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International Help for Nigeria's Kidnapped Girls; Exclusive Interview with Nigerian Kidnap Escapee; Gadhafi Son on Trial; Eastern Ukraine Independence Referendum; Libya Progress Report; Saif Gadhafi's Lawyer Discusses Trial; India Police Attacked; India's Youth Vote; Ukraine Vote in Moscow; Some Mexican Vigilantes Register with Police; North Korea Drone Accusations; Dennis Rodman Claims Kim Jong-un's Uncle Alive; Concerns About Ukraine Vote; English Premier League; Parting Shots: Austria Wins Eurovision

Aired May 11, 2014 - 11:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: This hour, CNN's Nima Elbagir makes a dangerous journey to Chibok in Nigeria and comes back with an exclusive interview with a schoolgirl who escaped Boko Haram.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, "Go and enter this car."




ANDERSON: Also, as forward goes, you can't go more brazen than this. CNN on the ground as voters cast multiple ballots in eastern Ukraine's independence referendum. I'm going to take you there live. Also ahead --

LEONE LAKHANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a sea of blue at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City as Manchester City is about to win another Premiership title, and the excitement here is palpable.


ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: A very good evening from the UAE. It is just after 7:00 in the evening here, and we're getting new details about what happened the night Boko Haram abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria. CNN the only network to hear it directly from one of the girls who escaped. We're going to have Nima Elbagir's exclusive interview in a moment.

First though, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan says he welcomes the assistance of international security specialists in the effort to rescue these girls. British, French, and American security specialists are in Abuja, and China has also offered to help. Also, Pope Francis took to Twitter on Sunday, calling for people to join in prayer for the girls' immediate release.

Well, in the first of a series of exclusive reports, Nima Elbagir visits the town of Chibok in northern Nigeria, where nearly 300 schoolgirls were abducted by a terrorist group. She risked this journey to hear firsthand accounts of the abduction and to see how people in the northeastern town are still living in fear. In this report, Nima talks to one of the girls who managed to escape.


ELBAGIR: By an absolute miracle, some of those girls managed to escape on that horrifying night. But even for them, this nightmare isn't yet over. One of them has agreed to speak to us, but she's asked that we don't identify her in any way, that we don't give away her name, her family house, anything that could bring about what she fears the most, that the kidnappers could come back for her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, "Go into this car."

ELBAGIR: What kind of cars?


ELBAGIR: Was it one or more?


ELBAGIR: Seven lorries?


ELBAGIR: And this was at 10:00 at night?


ELBAGIR: So, did that make you feel that they had come to get you, to get the girls?


ELBAGIR: That's when you knew that they'd come to kidnap you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. They said, "OK, enter this lorry, we go." And I think I will drop down.

ELBAGIR: That was really brave of you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we would rather die than go. We ran in the bush.

ELBAGIR: You ran in the bush?


ELBAGIR: And what happened then?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We ran and ran and we were gone.

ELBAGIR: Can you describe the men that came and took you? What did they look like? Were they wearing civilian clothing or military uniforms? What were they wearing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't understand.

ELBAGIR: What was their dress? What were they wearing?


ELBAGIR: Did they look like soldiers?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we are a little afraid.

ELBAGIR: You feel afraid?


ELBAGIR: You don't want to talk about what they look like?


ELBAGIR: That's OK, I understand. I understand. I'm sorry.


ANDERSON: And we'll be hearing more of Nima's reporting in the coming days. One other note: the British prime minister David Cameron is the latest high-profile figure to tout the hash tag #BringBackOurGirls. You see him here with CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour appearing on what is known as the "Andrew Marr Show" on the BBC.

Mr. Cameron said Britain agreed to send the counter-terrorism and intelligence team to Nigeria, adding that it is unlikely that Abuja would ask for British troops as well.

Well, one of Libya's most followed trials has been adjourned once again. Saif al-Islam Gadhafi appeared in front of a Tripoli court via a video link before his case was pushed back to May the 25th. The son of the former dictator Muammar Gadhafi is accused of killing protesters during the country's uprising. The crime punishable by death.

