Police and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces have commenced a search and rescue mission for a tourist and a guide who were ambushed and kidnapped on Tuesday in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kasese.
According to a joint statement from the Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Wildlife Authority, the incident happened between 5pm and 7pm when four armed men ambushed a tourist vehicle that was on a game drive.
“The outlaws put the occupants on gun point and abducted two of them including a Ugandan driver and an American tourist,” the joint statement said without divulging more details about the names of the victims.
This website has however separately learnt that John Paul Milenge from Wildfrontiers was the driver kidnapped and had three clients in the vehicle including two females and a male tourist who were coming from Buhoma.
The incident happened along the Edward track, a section located Katoke gate and the Wilderness camp in the Queen Elizabeth National Park but the other two occupants of the tour vehicle were never harmed or abducted.
“All security agencies such as the Uganda Police and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) including wardens from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) have joined in the hunt for these outlaws with the main aim of safely securing the hostages,” the statement added.
“The lives of the kidnapped are a key priority during this process. We appeal for calm as we find a lasting solution to this issue. Further information will be shared with the public as it comes in.”
Deputy police spokesperson, Polly Namaye named the second hostage as Kimbley Sue Endecott,35 an American citizen adding that they have already informed the US embassy in Kampala.
“We want to inform the public and all visitors in the country that the joint security teams have cut off all exit areas on the border between DRC and Uganda in search for the victims since the park is along the border,”Namaye told journalists on Wednesday afternoon.
The deputy police publicist however assured the public that the area is safe since this is the first incident of its kind in many years.
“The kidnappers using one of the victims’ phone have demanded $500,000 (Shs 1.8 billion) and we believe this ransom is the reason behind the kidnap. We appeal for any information that could lead us to apprehend the suspects and rescue the victims