Uganda Security Agencies have deployed its best personal and tools of
security to secure the lives of an American Tourist and her driver who
were kidnapped on Tuesday evening by gun men.
Polly Namaye Deputy Uganda Police Spokesperson said the kidnappers had
used a phone of the kidnapped to demand for half a million dollars.
Ugandan security forces are accessing to see if the ransom is for
profit or propaganda from terrorist groups operating in Eastern Congo.
Most of the security heads in Uganda have flown to Western Uganda to
make sure everything is done and all resources are availed.
A source in Kihihi town, Kanungu district says dogs had led the
searching forces to the border. In order to enter Ishasha of Eastern
Congo, Ugandan forces were asking for permission to pursue the
The drones were hovering over the area to see if they could locate the
kidnappers and the American tourist with her driver.
Another option is following a route North of Ishasha heading to
Rukungiri district because the network of the phone could be showing
they are still in Uganda.
Namaye said they are working around the clock to find the kidnapped alive.
Two other tourists, whom police described as an “elderly couple”,
were present when the gunmen attacked, but were not abducted or
physically harmed. They managed to raise the alarm from the lodge
where they were staying.
The attack took place between 6pm and 7pm on Tuesday, police said.
A day later, soldiers have fanned out along the porous border with the
DRC, but as night fell, police said they believe the pair remain in
“A joint operation by the Uganda police, Uganda People’s Defence
Forces (UPDF) and Uganda Wildlife Authority game wardens is under way
to locate and rescue them,” a government spokesman, Ofwono Opondo,
Ugandan security forces are hunting gunmen who abducted an American
tourist and her driver inside a national park close to the border with
Democratic Republic of Congo.
Queen Elizabeth national park, one of the east African nation’s most
famous wildlife reserves, runs along the frontier with conflict-racked
regions of the DRC, bordering its famous Virunga national park, the
oldest in Africa.
Numerous militia groups and armed gangs roam eastern DRC. Virunga
suspended all tourism activities last year after a ranger was killed
and two British tourists kidnapped. The Britons and their driver were
freed two days after the attack. The park reopened in February; weeks
later another ranger was killed.
The Ugandan park straddles the equator, covering 1,978 sq km (764 sq
miles) in the country’s south-west.
It is also about 150km (90 miles) north of Bwindi Impenetrable
national park, famous among tourists for gorilla trekking. Uganda is
home to over half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas.
In 1999, Rwandan rebels killed eight foreign tourists there,
inflicting an enormous blow to Uganda’s tourist industry. The rebels
were part of a militia group that was involved in the 1994 Rwandan
genocide before fleeing to the jungles of the DRC.
Tourism is a key industry for Uganda, as a major earner of foreign
currency. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit each year.