Uganda has approved a poignant tribute to honor the memory of two foreign tourists who tragically lost their lives in Queen Elizabeth National Park at the hands of suspected ADF rebels. The Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, announced that the cabinet has passed a resolution to name one of the country’s roads after David Jim Barlow, a British citizen, and his South African wife, Emmaretia Celia Geyer. The couple, along with their Ugandan driver, Eric Alyai, met an untimely demise during an attack by suspected ADF rebels within Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Minister Baryomunsi stated, “As a cabinet, we have decided that in memory of these tourists who lost their lives in Queen Elizabeth, we will name one of the roads in Uganda after them.”
Additionally, he revealed that the Ugandan government, through its High Commission in London, is in contact with the families of the deceased. The families will receive support, and the driver, who was from Kaberamaido, will also be assisted.
The tragic incident occurred when suspected ADF rebels, later identified as terrorists, ambushed the tourists’ vehicle within Queen Elizabeth National Park. They fatally shot the tourists and set the vehicle ablaze.
The bodies of the two tourists currently remain at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, awaiting the arrival of forensic teams from the UK and South Africa. These teams will collaborate with Ugandan forensic experts to conduct autopsies.
Although Minister Baryomunsi did not elaborate on the reasoning behind naming a road after the two tourists, it is widely believed that this gesture serves to commemorate their memory and emphasize their significance in the public consciousness.
Situated in the southwest region of the country, approximately 400 km from Kampala, Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s second-largest and most renowned conservation area, covering 1,978 square kilometers.
Originally gazetted as Kazinga National Park in 1952, its name was changed two years later in honor of a visit by the British monarch.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is renowned for its awe-inspiring biodiversity, including the unique tree-climbing lions found in the Ishasha sector of the park. This makes Queen Elizabeth National Park the second most famous area in Africa for tree-climbing lions.