi cuts social networks for 'security reasons'

GMT 06:30 2015 Thursday ,30 April

Arab Today, arab today Burundi cuts social networks for 'security reasons'

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Bujumbura - XINHUA

In the aftermath of protests that began Sunday against the third term of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, the country's telecommunication regulatory agency disconnected social networks for "security reasons", the agency told Xinhua Wednesday.

"Since yesterday (Tuesday), we disconnected social networks for security reasons. There are no other reasons for that," said Deogratias Rurimunzu, Director General of Burundi's Agency for the Regulation and the Control of Telecommunications (ARCT).

"Security has no price, that's why social media are not working properly," he said.

The decision targeted mainly Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Viber.

Protesters are said to have been spreading messages on the demonstrations via social networks.

One of the major private radio stations - the African Public Radio (RPA) was also shut down on Monday.

Its branch in Ngozi was also shut down the same day.

Frequencies of main private radio stations were also cut in the countryside since Sunday afternoon.

They were accused of disseminating and relaying messages that could turn the country into chaos, according to the government.

Convened by the opposition and some civil society organizations, the protests that kicked off Sunday mainly in the Burundian capital Bujumbura are aimed to force Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza to drop intention of running for third term in the upcoming presidential election.

Nkurunziza was Saturday elected by his party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), in an extraordinary congress, to represent the party in the upcoming presidential election.

Earlier, the opposition and the civil society had called for mass protests if the country's ruling party nominates Nkurunziza to run a third term which, they say, would be a violation of the country's constitution and the Arusha Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi.

The constitution and the Arusha Agreement stipulate that a president of Burundi cannot serve the country for more than two terms.

Nkurunziza was elected by parliament in 2005 and directly re- elected by citizens in 2010.

Burundi is this year to hold general elections between May 26 and August 24, with the presidential election to be held on June 26.

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