Kenya: Victims of Kakuma arson attack airlifted to Nairobi hospital

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03/22/2021

In a rare change of heart, the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has airlifted the victims of a March 15 homophobic fire attack at Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp to Nairobi for better medical attention. On March 15 at 2:45am Kenya time, homophobic attackers set LGBTQ+ people on fire while they were sleeping at Block 13 of Kakuma Refugee Camp. The horrific act of violence resulted in two refugees — Jordan and Trinidad — being severely burned. The extensive burns covered huge areas of their bodies, including their feet and legs. For one of the victims, the burns extended to his upper body. Human rights activists have repeatedly called on the Kenyan government and the United Nations to do more to stop the continuing attacks on LGBT refugees at Kakuma Camp and to relocate them to a safer place. After two days of languishing in pain without adequate medical care, UNHCR transported Jordan and Trinidad by ambulance to Lodwar County Hospital, about 125 km from Kakuma. In doing this, UNHCR went against the recommendation of first responders and community members who knew that Nairobi hospitals were best equipped to take care of the two burn victims.

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