Eyder Peralta

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Updated at 7:15 a.m. ET Saturday

Some people walked hours to get to Shyira. They trekked down the steep hills that surround the small town in northern Rwanda last month not only to celebrate Liberation Day, but to get a close view of the country's president, Paul Kagame.

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In Rwanda, a filmmaker who once told stories about genocide is now hoping to make romantic comedies and to build a film industry in the country. NPR's Eyder Peralta met him in the capital, Kigali.

Out here, in West Pokot County, Kenya, the landscape looks like Mars — red clay, rocks, and in the distance, a mountain so bare it looks like a giant boulder.

Stephen Long'uriareng, 80, has walked two hours to bring her two cows and goats to this watering hole. It's really just a dam carved out the earth, where the rain water mixes with mud and turns into a dark brown color.

This is not the place Long'uriareng remembers from her youth.

"This whole place used to be green with a lot of pasture. There was nothing being experienced like drought," she said.

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Shyira is a picture-perfect Rwandan village, surrounded by luscious green mountains. No matter where you look, even at the tip of some of the highest mountains and along the precipice of the most dangerous slopes, there are houses.

On July 4, while Americans celebrate their independence, Rwandans are celebrating Liberation Day — commemorating the day in 1994 when rebel troops marched into the capital Kigali and ended a genocide against the country's Tutsi minority.

There is a certain peace that comes with being surrounded by a bunch of men with big guns.

As much as you want to run or fight or scream, there's not much you can do — except whatever they say.

On a Friday afternoon in April, I was sitting in a restaurant in Juba, South Sudan's capital, trying to persuade two government officials to issue me press credentials so I could report there. I had tried and failed to do this over the phone from my home base in Nairobi, and so my bosses and I made the decision that an in-person appeal would be best.

Here's a classic scene from a telenovela.

It's the funeral of a very rich man whose heirs are battling over his fortune. An indignant woman says to a female guest: "You are disrupting the service. Who else would you be saving this seat for other than Richard Juma's second wife?"

Just after the sun rose on Wednesday, people began streaming into the Mombasa terminal station. There was a red carpet, a helicopter and Kenyans dressed in their very best attire, with shimmering fabrics and dazzling hats.

A little more than a hundred years after the British built a railway through their East African colony, Kenyans celebrated building one of their own.

Consolata Muvea took a bus more than 10 hours to come to Mombasa for the first time and she was entranced by the train waiting at the station.

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A police shooting caught on video and played hundreds of thousands of times on social media has sparked a familiar debate. Some people are praising the police. Others say the police should stop killing young men in a poor neighborhood.

The United Nations' top human rights official is condemning a chant by a pro-government youth militia in the small East African country of Burundi.

The chant is shown in a video recorded and distributed by the human rights groups iBurundi and RCP Burundi. The U.N. says the members of the militia, called Imbonerakure, are encouraging the rape of women from the opposition so "that they give birth to Imbonerakure."

Stella Nyanzi, one of Uganda's most controversial academics and activists, appeared in court Monday, after being arrested and charged Friday with cyber harassment and the misuse of a computer, for "shaming" the government.

Nyanzi's latest run-in with the 31-year-old regime of President Yoweri Museveni began with a fight for free sanitary pads for school-age girls.

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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.

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Last week, we introduced you to some Somali refugees stranded by President Trump's executive actions. Now those refugees are leaving from Kenya on their way to the U.S. Here's NPR's Eyder Peralta.

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Somalia, a place without much of a functioning government, has elected a new president. NPR's Eyder Peralta reports that after a process full of corruption and security issues, the country delivered a surprising result.

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I love when our international correspondents just take us to places. And we're going to travel now to a small corner of Kenya where men gather to discuss politics. NPR's Eyder Peralta went there to get their take on American politics.

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.

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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.

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