Ethiopians are angry that the country’s text messaging service has been shut down since Thursday without any explanation. Internet blackouts, which began last Tuesday, are also still affecting many areas of the country.

The state-run Ethio Telecom, the country’s only telecoms provider, has refused to comment on the outages. The closure of the services coincides with nationwide exams, which some say may be the reason for the shutdown.

There are speculations that the measures are aimed at stopping students from cheating. The messaging app Telegram, which is popular among young Ethiopians, also remains inaccessible.

The internet was shut down in 2016 and 2017 to curb the leaking of exam papers amid popular anti-government protests. But when reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came into office last year he allowed more freedom of expression and previously banned websites were restored.

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