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tv   Our World  BBC News  May 28, 2017 9:30pm-10:01pm BST

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this is bbc world news. geminid's chancellor has warned that europeans can no longer fully rely on other nations such as the united states or the united kingdom. ba flights have started taking off from heathrow and gatwick a day after they were grounded by a massive it failure. but the airline is warning of further delays as it tries to deal with thousands of stranded passengers. the lease in manchester have carried out more raids in connection with the concept mink in which 22 people died. a total of 13 suspects are in custody following the attack. government forces in the philippines have urged people to leave their homes as they tried to defeat islamist militants. now on bbc news, for six years the kenyan army has been fighting islamist militants in somalia known as al shabaab. as part of an exclusive
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investigation, the bbc has discovered that kenyan women are being abducted and trafficked as sex slaves to al shabaab camps. anne soy meets women who've managed to escape from the camps, and an al shabaab insider who reveals for the first time how vulnerable women are captured and imprisoned. this film contains some content viewers may find disturbing. mombasa, kenya's bustling second city. it's a magnet for people looking for work. but there is a dark side here. in a backstreet, a room of extraordinary women meet to share their stories. translation: they would bring two or three men for each woman every night. we would be raped repeatedly. these women are the hidden face of a regional war that seems without end. for six years, the kenyan army has
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been part of a force fighting the islamist militants al—shabaab in somalia. now, a disturbing development. the bbc has discovered that kenyan women are being abducted and trafficked to become sex slaves for al—sha baab. we speak to an insider, who reveals how they kidnap vulnerable women. it's a growing problem that the kenyan government seems to be ignoring. the few who do manage to escape are too frightened to talk openly. anybody who went, irrespective of how they went there, whether willingly or trafficked, they are being looked on as terrorists. i've been to kenya's northern coast to investigate the hidden trade in trafficked women, and hear their horrifying stories told for the very first time.
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the coastal city of mombasa is predominantly muslim. it's a city of more than a million people, with high unemployment, and it's always had an uneasy relationship with the government. salama ali, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, was born and raised here, an ordinary middle—aged woman who makes her living selling fish. but nine months ago, her life took an unexpected twist. translation: i am also a victim of al—shabaab. two of my brothers disappeared without a trace after being radicalised. after that, ourfamily was discriminated against. but some women who knew
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what i was going through started sharing their stories with me. we discovered there were lots of us. many families are shunned when relatives join al—sha baab. but salama uncovered stories about women who had been kidnapped and taken to somalia. all of these women have covered themselves to protect their identity, and we have changed their names. they are a range of ages and faiths, but all have suffered at the hands of al—shabaab. translation: some came back with babies, and some having contracted hiv and aids. some even came back mad, because of the trauma they were exposed to. because nothing was being done to help these women, salama took it upon herself to train as a counsellor. she set up a support group that meets in secret at undisclosed locations. the women talk of being tricked, they were promised jobs in other cities, but instead they ended up
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as slaves of al—shabaab. translation: those men used to come and have sex with me. i can't tell you the number. for those three years, every man was coming to sleep with me. you could have the same man maybe only twice. the rest of the time, you were sleeping with a different man. translation: i was cooking for a very big team, but i did not get to see them. those who came for food had their faces covered. but you knew they were men because of their voices. i only got to see the faces of the ones who came to have sex with me. these men call themselves the lions of allah. they boast of having no mercy. the women say they are responsible for kidnapping and abusing them. allied to al-qaeda, al—shabaab are dedicated to creating
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a fundamentalist islamic state in somalia. the group has also carried out a string of attacks in neighbouring countries, particularly kenya. amid these tensions, it's not easy to find out what's happening on the porous border between kenya and somalia. the densely—wooded area is called the boni forest, and access is severely restricted. we are told we can see the trafficking routes from the air. the canopy below is dense. it's no doubt difficult to monitor this area. but from the air, we are seeing several cut lines, that we are told are routes the militants use for transport between kenya and somalia. back on the ground, locals on the kenyan side of the border tell me the boni forest is used by al—shabaab. they've found remains of recently—abandoned camps, and i'm told that women have been
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spotted being transported through the forest, en route to somalia. sureya hersi runs a group called sisters without borders. they fight for the rights of impoverished muslim women of kenya's northern coast. even she has onlyjust learned about the trafficking problem. we never used to be aware. we discovered that, actually, we have women who were lured without their will, and taken to somalia. some of them have managed to come back to now tell their stories. but it's something that is very new. it's so new that when i finally get to see the county commissioner in mombasa, he has no idea of the scale of the problem, and he's in charge of security. yeah, there could be cases of women being smuggled out, yeah. there could be a few cases of women being smuggled out.
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you say a few, could you put a number? no, i cannot give you the numbers, because, you see, these things are done discreetly. nobody comes out in the open to say, "i am being trafficked," or, "i have been given a job in somalia." so people hide, to go looking for greener pastures, as it were. one of the reasons it's been hard to collect statistics is that those trafficked don't want to talk to the authorities. they say they are frightened of reprisals. back at the office in nairobi, i contact human—rights organisations to see who is working with trafficked women. but no one, apart from salama ali and her support group in mombasa, seems to be helping.
