In an effort to combat the spread of extremist content and misinformation, Somalia has instituted a ban on prominent social media platforms TikTok and Telegram, as well as the online betting app 1XBET. These platforms have been exploited by “terrorist” groups to disseminate harmful content, according to the Ministry of Communications and Technology.
The ban comes ahead of a significant military operation against Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group linked to Al-Qaeda, which has maintained a violent insurgency against the government in Mogadishu for over 15 years. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is set to announce a new offensive against the group in southern Somalia.
With a compliance deadline of August 24, internet service providers have been tasked with implementing the ban. Non-compliance could result in unspecified legal action, as emphasized by the ministry.
The military campaign against Al-Shabaab, underway since the previous year, is a collaborative effort involving Somali forces, local clan militias, African Union troops, and US airstrikes. The goal is to eliminate the group’s influence and bring stability back to Somalia after years of insurgency.
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