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Friday, April 2, 1999 Published at 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK

World: Africa

Uganda murder parks re-open

Security has been stepped up in the parks

Two Ugandan national parks, where eight tourists were murdered last month, have re-opened.

East Africa Correspondent Martin Dawes: "Tourism was deliberately and violently targeted."
Tourism in the Bwindi - home of rare mountain gorillas - and Mgahinga parks was suspended after the attack by rebels from Rwanda.

Four guides were also killed in the massacre by Rwandan Hutu rebels. Another six tourists survived the attack.

The Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry said the forest reserves were re-opening now that a month of mourning has passed.

The ministry said new security measures were in place in the parks.

A special committee with responsibility for tourist safety was working on further measures to prevent such an incident happening again.

Kidnapped and killed

On 1 March, the tourist trekking party was abducted by about 100 Rwandan Interahamwe rebels in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Only six tourists survived the attack by Hutu militia men who have regularly conducted raids into Uganda since fleeing Rwanda following the 1994 genocide of 500,000 Tutsis.

[ image: The camp where the party was abducted]
The camp where the party was abducted
It led to a massive manhunt by the Ugandan army and reported gun battles in which large numbers of the rebels are understood to have been killed.

The Interahamwe were thought to be angry at the UK and US for supporting their Tutsi enemies.

The increase in security has come in response to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's allegations of "laxity" in the approach towards the safety of tourists in the parks.

Four Britons Martin Friend, Joan Cotton, Mark Lindgren and Steven Roberts were among those who died.

The campaign group Justice for Britons Murdered Abroad has attacked what it sees as UK Government complacency in bringing the killers to justice.

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