More than a week after the publication of the election results, social networks are still blocked in the country. Authorities had decided to shut down all internet the day before the January 14 vote. The connection was finally partially restored on Monday. However, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks remain inaccessible. A blockade that is largely bypassed by the population.
as reported from Kampala, Lucie Mouillaud
Despite the blocking of social networks since almost two weeks, many Ugandan internet users continue to post on Facebook and Twitter thanks to VPNs.
The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Peter Ogwang, spoke to local media to condemn the use of these virtual private networks. According to him, the authorities have the means to cut the sites that offer their download and, secondly, to block the connection for people who already use them.
On Twitter, he also warned Ugandans who circumvent restrictions in an attempt to incite the population to violence and claim to be online himself so he can spot them.
So far, no date has been announced for social media recovery. Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said on Monday that the partial reopening of the internet would be extended “depending on events in the initial opening phase”. He then advised Internet users, “especially the opposition,” not to use the connection “to promote hate messages and threats.”
► Also read: Uganda: authorities block access to social networks two days before parliamentary elections