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i hearfrom salama again. she's been alerted to some new women who have just arrived back from somalia. so we return to the coast. salama is now the only known resource for women who have managed to escape from al—shabaab, and she is becoming increasingly nervous. we've come to a secluded place along kenya's coast, and we feel that the women would be more at ease here. they feel safer, and open up about what they have been going through, without having to look over their shoulder to see who's following them, or who's listening to them. the last time we visited salama she said that after we left, she spotted some suspicious—looking people who were following her, and so we don't want them to feel unsafe for speaking to us. salama wears her trademark black niqab. the two new arrivals she wants me to meet, faith and ayesha, are in more—colourful dress.
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over three days, i slowly gain their trust, and they tell me their shocking stories. both young women had been tricked into travelling to the north of the country with the promise of work, before being smuggled into a life of slavery with al—shabaab. faith was just 16 when she was approached by an elderly couple on the outskirts of mombasa. we were told that there was work in malindi, so we were taken that day ina nissan. she says what happens next changes her life forever. after being drugged again, faith finally wakes up to find
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herself alone in a thick forest. terrified, she spends the next three years of her life cooking for brutal men, who she believes were al—shabaab fighters. they werejust, like, arabs, black somalis, with long beards. as we prepare dinner, the women begin to relax and reveal more detail of their abductions. their stories are
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strikingly similar. but whilst faith spent three years in captivity, the ordeal lasted twice as long for ayesha. she too was promised a job by an elderly couple, this time in the town of garissa, near the somali border. but her dream job turned into a nightmare. the people who had promised her a job had actually sold her on to al—shabaab. ayesha's newjob was to be a sex slave for one of their fighters. this man that you were living with, was he always there? what did you think he was doing?
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faith and ayesha have only recently escaped from captivity, but they've been left with lifelong reminders of their time with al—sha baab. faith delivered her child entirely alone, in the middle of the night, in a forest, held prisoner by al—shabaab. with only her scarf to cover the baby, she says she was lucky to have a little knowledge from her grandmother,
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who was a traditional midwife. ayesha also gave birth to a child in captivity. when you look at your son, does that remind you of a very difficult part of your life? but not all women who end up in the camps have been kidnapped.
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i meet sara, who has alsojust returned from somalia. unlike faith and ayesha, she had voluntarily gone with her husband, an al—shabaab fighter, but she has since left the group. though she says she wasn't involved herself, she explains how al—shabaab captures kenyan women. as the wife of a fighter, sara's job was to clean the weapons. she was also taught to make bombs. she claims the group target women in order to breed the next generation of fighters. sureya hersi is trying to understand
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the magnitude of the trafficking problem by speaking to different people in the community. but such information is hard to come by. the biggest challenge that we have is with these women who come back traumatised. the main reason why women don't come out to speak, is because they also don't want to be shunned by their own community that they come from. people fear the government, they fear that if i look like i'm associated with you, and they know that you went to somalia and came back,
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then they might say i'm also part and parcel of the same problem. because, unfortunately, anybody who went to somalia, irrespective of how they went there, whether willingly or trafficked, they are being looked as guilty, or probably are terrorists, or probably they are informers. nobody trusts them, they don't know why they are back. and that makes salama ali's work very difficult. there's a lot at stake. translation: the government doesn't know about the services i offer. i don't even want them to know. this would put our lives at risk. if the government discovers you've had contact with al—shabaab, you will be arrested, even killed. so, we fear talking about this publicly. we fear for our security. despite the risks, salama's secret mission is growing. she not only helps women who have managed to escape, but also an increasing number of families. we are looking for a place where we can interview the families of missing girls.
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we tried to go to their homes, but then they are afraid, they say they don't want the community to know what's going on. elizabeth has agreed to meet us. her sister disappeared over two years ago, tricked by a bogus agent who had promised her well—paid work in the middle east. translation: my sister left here for saudi arabia injanuary 2015. she was going for work. but she never made it. however, a month after she left, she was able to sneak a call to elizabeth. translation: she sounded troubled and fearful. she told me she was afraid she would never see us again. i asked her what was wrong, and she said she was not in saudi arabia but in somalia, in an al—shabaab camp. she immediately disconnected. we tried to call back straightaway,
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but we could not reach her. she called again and said she needed our help. she said she did not know how to get out. she pleaded for help, and then she disconnected. since that time, we have never heard from her again. sorry. we went looking for the agent that had tricked elizabeth's sister, but he was nowhere to be found. this agent rented office space right in the middle of town. here it's busy, clearly he wanted to look authentic. and for the duration of time he was open for business, we are not sure how many girls he was able to target. but we are told that as soon as elizabeth's sister disappeared, he closed shop. the lure of a well—paid job makes kenyan women easy prey for traffickers, now an ever—present danger on the coast next to somalia.
