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Central African Republic Bans Text Messages

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The government of Central African Republic has ordered the suspension of text messaging functionality by mobile phone operators, following calls for a nationwide civil disobedience campaign to protest against violence.

An organisation called Collectif Centrafrique Debout has been sending text messages since the weekend, asking people to stay at home starting Thursday following more inter-communal bloodshed in the capital Bangui.

According to Reuters, the government did not reveal the identity of those behind the campaign but in the mass messages, the organisation urged people to stay at home until there is complete disarmament, especially of the pk5 Muslim neighborhood.

A statement by the Communications Minister, Abdallah Assan Kadre, 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”.

It is unclear when the ban will be lifted.

Central African Republic has been gripped by ethnic and religious violence since northern Seleka rebels, who are mostly Muslim, seized power in the mainly Christian nation in 2013.

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