Internet shutdown in the Republic of the Congo on election day

According to a report by Netblocks, the internet monitoring NGO, authorities of the Republic of Congo shut down the internet in the country on the day of the presidential elections, Sunday 21 March, 2021. Live network data by Netblocks confirmed a near total collapse of national connectivity from midnight local time. Whilst a direct cause for the shutdown is not clear, the report explains that the incident follows a pattern of election day internet shutdowns in the Republic of Congo with similar shutdowns imposed by authorities during the 2016 presidential elections. With the shutdown affecting almost all internet services including social media applications, it has been echoed by critics that the blackout was purposely implemented to prevent a transparent election process, as the incumbent, President Denis Sassou Nguesso seeks re-election after being in power for some 36 years.