Uganda has restored access to the internet, almost a month after the government shut it down.
“Internet and social media services have been fully restored. We apologize for the inconveniences caused, but it was for the security of our country,” Ugandan Minister for Information and Communications Technology Peter Ogwang said.
The government said the move was necessary to keep violence at bay during the elections but critics say it was a way of keeping President Yoweri Museveni’s opponents from communicating with the world.
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said that the government has resolved to restore access to Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp. Facebook is yet to be restored.
“We have released elements of social media — Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp — because we think to a less extent, those are not as lethal as Facebook,” Opondo said.
He added, “So, we shall examine going forward, their posture on these other social media platforms that have been released. And that will inform how soon Facebook is restored.”
Facebook in January blocked 220 accounts linked to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology. The accounts were allegedly fake and popularised Museveni and son’s posts appear popular than they really were.
This led to Museveni’s ordering for the blocking of social media sites before the January 14 elections.
Ugandans can still access Facebook using the virtual private networks.