Kakuma (Kenya): four Burundian refugees attacked, one of them dead

Kakuma (Kenya): four Burundian refugees attacked, one of them dead

The incidents occured separately and in less than two weeks at Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya. The attackers, who stripped the victims of their belongings, were not identified. The Burundian community in Kakuma calls for help. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

On October 29, a man known as “Sebabiri”, living in Zone III Block 4, was beaten to death.

“He was assaulted by refugees speaking the South Sudanese dialect of the Nuer community. It was around 10 p.m. when he was very close to home. His attackers are security guards,” his neighbors say.

The reasons for the attack are not yet known.

“We don’t know yet why he was killed. It is rumored that people were swearing to revenge because the victim’s son allegedly raped a South Sudanese woman. We think these are baseless accusations. They would still have taken legal action,” they add.

Investigations have begun and among the suspects, his wife.

“It’s really unacceptable. His wife went to complain to the police and the case was turned against her and she is in detention like a dozen other people”, regret Burundians who are calling for independent investigations.

And last weekend was not so easy for three Burundian refugees who were ambushed by strangers.

“Two of them inhabit the Kakuma II block 2 area and a third one is from the Kakuma III area. They were wounded with machetes. The first on the head, the second on the face and the third on the hips. They were stripped of all their money. A sum of more than 5,000 Kenyan shillings, mobile phones, bicycles and other valuables. The aggressors are also South Sudanese”, report Burundian refugees.

The latter swear to take justice in their own hands if ever the administration does not intervene. “We cannot stand idly by in the face of this injustice because we see that we are no longer protected here,” they say.

Refugee rights advocates are sounding the alarm.

CBDH/VICAR, a coalition of refugee rights advocates living in the camps “strongly deplore the behavior of Sudanese refugees who ambush other refugees”.

“We also deplore the slowness of the investigations which should be carried out by the Kenyan police to identify and punish the perpetrators and, moreover, to discourage these despicable acts which take the lives of refugees, especially Burundians”, underlines Léopold Sharangabo, vice-president of the CBDH. /VICAR.

This coalition, which works in more than 10 refugee camps, calls on the Kenyan government to “mobilize the police to secure all areas that are often at risk and carry out a thorough investigation so that the criminals are tracked down”.

“There must be something behind these incidents because it is mainly Burundians who are attacked. Why are the attackers targeting only one community among so many others? A question that the police should answer,” said Mr. Sharangabo.

Kakuma has more than 200,000 refugees of several nationalities, including more than 20,000 Burundians.

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