Rwanda: Kagame government accused of Wiretapping Uganda officials’ phones

 

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a nonprofit organization responsible for investigating crimes and corruption being carried out by countries across the globe, has revealed in a new report that Rwanda is linked to a series of wiretapped phone calls with top Ugandan officials.

 

This is the first time the organization is accusing the Rwandan government of being involved in wiretapping phones of high-profile personalities in Uganda, most of whom are members of the government.

 

According to the report, Rwanda uses Israeli spyware to listen to conversations of top personalities in Uganda and read their text messages. These include those of the director-general of External Security Organizations.

The spyware known as  Pegasus project produced by the NSO Group’s can allow a third party to have access to a telephone and listen or read text messages of the targeted phone and is now being used by countries with poor human rights records, according to the OCCRP report.

 

“Among the Ugandans on the (wiretapping) list, OCCRP has identified numbers belonging to long-time senior Cabinet member Sam Kutesa, former (Chief of Defence) Forces General David Muhoozi, senior intelligence officer Joseph Ocwet and leading opposition figure Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu,” reads an excerpt of the report released by Africannews.com. “The selection (of the telephone numbers for tapping) coincided with a visit by Kagame to Uganda.” 

 

The report also revealed that some top officials at the Democratic Republic of Congo are in the list of those whose phones and communications gadgets have been wiretapped.

The report has plunged Uganda and Rwanda into a diplomatic crisis as both countries accuse each other of espionage.

 

Most of those whose phone numbers are being monitored according to the OCCRP are military officials at the different levels of the Uganda military.

President Paul Kagame was last month in DRC to sympathize with those affected by the volcanic eruptions in Mount Nyiragongo and reestablish economic ties with DRC.

 

Both countries also agreed on working together to resolve the issue of insecurity across their borders. 

But with this week’s report on espionage, it is not clear whether both countries will maintain the euphoria that their newfound friendship ignited.

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