The mobile telephony service of Somali telecoms company Hormuud Telecom has been disrupted in some areas of the country controlled by militant group Al Shabaab. Local news source Dalsan Radio reports that Al Shabaab ordered the shutdown of Hormuud’s telecoms systems in the regions of Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba and Lower Shabelle, including the town of Barawe, after the operator failed to meet the financial demands of the rebels. The report adds that branches of Hormuud Telecom have been closed and employees of the company detained.
Last month CommsUpdate reported that the militant group had threatened telecoms operators to comply with a ban on the provision internet services or face attacks. In response, the government called on companies to resist any coercion, with a statement from Somalia’s Minister of Interior and National Security, Abdikarim Hussein Guled, saying: ‘The Somali government strongly condemns such acts which show continued brutality and terrorist tactics of intimidation by trying to ban Somalis from using the internet’.