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Internet outage in violence-plagued Somalia is extra headache for businesses

Internet outage in violence-plagued Somalia is extra headache for businesses
From Reuters - July 16, 2017

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A severed marine cable has left Somalia without internet for weeks, triggering losses for businesses, residents said, and adding a layer of chaos in a country where Islamist insurgents are carrying out a campaign of bombings and killings.

Abdi Anshuur, Somalia's minister for posts and telecommunications, told state radio that internet to the Horn of Africa state went down a month ago after a ship cut an undersea cable connecting it to global data networks.

Businesses have had to close or improvise to remain open and university students told Reuters their educational courses had been disrupted.

Anshuur said the outage was costing Somalia the equivalent of about $10 million in economic output.

"The night internet went off marked the end of my daily bread," Mohamed Nur, 22, told Reuters in the capital Mogadishu.

Nur said he now begged "tea and cigarettes from friends" afterthe internet cutoff also severed his monthly income of $500 that he took in from ads he developed and placed on the video website, YouTube.

Somalia's economy is still picking up slowly after a combined force of the army and an African Union peacekeeping force helped drive the Islamist group, al Shabaab, out of Mogadishu and other strongholds.

Al Shabaab wants to topple the western backed government and rule according to its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

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