According to a military spokesman, an American woman and her Ugandan driver were released safely after five days of their kidnapping in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park. Though Uganda is known to be a peaceful country and kidnapping is a rare case, this incident happened near to the border with Congo’s restive North Kivu province. Brig. Richard Karemire said that the captives were found Sunday near the border by Ugandan special forces.
The identity of the kidnappers yet not have been revealed. The excursion organizing company, Wild Frontiers paid a ransom to the kidnappers but the exact amount was not disclosed, said Karemire. Using the phones of the victims the kidnappers made an initial demand of $500,000.
A 35-year-old American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott, of Costa Mesa, California, had been traveling was traveling with a couple described by police as elderly and a driver and guide named Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo. On Sunday night, Endicott and Remezo were returned to a lodge.
In a police statement, it was said that they two were kidnapped at gunpoint by four men and then “grabbed two out of four … before disappearing with the,” while the two other tourists escaped unharmed.
In a statement about the incident in Uganda, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “Please remember that any payment to a terrorist or a terrorist regime gives money so that they can seize more of our people.”
“Even a small payment to a group in, say, Africa can facilitate the killing or seizure of tens or even hundreds of others, including Americans or foreign nationals in that region,” he added.