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Hunting for Joseph Kony; Interview with Ugandan President Museveni; Interview with Pakistani Foreign Minister Khar

Aired April 18, 2012 - 15:00:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Christiane Amanpour, and welcome to our program.

Our brief tonight, Africa and the hunt for Joseph Kony. He's one of the monsters of our time, a murderous and messianic cult figure who leads what he calls the Lord's Resistance Army. He has kidnapped tens of thousands of children, turning them into sex slaves and killers for his cause.

For almost 30 years, this deadly militia has terrorized first Uganda and then other Central African countries. But throughout the world, millions of people only became of the horror and cruelty of Joseph Kony last month. That's when a short film, called "Kony 2012," became an international YouTube sensation.

Listen to the story of what happened to one of his child soldiers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The night I first met Jacob, he told me what he and other children in Northern Uganda were living through.

JACOB: We worry the rebels when they arrest us again then they will kill us. My brother tried to escape then, they kill him using Panga (ph). They cut his neck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see it?

JACOB: I saw him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We fear that if we will sleep at our home that we can be abducted by the rebels because our home is far away from town.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They will catch us then they will take us there in the bush. We come here to save our life.


AMANPOUR: This film has had an incredible impact, galvanizing young people across the world to demand Kony's capture. He's still roaming free, even after he was indicted for crimes against humanity, even after the U.S. designated the Lord's Resistance Army as a terrorist organization.

But now this same force that tracked Osama bin Laden is on the hunt for Joseph Kony. Last October, President Obama sent 100 American Special Forces to go after him.

Later on our program tonight, we'll go to Pakistan and ask the foreign minister how on Earth Osama bin Laden managed to live under their noses for so many years.

But first, my exclusive interview with the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni. I will ask him the latest on the hunt for Kony and other crucial issues facing his country.


AMANPOUR: Mr. President, thank you for joining me from Kampala.

YOWERI MUSEVENI, PRESIDENT OF UGANDA: Thank you very much, Amanpour. Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: You're aware of the viral video. Do you think that video and the fact that so many people are energized and mobilized against Kony, will it make any difference in trying to capture him?

MUSEVENI: I think the video was a good effort. I have not watched it myself. I have -- I have, however, been told that it's had some inaccuracies which they should correct. The inaccuracies were that Kony was still in Uganda. Kony was chased from Uganda by us about five and seven years ago. And the remnants of his group are now in Central African Republican (ph), and in Sudan, northern Sudan.

AMANPOUR: The attention that this video has brought to the Kony case, is that going to make it any more likely that he's captured any time soon?

MUSEVENI: Yes, if we have some gaps, you know, capacity, if the international community fills some of those gaps, we can capture him, wherever he is.

AMANPOUR: Well, some of those gaps have been filled by the United States. They have sent, President Obama, some 100 Special Forces, advisers. Are they being put to use to try to capture Kony?

MUSEVENI: Yes. It's not just troops, 100 soldiers is not a big number. The most important thing is some technology, some surveillance and mobility. That's what is important.

AMANPOUR: Let's get back to the few things that have really sort of stood out in the international community. And obviously one of the big controversies is the anti-homosexual bill that is in Uganda.

I want to first ask you, what is your feeling about gay people?

MUSEVENI: Well, before we came in touch with the Europeans, we had some sure (ph) homosexuals. I want to inform the world that those homosexuals were not killed as some people are claiming. They were not persecuted and they were not discriminated against. However, Africans are by nature discreet people, even for heterosexuals.

We never exhibit our sexual acts in public. I have -- I have, for instance, never kissed my wife in public. We have been married for 38 years. Therefore, the problem with exhibitionism and the second problem would be trying to lure young children into homosexuality. That would be another unacceptable aspect.

AMANPOUR: As you know, the rest of the world, certainly the Western world, doesn't agree with you on this. And there was a major public outcry, a major international outcry when this first homosexual bill went through, anti-homosexual bill, that included the death penalty.

Now it's still gone through, but the death penalty has been removed. But they can be imprisoned. They can be sentenced to life and long term.

And in fact, very senior and prominent gay activists in your country have said that they are persecuted and they are assaulted. They're worried that the government and the bill through parliament and the general tone that you -- that you've been speaking in creates a climate on the street where they can be harassed and prosecuted. I mean, do you -- is that acceptable in your country?

