The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) on Wednesday blocked Rwandan-based news websites for allegedly disseminating harmful propaganda that undermines Uganda’s national security.
The blocked websites include state owned The New Times, Virunga Post among others.
Ibrahim Bbosa, the commission’s spokesperson, said they wrote to internet service providers instructing them to block the websites.
The blocking came at a time when Heads of State from Uganda and Rwanda were in the Angolan capital Luanda, signing a pact to restore bilateral ties.
The pact which was signed by President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwanda counterpart Paul Kagame was witnessed by their colleagues of Angola, DR Congo and Congo-Brazzaville.
“In our perspective, the blocking we effected is a temporary measure as long as we work out harmonious ways of how to deal with it between ourselves and the regulators in Rwanda,” said Bbosa.
In retaliation, the Rwandan authorities have also blocked access to Ugandan news websites such as Daily Monitor, PMLDaily, ChimpReports, Observer, Nile Post, SoftPower and New Vision.
The blocked websites can only be accessed via virtual private networks (VPN) in Rwanda.
There has been no official communication from Rwanda but President Kagame’s communications director, Yolande Makolo in a reply to a tweet about the blockages said; “You of all people should know the difference between cause & effect/consequence. We don’t get slapped and offer the other cheek. No apologies.”