On the night of Thursday 25th June 2020, a shelter at #Block13 also well-known to be housing LGBTI+ refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp was set ablaze by unknown assailants. While no life was lost, a few victims sustained minor injuries as many others were left with no place to lay their heads. Currently living in tension and fear for their lives, the victims take turns in the night to keep watch as they are worried that they might be attacked again soon.
This incident follows a chain of reports about other violent attacks against LGBTI+ refugees at the camp since 19th June 2020. Many have been butchered and brutally beaten while others have been raped allegedly by their fellow refugees of Sudanese and Burundian descent, the police and nationals within the Turkana region.
Canary Murungi one of the victims who was injured in the 19th June attack and also sustained burns in the fire spoke o Kuchu Times about what happened on the night of the fire as well as the general situation in the camp.
"I was inside the shelter and from nowhere, I smelt petrol around my shelter. I informed my other three members that I sleep with to be keen. In just few minutes, I saw the fire blazing all over the fence and part of my shelter.
I made an alarm and other members together with police came to rescue me. Am on clutches so I can't wholly support myself. The injuries were minor on the stomach though I felt so much pain in the leg.
The situation now at the camp is so bad. It is brutal. We are living in fear. We are threatened, attacked and assaulted almost every day by homophobic refugees. They say that we are agents of the devil and that we are teaching their kids homosexuality.
They always attack us unaware. They come in large groups and of course they over power us. We are now sleeping outside Block 13 in the cold. We have nowhere to go. It is not safe.
Police hasn't arrested anyone even when we told them the exact people who brutalise(d) us. UNHCR hasn't come out yet to issue any directive or help. Police has constantly told us to leave the place since the Sudanese are brutal and homophobic."
Just a few days after one of their shelters was burnt to ruins, two gay men were on Monday attacked around Block 13 while on their way to buy food at 5pm. The reason for this violence remains unknown as there are no thorough investigations into these matters. It is due to the rise of insecurity and patterns of unexplainable attacks that LGBT+ refugees in Kakuma together with their allies through their social media platforms are now calling on UNHCR to immediately evacuate them to a place of safety.