After about three months of internet blackout in the crises hit anglophone regions of Cameroon, President Paul Biya finally orders for the restoration of Internet in these two regions by Cameroon’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MINPOSTEL). The information is made public via the national radio’s 5pm news in the French language.
It will not be an over statement to say that the only authentic information in Cameroon is that which comes from President Paul Biya! This is not a scam because it’s an order from the Head of State.
Five days ago, a local newspaper (name withheld) announced that after the UN’s visit to Cameroon, it was evident that internet will soon be reinstated in the NW and SW regions. The paper reported that the UN pressurised the government to restore internet in the above regions without delay.
What becomes of the circulation of “fake news” on social media?
One of the most heard reason for the suspension of internet in these regions was to prohibit the fast flow of information with doubtful credibility which to an extent was popularising and publicising the ‘anglophone problem’ and harming government’s presentation of the problem. Cameroon’s minister of Communication Issa Tchiroma even said on 11th February 2017 that internet will not be be restored in the NW and SW regions as long as people were using it (internet) to spread “false information”. A few minutes after the communiqué from “le chef de l’État”, I already saw some leading activists commenting that the restoration of internet will once more help to spread information that for months now has been hidden.
How long will it take MINPOSTEL and local telecoms to restore the internet?
The government did not announce the suspension of internet but it’s announcing restoration after three months of #BringBackOurInternet campaign on various platforms.
The government is therefore expected to act fast. From a student’s point of view, University Games begin in the University of Bamenda on Saturday 22 April 2017 and internet will be a priority for athletes and other students who would like to travel to the North West regional capital, Bamenda.
The government in the communiqué sanctioning the restoration of internet in the NW and SW regions however called on the population to be vigilant and avoid actions that will cause public disorder.