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Kenyan Terrorist Attack Impacts LGBTI Refugees

Following the horrific Garissa terrorist siege and massacre that has left more than 147 Garissa University students and staff dead, political leaders have called upon the Kenyan government to close all refugee camps and to relocate Dadaab camp to Southern Somalia. This provides cause for concern for LGBTI refugees in Kenya.

Thursday's attack by al-Shabaab militants killed 147 people, including 142 students, three security officers and two university security personnel. The attack left 104 people injured, including 19 who are in critical condition.

The leaders reason that the camps act as training grounds for the Al-shabab terrorists who have turned against innocent citizens.

A source informed us that speaking at a function to comfort the bereaved families, a Garissa senator, the defence minister and a cross section of other Kenyan leaders unanimously echoed the need for urgent closure of refugee camps.

This news has sent shock waves across the Ugandan LGBTI asylum seeker and refugee community who are now uncertain of their future in Kenya while the await registration, mandates and possible resettlement abroad. The process for all refugees in Kenya is long and arduous. Many LGBTI people registered with UNHCR are residing in urban areas as the camps are unsafe for lesbian, gay, transgender people. When past terrorists attacks occured LGBT refugees were caught up in arrests as police went door to door across the country seeking out foreigners who may be terrorists. At that time, the Kenyan Government also ordered all urban refugees into the camps, where it is extremely unsafe for LGBTI people, who are further targetted for persecution and abuse by the heterosexual refugee populations. Now there is a rumor that there is a risk that the camps may be moved out of Kenya and also that urban refugees may be ordered into camps.

While UNHCR is under an obligation to protect all refugees, this sentiment feeds fear and uncertainty.

It is uncertain whther there is an official directive at this time. The UN has not yet responded to the possibility of such a directive. READ MORE.

Kenyan police have just arrested five suspects in connection with Thursday's attack at Garissa University College, Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said Friday, according to CNN affiliate NTV. It is unsure if the most wanted terrorist Mohamed Kuno was captured or not. There is a reward on his head. African HRC extends its deepest condolences to the families of those slaughtered in the attack, wishes for recovery to the injured and extends solidarity to the people of Kenya.

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