Ugandans report internet problems on eve of presidential election

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People pass by a painting on the wall of the Ugandan electoral commission compound in Kampala

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandans reported difficulties accessing the internet via mobile devices and wireless connections on Wednesday evening, a day before presidential and parliamentary elections.

Internet monitor NetBlocks said on Twitter that Uganda was experiencing a nationwide internet blackout that came in at 7 p.m. (1600 GMT).

"Real-time network data show national connectivity falling to 33% of ordinary levels as per government order in effect from 7 p.m.," NetBlocks said.

Ibrahim Bbossa, spokesman for the Uganda Communications Commission, did not respond to phones calls and messages requesting comment.

The internet problems come a day after Uganda banned all social media and messaging apps ahead of the vote, which the president said was in retaliation for Facebook taking down some pro-government accounts.

(Reporting by Nairobi newsroom; Editing by David Clarke)