A US citizen and a Ugandan driver were on Tuesday kidnapped by armed men in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in southwest Uganda, authorities have said.
Police, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) in a joint statement said on Wednesday that the two were kidnapped near Katoke Gate in the Queen Elizabeth National Park between 5pm and 7pm after their car was ambushed by the four armed men.
“On April 2, 2019, between 5pm and 7pm, four armed men ambushed a tourist van that was on a Game Drive in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The outlaws put the occupants under gun point and abducted two of them; a Ugandan driver and an American Citizen. The kidnapping happened between near Katoke Gate in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The other occupants of the van who were left behind and managed to contact a few people; who came to their rescue,” the statement reads in part.
Police say all security agencies including army and wardens from UWA have joined in the hunt for the outlaws “with the main aim of safely securing the hostages.”
“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,” the statement adds.
However, unverified reports indicate that the assailants are Congolese pirates and have asked for a ransom of $ 500,000 (about Shs1.9b) in exchange for their freedom.