UGANDAN LGBTIQ COMMUNITY IN DILEMMA AS KENYAN GOVERNMENT ORDERS FOR THE CLOSURE OF REFUGEE CAMP.

Several LGBTIQ refugees from Uganda face a dilemma as the government of Kenya orders the immediate closure of Dadaaba and Kakumarefugee camp. This is not the first time that the government of Kenya has attempted to shut down a refugee camp. In 2016, they ordered for the immediate closure of the Dadaab camp after intelligence reports revealed that two terrorist attacks in the country had involved elements from the camp.

It should be remembered that Kakuma camp is home to several LGBTIQ refugees from Uganda. As their stay in Kenya now hangs in balance, questions around their legality and asylum process come to mind. Will they be repatriated back to Uganda, will their refugee status in Kenya remain valid, will they be transferred to different camps?

What does the closure of Kakuma Refugee Settlement mean for this already marginalised group, what are the effects on a group of people who are already battling homophobia and constant attacks from their fellow refugees? What does it mean for their already frail mental and physical health?

The Kenyan Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, on the 24th March 2021, issued a directive ordering United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to shut down Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.

The two camps are hosts to over 500,000 refugees from mostly Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda. The government also issued the ultimatum directing UNHCR to draw a transitional road map within the next 14 days.

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