US president Donald Trump has tasked Ugandan authorities to find ‘the kidnappers of the American Tourist and guide’.
‘‘Bring them to justice openly and quickly!’‘ the president tweeted on Monday, adding that it is the only way ‘people will feel safe going there’.
Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni had earlier reassured tourists that ‘Uganda is safe’, describing last week’s kidnappers as ‘isolated packets of criminals’.
Uganda Police also issued a statement on Monday, reassuring visitors to Uganda of safety, while at the same time sharing the latest updates on the hunt for the criminals.
‘‘The operation to arrest the culprits is ongoing with the close coordination of our counterparts from the DRC, whom we have been working with for the last 5 days,’‘ read part of the police statement.
The statement did not address the reports that a ransom was paid to secure the release of the victims, rather explaining that ‘specific details on how the rescue mission’ cannot be released for tactical reasons.
‘‘The victim who had been held captive together with her safari guide, Jean Paul Mirenge, were released because of the implicit threat of the use of force, after the armed captors, knew they were being pursued.’‘
Museveni, Trump happy about rescue operation
US President Donald Trump, in a tweet, confirmed the news of Endicott’s released.
“Pleased to report that the American tourist and tour guide that were abducted in Uganda have been released. God bless them and their families!” Trump tweeted
UgandanPresident Yoweri Museveni on Monday insisted his country was safe for travellers, after the kidnapping of a US tourist, but vowed to further strengthen security in national parks.
“Uganda is safe,” Museveni wrote on Twitter, adding that authorities would “deal with these isolated pockets of criminals” and “continue to improve security in our parks”.
“Come and enjoy the Pearl of Africa,” he said.
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo wrote on Twitter that Endicott and Mirenge, were rescued “by Uganda security forces in the DRC”.
He added that “the kidnappers have escaped and operations continue”.
Rescue operation successful
On Sunday, Ugandan authorities confirmed that the American tourist, Kimberley Sue Endecott, 35, and her Ugandan driver, Jean Paul, had been successfully rescued recovered safe and sound after a ransom was paid for their release.
Mike Walker, manager of Wild Frontiers Safaris, said US tourist Kimberly Endicott and experienced guide Jean-Paul Mirenge, were “back safe”.
“Ransom paid and people exchanged,” he told AFP by text, adding that he didn’t know the “precise amount yet”.
Police had said the kidnappers used Endicott’s mobile telephone to demand a ransom of $500,000 (445,000 euros) for the release of the pair.
Asked about the ransom, police spokeswoman Polly Namaye would not confirm directly but referred AFP to the tour company, saying it was “an authority on its own”.
She credited the safe recovery of the pair “to the untiring efforts” of the search teams who were drawn from the police, military and the wildlife authority.
“The victims of last week’s kidnapping have been recovered alive,” Namaye said.