MUSEVENI: What does the world not agree with us about? Because I have told you, there is no discrimination. There is no persecution. Certainly there is no killing. The only thing that is controversial, not only for homosexuals, but for all forms of sexual acts, is exhibitionism. You don't kiss in public, whether you are gay or not.

AMANPOUR: I hear what you're saying and how you're putting it. You basically can't be an exhibitionist. However, this law does sentence homosexuals to long sentences. They can be sentenced to long prison sentences and homosexuals, gay activists in Uganda say that because of the climate there is, you know, daily street vigilantism and persecution.

And some people have been, you know, have been killed because of this anti-gay feeling, you know, in Uganda.

MUSEVENI: Nobody has been killed in Uganda for being a gay -- for being gay.

AMANPOUR: David Cato, a famous homosexual activist, was beaten to death in Uganda, according to press reports.

MUSEVENI: That is (inaudible) was not killed for being a homosexual. He was killed for something else.

AMANPOUR: What were those other reasons?

MUSEVENI: Well, I did not check with the police before I came here, but he had some personal quarrels (ph) with some of his partners.

AMANPOUR: All right. Well, let me move on.

When you were inaugurated back in 1986, you said the problems of Africa and Uganda in particular are caused by leaders who overstay in power, which breeds impunity, corruption and promotes patronage.

Again, that was back in 1986, and some 26 years later, you're still in office. Why is it, sir, that African leaders seem to have such a hard time stepping down?

MUSEVENI: Well, there is no problem in stepping down. The crucial word (ph) in that report (ph), which you reported (ph), is impunity and you should have added another one, accountability. I have been in leadership for those years you are -- you have mentioned, on the basis of being voted by the public. I am not in government because I have imposed myself on the people.

There's some confusion about what is primary in Africa. Many spend a lot of time on the who is doing what, instead of spending time on what needs to be done. Africa has (inaudible) problem because of not (inaudible) of the what. The who is important but the what is more important than the who.

AMANPOUR: All right. So we've already described the what, and you say that you've been elected over and again, which is true, but as you know, there are also allegations, increasing allegations, of irregularities at polls, vote rigging, other such things, corruption, et cetera.

I again wanted to go back to your own words and to ask you, even if the what has been accomplished, do you not think that 26 years in power is enough?

MUSEVENI: There are so many issues to deal with. The -- (inaudible) power, (inaudible) power, (inaudible) my -- when my budget (ph) agrees, but what is more important, that there are two issues. First of all, I'm elected by the people.

And secondly, what is missing at -- what has been missing in Uganda has been the what. The what. In the (inaudible) another person come, if he does not deal with the bottlenecks that have been -- we have been facing, then Uganda will not move forward.

AMANPOUR: I know, but you seem to be saying, sir, that the only person who can deal with the bottlenecks in the what is you. Would it not be a great legacy, as an African leader, a democratic Africa leader, to have a peaceful democratic transition, rather than staying on and having people call you Mugabe (ph)?

MUSEVENI: (Inaudible) power in a time when our party agrees and we see that is the best thing to do.

AMANPOUR: President Museveni, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

MUSEVENI: Thank you very much, Christiane.


AMANPOUR: And back to the issue of Joseph Kony, there is a worldwide "Stop Kony" demonstration planned for the end of this week on Friday. We'll see how it pans out.

And I did cover Kony's atrocities at their worst in Uganda 14 years ago. If you'd like to meet some of his tragic victims, and also some of the brave nuns who tried to save them, you can watch my report, and that's at And hiding in plain sight, that was Osama bin Laden, living quietly in a Pakistani neighborhood until the Navy SEALs dropped in last year.

I will ask my next guest, Pakistan's foreign minister, how they failed to notice the world's most famous terrorist when we come back.


AMANPOUR: Now to Pakistan. When Hina Rabbani Khar was appointed foreign minister, she was the youngest and the first female ever to hold that position. It is a critical job and she took it at a critical moment. Osama bin Laden had just been found and killed inside the country and Pakistan's relations with its key ally, the United States, had just hit rock bottom.

We turn right now to Pakistan and Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

Thank you for joining us. Welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister, there's been months now of investigation into what happened in Abbottabad, where Osama bin Laden was hiding and also into the crucial question of how he could have been in Pakistan for nine years, hopscotching from house to house, apparently hiding in plain sight.

