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They were freed not rescued! American tourist, tour guide freed after ransom is paid

Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers. (PHOTO/FILE)

KAMPALA — An American woman and her guide who were kidnapped while on safari on Tuesday, April 02 have been freed after a ransom was paid, according to officials with the safari company with which they were travelling.

Ms. Jane Goldring, a director at Wild Frontiers, said the two kidnapping victims had been freed. The government authorities also issued a statement confirming the same.

Another official with the company, who asked not to be named, said the two were currently “enjoying a square meal and hot shower” at a wilderness camp in Kanungu district run by Wild Frontiers.

They were dropped off at a point near the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)on Sunday, after paying a ransom the official said.

He asked not to be named because he was not authorized to provide details about the circumstances of the release.

The official said he did not know the identity of the kidnappers and that Wild Frontiers paid the ransom.

The woman, Ms. Kimberly Sue Endicott, of California, was kidnapped Tuesday evening while on a game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park in western part of Uganda.

Also taken was her Ugandan guide, Mr.  Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo.

Mr. Paul Goldring of Wild Frontiers, left, with Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo, the guide who was kidnapped.

The park, home to more than 600 bird species and some 2,500 elephants, is generally regarded as safe for tourists.

A group of gunmen stopped the tourists’ vehicle and seized the American woman and the guide.

The gunmen left behind the two other tourists, who were described by the Ugandan police as an elderly Canadian couple.
The revelation has since watered claims by Ugandan authorities that a joint operation by security forces rescued the Ms. Endicott and Jean-Paul.

“Both were rescued from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and are safely back in Kanungu district in Uganda,” claimed government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo before Wild Frontiers described his statement as false.

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