Kidnapped US tourist rescued in Uganda

The Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda

The Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda

The Uganda Police Force has broken silence on how American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott and Jean Paul Mirenge, a Ugandan senior tour guide/ driver, who were on recently abducted by unknown gunmen at Queen Elizabeth National Park in Western Uganda, were rescued.

But the nightmare ended Sunday when Ugandan security forces rescued Endicott and her guide.

Endicott and Mirenge were freed in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo after five days in captivity, but their abductors escaped, Uganda government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said by phone.

Mike Walker, manager of Wild Frontiers Safaris, said United States tourist Kimberly Endicott and experienced guide Jean-Paul Mirenge, were "back safe".

But Police say they don't offer ransom to rescue victims from kidnappers.

Ugandan police had said on April 4 that an armed gang kidnapped Kimberly Sue Endicott and her tour guide at gunpoint from the national park and had made frequent demands for a $500,000 ransom.

Police said that the two were in good health.

New Vision reported on Monday, citing undisclosed sources, that a ransom of $30,000 had been paid.

"Otherwise she wouldn't be back", the official said, speaking anonymously.

"Whenever a USA citizen is taken captive overseas, we work tirelessly - in partnership with local authorities - to secure their release and get them home safely", the statement said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week at an event for families of U.S. citizens held captive overseas that he understands some people want to do anything to get their loved ones back but paying ransom would just lead to more kidnappings. The kidnappers later demanded a ransom of $500,000 for Endecott's release.

A tweet from his office noted that tourists should come and enjoy the beauty of the Pearl of Africa.

The wildlife company spokesman said there was "no way" the four kidnappers could have been watching her in advance because it was her first night.

"Uganda must find the kidnappers of the American Tourist and guide before people will feel safe in going there".

Trump reacted to their release on Sunday.

"We firmly believe that making concessions increases the risks for Americans and others traveling overseas", the official said, adding that the United States had worked closely with Ugandan authorities for the release of Endecott.

Lopez had been following Endicott's trip through photos her friend posted on Instagram.

Tourism is a key industry for Uganda, home to rare mountain gorillas and other wildlife, the massive Lake Victoria and snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains. "God bless them and their families!"

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