Can you tell us today what you have learned, who was responsible for hiding him?

KHAR: Christiane, this is a process which is currently ongoing in Pakistan. As it happens, only yesterday, I appeared in front of what we call the Abbottabad Commission, which is looking into the presence of -- the unexpected presence of Osama bin Laden in Pakistani territory.

And they are still at it. So I think we have to, from our side, at least, wait for the commission to come out with its analysis, with its report on what happened and how it happened.

AMANPOUR: So let me just ask you a little bit further. You know, obviously, that this commission has been meeting and investigating for months now. And even your own people, particularly your own newspapers, are saying, we need to know who was responsible for facilitating the most wanted man in the world hiding in our country, apparently safely.

Was it ordinary citizens? Was it law enforcement? Was it the military? Can you give us any details? I know the commission is still investigating, but anything you know.

KHAR: Christiane, I think one thing which is beyond doubt by now is - - and it's not only coming in from our sources, this is coming in from the many, many sort of volumes of stuff which was taken in from his hideout, that there was no complicity in -- on the part of anybody within the Pakistani administration.

And when I talk about the Pakistani administration, I talk about the whole of government.

AMANPOUR: Minister, as you know, many in the United States, even in your own country, doubt that very much, that somebody of such a high profile could have existed under the nose of the military, under the nose of the intelligence. You are right, the documents, as yet, do not prove any complicity or point to any. But the question is still out. The jury is still out.

And why do you think the U.S. has such a hard time believing that the most wanted man in the world could somehow be sheltered by ordinary citizens and his own network?

KHAR: I think there will be lessons learned from this. There will be tough lessons learned from this. And this is not something that Pakistan at all is proud of. This is not a legacy that this government wants to leave behind at all.

So I think we are, like the rest of the world, waiting to learn lessons from this, from the presence of Osama bin Laden inside Pakistani territory. But I want to also say that initially in the press, especially in the Western press, there was an impression given that he was living right under the nose of the military academy, for instance.

And I want to clarify that the military academy does not mean military presence in -- or hard military presence within that area. A military academy has a -- it's like a military school, like any other school, so it doesn't mean that under the nose of the military itself.

But as I said, this is something which concerns us as much as the rest of the world.

We are on the same page on this. And we want to learn from the commission's report as to what happened, how it happened and what are ways and means of we -- of us strengthening our intelligence network, what are ways and means of us being able to strengthen the political network and ensure that this type of, you know, thing doesn't happen inside Pakistan anymore.

AMANPOUR: I just want to let you know that your scarf has slipped off your head. If you -- if you care, you can put it back on right now. Otherwise, I can continue.

KHAR: Sure. Please continue.

AMANPOUR: OK. Perfect.

Foreign Minister, it has caused really a plummeting, as I said, rock- bottom relations between Pakistan and the United States.

One of your foremost authors and experts, Ahmed Rashid, has written a new book, in which he says that the United States and Pakistan could possibly be on the brink of war, go to war because their relations are so bad.

Your own parliament has just put through a very robust series of new measures. I know you call it a reset, but it does seem to slap the U.S. around a bit, for instance, saying no drone attacks anymore onto Pakistani territory.

KHAR: Christiane, as you have pointed out, the parliamentary process has, indeed, pointed out that there should be a complete stop to drone strikes. But they have also pointed out that foreign militants, if they exist on Pakistani soil, must be rooted out completely.

So as far as the strategy is concerned, we are together. We are on the same page. We want to root out terrorism, because Pakistan suffers more from terrorism than any other country in this world. I can say that clearly.

Now, however, it is also emphasizing that it must be respectful, that this relationship must be based on respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and for the interests of Pakistan.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about going after the militants. You are saying that this no-drone strike is going to be implemented and that you will go after the militants yourself in Pakistan.

But here is the crux of the issue. Many people watch the relationship between Pakistan and India. They look at it as the most serious problem in the region, because what Pakistan and its obsession with India is drawing all its security resources away from the fight against the militants.

So as you know, there are still sanctuaries. The United States has just said the latest attack in Afghanistan was by the Haqqani network. If Pakistan is unable to go after its own militants because its resources are so stretched towards India, you're now saying that you're going to deny the U.S. its most effective weapon in terms of going after these militants.

KHAR: OK, again, let me take this opportunity to correct a few perceptions.

