President Yoweri Museveni has assured Ugandans and tourists that Uganda is safe.
The President’s remarks came after the rescue American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott and Jean Paul Mirenge, a Ugandan senior tour guide/ driver, who were recently abducted by unknown gunmen at Queen Elizabeth National Park in Western Uganda.
“Last evening, security officials briefed me about the rescue of American tourist Kimberly Sue and her Ugandan guide, Jean Paul Mirenge, who had been kidnapped by criminals in Queen Elizabeth National Park,” Museveni wrote on Twitter.
“We shall deal with these isolated pockets of criminals. However, I want to reassure the country and our tourists that Uganda is safe and we shall continue to improve the security in our parks. Come and enjoy the Pearl of Africa,” he added.
Kimberly Sue Endicott and Jean Paul Mirenge were returned to safety on Sunday (April 7th). Police confirmed that they were returned alive and in good health.
The two were abducted on Tuesday (April 2nd, 2019) along Edward track, a section located between Katoke gate and Wildereness Camp in the park between 6-7pm.
The unknown gunmen put the four occupants of the tourist van under gun point and abducted two of them.
The tourists were travelling in a vehicle Reg no. UAR 777E belonging to World Frontiers Safaris Uganda, which was left parked as the kidnappers went away with its key.
Joint Security teams comprising of the Tourism Police, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers were dispatched to pursue the gunmen rescue the victims.
This website understands that the victims were returned after a ransom was paid to the Kidnappers.
Deputy Police spokesperson Polly Namaye in a statement on Wednesday revealed that the kidnappers using the Kimberly’s phone had demanded for a ransom of USD 500,000 (about Shs 1.8 billion).
What remains unknown for now is how much was paid to the kidnappers to rescue the duo and who paid the ransom.