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sara, the former wife of an al—shabaab fighter, told me how the militants specifically target kenyans. the 300 women in that camp i was leaving mostly were from kenya. kenya has taken the battle to al—sha baab. in 2011, the kenyan government sent their forces into southern somalia, ousting the militants from all major towns and cities. al—shabaab‘s revenge was to hit back repeatedly on kenyan soil. the deadly attack on the popular
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westgate shopping mall in the heart of nairobi shocked the world. 67 people were killed in the four—day siege. and even more recently, the group inflicted the biggest—ever defeat on the kenyan army. the un says at least 150 kenyan soldiers were killed at a base in southern somalia last year. al—shabaab is clearly kenya's biggest security threat, and sureya hersi is in no doubt of the scale of the problem, whetherfrom radicalisation, or the abduction and trafficking of women to somalia. i don't think anybody has any statistics. probably the government could have their own ways of finding out. and i can assure you, almost every family is affected. you either know somebody, or your neighbour has gone. in the course of this investigation, i tried repeatedly to find out from the government what was being done to stop this
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trade in kenyan women, but all attempts proved futile. it has been very difficult and frustrating to get comment from the relevant government officials on this issue. this is the second time i've come to this office this week, and i've just been thrown out by the regional coordinator of security, the man in charge of security in this region. for faith and her daughter, it's a long road back to a normal life. it's notjust sleeping indoors that is new for her daughter.
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she's also wearing clothes for the very first time. salama and her group share a special bond through similar tragedy. translation: sometimes i call all the members of the group together, to introduce a new member. we have a small party, and at the end, we introduce the new member. then we journey together in the healing process. all those girls did not go there willingly, they were looking for money, and hoping to get a good life. but actually what they got was sexual abuse. without any support for victims,
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or increased awareness of the risks they face, vulnerable women on kenya's coast remain easy prey. until government and communities recognise the problem of trafficking, it seems that al—sha baab will continue to kidnap with impunity. many places saw heavy showers and severe thunderstorms on saturday, but sunday was a better picture across much of the uk. a bit cooler and fresher, but a good deal of sunshine. it felt quite warm. across
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the south, we see a change, with thickening cloud, outbreaks of rain moving up from france, heavy in places. through the course of sunday night, the rain will continue to move north, the odd heavier burst, and something heavier mooney into the south—east and the east midlands. a muggy night in the south, but call and fresh across the northern half of scotland. this area of low pressure will move north, taking the weather fronts with it. quite a dreary day for many central and northern parts. the odd thundery burst up north. to the south, something dryer and brighter developing into the afternoon. sunshine with humid air across the south and south—east. it could spark offa south and south—east. it could spark off a heavy shower or thunderstorm.
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dista ntly off a heavy shower or thunderstorm. distantly cooler across the north and west under the cloud of rain. the low pressure pushes off into the north sea, then we look to the west, the next system, which will bring a speu the next system, which will bring a spell of rain, fairly strong wind during tuesday. initially, central, southern and eastern parts start dry, but quite breezy. then the rain pushes in from the west. it eventually reaches the south—east later. that system moves away off into the north sea. quite a squeeze in the isobars, so it could be quite windy for a while. then we look to the south, the high—pressure building infor the south, the high—pressure building in for wednesday. from wednesday onwards, quite an u nsettled wednesday onwards, quite an unsettled picture. light wind, good sunshine, and quite warm in places. high—pressure withers into thursday, this low pressure and the weather front will try to make inroads. for
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thursday, a lot of places will stay fine and dry with sunshine. it turns cloudy and breezy across northern ireland and western scotland. quite a warm, pleasant day for central, southern and eastern parts. 0n friday, the weather front pushes east. it brings a line of heavy rain to western areas. ahead of it, it will be a fine day for many, with warm sunshine. it feels fairly humid. if the rain arrives, there is a risk of showers or thunderstorm is developing ahead of it. as we head towards next weekend, the low pressure will clear the way. we are looking to the south and south—east with high—pressure building. if it settles, it means southern and eastern parts will remain fine and settled, with low pressure moving of the atlantic. for northern and
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western parts, it is more on settled into next weekend, with outbreaks of rain. further south and east, the better chance of seeing sunshine. it will also be warm at times. tonight at 10pm... on a day of solidarity and defiance. remembering the 22 victims of monday's bomb attack, the city came together for the great northern run to show it won't be defeated by terror. for the great northern run to show it has obviously been an exceptionally difficult week for everybody. an exceptionally difficult week for but what the great run manchester is saying is we will get through it, it will go forward together. there were more raids and arrests today in the investigation into the bombing. and arrests today in 13 people are now in custody. and arrests today in we'll have the latest live from manchester. also on tonight's programme. live from manchester. misery for ba passengers as more flights are cancelled and delayed because of a global computer crash.
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flights are cancelled and delayed i've never seen anything like it in my life. we've always flown ba, we've always been happy with ba, but now we've said no. we've always been happy with ba, i don't think we can trust them again.
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