The two primary school teenagers kidnapped early this week have been released after their family paid Shs 3.5 million as ransom to the kidnappers, police has said.
In the evening of Easter Monday armed gunmen raided Ntarama cell, Buganza parish, Binza sub-county in Kanungu district and kidnapped Ronald Niwagaba, 18 and his brother Dan Tweheyo, 16 who were part of a group of eight children working on a banana plantation.
The group of two clad in military uniform with a gun and a panga later fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo side before demanding for a $3000 ransom (Shs 11 million).
However, on Tuesday police said the two were released after Shs3.5 million had been paid as ransom to the kidnappers.
“The two kidnapped people for ransom from Kanungu on 22/04/19 namely Niwagaba Ronald and Tweheyo Dan were last evening released from captivity in DRC after the family paid Shs 3.5 million,” Kigezi region police spokesperson, Elly Matte said.
“They were received by the family members and are in good health condition.”
He however noted that inquiries into the kidnap continue.
Kanungu district and other areas near the Ugandan border with the DRC seem have become a safe haven for the kidnappers given their terrain and forest vegetation.
The kidnappers take advantage of the porous border to run to the forested DRC side before demanding for them ransom.
A number of people have in the past been kidnapped in the area.
In January, Congolese militia kidnapped a resident of Munyaga Cell, Western Ward in Butogota Town Council, Kanungu District, and demanded a Shs2 million ransom but the family paid Shs1.5 million before he was released.
Last year, militia from DRC shot and injured three traders in Queen Elizabeth National Park. They kidnapped a fourth trader and demanded $20,000 ransom.
The family later paid part of the ransom money before the trader was released.
The latest and most prominent one happened early this month when American tourist, Kimberly Sue Endicott and her driver, Jean Paul Milenge from Wildfrontiers who were kidnapped between Katoke gate and Wilderness camp at Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kanungu district.
The kidnappers later used the phone for one of the victims to demand for $500,000 (about Shs1.8b) as ransom and some money was eventually paid before they were released.
Last week, Onesmus Byaruhanga, alias Kaliisa, alias Kawonawo, alias Kasurubana, 43, a resident of Kisamba Cell, Southern Ward, Kanungu Town Council and Nyanga Cell, Kihiihi Town Council, in Kanungu District were charged with aggravated robbery, kidnap with an intent to procure a ransom by the Chief Magistates Court in Kanungu in regards the American tourist and her tour guide.