It's being held in the city of Zintan by militiamen who captured him in 2011 and refused to hand him over to the central government. Well, Jomana Karadsheh joins us now from Tripoli in Libya. And Jomana, what is the very latest at this point? This has been ongoing and quite a saga.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Becky, this is the third session of this trial, in which more than 30 former regime officials are facing charges relating to attempts to suppress a 2011 revolution.

Now, this session today was a brief one. It adjourned for a number of procedural reasons, mainly requests from the defense lawyers for more time to look into the case file, more access to the case file.

Now, many Libyans here, Becky, have criticized this trial saying the proceedings have been really slow. But international watchdogs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have been critical for other reasons. They're really concerned about the ability of Libya to provide these defendants with a fair and free trial.

Now, some of these main concerns, like you mentioned, Saif appearing via video link. Also, another eight defendants who are also held in the city of Misrata since 2011 are also appearing via this video link. The judge allowed the use of this because they have not been able to get them to Tripoli.

There are concerns that they will not get their full rights, especially in a case like this where these defendants are facing the death penalty. Other concerns have been that defendants either don't have access to their lawyers or, in the case of Saif, don't have a lawyer yet.

The Libyan government, for its part, Becky, has insisted that it is capable of giving former regime officials a fair trial. But Libya has a really tough task ahead to try and prove that this is more than a show trial.

ANDERSON: Many say that this case should have been tried at the ICC in the Hague. Is there any sympathy with that school of thought in Libya?

KARADSHEH: Not in Libya, Becky. Most Libyans from the day that Saif al-Islam has been captured and Abdullah Senussi, the former spy chief, extradited to Libya, we have spoken to many Libyans. The overwhelming feeling here is their crimes were committed in Libya, so they need to stand trial here, in the country where these crimes were committed, and face justice here.

People want to see a closure to that dark chapter of their history, that era of the Moammar Gadhafi regime. But of course, there are lots of concerns about Libya's ability provide a fair and free trial, especially in the current circumstances here, the security situation, and the judiciary coming under a lot of threat in this country.

ANDERSON: Jomana, for the time being, we thank you very much, indeed. Live from Tripoli in Libya for you. And we'll have more on Saif al-Islam's trial later in this hour. We're going to speak to the lawyer defending him, or supposed to be defending him in just a few minutes from now.

What sort of access he is getting -- well, that is absolutely questionable at this point. We'll put that to him. We'll also get an update on the country's progress three years after the revolution.

Also this hour, India's elections are coming to a close this week, and we'll take a look at what is important to young voters there. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: All right, a very warm welcome back, 11 minutes past 7:00 here in the UAE, this is CNN and CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.

Well, an election official in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk says that about 69 percent of registered voters have turned up to vote on a controversial independence referendum. And a large crowd of Ukrainian expatriates lined up in Moscow to vote on the measure, a measure that Kiev calls illegitimate.

Well, Nick Paton Walsh joins us live from Slaviansk. Sixty-nine percent have turned up to vote, says an election official. Does that tally with what you are seeing and hearing on the ground where you are?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Impossible to tell, Becky. You say "an election official," but it's a self-declared government put in place by pro-Russian militants and protesters, so in many ways, they'll make up the numbers as they wish. They may represent the reality of what we saw on the ground.

One place we went to at noon said it had 25 percent turnout. At this particular poll, we saw a flurry of (inaudible) slipping off slowly, too, so. It's going to be hard to really get to the real facts of who's voted for what here.

There are lot of people in this town angry at the Ukrainian government's moves against it, in the military, who support the unrest, and then it's fair to say, a silent group here whose numbers are hard to fathom, who don't support it.

So, it's a mixed picture, but the real issue tonight, Becky, is we are going to see the results coming out, I think, possibly preliminarily from here, Slaviansk, as early as this evening. And they will quite clearly, I think, endorse the choice of the act of independence, or what they call the Donetsk Republic here.

But it's a really an election environment unlike anything you or I would recognize. No public debate, no posters, no sense of competition between the two different ideas. This is put in place to endorse the unrest that's taken over this town. Becky?

