Political Reports

Internet and Communication Service Outage … Life Paralysis

Report – Nahid Oshi

The internet and communication service outage in some Sudanese cities, for the past two days, have caused huge economic losses and affected the people’s livelihood, which depended on the electronic transactions in addition to the financial transfer via banks applications.
Fall of Revenues:
Economic Expert Dr. Haitham Mohamed Fathi pointed out the fall of the telecom companies revenues since the outbreak of war in April 2023. Due to the high operation cost and destruction of telecom infrastructure, as well as that some companies were exposed to blackmailing by the militia under the pretext of protecting the telecom towers and other pretexts. He further pointed out companies’ money, offices, headquarters and assets were looted. All these obstacles affected the continuation of these companies investment and their stay in Sudan.
Financial Channels Alternative:
Fathi noted the use of the Internet in Sudan in most cases as an alternative for financial channels for distributing Sudanese exports and imports and banking business, in addition to the fact that it made a big increase in the international flow of commodities and services.
Big Losses:
Haitham revealed the cost of the internet outage on economy, which ranged between 5.7 million dollar daily.
The internet outage affects the public and the private sectors, which makes provision of any services or making any electronic contacts impossible.
Most of the advanced and emergent countries emphasized the importance of the internet as lead of development and technology has been considered as the basic drive to support manufacturing and exporting in many countries in the recent decades such as China, India and Korea.
The internet blockage and outage cause huge economic losses and different social troubles. The money exchange and banks are considered the most affected sectors by the Internet outage, given that the financial transfers processes and different banking transactions depend on the internet service.
Stoppage of the State Revenues:
The Head of Leather Exporters Division, Khaled Mahmoud Haroun says: the outage of communication sector means stopping of life which depend on the Internet in all transactions, starting from the Civil Rolls , extracting of credentials , passport passing by all the revenue units such as customs department, which have impact on the state revenues , in addition to most of the trade movement which now depend on the banking applications as a means of payment, let alone the salaries which are paid via banking applications , the financial assistance for families also carried out by Bankak application, most purchases and sales which are carried out via SMS and WhatsApp or e-mail and it is expected that there will be complete stoppage of trade movement except in a narrow geographical circle where seller and buyer are present.
Economic Risks:
Professor Ibrahim Onour considers the danger of stopping the Internet
He said, “We had hoped that the communication sector would not enter the war between the warring parties, except with weapons or politics, but the step has great implications and risks for the economy, given that all commercial transactions, whether in the framework of buying, selling, payment, and settlements between customers or between producers and consumers, are carried out through electronic payment, and thus the sector has stopped.” It has an impact on the economy and causes paralysis in the economic movement. He called on the state to put the issue among its priorities and address the problem because it is needed more in light of the current situation. The government must provide protection for the infrastructure, especially since all production is affected and transportation and cash dealing have become limited. All transactions are carried out by electronic payment except simple transactions are dealt with in cash.
However, the head of the Sudanese Businessmen Association, Muawiyah Abba Yazeed, believes that the decision of communication outage in Sudan is one of the best decisions, so that theft and plundering operations will be combated, and the thieves will get out of the RSF because now the war is a war of plundering and stealing citizens’ money. He said that outage of communications stops payment through Bankak, which has become exploited by rebels to steal people’s money by force.
Human Rights
Strategic planning expert Prof. Mohammad Hussein Abu Saleh believes that communications and Internet service have become human rights and the ethics of war necessitate not harming civilians and their livelihoods, but unfortunately there is no standard for the war taking place now in Sudan. He said that continuing life in Sudan and dealing with the shock of war was thanks to social solidarity through dealing with the various bank transfer systems, which helped the Sudanese to pay rents and cover the costs of living and medical treatment. Donations are collected electronically and sent to the relevant authorities, in addition to expatriate transfers that support more than one family via the banking services system that works with communications, and thus people’s livelihoods are affected, as well as the use of the digital medical treatment and communication system between the diagnostician, the patient, and the doctor has been affected due to the outage of the Internet and communications, in addition to education, which has recently relied on the use of technology, many international and local conferences have also become isolated due to the outage of the Internet, electricity purchasing services, and the issuance of official documents such as passports, national cards, certificates, and air traffic, besides the cessation of Social media communication that leads to panic, and he said it has paralyzed life, as communications are the lifeline.

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