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Kidnapped American tourist, Ugandan guide released

Kimberly Sue (L) and  Jean Paul Mirenge

Kimberly Sue (L) and Jean Paul Mirenge

An American tourist and a Ugandan tour guide who were kidnapped on Tuesday last week by gunmen in Queen Elizabeth national park have been rescued.

Kimberly Sue Endicott and the guide, Jean Paul Mirenge, were kidnapped at gunpoint during an evening game drive on Edward track between Katoke Gate and Wilderness camp in Kanungu district. The gunmen left two other elderly tourists, Julius Martin and his wife Barbel, in the tour van unharmed but took away the car keys. 

The kidnappers who were using Kimberly's phone, demanded $500,000 (about Shs 1.8 billion) as ransom for their release. Unconfirmed reports indicate that an unspecified amount of money was paid to the kidnappers by the tour company, Wild Frontiers.

Last week, the US government maintained that it does not pay ransoms for kidnapped citizens because this would just encourage more abductions. According to the New York Times, Paul Goldring of Wild Frontiers paid the money to the kidnappers, who then dropped off the duo at the Ugandan border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bashil Hangi, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) spokesperson confirmed the rescue on Sunday. He however declined to explain more about the matter saying that UWA and security are still drafting an official statement explaining how everything went. 

Cases of kidnap of tourists are extremely rare in Uganda and authorities have emphasized that point as Sue's case is most likely to negatively impact on the booming tourism industry. 

Comments

0 #1 Wante martino 2019-04-08 08:43
Well the good news is that the two are now safe, but we all know Americand PAT Ransom money, in fact BIG money for such events, they have paid millions of dollars for their citizensa even to Al qaeda/IS!
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+2 #2 Amooti Mugi 2019-04-08 09:00
Thank God they are safely back..
Thanks to the security agency involved BUT the fools who orchestrated the kidnap /theft must be found and punished because they are attacking a critically important sector of tourism...
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0 #3 Amooti Mugi 2019-04-08 09:00
Thank God they are safely back..
Thanks to the security agency involved BUT the fools who orchestrated the kidnap /theft must be found and punished because they are attacking a critically important sector of tourism...
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+2 #4 Ugthinker 2019-04-08 15:06
The American tourist was kidnapped and the Uganda Police, bottom up, were all on this case. It’s good, but, why don’t cases of Ugandans whom, through taxes, these police officers are paid wages don’t attract as much attention?

Do we have a Uganda Police or an America Police???? It just reminds me that Africans are still colonised in and out and it will take a very long time!

How we prioritise foreigners over our own and then complain when the reverse is true in had it been the other way round! We need to proportionately style up!
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+1 #5 WADADA roger 2019-04-08 22:50
I dont know why i think the tour guild was the master planer for the kidnap
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