DR Congo arrests US tourist kidnappers, to be extradited

By ANDREW BAGALA

Tuesday May 7, 2019

 

Two men suspected to have taken part in the kidnap of a US tourist and her guide in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda are to be extradited after they were arrested in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Alex Byamukama and Memory Derrick were arrested in Goma Town in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo last week.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga yesterday said the process of extraditing the two suspects is ongoing.

“They were arrested by DRC security agencies after coordination with Uganda security forces. Our police team is working with the DRC security agencies to extradite them to face charges,” Mr Enanga said.

Police allege that the duo collaborated with Onesmus Byaruhanga, who was arrested and currently on remand, to kidnap Ms Kimberly Sue and her tour guide Jean Paul Mirenge.

Ms Sue and Mirenge were kidnapped while on an evening game drive on Edward track between Katoke gate and Wilderness Camp in Kanungu District last month. The suspects demanded Shs1.8b in ransom, but were only paid Shs112m.

Kidnaps and robberies on Uganda-DRC border are high but the police say most of them are by Ugandans working with Congolese militias.

Background
In 2013, the suspects were arrested for kidnap and robbery, but it was only Byaruhanga, who was convicted and jailed. Byamukama and Derrick skipped bond and arrest warrants were issued against them, Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, said.

He said they are first tracking the old cases to charge the suspects as soon as they are extradited.
Police have so far charged six other people for the kidnap of the US tourist and her guide.

The six are Yoweri Mugabo, Hakim Tumwebaze, Denis Kyalisima, Adam Immaniraguha, James Hatangimana and Joram Akankwasa.
However, police’s efforts to recover the guns the suspects are using has not yet yielded results.
Police allege that they participated in another kidnap for ransom against Robert Mugabe on August 3, 2018 in Queen Elizabeth National Park. They released Mugabe after paying unspecified amount of ransom.

Detectives also added aggravated robbery charges against the seven suspects including Byaruhanga.
According to the Police, the suspects waylaid Jamila Turyahebwa in Kanungu and robbed her of Shs20m on April 3, this year. On the same day they attacked Sauda Nasolo and robbed her of Shs3.2m.

Kidnap and armed robberies on Uganda-DRC border are high but the police say most of them have been carried out by Ugandans working with Congolese militias.