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Peter Greste: Biography

Peter Greste and a contributor

Of all the stories Peter Greste has covered across Africa over the past five years, he rates his journey down the Omo River for Crossing Continents as one of the most extraordinary of all.

Peter took up his current post as East Africa Correspondent in Nairobi six months ago, after a stint in Johannesburg covering the south of the continent.

Peter has been nomadic for most of his professional career. After he left his native Australia in 1991, his first assignment with the BBC was as Kabul Correspondent in 1995. From his sand-bagged office, he covered the emergence of the Taleban as the Islamic movement laid siege to the city.

Peter returned to Afghanistan in 2001 to cover the start of the post-9/11 war, marching into Kabul ahead of the Northern Alliance after the Taleban lost control of the capital.

After Afghanistan, he worked across the Middle East and Latin America before arriving in Mombasa on Kenya's Indian Ocean coast in 2004. From his home overlooking the sea, he went freelance, only half-jokingly describing himself as "beach correspondent".

There, he produced a story for the BBC on an extraordinary relationship between a baby hippo orphaned by the Asian tsunami of 2004, and 130-year-old giant tortoise. That story led to a best-selling children's book, and a sideline in a related series of books about animal relationships.

From Mombasa, Peter made several documentaries including one on the return of people displaced by Sudan's long-running north/south civil war after the warring groups signed their "Comprehensive Peace Agreement" in 2005.

That project included a journey up the Nile River on a cargo boat crowded with returnees - a trip that gave him an appetite for exploring some of Africa's more remote corners.

Peter took a prominent role in the BBC's coverage of the civil war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where he met several of the conflict's most notorious warlords.

In this latest project in Ethiopia - his first for Crossing Continents - Peter explored the Omo River and the impact of the Gilgel Gibe III Hydroelectricity Dam. He says in producing his story, his aim was to take listeners on a journey of discovery into one of Africa's most extraordinary valleys.

Crossing Continents


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