Kim Endicott, 56, was released on Sunday with her driver, Jean Paul Mirenge Remezo, 48. The Ugandan Minister of Tourism, Kiwanda Godfrey Ssuubi, confirmed on Monday that his government previously paid $30.000 for her to be freed. The kidnappers had demanded a $500,000 ransom which both the US and the Ugandan government refused to pay. ‘Our first priority, number one, was to make sure they were safe. I don’t think it should be turned into a very big situation,’ he said. Endicott and her driver were dropped off at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday after days of negotiations.
It remains unclear how many people have been arrested and their identities have not been released. In its tweet, the Ugandan Police Force said: ‘The intelligence led operation which was calculated and tactical, in the early stages is now progressing unhindered, with raids and extensive searches in Kanungu district, where the suspects were arrested and the neighboring areas. On Monday, President Trump tweeted: ‘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!’