First of all, Pakistan's policy toward all regional neighbors, to its immediate neighbors, has been consistent. This government's policy has been consistent, that we need to find peace and stability within.

And the way to do that is to find a friendship or to improve our ties -- to improve ties which are based on trust with each one of our neighbors. We cannot afford to be selective about it, so be it India, be it China, be it Iran, be it Afghanistan, we do not have a choice. We cannot be selective about it. We have to improve our relations.

And I hope that you have noticed the recent trend in our relations with India. Pakistan has been very consistently following a dialogue process to bring India back to the dialogue table. They are back on the dialogue table. And we have moved through this dialogue process and trying to solve our problems on the negotiating table. That is the Pakistani approach, as we speak.

Now, in Pakistan, you have seen a reaction to the drone strikes. You have seen that they are considered to be in violation legally. They are seen to be counter-productive, because what they do is that they put the militants and the tribesmen, who this government has taken great pains to separate, back together in their hostility toward the United States. Now, that's not a good long-term strategy.

AMANPOUR: So in that case, the parliamentary commission also demanded an apology from the United States for the killing of Pakistani troops the last time the U.S. was going after militants. Is it important to get that apology? Have you gotten it yet? And will you demand it?

KHAR: Christiane, I -- again, important to clarify, while the government had never formally asked for the apology, now the parliament has, indeed, asked for an apology. And we would certainly hope that the U.S. would, you know, be respectful of the will of the people of Pakistan.

And please, too, remember, that these were 24 of our soldiers who died at the hands of what we considered to be friendly fire, because we are in this war together, because we have been partnering with the international community in Afghanistan.

Now let me ask you this very simple question. What would it feel and what would it do to the U.S. citizens' sentiment if they were to receive 24 body bags in the United States, saying this was done in accident by the Pakistani troops, who did not lose a single limb? What would be the reaction of the United States?

AMANPOUR: Madam Minister, can I switch subjects just for a moment, because another issue that is very prominent and causes quite a lot of angst in the United States, and, actually, in the West, is the issue of acid burning and the violation of women. And I know the system in Pakistan is trying to put punitive measures against people who do that.

Now, you know that there's been this case of this young woman, Fakhra Yunus, who was a prominent acid victim. She committed suicide by jumping from her building. Acid was thrown in her face by her husband.

It's also -- her husband was a relative of yours. He was a cousin of yours. And he's been accused by her of having done that.

What do you have to say about that?

KHAR: Even before this suicide took place, the government has passed what I consider to be historic legislation against acid burning, which will mean that any more people who do this will not be able to go scot-free at all, that the system will resist it, that the system will have walls around it which will discourage people from using this as a tool for domestic violence and others.

AMANPOUR: If it does turn out that your cousin is responsible and that he's charged and found guilty, should he face the same penalties that any ordinary Pakistani perpetrator would?

KHAR: Absolutely. Absolutely. In order to make the case that nobody is above law, the government that's in (ph) has already committed to reopen the case. And I think that once all the work is done, in terms of the investigation, et cetera, anyone, whether who -- whichever background he may be from, must face the law and must face the results that come out of that action.

AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, thank you so much for joining us from Pakistan.

KHAR: A pleasure.


AMANPOUR: And the issue of acid burning was the subject of a film that won the Best Documentary at the Oscars this year.

And coming up, an English mystery that Sherlock Holmes would love, a case of disappearing ink and dashed hopes solved by brilliant police work. It's elementary, my dear Watson, when we come back.



AMANPOUR: Imagine a mystery worthy of Agatha Christie, the case of the missing manuscript. A woman blind from diabetes, living alone in Dorset, England, begins to write a novel in longhand. She completes 26 pages, when her son pays a visit, and sees to his horror that all the pages are blank. Her pen has run out of ink.

But this isn't fiction; it's a true story, reported first by our friends in the British press.

Trish Vickers (ph) had turned to writing to try to alleviate her life and give it some purpose. Now all her words were gone, and like every good mystery, there's a twist. Vickers (ph) and her son turned to the local police.

For months, they spent their lunch breaks using a high-intensity crime light to trace the marks of pen on paper, and the pages were restored. And Ms. Vickers (ph) continues writing and hopes to find a publisher for her novel. That's our program. Thank you for watching. We'll see you here again tomorrow night.