Uganda has blocked the access of its citizens to multiple Rwandan-based news websites just hours after President Yoweri Museveni and President Paul Kagame signed a pact to restore ties.
According to The New Times in Rwanda, Uganda’s communications regulator wrote to their Internet Service Providers ordering them to effect the blockage.
The public relations officer of the regulator, Uganda Communications Commission, Ibrahim Bbosa, confirmed the incident.
“We wrote a letter to the operators instructing them to block the websites,” Bbosa stated.
He further noted that the sites were blocked as they were covering information that was deemed “harmful and undermines the national security of Uganda.”
The New Times an online publishing site was one of those blocked by the regulator.
Patrick Nyirishema, the Director-General of Rwanda Utilities and Regulatory Authority noted that he had reached out to his counterpart seeking clarification of the blockage.
“I have formally reached out to my counterpart to seek clarification on the blockage of some news sites which is not proper in the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by our leaders today (on Wednesday),” he noted.
The unprecedented move has raised questions on the goodwill and commitment towards normalizing relations between the two countries following the pact signing.
The two countries Heads of State were in the Angolan capital Luanda signing the pact that was witnessed by their counterparts of Angola, DR Congo, and Congo-Brazzaville.
Among the initial issues that strained the relations between the two countries was Uganda facilitating Rwandan dissidents and fugitives.
The support included giving the platforms on state-run media to spew propaganda against the Rwandan government.