Skip to content

US Adds Kidnapping Risk to State Department Travel Advisories

April 12, 2019
2 min read
US Adds Kidnapping Risk to State Department Travel Advisories
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

One week after an American tourist and a safari field guide were kidnapped and held for ransom in Uganda, the US State Department has decided to add a new risk indicator to its list of travel advisories.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the department said a new kidnapping indicator, marked by the letter "K" has been introduced "in order to communicate more clearly to US citizens the risks of kidnapping and hostage taking by criminal and terrorist actors around the world." The State Department went on to say that it, "has no greater responsibility than the safety and welfare of Americans overseas."

Risk indicators already established include "crime, terrorism, civil unrest, natural disasters, health, and other potential risks."

The "K" risk indicator has been applied to 35 countries so far: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine (in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine), Venezuela and Yemen.

Kimberly Sue Endicott was on a game drive in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park, near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, along with an elderly couple when four armed men kidnapped the California woman as well as the driver of the vehicle. Both Endicott and tour guide Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo were released and returned to safety, unharmed, after being held hostage for five days. According to ABC News, a ransom was paid to the kidnappers, but it is unclear who made the payment and what the amount was.

For the full list of current travel advisories head to the State Department's website.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers