Digital freedoms can be switched off anytime. | Photo: Thomas Jensen via Unsplash

Internet Shutdowns in Ethiopia: The Weapon of Choice

Internet shutdowns refer to deliberate disruptions of entire channels of digital communications, typically ordered by state authorities to exert control over the flow of information within a given area. Being a recurring feature since 2016, the use of internet shutdowns in Ethiopia has further intensified under the prime minister Abiy Ahmed. While advocacy groups accuse Abiy’s regime of instrumentalising shutdowns as a tool of information control, this blog post suggests there are two additional strategic motives for how the incumbent government might be using them – a military tactic against opposition groups and a repressive measure against unruly regions.