Dozens of African LGBT+ refugees in northwestern Kenya’s sprawling Kakuma refugee camp pleaded on Thursday with the United Nations to relocate them to a safer place, saying they had suffered violent attacks.
More than 40 LGBT+ refugees from countries including Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo said they were targeted in two homophobic attacks by other refugees in the last three weeks.
Fifteen people were injured in the December 21 and January 7 incidences and some taken to hospital with wounds to the head and internal bleeding, they said.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation was given photographs of people with bleeding wounds on their head and scars on their limbs, but could not immediately verify the pictures.
The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said there had been some incidents of vandalism in the camp, but there was no evidence that LGBT+ refugees were specifically targeted.
“They came in large numbers – much more than us. They beat us with sticks and rods, kicked and punched us and told us to leave. They destroyed our shelters,” said Andrew, a 23-year-old gay man from Uganda who did not want to give his real name.
“We cannot go back to the shelters inside the camp. The other refugees know who we are and will kill us. We ask the U.N. to give us shelter and protection somewhere else – but they are ignoring us.”