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Friday, 1 December, 2000, 15:09 GMT
No more free speech in Somalia

Subscribers to three fiercely competitive telephone companies in Somalia will soon be able to speak to each other.

The three companies have agreed to connect their networks because until now, people subscribing to one company could not phone friends and relatives signed up with either of the others.

A few well-off Somalis subscribed to all three -- a solution the vast majority could not afford.

But now there's a new problem.

Under the agreement, all three companies will charge for local calls, which until now had been free.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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