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Sudan unleashes cyber jihadists
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Apr 1, 2011 - 8:38:13 AM

Sudan unleashes cyber jihadists

Jimmy Carter observing the referendum on the independence of southern Sudan

Jimmy Carter observing the referendum on the independence of southern Sudan

The ruling National Congress Party of Sudan has issued a warning that “cyber jihadists” shall “crush” internet-centered dissent. High-ranking NCP official Mandur al-Mahdi declared that the government’s “cyber battalion” was at the forefront of “online defense operations.” The government took power in a coup d’etat in 1989. It is concerned following unrest in Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia.

This latest move comes after a surge in anti-government campaigns orchestrated through Twitter and Facebook which resulted in several anti-government demonstrations. While youth groups have been active, protests have so far failed to mobilize large numbers of people. Nevertheless, the government reacted violently and many activists were detained or intimidated.

This week, the NCP alleged that what small protests have so far been in evidence were the work of students aligned with rebel groups from the war-torn Darfur region, and certain political figures. He referred to opposition as “residues of communism.”

Internet censorship is a common tool or repressive regimes, but there is as yet little evidence of Sudanese cyber battalions. As the January protests approached, NCP supporters posted messages to the Facebook pages of dissidents and opposition groups, warning them not to join in. Yet more upheaval may occur when the southern part of Sudan becomes independent in July, following a referendum earlier this year.



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