Elon Musk Has Been Warned About The Potential Consequences Of A Starlink Internet Shutdown In Sudan

In Sudan, nearly a hundred groups that help people have come together to warn Elon Musk about what could happen if he stops his Starlink internet service there. Right now, Sudan doesn’t have phone or internet service, which makes it hard for the helpers to do their job during this really big crisis, according to the UN.

Elon Musk’s Starlink, which is run by SpaceX, has been super important for the helpers in Sudan during the fighting. But just very recently, Starlink said it might stop giving internet in Sudan by restricting roaming in jurisdictions where it was not licensed which would make it even harder for the helpers to reach the people who need help.

On Wednesday, a coalition of 94 rights organisations operating in Sudan issued a statement: “Any shutdown of telecommunication services is a violation of human rights and may be considered to be a collective punishment that will not only isolate individuals from their support networks but also exacerbate the already dire economic situation facing millions.”

The statement added: “The potential shutdown of Starlink would have a disproportionate impact on civilians and the aid organisations who are trying to reach them.”

Musk’s choice makes the lack of phone and internet service in Sudan even worse. This problem has already been made worse by fights between different groups like the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese military.

The situation in El Fasher, the final city held by the Sudanese military in Darfur, is especially severe. The UN has issued a warning about a looming humanitarian disaster there. Surrounded by RSF forces, the city faces a critical moment, with countless lives in danger, putting Sudan on the brink of a crisis.

The coalition is calling for immediate restoration of the deteriorated infrastructure across Sudan. Since the conflict’s onset in April 2023, over 8 million individuals have been compelled to evacuate their residences.

In areas where formal telecommunications are unavailable, such as Darfur, parts of Khartoum, and Kordofan states, civilians and aid groups rely on informal Starlink internet cafes for connectivity. These areas are also the most susceptible to conflict and famine, amplifying the consequences of the telecommunications blackout.

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