Following what has been widely reported as an attempted coup, Ethiopia's authorities have shut the Internet down. It is also being reported that General Seare Mekonnen, the Chief of Staff of Ethiopia's army, was shot dead by his own bodyguard in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Netblocks, an Internet freedom monitoring organization, reports that the Internet blackout started on Saturday following initial rumors that a potential coup was underway in Ethiopia to unseat the regional government in Bahir Dar, Amhara state, north of capital Addis Ababa.

"The coup attempt in Amhara regional state is against the constitution and is intended to scupper the hard-won peace of the region. This illegal attempt should be condemned by all Ethiopians and the federal government has full capacity to overpower this armed group," the Ethiopian Prime Minister's said in a statement.

Internet shutdowns in Ethiopia

Internet shutdowns in Ethiopia have become something of an annual occurrence. Every year, around the time of national high school exams in Ethiopia, the government shuts down the Internet stating that it is to prevent students from using social media and instant messaging apps to cheat during exams.

Ethiopia has one telecommunications company, Ethio Telecom, which is also state-owned and the only provider of Internet access in the country. Thus, this makes it easy for Internet access to be shutdown at any time the government wishes just like it did when the country experienced prolonged protest during 2016.

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