Mobile Internet Cut After Mauritania Presidential Poll

In Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott, mobile internet has been disrupted since Monday night following scuffles that erupted after the announcement of incumbent Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani’s victory in the presidential election. Witnesses reported disturbances in working-class districts on Monday evening, hours after the final provisional results showed Ghazouani’s comfortable re-election in Saturday’s poll. However, the city appeared calm on Tuesday, with businesses operating as usual. The authorities have not commented on the mobile internet cuts.

Internet restrictions are a prevalent strategy used by governments worldwide during periods of unrest. Second-place candidate, anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid, has accused the government of “massive fraud” and threatened peaceful street demonstrations. Abeid is awaiting his own team’s election results before making a final decision.

The aftermath of the 2019 election, which brought Ghazouani to power, was characterized by clashes, the arrest of opponents, and the detention of foreign nationals accused of participating in demonstrations. The 2019 election was also followed by a 10-day internet blackout. The current situation remains under observation.

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