Somalia imposes a ban on Telegram and TikTok
Somalia imposes a ban on Telegram and TikTok

Mogadishu: The Somali government has declared a ban on popular social media platforms TikTok and Telegram, along with the online betting app 1XBET, citing their alleged use by "terrorists" to disseminate propaganda. 

The decision, made by the Ministry of Communications and Technology, comes as the country prepares for a crucial second phase of a military campaign against Al-Shabab, the Islamist militant group responsible for a prolonged insurgency against the central government in Mogadishu for over 15 years.

The ministry's statement instructed Internet service providers to enforce the ban by August 24, warning of potential legal repercussions for non-compliance. 

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The move is aimed at curbing the militants' use of these platforms to distribute graphic content, photos, and misleading information, which contribute to the spread of immoral content and misinformation in society.

Since August of the previous year, the Somali army has engaged in an offensive against the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabab within central Somalia. 

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This operation, supported by local clan militias, African Union troops, and US airstrikes, has aimed to weaken the group's hold on the region. Although Al-Shabab was expelled from the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011, it retains control over large swaths of rural territory and continues to carry out deadly attacks on civilian, political, and military targets despite government efforts.

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President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has steadfastly committed to eliminating the jihadist threat from Somalia and is poised to announce a second phase of the offensive, specifically targeting Al-Shabab in southern regions. 

The ongoing battle against the militant group underscores the government's determination to restore stability and security in the troubled Horn of Africa nation.

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