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Ethiopia's PM warns of a longer internet cutoff amid unrest

Last Updated Aug 1, 2019 at 12:49 pm PDT

In this image made from video, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announces a failed coup as he addresses the public on television, Sunday, June 23, 2019. The failed coup in the Amhara region was led by a high-ranking military official and others within the country’s military, the prime minister told the state broadcaster. (ETV via AP)

Ethiopia's prime minister says the internet may be cut off "forever" is unrest in the country continues

This comes after the assassination of the country's army chief and a coup attempt in recent weeks

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia’s prime minister says that if deadly unrest in the country continues with online incitement, internet in the country could be cut off “forever.”

Abiy Ahmed’s press conference on Thursday came after the assassination of the East African nation’s army chief and a regional coup attempt in recent weeks.

The prime minister has been praised for reforms that include freeing political prisoners and ending a state of emergency, but internet shutdowns amid the unrest have worried many Ethiopians. One came during national exams.

Abiy said Ethiopia wants the internet to help drive development but warned that it is “neither water nor air.”

The country is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and has the continent’s second-largest population.