Uganda’s regulator of the communications sector has written to Google, which owns YouTube, a video sharing platform, asking it to close 14 channels allegedly linked to last month’s riots that left more than 50 people dead.

The riots broke out in the capital, Kampala, and other major towns following the arrest of opposition presidential candidate and musician Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, for violating Covid restrictions.

Some of the YouTube channels targeted for closure are linked to Bobi Wine, but the head of legal affairs at the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) told Bloomberg that it’s just “a coincidence”.

The commission, in its letter to Google, said the channels were used to mobilise riots and broadcast content that are against the law, the Daily Monitor newspaper reports.

Ugandans are set to vote on 14 January for a new parliament and president. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for over three decades, is seeking re-election.

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