KIGALI — Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame says he will continue to carry out intelligence to protect Rwanda because “that’s how countries operate:.
Mr. Kagame during an interview with the Financial Times in the wake of revelations of saying allegations against his regime by using Israeli technology, said he doesn’t know why some people think Rwanda should be exception when it comes to intelligence.
“We run intelligence. We do it and we are going to continue doing it. That’s how countries operate and I don’t think Rwanda would be an exception,” President Kagame said.
He added: “We know plenty about our enemies and those who support them”.
He, however, denied Rwanda does not use or have access to Israel spying technologies Pegasus, saying: “We use human intelligence and we are very good at that”.
Mr. Kagame also hit back at allegations that he spied on opponents abroad through their phones, saying the technology needed to do so was too expensive.
This came after a recent investigative report revealed massive hacking and surveillance by his administration especially targeting journalists, human rights activists, lawyers, diplomats and other dissidents.
The report also revealed that of the individuals identified as having been targeted, a substantial number were from Uganda especially those to President Museveni.
Both countries have been trading counter accusations but tension had been briefly defused following a meeting between President Museveni and his Rwanda counterpart Paul Kagame in 2019.
However, reliable sources say that following the meeting, diplomatic relations worsened since the two countries reneged on their earlier commitments as arrests and deportation of Rwandans by Uganda have increased ever since.
Since March, Ugandan authorities, especially in the border districts of Kabale, Kisoro and Kagadi have arrested several Rwandan nationals and deported them back to Rwanda.
Rwanda also accuses Uganda immigration officials of confiscating identity cards of Rwandese travelling to Uganda.
President Kagame alleges that Museveni is backing dissidents and militias intent on overthrowing Kigali government. That is all the more serious because both countries, with substantial military forces and intelligence services, regard themselves as guarantors for security in the region.
Kagame claims Museveni had been trying to cover up Uganda’s associations with Rwandan dissidents such as tobacco magnate Tribert Rujugiro and former Rwandan chief of army staff General Kayumba Nyamwasa.