Internet and SMS services began to return to normal late on Saturday, January 19, following a 20-day suspension amid election-related tensions. Services were restored after the Constitutional Court issued a late-night announcement rejecting election runner-up Martin Fayulu's allegations of voter fraud and confirming Félix Tshisekedi's presidential win. Despite the service resumption, residual connectivity disruptions remain likely in the coming days and additional full shutdowns cannot be ruled out.
Internet services were blocked beginning December 31, 2018, amid high political tensions after long-awaited general elections were held on December 30. There were numerous allegations of electoral fraud and voter intimidation and several people were killed in election-related violence. Opposition candidate Tshisekedi was declared winner of the presidential elections with 38.57 percent of the vote, followed by runner-up Fayulu with 34.83 percent. Fayulu called for a recount, alleging fraud, but his challenge was rejected by the Constitutional Court late on January 19.
Individuals in the DRC are advised to monitor the situation and anticipate residual internet disruptions, avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest, refrain from discussing political topics in public, and adhere to all instructions issued by their home government and local authorities.
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