The United States president Donald Trump has tasked president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his government to ensure a speedy investigation and justice for American tourist and her guide who were released on Sunday after they were held for six days by unknown kidnappers.
Trump in a Tweet on Monday said, unless the kidnappers are found, US citizens will be restricted from visiting the East African nation.
“Uganda must find the kidnappers of the American tourist and guide before people will feel safe in going there. Bring them to justice openly and quickly!,” Mr Trump tweeted just hours after President Yoweri Museveni tweeted insisting Uganda was safe for travellers and vowed to strengthen security in national parks.
“Uganda is safe,” Mr 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,” Museveni said.
American tourist Ms Endicott and her safari guide, Mr Jean Paul Mirenge of Congolese origin were recovered unharmed on Sunday after a ransom was paid for their release six days after they were abducted by gunmen while on an evening game drive in the Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the East African nation’s most popular wildlife reserves, runs along the border with conflict-wracked regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It borders the famous Virunga National Park, the oldest in Africa.
The Director of media centre Ofwono Opondo had claimed that Mr Endicott and Ms Mirenge, were rescued “by Uganda security forces in the DRC. However, police on Monday stated that the duo were freed by captors but not freed as earlier stated.
“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. At this stage we cannot provide specific details on how the rescue mission was accomplished, for future operational security and tactical reasons,” police said in the statement.