Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

LGBTIQ protest interrupted by violence outside UNHCR sub-office

Posted in Community and Culture, Education, Health, Human Rights, News Updates, Peace and Security by KANERE on December 31, 2018

By Ahmed & Mohan – KANERE reporters

At least 20 refugees injured as LGBTIQ demo turned violent outside the UNHCR compound in Kakuma.

The demonstration on December 10th was led by members of the group Refugee Flag Kakuma, in an attempt to bring attention to allegations of violence and discrimination against LGBTIQ individuals from both refugees and members of the host community. The protest called for special protection and/or resettlement from the UNHCR.

“We came to raise our concerns at the UNHCR office. They failed to protect us,” one angry LGBTIQ member, who wished to remain anonymous, told KANERE.

Members of LGBTIQ protests out UNHCR compound in Kakuma 1

Frustrated LGBTIQ youths expressed distrust toward UNHCR officials, some of whom were called out by name for having neglected LGBTI cases over past years. None of the agency staff came out of the compound to speak with the group during the demonstration.

The protest turned violent when police were alerted by security guards at the UNHCR main entrance. Protesters alleged that the Kenya police refused to hear their grievances, instead using physical force in an attempt to return the protestors back across the highway to the camp.

“When they arrived, they were many, they carried big sticks, and they used force. I was bleeding from my head as a result of the beating,” the leader of Refugee Flag Kakuma told KANERE in an interview on the scene.

Openly LBGTIQ individuals in Kakuma have formed a small community that resides near Police Post 3 in the Kakuma 3 section of the camp, adjacent to the older reception center. The African Human Right Commission (HRC) have criticized the UNHCR for failure in safeguarding the protection of the minority refugee groups in the case of Kakuma Flag.

LGBTIQ woman after pride event attack that sparked tension near their block

UNHCR Kenya has admitted that the LGBTIQ refugees who were involved in this incident would be better protected outside Kakuma.

On Thursday 13th December, in the first phase of relocation to Nairobi, 20 LGBTIQ refugees reached safer accommodation. About 150 are to be relocated by the end of 2018.

“We have been advocating to UNHCR and warning of the danger for registered LGBTIQ refugees for several years. It is most unfortunate that it took violence of this nature, where over 30 people were attacked, for the UNHCR to take action,” Melanie Nathan of African HRC said in a statement.

The relocation is expected to be permanent and would cater for about 170 registered LGBTIQ refugees from Kakuma.

2 Responses

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  1. Yusuf Osman Adem said, on October 22, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Hi there! I call Yusuf Osman Adem,R/C: A4016692, ID:845-00198435,I am Ethiopian who based in kakuma refugee camp.I have done my RSD full interview on 31/7/14.but,there is no durable solution up to date.so my question is which convention of refugee protocol put me under radical for all this year? Thank u.

  2. KANERE said, on November 4, 2019 at 12:04 am

    Hi Yusuf, did you contacted Refugee Affairs Office or RAS in Kakuma?

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