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Somalia bans TikTok, Telegram, 1XBET over content concerns

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Somalia bans TikTok, Telegram, 1XBET over content concerns

Story from Christine TOBECHUKWU, Abuja

The Somali government announced a ban on TikTok, the messaging app Telegram, and the online betting platform 1XBET on Sunday, citing concerns about indecent content and the spread of propaganda.

The Minister of Communications issued an order for these applications to cease functioning within the country, attributing the decision to their misuse by terrorist organizations and immoral groups disseminating horrifying images and misinformation.

This decision comes shortly after Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud revealed a military offensive aimed at eradicating the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group Al Shabaab within the next five months.

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In an official statement released by the Ministry of Communication and Technology, internet service providers in Somalia have been instructed to terminate access to these three platforms by August 24. Failure to comply with this directive will result in legal action.

The ministry emphasized that TikTok, Telegram, and 1XBET have been utilized by terrorist groups and entities promoting immoral content to distribute violent imagery and videos, thereby manipulating public opinion.

Suspending these platforms is seen as a measure to expedite the fight against the terrorists responsible for the loss of lives in Somalia.

Since August 2022, the Somali army has been engaged in an offensive against Al Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group, with the support of local clan militias, African Union troops, and American airstrikes.

While Al Shabaab was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, they continue to maintain a stronghold in extensive rural areas, from which they launch attacks against both security forces and civilians.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud has committed to ridding the country of Islamist militias and may soon announce the second phase of the military offensive against Al Shabaab in the southern regions of Somalia.

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