Gregory Warner

Gregory Warner is NPR's East Africa Correspondent. His reports cover the diverse issues and voices of a region that is experiencing unparalleled economic growth as well as a rising threat of global terrorism. His coverage can be heard across NPR and NPR.org.

Before joining NPR, Warner was a senior reporter for American Public Media's Marketplace, where he endeavored to make the economics of American health care vivid and engaging. He's used puppets to illustrate the effects of Internet diagnoses on the doctor-patient relationship. He composed a Suessian cartoon to explain why health care job growth policies can increase the national debt. His musical journey into the shadow world of medical coding won the 2012 Best News Feature award from the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Prior to Marketplace, Warner was a freelance radio producer reporting from conflict zones around the world. He climbed mountains with smugglers in Pakistan for This American Life, descended into illegal mineshafts in the Democratic Republic of Congo for Marketplace's "Working" series, and lugged his accordion across Afghanistan on the trail of the "Afghan Elvis" for NPR's Radiolab.

Warner's radio and multimedia work has won awards from Edward R Murrow, New York Festivals, AP, PRNDI, and a Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has twice won Best News Feature from the Third Coast International Audio Festival in 2009 and 2012.

Warner earned his degree in English at Yale University. He is conversant in Arabic.

Pages

The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Rebel Leader Skeptical Of South Sudan Cease-Fire Offer

Tens of thousands of refugees are flocking to United Nations compounds like this one in Juba, while fears fester that fighting in the capital will resume.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

A senior official in South Sudan said Saturday that government troops will attack the main rebel stronghold if rebels turn down a proposed cease-fire.

The government had offered the truce on Friday to end two weeks of ethnic violence that has killed more than a thousand people.

Those rebel forces are loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, accused by supporters of President Salva Kiir of leading a coup attempt two weekends ago that sparked violence across the country.

Read more
Parallels
4:51 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

U.N. Refuge Prepares For Possible Attack In South Sudan

South Sudanese seek refuge at the United Nations compound in the capital, Juba, on Sunday. Though Juba is mostly peaceful now, growing numbers are seeking shelter at the compound in fear the ethnic killings will resume.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 5:15 pm

The president of South Sudan spent Friday in a peace summit with regional heads of state, discussing the crisis that erupted last weekend after an alleged coup attempt. At the same time, the government warned of a shadowy rebel army, covered with white ash, marching through the jungle to re-attack the northern city of Bor.

Read more
Africa
2:47 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Clashes Continue In South Sudan Despite Calls For Cease-Fire

South Sudanese troops have retaken the flashpoint town of Bor, north of the capital Juba.
James Akena Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 8:41 am

It was a somber Christmas day in South Sudan. Despite an appeal for a Christmas cease-fire from the African Union, government soldiers and rebels clashed in an oil-rich part of the country.

At a church in the capital of Juba, President Salva Kiir called for peace and unity. Even the leader's choice of clothing — traditional robes instead of army fatigues — seemed to signal that he wants to move past the violence.

Read more
Africa
2:35 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Fighting In South Sudan Eases As U.N. Finds Mass Graves

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 6:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The military conflict in South Sudan in Africa appears to be easing. The government says its army has retaken the city of Bor, which had been in rebel hands for more than a week. And a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the capital Juba has been lifted, allowing people to attend Christmas Eve services. But there is also more grim news to report.

Read more
Parallels
2:01 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Uganda Passes Anti-Gay Bill That Includes Life In Prison

David Bahati, a member of Uganda's Parliament, is interviewed in 2011. Bahati was the driving force behind a controversial anti-gay bill that was approved Friday.
Ronald Kabuubi AP

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 4:46 pm

Uganda's Parliament ignored Western criticism and passed a bill on Friday that punishes acts of homosexuality with prison terms that can include life in prison.

