Eyder Peralta

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

He is responsible for covering the region's people, politics, and culture. In a region that vast, that means Peralta has hung out with nomadic herders in northern Kenya, witnessed a historic transfer of power in Angola, ended up in a South Sudanese prison, and covered the twists and turns of Kenya's 2017 presidential elections.

Previously, he covered breaking news for NPR, where he covered everything from natural disasters to the national debates on policing and immigration.

Peralta joined NPR in 2008 as an associate producer. Previously, he worked as a features reporter for the Houston Chronicle and a pop music critic for the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, FL.

Through his journalism career, he has reported from more than a dozen countries and he was part of the NPR teams awarded the George Foster Peabody in 2009 and 2014. His 2016 investigative feature on the death of Philando Castile was honored by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Society for News Design.

Peralta was born amid a civil war in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. His parents fled when he was a kid, and the family settled in Miami. He's a graduate of Florida International University.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

As soon as you set foot in any of the refugee camps along the South Sudan border in Uganda, a vast human suffering becomes easily apparent.

Nomadic herders are invading wildlife conservancies in Kenya's Rift Valley in search of pasture for their cattle. That's culminated in violence, as police move in to push the herders out.

But some local farmers say it's more complicated, that the cattle don't belong to the herders but to wealthy politicians, who are storing their wealth in cattle and laundering ill-gotten money through cattle.

The buses line up at the Invepi refugee camp in northern Uganda.

One after the other they drop off dozens of South Sudanese seeking refuge on this side of the border.

They come off carrying whatever possessions they still have: sometimes that means empty plastic jugs, sometimes it means chickens that provide food along the way. Many of the refugees are barefoot. When they've finished with their registration and vaccinations, some just sit there, staring into space.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST:

Downtown Nairobi is a bustling scene of people darting across the road and a long line of matatus — little- and medium-sized buses — waiting for passengers.

John Macharia owns two of those buses and he loves the work. Matatus, he says, are essential to Nairobi.

But, Macharia says, they're often targeted by police for the smallest infractions.

The streets of Dadaab in northern Kenya are crowded with people and cars. You find refugees selling goats and shaving ice.

The biggest refugee camp in the world is basically a mega village. The mostly Somali refugees sell pots and pans and make colorful headscarves on manual sewing machines.

In one store, a group of refugees are having an intense conversation. It is, of course, about President Trump.

Kenya is gearing up for what will no doubt be a contentious presidential election this August.

The halls of the Kiambu County Hospital just outside Nairobi are empty. This is normally a bustling place but on Thursday entire wings are closed.

Only in the emergency room are there a scattering of patients. Moms with babies sit languidly on metal chairs. Men with broken bones and some with serious injuries are just hoping to be treated.

When he was in prison, Lorenzo Palma strongly suspected he was an American citizen. He had spent his whole life in the United States, and he knew his grandfather was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1914.

Palma had served five years for an assault conviction and was about to be released on parole, but immigration officials had stopped his release because they wanted to deport him. They said he wasn't a U.S. citizen.

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