ANDERSON: Nick, I guess the very simple question is, what happens next?

WALSH: I wish -- I think many people here wish they knew. It was fairly clear that they would ask to join Russia, but in Vladimir Putin's comments three days ago saying, look, you should delay this referendum, you should respect the May 25th presidential elections, kind of took the wind out of everybody's sails here, left them quite confused, you could see it in their faces in some ways.

But I think it's fair to say the Kremlin still has a dog in the fight here. They're still very much involved. We saw on a Russian 24-hour news channel run by the Kremlin last night in the hotel we were staying at, on the bottom of the screen, explicit local instructions for what people should do in order to vote in this referendum.

So, that's Moscow clearly allowing instructions in Ukraine for people to vote in the referendum. What does Putin want next? We don't know. Some analysts say, frankly, the disturbance caused in eastern Ukraine has maybe split the country, made it ungovernable, certainly in the east.

In many ways, that may be all he needs. He may not need further involvement of Moscow, may not need Russian troops to go in, but we really have been waiting to see what Kiev does now. Moscow has stepped back, tried to distance themselves.

It's gone ahead here regardless, but we still have thousands of Ukrainian soldiers in the woods around this town. The fear is exactly what happens when these results come through. Becky?

ANDERSON: Sure. All right, some hours from now. Nick Paton Walsh on the ground in what is an incredibly important story today.

Well, Libya's Saif al-Islam Gadhafi appeared briefly in front of a Tripoli court today before his trial was adjourned until May the 25th. Now, the son of the former dictator, Moammar Gadhafi, is accused of killing protesters during the country's uprising, the crime punishable by death.

He's been appearing in court via video link, and that is because he's being held by militiamen who refuse to hand him over to the central government, citing security concerns and lawlessness.

Well, it's been three years since the country's revolution that led to the overthrow of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Before we talk to Saif's defense lawyer, Jomana Karadsheh looks at where Libya stands now.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): Nearly three years since the fall of the Gadhafi regime, Libya as a country teetering on the brink of all-out chaos and anarchy.


KARADSHEH: The fighters backed by NATO who overthrew the regime have refused to disarm and disband. Thousands more have taken up arms since. There are now militias with competing ideologies, loyalties, and agendas. With a lack of accountability by a weak central government, their list of abuses continues to grow, and efforts to build a police and army have so far failed.

Libya's nascent democracy is fragile, parliament sessions frequently stormed, and elected officials often powerless against militia intimidation. The rising polarization between Islamists and liberal parties has almost paralyzed the political process.

The hope that came with the 2012 elections, Libya's first in nearly half a century, has turned into frustration. Libyans are still waiting for that promise of a better life. The country's economy is in shambles. Militias and protesters with various demands have held the country's oil hostage. Their blockades have slashed production and cost oil-dependent Libya billions of dollars.

But it's the deteriorating security situation that worries Libyans the most. Rising lawlessness in the capital, Tripoli, where diplomats and even a prime minister have been kidnapped.

In Benghazi, the cradle of Libya's revolution, bombings, kidnappings, and killings have become all too common. Violence that's blamed on radical jihadist groups that have grown in size and influence since the revolution, their threat reaching far beyond Libya's borders.

Despite the challenges and slow pace of change, most Libyans remain optimistic about the country's future. The drafting of a constitution is finally underway, and parliamentary elections are planned for later this year.

But many say they can't do it alone. Libya once again needs the support of the countries who helped topple the regime, this time, in building a state.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Tripoli.


ANDERSON: Well, the lawyer defending Saif Gadhafi has worked on some pretty high-profile cases, like that of Julian Assange, former Liberian president Charles Taylor, and the former Bosnian president Ejup Ganic. John Jones specializes in extradition, in war crimes, and counter- terrorism. He joins us now from our London bureau.

Much to discuss. Primarily, what this could mean if Gadhafi is, of course, found guilty. Firstly, though, what access have you had to your client?

