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Uganda hit by internet blackout on eve of election

Written by on January 14, 2021

The authorities in Uganda have cut off internet access in the country hours to a hotly contested presidential election pitting a pop star against one of Africa’s longest serving leaders.

Internet monitoring group NetBlocks said on Twitter that the country descended into an internet blackout on Wednesday from 19:00 local time.

The blackout came a day after the government ordered a block on all social media and messaging apps.

President Yoweri Museveni said this was because Facebook had banned several accounts which backed his ruling party.

Pop star-turned-opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine has tweeted that the internet shutdown is part of a plot to rig the elections.

“The people of Uganda are firm and nothing will stop them from ending this oppressive regime,” he added.

Polls are expected to open on Thursday at 07:00 local time, with results not expected before Saturday.

The campaign has been marred by serious violence, which has seen dozens of people killed.

Mr Museveni is seeking his sixth elected term in office after 35 years in power.


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