Uganda restores internet after month of shutdown
Johannesburg - Uganda’s Minister of State for ICT and National Guidance Peter Ogwang has on Wednesday announced that internet and social media services have been fully restored in the country.
However, internet monitoring group NetBlocks said the service remains “less than usable”.
Ahead of the January 14 election, Uganda shuttered the internet to avoid outside interference in the polls.
“We apologise for the inconveniences caused, but it was for the security of our country. Let's be constructive, not destructive consumers/users of social media,” Ogwang posted on Twitter.
The restoration of internet and social media services comes days after security forces announced dozens of arrests for alleged election-related violence. They also surrounded the headquarters of the main opposition party, National Unity Platform (NUP) whose leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, was last month confined to his home for several days.
“As internet connectivity partly returns to Uganda, metrics show a similar pattern of extensive social media and messaging restrictions as prior to election day with some new additions. Hence, where service is back it remains less than usable,” NetBlocks, an internet monitoring group, stated on Twitter.
President Yoweri Museveni, who has held power since 1986, was declared the winner of the election, although allegations of violence, voter suppression and ballot stuffing have thrust the voting process into the international spotlight.
Wine alleged that the election was rigged and claimed to have been under effective house arrest since the results were counted, stating that the army had surrounded his home.