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American Kim Sue Endicott, a guided tourist kidnapped in Uganda, returned safely after paying a ransom



An American woman and her safari guide who were abducted in the Uganda Park in the desert and spent ninety days armed hugs were returned on Sunday after a ransom for their release was paid.

Kim Sue Endicott of Southern California and her tour guide, the Congolese people Jean-Paul Mirendez Remezos, were released during the talks, officials said.

The kidnappers who kidnapped them in the Queen Elizabeth National Park demanded a $ 500,000 redemption, but it was not immediately known how much was paid to secure their release or who paid him.

Endicott and Remezzo were sent back to the house in the park, said ABC News spokesman for the safari operation "Wild Borders of Uganda".

  Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.

"Security services this evening succeeded in rescuing a kidnapped citizen of Kimberly Sue Endicott and her driver, Jean Paul Mirunde [Remezo]," the Ugandan government reported.

Chirik expressed gratitude to the Ugandan police and security nurses, "who undertook an operation to return Sue and Jean Paul."

The Ugandan government stated that Endicott and Remezault were "restored untouchable, in good health" and were in the "safe hands of a joint security team."

News about the liberation of victims stolen after the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been involved in the search and Edinco's relative has asked more to help the US government in search of Endicott, owner of a Costa Mesa skin care store.

Details on how Endicot and Remzot were saved were not immediately available.

"The family & # 39; did what they were asked to do. I think the government's time to help us, "said cousin Associated Press Associated Press Kim Endicott, Rich Endicott, a 62-year-old banker from Phoenix, Arizona.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed his condolences to the Endicott family last week, but said that the United States has a long tradition of not paying redemption to secure the release of US citizens.

"Please note that any payment to a terrorist or terrorist regime gives money so that they can capture more of our people," Pompeo said after a private meeting with relatives of other US citizens who were in captivity aboard. "Even a small fee to a group in, say, Africa can ease the killing or capture of dozens or even hundreds of others, including Americans or foreigners in the region."

  Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. ] (Uganda Wildlife Management) </span> Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.<br />
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<p>
  Cats Endicott asked the US government to save the lives of her cousin. </p>
<p>
  "I heard how our secretary of state got there and said that we did not pay redemption." Well, that's good, "said Cat Endicott, then take the Navy, take them on a plane and go, save it. Do not pay a ransom, I with that good. But he did not say any of these things, and maybe they do these things, but who knows. "</p>
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  On Sunday there were signs that searches for Endicott and Remezzo have intensified in the western region of the country – a mile-mile wildlife park bordering the Congo </p>
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"I heard how our Secretary of State got there and said that we did not pay a ransom. Take the SEALS fleet, get them on an airplane and go to save it. & # 39; outside the park entrance.

"We are ready for this, and I think we will be able to solve it," said ABBAS BYAKAGABA, Assistant Inspector General of the Uganda Police, in front of the news of the release of the victims.

Efreem Kamuntu, Minister of Tourism of Uganda, went to the park this weekend, hoping to reassure the seven Endicot and Remez that Uganda is doing its best to locate its loved ones.

I hope I will not be here, "said Camunto before ABC News before Endicott and Remezo were found. "My hope and my firm conviction, my desire and my efforts are to restore these people as safe and healthy."

Endicott and Remezzo were on an evening expedition safari with a Canadian couple, Martin and Barbell Jurrius, both 78, when they were announced Tuesday between 6 and 7 pm by four militants, according to a Ugandan police statement.

"Unknown fighters put tourists on a pistol, and grabbed two of the four tourists before they disappeared," the statement said.

After the release, Martin and Barbell Yurrius were able to contact the camp leader who found them safe, police said.

The kidnappers used Endicott's mobile phone to contact the authorities and claim $ 500,000 in random.

"We firmly believe that this ransom is the cause of kidnapping," according to the police.

Police said the tourists were in the World Frontiers Safaris Uganda vehicle, which was also taken by hijackers and found abandoned in the park with missing keys.

Endicott, whom the Ugandan authorities identified as 35, but whose cousin said that at the end of the 1950s he went to Uganda for a safari vacation.

"I know that she is planning this trip for a while, because this is something she always wanted to do," said friend Pam Lopez. "It has always been a great trip that she wanted to take."

A Ugandan wildlife representative, Bashir Khangzi, told ABC News that kidnapping was unprecedented.

"This is a one-off case, this is a special case. It's not something that happens on a regular basis. It's not what we're known for," said Hangi. "Very sorry, it's a shame, but it happened."

"Our parks are very safe now. Tourists are in parks, as I say." Tourism continues despite the incident, because we have security in our parks, we support national parks and they are all very safe. had such an incident before, and now, when it happened, he also opened our eyes to search for the soul and see how we can best improve the security of our people, "he said.

The last such incident with tourists was in 1999, with the participation of rebels from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Hanji said, adding that about 1.4 million tourists are now visiting Uganda every year.

An American official, familiar with details of US relief efforts in Uganda, told ABC News that the Uganda police have a good deal with the situation where US officials only provide support.

ABC News Jim Voytech, James Mick and Soo Yun contributed to this report.
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