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President Museveni’s tactical means to rescue American tourist and her guide should be applauded

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, after the successful rescue of American tourist Kimberly Sue Endecott, and her guide, Jean Paul Mirenge Remezo who were kidnapped by four armed men while on an evening drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park on April 4, pledged once again that the security and safety of Ugandans and all tourists intending to visit Uganda from across the world is guaranteed. “I want to reassure the country and our tourists that Uganda is safe and we shall continue to improve the security in our parks. Come and enjoy the Pearl of Africa,” President Museveni said in a tweet.

The rescue mission said to have been commanded by President Museveni himself showcased his high-level skill and diplomacy at work, unique attributes the world knows him for, anyway.

While an operation mounted by joint security forces was ongoing, all media was awash with all sorts of falsehoods and a dark scenario had already been painted across especially by the key board warriors who often times take to social media to misinform and spread all sorts of baseless propaganda. Notwithstanding, the rescue operation was later successful.

The point here was to ensure the kidnapped returned from their captors, safe and sound after which the perpetrators would tactically be brought to book. The President had earlier told a cabinet meeting that he handled the rescue mission politically because (they) did not want to risk the lives of those kidnapped. “By now we would have had them arrested or killed but (we) didn’t want to risk the lives of the two because we wanted them alive. We shall deal with these isolated pockets of criminals,” he said.

The kidnappers had earlier demanded a $500,000 ransom in exchange for their release but had incidentally come down to $30,000 (about (Shs110 million) after a cunning negotiation. The President explained this was not ransom per se, but bait on which the culprits would be caught and brought to book.

Last week, Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed that 8 people were arrested. Two of them, only identified as Hakim and Kwarishiima, were flown from Kanungu district where they were tracked using a device placed in the money they received before releasing Endecott and Mirenge.

“We have an identity of the remaining kidnappers and that is encouraging. We shall give an account of each and every one of them and the role they played [in the kidnap].” Enanga said.

Logically, the State has, by virtue of its power and authority, a moral duty of care towards its citizens. The State should not let them die unnecessarily if it can take reasonable steps to prevent their deaths. Clearly, motor-mouths like US-based South African comedian, a one Trevor Noah, need to be educated about this.
Noah, during his ‘Trevor Noah Daily Show’ mocked Ugandan authorities for saying they rescued Endecott and Mirenge.

Noah went on to ridicule thus; “The Uganda Authorities were like ‘Good news! We have rescued her!’ And then it is like, ‘Oh, how did we do that? We paid a ransom to the kidnappers!’ “That’s not rescue. You should have said, we paid the ransom and they returned her.” As he continued to receive flattering cheers from his audience, he blatantly went on and on to scorn without a shame.

Noah and his ilk should know, just as 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes outlines that, the State has a “prima facie moral duty to rescue its citizens by paying ransom to their captors – a presumption in favor of paying if all other things are equal.”
Hobbes explains that the State has a duty to try to uphold the human right to life of each of its citizens and to try to protect them from illegal violence wherever it occurs and whatever its source.

Such interventions can only successfully come to play with a leader who wittily weighs circumstances against irrational ratings by the spectators. A loud of applause indeed goes to President Museveni and the joint security team for the cunning approach employed to bring back Endicott and Mirenge safe and sound.

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