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Transphobes stabbed a vulnerable trans refugee in the head in a brutal and bloody attack

Josh Milton January 30, 2020
Stephen Sebuuma, a trans refugee based in the Kakuma camp in Kenya, was brutally stabbed by transphobes. (Facebook)

Stephen Sebuuma, a trans refugee based in the Kakuma camp in Kenya, was brutally stabbed by transphobes. (Facebook)

A group of transphobic people reportedly stabbed a trans Ugandan refugee in the head at a Kenyan camp, leaving them bleeding profusely.

While strolling to the shops in the evening of January 27, Stephen Sebuuma was jumped on by a gang of Sudanese refugees who, according to one witness, have “waged war” with the queer Kakuma Refugee Camp residents.

A witness, who wished to remain anonymous, told PinkNews that Sebuuma was “assaulted with knives and sharp objects that has left [them] bleeding profusely”.

It’s the fifth time the trans refugee has been attacked by the group and the latest incident in a spectre of violence against queer Ugandans, one where the landlocked country’s anti-LGBT+ laws have forced countless people to seek asylum in Kenya.

Trans refugee stabbed in the head and had arms slit in severe attack.

Kakuma, a small town in northwestern Kenya, is the site of one of the largest and most bustling refugee camps in the country.

Kakuma, a town in northwest Kenya. (PinkNews)
Kakuma, a town in northwest Kenya. (PinkNews)

While people seek safety there each year, huddling into plastic shelters and thatched roof huts, it is a “dungeon” to its LGBT+ refugees, the witness said.

The camp is co-managed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Kenyan government and the Kenyan Department of Refugee Affairs.

Due to the dizzying rates of violence inflicted upon them by fellow refugees, many of the queer asylum seekers live together in the camp.

Stephen Sebuuma suffered cuts to her head and arm as a result of the attack. (Facebook)
Stephen Sebuuma suffered cuts to their head and arm as a result of the attack. (Facebook)

But after being relocated last week by UNHCR authorities, the LGBT+ refugees are now “at war” with Sudanese refugees who “have vowed to harm all LGBTI refugees in Kakuma”, the witness said.

“So, some refugees vacated the area and went to hide at their friends’ places, some at police stations.”

Sebuuma, the latest trans refugee to fall victim of the attacks, suffered cuts to their head and arm. They were jumped while on their way to grab groceries.

“The people came, holding a knife, and they started to beat me and shout, ‘You are gay,'” they told PinkNews.

“‘Last time we told you we kill you’. This was the fifth time I was attacked.”

After the attack at 7pm, they were rushed to clinic seven of an International Rescue Committee hospital, the witness added.

However, due to strained supplies, he was “administrated paracetamol” and their wounds bandaged.

The treatment echoed an earlier incident in which a trans man’s neck was sliced in broad daylight, but medics could only give him paracetamol.

Why are queer Ugandans fleeing to Kenya?

Often rejected by their families, queer Ugandans are forced to flee and seek refuge in neighbouring Kenya.

Uganda, an east African country snarled by severe anti-LGBT legislation, has become a battleground for queer rights.

In the last few years, government officials have ramped up ruthless attacks on the community.

An alleged plan to introduce the death penalty on gay sex struck terror in Ugandan activists last year, who have said anti-LGBT violence has rocketed since.

LGBT+ refugees from South Sudan, Uganda and DR Congo walking to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Kenya to demand protection (YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty)

Last year alone, queer Ugandans have been bludgeoned with machetes, had community centres mobbed only for LGBT+ staff to be arrested, a doctor crack the skull of a lesbian and a gay-friendly club raided leading to 127 LGBT+ people being arrested by army and police officers.

Embattled queer folk have fled to Kenya, but last year the country’s courts called to continue criminalising gay sex.

More: Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, trans woman, transphobic, Uganda

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