Tourists robbed in Rwenzori Mountains National Park

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KASESE- Police in Kasese are investigating a case in which two German tourists were attacked and robbed of their property in Mountain Rwenzori National Park on Sunday.

The Rwenzori East police public relations officer, Mr Suwed Manshur said on Tuesday said that the incident happened at 2 am on Sunday at Samaria Camp.

Mr Manshur said the tourists are Mr Franz Spanner and his wife Renate who had come to trek the Rwenzoris with the help of Rwenzori Trekkers Tour Company.

“It is true these tourists were attacked by people who were armed with machetes. Two tour guides were cut by the attackers as they tried to defend the tourists and are now nursing wounds at Kilembe Hospital but the tourists were left unhurt” Mr Manshur said.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is covered by snow on the highest Margarita Peak which is a world heritage and Ramsar site.

 Mr Manshur said five people have been arrested including a Kilembe sub-county Police Crime Preventer.

According to Mr Manshur, the couple lost two cameras, two bags that contained clothes, a torch and an unspecified amount of money.

 “The attackers were demanding money from the tourists who claimed had not travelled with cash.  After the demand for money failed, they had to carry whatever they could find before vanishing,” Mr Manshur said.

He revealed that one camera and one bag have been recovered as an operation to arrest all the suspects continues.

Mr Simplicious Gessa, Uganda Wildlife Authority public relations officer said the incident happened 3,000 meters above sea level on Kilembe Trail.

“We regret the incident but thank God who protected our tourists. We combined efforts with police, army and Uganda Wildlife rangers to track the suspects by the use of a sniffer dog and so far, four suspects have been arrested and are being held at Kasese Regional Central Police Station,” Mr Gessa said.

He said:  “Rwenzori is a unique area to the extent that where the [tourists] were attacked is deep in the forest, too cold and nobody can go there without prior notice,” he said.

Mr Gessa said Rwenzori Mountains National Park is very secure apart from a few isolated incidents which must be dealt with.

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