US president Donald Trump has demanded 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.
Mr Trump on Monday tweeted saying Uganda must find the kidnappers of Ms Kimberly Endicott an aesthetician from South California and her guide Jean-Paul Mirenge.
“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,” he said.
Ms Endicott and her safari guide, Mr Mirenge 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.
Government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo wrote on Twitter that Mr Endicott and Mr Mirenge, were rescued “by Uganda security forces in the DRC”.
Reacting to Mr Trump’s tweet, Mr Opondo tweeted saying: “@realDonaldTrump There are more gun deaths in the #US than #kidnaps in Uganda. Nevertheless many people still flock to the #US. Uganda continues to strengthen its security and eliminate criminality with impunity.”
Police said on Monday that they would handover Ms Endicott to the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Ms Deborah Ruth Malac at the American Embassy in Kampala.
“Today Monday, 8th/04/ 2019, the IGP, will hand over Ms. Kimberley Sue Endicott, the American tourist who was rescued yesterday, Sunday 7th/ 04/ 2019, to Her Excellency, the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, at the American Embassy in Kampala,” police tweeted.