The bill has been a source of controversy for years. Western governments and leaders, including President Obama, have criticized the measure, which President Yoweri Museveni must sign for it to take effect.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, it's actual name, also makes it a crime to "promote" homosexuality, which could mean simply offering HIV counseling.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:46 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

HIV Treatment Keeps A Family Together And Growing In Kenya

When Benta Odeny was diagnosed with HIV, she started to protect her husband Daniel from the virus by taking antiretroviral medications. The same drugs also helped her give birth to an HIV-negative daughter, Angelia.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 3:17 pm

Daniel and Benta Odeny married late by African standards: Both were in their 30s. And they'd only just hit their third anniversary when Benta started coughing blood.

The cough lasted a couple of weeks. So Benta went to the doctor. She had HIV. But Daniel was still HIV negative.

"She thought it was the end of the world," Daniel says.

Benta thought that Daniel would leave her and she would die alone. She had seen it happen many times to other women in her situation.

Read more
Africa
5:52 am
Fri December 13, 2013

For Burial, Mandela Will Return To His Beloved Boyhood Village

A mother and her son stand in their garden behind a fence at the perimeter of Nelson Mandela's property in Qunu, South Africa, as funeral preparations continue Friday. Mandela will be buried Sunday in the small, rural village that was his boyhood home.
Yannis Behrakis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 11:29 am

Some African leaders have lavished resources on their home villages, building palaces and outsize monuments to themselves that look entirely out of place in the poor and remote spots they came from.

Nelson Mandela adamantly rejected such extravagance, and the world will see for itself when he's buried Sunday in Qunu, a simple village set amid the lush green hills in the southeastern corner of the country. It's little changed from the days when Mandela ran barefoot in the fields and herded sheep and calves as a boy nearly a century ago.

Read more
Africa
2:29 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Song, Dance And Rain As South Africa, World Bid Mandela Farewell

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:30 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Tens of thousands of South Africans and dozens of world leaders and dignitaries came to a rainy soccer stadium in Soweto, South Africa today to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela. President Obama took the stand to laud him as the last great liberator of the 20th century. People danced, sang and cheered to mark this occasion. NPR's Gregory Warner was in the bleachers and sent this report.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

Read more
Africa
5:58 am
Sun December 8, 2013

South Africans Celebrate Mandela On National Day Of Prayer

A sea of tributes grows outside the home of former President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:53 pm

The day of prayer and reflection for Nelson Mandela began Sunday morning at the African Gospel Church in Orlando, an area of Soweto, Mandela's hometown.

The anti-apartheid icon died Thursday night of complications from a lung infection. He was 95 years old.

Fleur Nomthandazo has been coming to this church, her great-grandfather's church, every Sunday for the past six months to pray for Nelson Mandela's recovery. Today, she's here to pray for his family.

"We never cry when somebody dies," Nomthandazo says. "We celebrate the life that they lived."

Read more
Africa
4:07 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

In Soweto, Mandela's Childhood Home Is Site Of Celebration

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Ever since the great anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela died last night, crowds have been gathering outside his former home in Soweto township. This is the house where Mandela lived before he was arrested, before he was imprisoned for 27 years, before he became an icon.

SIEGEL: The mood among the hundreds of people outside the house and throughout the neighborhood was anything but somber.

Read more
Planet Money
1:59 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Afterlife Of American Clothes

Bales of imported clothing are wheeled into the Gikombo Market in Nairobi, Kenya.
Sarah Elliott for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

This story is part of the Planet Money T-shirt project.

Jeff Steinberg had a maroon and white lacrosse jersey that he wore for years. It said "Denver Lacrosse" on the front and had his number, 5, on the back.

Read more
Africa
3:20 am
Wed November 27, 2013

In Kenya, Corruption Is Widely Seen, Rarely Punished

Video footage shows what appears to be Kenyan soldiers carrying plastic shopping bags as they leave a supermarket at Westgate Mall during a terrorist attack in Nairobi on Sept. 21. Kenya's security forces have long been rated as among the most corrupt institutions in the country, but even jaded Kenyans were shocked by the CCTV footage.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 11:20 am

Editor's Note: One out of three Africans paid a bribe in the past year to obtain a government document, get medical care, place kids in school or settle an issue with police, according to a recent survey. Police consistently attracted the highest ratings of corruption, including those in Kenya. NPR's Gregory Warner looks at the impact it has on the country.

