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Social media blocked in Eritrea

 FILE PHOTO – WhatsApp and Facebook messenger icons are seen on an iPhone in Manchester , Britain March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Social media have been blocked in Eritrea with people now sending messages via VPN.

Speculation has it that the government blocked the sites to prevent people from using them to organize protests that could disrupt Independence Day celebrations on 24 May.

Discontent about the lack of political reform is growing in Eritrea, a one-party state ruled by President Isaias Afwerki since independence in 1993.

Communication in Eritrea is strictly controlled by the government even as Eritrea has one of the lowest internet penetrations in the world.

In 2018, it had only 71,000 internet users. They made up 1.3% of the population. There is no private media, and the internet cannot be accessed via mobile phones.

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