An American woman allegedly kidnapped in a Uganda wildlife reserve along with her guide has been released, according to Ugandan police.
Kimberly Sue Endicott, a tourist from California, was apparently abducted at gunpoint on Tuesday while on an evening game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Her captors demanded $500,000 for her release. The New York Times reports that the local safari company said the ransom was paid, though other media outlets have said that the terms of Endicott’s release are still unclear.
NEW: Photos taken Sunday show American Kimberly Sue Endicott and her guide, Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo safe at a lodge in Uganda, since they were allegedly abducted at gunpoint on Tuesday. https://t.co/hloKGz1NO2 pic.twitter.com/jOKmhkEBl9
— ABC News (@ABC) April 7, 2019
Ugandan park officials quickly publicized the end of the ordeal and offered reassurances that it is safe for tourists to visit national parks in Uganda. The country’s cabinet minister of information technology, Frank Tumwebaze, tweeted that Uganda was “very safe border to border.” Wildlife tourism comprises a major part of Uganda’s economy.
Uganda is very safe border to border. Our parks have been the most secure zones over the years and they remain so. Isolated criminal incidents like this particular one, can happen any where in the world. Every challenge helps us to improve our readiness . #VisitUganda https://t.co/l863uEA5kG
— Frank K Tumwebaze,MP : Psalms 124 : 1-8 (@FrankTumwebazek) April 7, 2019
Still, the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Kampala began urging visitors last week to “exercise caution when traveling to this area.”
President Trump tweeted about Endicott’s release: “Pleased to report that the American tourist and tour guide that were abducted in Uganda have been released. God bless them and their families!”
Read more at NPR.