Nearly 20% of the inhabitants of the Central African Republic have been deprived of access to the mobile telephone network and to the Internet for more than two days and for an indefinite period after an accidental fire at one of the two main operators, Orange, said Wednesday. the French group to AFP.
All of its more than 800,000 subscribers – individuals and businesses – are affected by this gigantic blackout throughout the territory of this very poor country in Central Africa, said Régis Delière, CEO of Orange-Central Africa.
The fire, of accidental origin, devastated part of the operator’s headquarters in Bangui on Sunday evening and “caused serious damage” in the technical rooms, according to the company which is studying “the different scenarios for relaunching the services” but without being able to indicate how long it will take to restore the networks.
Countless subscribers have flocked to the SIM cards of competitors from Orange, Telecel and Moov, Mr. Delière deploring “an immediate loss of income which will last” at least until the restoration of his company’s services.
Classified by the UN as the second least developed country in the world, the Central African Republic has been in the grip of a civil war since 2013, which has however declined considerably in intensity since 2018.
Since the end of December however, the army of President Faustin Archange Touadéra, thanks mainly to the support of hundreds of Russian paramilitaries dispatched by Moscow, has reconquered a large part of more than two-thirds of the territory previously controlled by armed rebel groups.
But the country’s economy is devastated and long power cuts and other shortages punctuate the daily lives of Central Africans, especially in the capital Bangui.