Tags: central african republic | texting | ban

Central African Republic Texting Ban Cuts Off Messages to Curb Violence

By    |   Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 05:19 PM

The Central African Republic has banned mobile texting in an effort to curb violence in the country.

Demonstrations having been raging in the capital this week and a text message campaign calling for a strike from the masses.

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"SMS not allowed" is the message anyone in the Central African Republic will get if they try to send a text from their mobile phones, the BBC said.

"On the instruction of the Prime Minister ... in order to contribute to the restoration of security in the country, the use of SMS by all mobile phone subscribers is suspended," Communications Minister Abdallah Assan Kadre said in a statement, according to Reuters.

The messaging systems were turned off Monday and will continue indefinitely.

The Central African Republic has seen violent fighting between factions since Seleka rebels, mostly Muslim, took over in 2013. In January, Seleka left power because of international pressure, Reuters said, but violence has continued as an interim government was put in place.

The United Nations has issued warnings that genocide could be an issue in the country.

NPR's Gregory Warner, who visited the Central African Republic earlier this year, reported on the importance of cell phones and their cameras.

"Even in one of the poorest countries in Africa, the ubiquity of camera phones means the wounds live on after bodies are buried," Warner said. "They're texted and shared and become part of the terror driving tens of thousands of Muslims over the border to become refugees in Chad or Cameroon."

The Human Rights Watch organization issued a statement Thursday saying that Muslims living in the Central African Republic should be allowed to seek asylum in nearby countries.

Conceding that many threatened Muslims in the Central African Republic need to leave the country temporarily is an option of last resort, but there are no other immediate solutions,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, on the organization’s website. “Many Muslims in western Central African Republic have clearly and unequivocally expressed a desire to flee to neighboring countries, and they should be allowed to leave safely.”

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The Central African Republic has banned mobile texting in an effort to curb violence in the country.
central african republic, texting, ban
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2014-19-05
Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 05:19 PM
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