Read more
Africa
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Kenyan Investigators Scale Back Number Of Mall Attackers

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

We turn now to Kenya for an update on the gunmen who attacked a popular Nairobi mall in September, killing dozens. Authorities now believe there were only four attackers. They say they know the identity of two of them. And they're zeroing in on their activities in the weeks leading up to the attack, where they plotted the assault, what weapons they used.

Read more
Africa
4:19 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Congolese Rebel Group M23 Announces End To Insurgency

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now to central Africa where a tough new intervention by the United Nations has lead a rebel group to end its military insurgency. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the group known as M23 has announced surrender. NPR Africa correspondent Gregory Warner reports on the surprising development.

Read more
Africa
2:42 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Kenya Charges Four Somali Men In Mall Attack

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Kenya today, four people were charged in connection to the horrific attack on a Nairobi shopping mall back in September. The attack claimed at least 67 lives.

NPR's Gregory Warner has details on today's charges.

GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: None of the four men is accused of being part of the team that attacked shoppers at Nairobi's Westgate Mall. But the men, all ethnic Somalis, were charged with allegedly sheltering the gunmen and obtaining false Kenyan IDs. Somali-based militant group al-Shabab claimed credit for the attack.

Read more
Parallels
1:04 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

How One Kenyan Tribe Produces The World's Best Runners

Runners train in Ngong, Kenya, in 2012. The country has produced the world's best distance runners for decades, and most belong to the Kalenjin people.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:35 pm

Kenyan Wilson Kipsang won this year's Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds — an average of 4:42 per mile. It was easily the fastest marathon time ever recorded, an incredible feat for another powerful Kenyan runner.

But perhaps equally remarkable was that his fellow Kenyans also came in second, third, fourth and fifth place in this major international race. On the women's side, Kenyans placed first, second and fourth.

Read more
Africa
2:49 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Protesters Call For Justice In Brutal Gang Rape In Kenya

Hundreds take to the streets in Nairobi on Thursday, calling for justice for a 16-year-old girl dubbed "Liz," who was gang raped in rural Kenya. The men were caught by the police and let go after their punishment — cutting the grass at the police station.
Daniel Irungu EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 8:50 am

The gang rape of a 16-year-old Kenyan schoolgirl — and the lack of punishment given to the alleged rapists — has sparked outrage in the country and beyond.

The attack was so violent it left the girl in a wheelchair with a severe back injury. She identified some of her attackers, who police apprehended — only to let go after they were ordered to cut the lawn at the police station.

Read more
Africa
1:20 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Kenyan President Faced Justice With Help Of Secret Envelope

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 8:32 am

Kenya's deputy president William Ruto is back before the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Monday. He and his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, face charges of instigating and financing deadly tribal violence in Kenya after that country's disputed 2007 election.

But their cases might never have reached this stage if not for one Kenyan judge and a remarkable disappearing act.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:28 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Target Of U.S. Raid In Somalia Called A Top Attack Planner

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 10:53 am

A Kenyan intelligence official says that the "high-value terrorist leader" whose residence was targeted in a Navy SEAL raid Saturday was the senior al-Shabab leader Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, who used the alias Ikrima.

Read more
Africa
1:27 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Did Kenyan Soldiers Loot Mall During Fight With Terrorists?

Bullet holes in the glass door of a shop in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
Rukmini Callimachi AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 9:00 am

More than a week after Islamic militants stormed an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to set up a commission to look into lapses in intelligence and security. At least 67 people died in the four-day siege, which ended with dozens still unaccounted for.

Read more
Africa
5:57 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Sense Of Foreboding Lingers After Mall Bombing

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:28 am

Kenyans are feeling helpless a week after gunmen stormed a Nairobi mall in a carefully orchestrated terrorist attack. NPR's Gregory Warner looks at what we now know about those terrorists, including claims that a British woman was among the attackers.

