LGBT+ refugees call on U.N. for safe space after Kenya camp attacks

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03/05/2021

LGBT+ people living in a refugee camp in northwestern Kenya urged U.N. officials on Friday to move them to a safer area following a series of homophobic attacks by other residents and locals. The refugees, who come from countries including Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, said a section of the Kakuma camp occupied by 135 LGBT+ refugees had been attacked at least five times since the start of the year. In one incident last month, three gay men needed hospital treatment for burns after attackers set their bedding alight as they slept. LGBT+ refugees have also been beaten, pelted with rocks and stabbed, said Gilbert Kagarura, spokesman for the camp’s “Block 13” area. “We left our homes and came here to be safe, but even here we are hunted and attacked. We want to be moved to another area of camp,” said Gilbert Kagarura, who fled persecution in Uganda two years ago. “Violence against LGBT+ people in Kakuma camp has been happening for years. Homophobia is ingrained here. The other refugees and community members simply look for excuses to come after us and attack us,” he said.

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