The Al-Qaeda-proxy Somali militants of Al-shabaab have on Sunday ordered to shut down two of the country’s largest telecommunications companies, the NationLink telecom and Telcom Somalia.
“Today the two network companies are not operating in all Al-shabaab-controlled regions in Somalia,” sources close to the companies said.
The sources indicated that the militants asked both companies to pay millions of US dollars if they want to continue the operation. “The companies told Al-shabaab that they couldn’t afford to pay such large sum of money and the militants then ordered both companies to shut down,” he noted.
Residents in the Al-shabaab administered regions who were asked for comment on another network Hormuud Telecom confirmed that both telecommunications companies were forcibly closed by the militants on Sunday morning.
“I don’t know why Hormuud is still operating, while NationLink and Telcom Somalia were denied access,” the source added.
The two closed companies have been very active in humanitarian operations to help the famine-victims in the war-devastated country. The militants have not yet disclosed their reasons for the closure of two large telecommunications companies.