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Friday, 3 August, 2001, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
First arrest for Ugandan killings
Entrance to Bwindi National Park
The victims were abducted from Bwindi and murdered
Ugandan police say that they have made their first arrest in connection with the 1999 massacre of eight foreign tourists and a Ugandan national in Bwindi National Park.

Elizabeth Kuteesa, acting Director of Kampala's Criminal Investigation Department, named the man as Akim Byorugaba saying: "He is part of the group which attacked Bwindi and we are still following up some clues for other suspects."


The attack has always been blamed on Rwandan ethnic Hutus from the Interahamwe group responsible for the 1994 genocide but Ms Kuteesa said: "No, this one is a Ugandan."

On 1 March 1999, a group of armed men abducted 14 tourists and their guide from Bwindi National Park - a sanctuary for rare mountain gorillas.

They were marched through the jungle toward the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the Interahamwe now operates, before nine of the captives were butchered to death with clubs and machetes.

Singled out

The eight foreigners who were killed included Britons, US citizens and New Zealanders.

Messages were left on the trail and given to a tourist who was set free which indicated that Britons and US citizens had been singled out because of their governments' alleged support for the predominantly ethnic Tutsi government in Rwanda.

Wreckage in the Bwindi camp
Vehicles were destroyed so the alarm could not be raised
The massacres have devastated Uganda's tourist industry and a year after the attack, President Yoweri Museveni made a well-publicised visit to Bwindi in an attempt to convince visitors that the park was now safe.

Officers from both the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Britain's Scotland Yard have gone to Uganda to help the police track down the killers.

The police say they were tipped off by a witch-doctor who recognised Mr Byorugaba when he went for a consultation.

Bwindi is one of the few places where mountain gorillas can be seen.

There are only about 600 left in the world and they live in the bamboo thickets on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes which straddle Rwanda, Uganda and the DR Congo.

See also:

07 Mar 99 | Africa
Uganda tightens security
04 Mar 99 | Africa
Images of the kidnap drama
03 Mar 99 | Africa
The tourists as targets
25 Jul 01 | Africa
Interahamwe: A spent force?
02 Apr 99 | Africa
Uganda murder parks re-open
04 Mar 99 | Africa
Survivor relives Ugandan terror
27 Jan 01 | Sci/Tech
Gorillas do well despite war
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