Africa

Ugandan government quietly restores Facebook

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites were shut down on eve of Uganda's elections on Jan. 13 this year

Godfey Olukya   | 22.06.2021
Ugandan government quietly restores Facebook

KAMPALA, Uganda

Ugandan authorities restored access to Facebook on Monday without any notice or official announcement after shutting down the social media site several months ago.

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites were shut down on the eve of Uganda's elections on Jan. 13 this year.

''The government of Uganda will maintain its shutdown of the internet, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms until the government deems they are safe from being used to inflame tensions,” it said in a statement at the time.

It said the government was analyzing the situation and sites would be restored on “a case-by-case basis.”

Four days after the elections, the internet and other social media sites apart from Facebook resumed operation. Facebook did not because President Yoweri Museveni banned it after it blocked some government officials' accounts.

Today, Ugandans were surprised to see Facebook in full operation.

''We decided to stop the shutdown of Facebook so that Ugandans can enjoy its services,” said John Baptist Oyo, a director from the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Minister for ICT and National Guidance Chris Baryomunsi was unavailable for comment.

One of the Ugandans excited about the move was secondary school teacher Stella Nakuya.

“I have been using a VPN to go to Facebook. I am happy now that I can access it without using a VPN,” she said.

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