The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has announced the suspension of the operation of internet gateways across that country.
In a statement yesterday, UCC executive director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo said the suspension will commence at 7 PM of 13 January 2021 and continue until further notice. She said:
In exercise of its functions under sectins5(1) and 56 of the Uganda Communications Act of 2013, Uganda Communications Commission hereby directs you to implement a temporary suspension of the operation of all your Internet Gateways and associated access points.
This suspension should take effect at 7 PM this day of 13th January 2021 and continue until otherwise directed.
Meanwhile, Twitter has condemned the move by Uganda to block social media and messaging apps, saying it violates basic human rights and the principles of the open internet. Twitter said in a statement:
Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that Internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps.
We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet.
Earlier this week, in close coordination with our peers, we suspended a number of accounts targeting the election in Uganda.
… Access to information and freedom of expression, including the public conversation on Twitter, is never more important than during democratic processes, particularly elections.