congo rainbow
2 min read

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country in crisis. Since the beginning of the year, the Congolese army has been locked in a brutal conflict with the M23 rebel group. But amidst the chaos, a particularly vulnerable group is facing a hidden war: the LGBTI+ community.

Blamed for the conflict by some due to a dangerous mix of superstition and prejudice, LGBTI+ people in the DRC are being scapegoated for the war’s devastation. Over half a million people have fled their homes, and for LGBTI* individuals, the situation is even more dire.

Trans activist Amanda Kayumba, described the violence faced by her community as a “continuing massacre”. She herself fell victim to attacks, threats, and sexual abuse, forcing her and two other trans women to flee a refugee camp and seek refuge on the streets of Goma, a city already struggling under the weight of displacement.


“I was attacked, threatened, beaten and sexually abused. Finally, out of fear for our safety, I and two of my trans sisters had to leave the camp and seek shelter in the streets of Goma,” Kayumba said.

The conditions are dire. Many LGBTI+ people are now homeless, living in makeshift camps or on the streets, constantly threatened with violence. Even in refugee camps, fear and prejudice make finding shelter nearly impossible.

With nowhere else to turn, the Rainbow Sunrise Mapambazuko, one of the few organizations offering support to the LGBTI+ community, is scrambling to provide emergency assistance. However, resources are dwindling. International organizations like All Out are calling for urgent donations of food, medicine, and other essential supplies.

The situation in Congo highlights the devastating impact of scapegoating and prejudice during times of conflict. LGBTI+ people are not the cause of this war, but they are sadly bearing the brunt of the suffering.

With the international community looking on, swift action is needed to protect this vulnerable population and provide them with the resources they so desperately need. The future for the LGBTI+ community in the DRC is uncertain, but one thing is clear: they are caught in a war on two fronts, and the world cannot afford to turn a blind eye.

Last Updated on Jul 10, 2024

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