Reporters Without Borders welcomes CBS radio’s resumption of normal broadcasting at 9:30 a.m. on 23 October after being closed for a year. Its return to the air turns the page on the government’s closure of four radio stations amid rioting in Kampala in September 2009.
The press freedom organization nonetheless remains concerned about the climate for the media in Uganda. After the murders of two journalists last month in still unclear circumstances and other cases of physical violence and intimidation, we urge the authorities to do everything possible to protect the media and respect free speech in the run-up to next February’s elections.
CBS and three other stations, Suubi FM, Radio Two Akaboozi Kubiri and Radio Sapienta, were shut down in September 2009 amid rioting that caused dozens of deaths. Accusing them of “inciting revolt,” the authorities claimed they had encouraged supporters of the king of the traditional kingdom of Buganda to attack members of the Ankole ethnic group, to which president Yoweri Museveni belongs. The stations denied the charge.
CBS was the last for the four stations to resume broadcasting. The others managed to get the suspension order lifted more quickly.