In The Words of LGBTQI Refugees
The words and pictures of LGBTI refugees stranded outside UNHCR Camp Kakuma in Kenya speak for themselves. We are seeking updates from UNHCR and RAS (Refugee Affairs Secretariat of Kenya).
One is that all new LGBTI refugees who report to the UNHCR-KENYA are given movement passes (permits) to Kaliboyei a neighbouring extension of Kakuma Refugee Camp in the arid area of Kenya over 900 km from Nairobi city. The contradiction is that this is the area we fled from because of homophobia, but surprisingly ,this is where our colleagues are being taken. However, those who go straight to Kakuma without reporting to Nairobi first, are housed in the reception centre of the camp but without registration. Many have been there for more than half a year.
There are no houses which we used to that would help in accommodating new LGBTQ+ refugees and old ones in need.
There are also those who were brought by the UNHCR to Nairobi only to be arrested and taken back to Kakuma camp without explanation as to why
Today, as LGBTI refugees, we have left Kakuma Reception and deep in camp and have all camped here at UNHCR KAKUMA main offices.
We have not eaten anything since morning, some members are sick, we have no water, we are sleeping on stones and in cold.
We have severally been attacked, assaulted and insulted both in Reception area and the community. We are here to seek for Protection and we also need UNHCR to give us a convention letter that can enable us go to another country that can protect us as LGBTIQ Asylum seekers since even the President H.E Uhuru Kenyatta openly said that Kenya has no place for Homosexuality.
Another thing, UNHCR Kenya said they are not aware of any LGBTI refugee in Kakuma, the thing that made us worry. We ran from our countries to seek for Protection, but we have instead been exposed to violent homophobic attacks in Kakuma, and despite all these violent episodes, UNHCR-KENYA has remained silent, and have not given a damn. Our lives are in danger here in Kakuma/Kenya. The local community here have all warned us, reminding us of how they don’t allow Homosexuality in their area.
We therefore call for the immediate intervention of UNHCR, Humanitarian Agencies, Organizations, Activists and allies to come rescue us from this trauma.
Once the extremely poor leadership at #RAS is sorted,the pain and suffering of the marginalised and minority LGBT persons of concern will reduce tremendously. That pain will have created something New. The LGBT asylum seekers appreciate that they can only gain genuine protection and genuine durable solutions through pain and suffering. Therefore some have embarked on a two day hunger strike.
Our lgbt asylum seekers are currently assembling and protesting the hypocrisy of our fellow African brothers and sisters at #RAS. The ideologically bankrupt leadership at #RAS adopted a Master-slave mentality when dealing with asylum seekers and refugees( fellow Africans). They learnt this from their former colonial masters Britain and it has created a superiority complex at #RAS.
The camp manager knows about the peaceful assembly and protest and we assume that he has informed police to give our rainbow people protection. But if Camp Manager chooses to manipulate incompetent #RAS to use violence to disperse the assembly, we beg him to kindly do it during day time when the whole world is seeing. Don’t break our limbs, crack our heads, and bludgeon us as we sleep in the cold desert night, it would be an act of cowardice since we are unarmed and defenceless.
A bad morning for the LGBTI refugees in Kakuma. We are camping here at UNHCR-KAKUMA ground, we slept hungry, have nothing to eat or drink, we have no water and some of our fellows are sick.
The life of an LGBTI is not the kind of life everyone would choose to live because of the problems we face – but we cant run away from it because its what we are we born this way .. we live in a society where we discriminated..we receive constant attacks ..we dont have protection or something to eat. because a few share with us..organisations that would help us in kenya claim not to knows ..UNHCR..RAS but we never loose hope that one day we shall experience the same human rights..treatment and love
Our five LGBTI refugees who were innocently arrested on Tuesday evening inside the Reception Centre have this afternoon been remanded to LODWAR Prisons till 14th December. Yesterday, when asked a Police officer of the crime they have committed, he told us they are charged for being Gay. So, this is how UNHCR-Kenya has decided to treat LGBTI refugees. This is so shameful to the Agency we ran to seeking Protection.
We call upon development partners especially the ambassador of the USA to Kenya and the head of EU in Kenya to come to our rescue. The funds you are giving UNHCR and our oppressors #RAS are being used to reduce us into 3rd class human beings. We have struggled to speak up against laws and policies that suppress our fundamental human rights since 2017 but the rigid leadership at RAS has turned a deaf ear. They are determined to see us first shed blood, serve lengthy jail sentences to demand better refugee laws. The donor funds have made them grow wings and developed a psuedo SUPERIORITY complex. We have told them that being Persons of Concern does not mean we should be treated like dogs…at times worse than dogs. We are fellow human beings and we seek to be treated like so. But if RAS commissioner thinks that JAIL and oppression will change our conscience let him continue misusing the Kenya Police and Judiciary for his selfish ends.
The biggest donors to UN and GOK, ie USA and EU kindly come to our rescue. Your royal highness UNHCR rep Fatia Abdullah do something.
Four days now while here at UNHCR-KAKUMA compounds, LGBTI refugees in Kakuma have no food, sleeping in cold and in the bushy area with scopions and snakes. We humbly call upon Humanitarian agencies, organisations, Activists and friends to stand with the LGBTI refugees in Kakuma in this worrying & horrible situation.
To be updated…..
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