Africa
3:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

What Caused Floors To Collapse During Mall Siege In Kenya?

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:27 am

The recovery operation will be a long thorough process at the Nairobi shopping mall that was attacked over the weekend. More information is emerging about the number of people who were killed, injured or are still missing.

Africa
4:03 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Investigation Continues After Nairobi Mall Siege

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. A day after the four-day siege at the Nairobi mall, Kenyans are counting their losses. A premiere mall, a symbol of Kenya's rising economy, is in shambles. The death toll stands at 71, but it's feared to be far higher than that. And there are also worries that terrorists who escaped from this siege are planning another attack.

Read more
Africa
2:35 am
Wed September 25, 2013

3 Days Of Mourning Declared For Mall Siege Victims In Kenya

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:25 am

The attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall is over. Kenya's president said more than 60 civilians died in the four-day assault, but that more bodies could be pulled from the rubble. The attack was claimed by the militant group al-Shabab as retribution for Kenya's troops in Somalia.

Africa
3:52 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

As Kenyan Mall Attack Ends, The Search For Answers Begins

Kenya's interior minister said those who attacked the Nairobi mall were an international group of men, some of whom dressed as women. Kenya's foreign minister said the group included at least three Americans and one woman. Four days after the attack started, we update what is known about the group of terrorists who have held siege at the popular Westgate Mall.

Africa
3:45 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

Attack In Nairobi Turns Mall Into A Battlefield

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 6:09 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath.

An upscale mall in Nairobi turned into a battleground today when armed gunmen stormed into the mall in the busy lunchtime hour. The Kenyan president says more than 30 people have been killed, many more injured, including some of his own relatives.

Read more
Africa
12:45 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

What A Chatty Monkey May Tell Us About Learning To Talk

The gelada monkey, found only in the highlands of Ethiopia, is known as the bleeding heart baboon for the splash of red on its chest. Males of the species have a remarkable vocal agility greater than that of any nonhuman primate.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 12:04 am

The gelada monkey, also known as the bleeding heart baboon, makes a gurgling noise or wobble sound that scientists say is close to human speech — at least in how much facial coordination it requires.

Read more
The Salt
3:26 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

'Braai Day' Aims To Bring S. Africans Together Over Barbecue

Jan Scannell, former accountant, has taken on a new identity as "Jan Braai," a South African TV show host and media personality promoting the idea of National Braai (barbecuing) Day, celebrated each year on Sept. 24.
Courtesy of Stephanus Rabie

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 3:30 pm

Nelson Mandela is officially "improving," though still in critical condition at a South African hospital. His long battle with a lung infection has South Africans anxiously contemplating their "post-Mandela" future in a still racially divided country. In a unique strategy, one man is hoping to help heal those divisions with a pair of barbecue tongs.

Jan Scannell is a 32-year-old former accountant with a dream: To establish a national holiday in South Africa like July 4 called Braai Day.

Read more
Africa
2:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Embassy Attacks In Africa Permanently Changed U.S. Diplomacy

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 3:48 pm

Fifteen years ago, al-Qaida militants bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The anniversary comes days after the U.S. government shut down diplomatic missions in various nations as part of a heightened security alert. The missions in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam remain open but a fire at Kenya's international airport heightened concerns over renewed attacks.

Africa
2:21 am
Wed August 7, 2013

For Ethiopian Women, Construction Jobs Offer A Better Life

Mekedes Getachew, 19, has been working at construction sites in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, since she was 15 years old. Except for the heaviest lifting, she says, the laborers "all do the same work and we don't really say this is a man's job, but when it comes to salary there's a difference." She earns $1.50 a day. Men earn $2.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:32 pm

Earlier this summer in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, I heard a complaint from many professionals that they could no longer find cheap house cleaners and nannies.

The apparently endless supply of girls and young women from the countryside who would work for peanuts just for a chance to move to the capital was drying up. It turns out more and more of them are finding work on one of the city's many construction sites.

Read more

Pages