The Uganda People’s Defense forces (UPDF) has scaled up a pursuit for the assailants who killed two tourists and their driver in Queen Elizabeth National Park on Tuesday.
This has been confirmed by UPDF spokesman Felix Kulayigye saying that a joint army, police and wildlife authority force “has deployed all resources, both technical and physical, in pursuit of these terrorists and will ensure they account for their heinous acts”.
“This morning we inserted in assets both physical and technical to hunt down these fellow and we are on the trail. The assurance I have is joint team of UPDF combatants, police and UWA and the technical assets have been deployed to ensure they are hunted down and killed,” Brig Kulayigye said.
The attack purportedly carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed a couple on their honeymoon, who were of South African and British nationality, as well as their Ugandan safari guide in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda’s south-west.
The rebel group ADF has been affiliated with Islamic State (IS) since 2019 and is based in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
On Wednesday, IS issued a statement claiming responsibility for the killings.
Following the development, United Kingdom on Wednesday warned its citizens against any travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, which shares a border with the DRC.
France has also advised its nationals to act prudently.
Kulagiye however assured tourists that the attack was “an isolated incident” and Uganda remains “secure and safe”.
“Wherever they are going they will be hunted down. This won’t happen again. There are resources we have and we have put in place capabilities in terms of technical intelligence to monitor movements in the national parks to add on UWA security .This vigilance will continue.”
He asked tourists not to cancel visits and bookings to Uganda’s national parks over the “isolated” incident.
“It is like when you are on a journey and vehicle gets an accident, you don’t stop the journey.”
Queen Elizabeth National park is one of Uganda’s most popular and is rich in wildlife across its 700 square miles (1,813 square kilometres). The area is also home to the unusual tree-climbing lion, one of only two places where the cats can be found.