JOHN JONES, LAWYER FOR SAIF GADHAFI: Well, I haven't actually seen him in Libya. I refused, if you like, to even try to see him in Libya. You may or may not know that when previous lawyer from the International Criminal Court went to see him, she and three others were detained for four weeks.

There's no secure or safe environment for me to see him there, and it would be impossible for me to actually speak to him, frankly, as his lawyer under any conditions of confidentiality. On the previous visit, his meetings with his lawyer were recorded, monitored. And so, I will see him in the Hague, and that's what I'm --

ANDERSON: Can I -- Right, can I clarify this, then? At present, Saif Gadhafi has no defense team?

JONES: Yes, well I think one has to separate two things. I represent him before the International Criminal Court. In Libya in this trial, if you can call it a trial, the show trial which is going ahead in Tripoli, he had no lawyer at all of the whole pretrial phase, and charges were confirmed by the accusation chamber without him having a lawyer.

There are reports that today he was appointed a lawyer, but at three previous hearings, he's confirmed that he did not have a lawyer. So, to date, he has no lawyer. Perhaps he was appointed one today.

ANDERSON: The whole point of the ICC is to be there when national systems can't do the job, but the reported words of your colleague, Amal Alamuddin, who is representing Gadhafi's enforcer, al-Senussi, in this case as well. Instead, she said, it is giving a flawed, dangerous process the stamp of approval. Do you agree with those words?

JONES: Well, yes. The situation of al-Senussi is slightly different in that the International Criminal Court has said that Libya can try him, whereas in the case of Saif Gadhafi, the ICC ordered last year, last May, that he should be delivered to the Hague.

And so, in his situation, Libya has been under an obligation -- an immediate obligation for one year to deliver him to the ICC. And it's not simply the ICC, it's the United Nations Security Council, when it referred the situation to the ICC, said that Libya had to cooperate.

So, in our case, we have a situation where Saif Gadhafi should not even be in Libya. He should have been delivered a year ago. Every day that he remains in Libya, Libya is flouting international law. And so, in our case, the ICC has not given any seal of approval to this process. On the contrary, the ICC position is --


JONES: -- that he should not be there.

ANDERSON: Let me just crack on. So, at this point, the case is adjourned until May the 25th. Is it your understanding that it will continue to be in Libya. And if that is the case, what chance that there is anything but a guilty verdict for Saif, who will, one assumes -- and you can tell me whether you think this is correct -- be put to death?

JONES: Well yes, well, that's the thing. This process in Libya has all the trappings of a show trial. As your reporter said, it's a trial on capital charges by video link, which is pretty much unheard of. You only have video link proceedings when the defendant has been unruly and has been removed from the courtroom, or if, in one case, if a head of state wants to be tried by video link.

But in this case, Saif Gadhafi hasn't said he wants to be tried by video link. And as your reporter said, it's simply because the militia refused, perhaps rightly, for his security, to deliver him to Tripoli.

So, a trial where he has no access to the case file to date and no lawyer, it can only be a show trial. And as you say, it carries the death penalty. So, who knows what will happen with this trial.

I think, as your reporters also said, judges and lawyers have been killed in Libya. They have a gun to their heads when they're hearing cases where there might be reprisals against them if they take a decision unfavorable to armed groups.

And one can't imagine Saif Gadhafi being acquitted simply because it wouldn't be acceptable to public opinion. But how can there be a fair trial where you can't even imagine an acquittal?

ANDERSON: Very briefly, can I just ask you one question? What kind of defense case would you put together for Saif?

JONES: Well, I'm afraid it's impossible for me to say that at this stage, because I don't have an disclosure of the case file against him in relations to the ICC case. And so, in terms of the charges against him at the ICC, and even more so in Libya, I'm not in a position to say what the defense would be.

It bears emphasizing, of course, that he is presumed innocent. And what I've certainly encountered is a lot of popular prejudice against anybody bearing the Gadhafi name, and a presumption of guilt, and that's obviously entirely wrong.

ANDERSON: John Jones, who specializes in extradition, war crimes, and counter-terrorism, out of the London bureau for you today. Assuming to represent Saif Gadhafi if and when he ever gets to the ICC and the Hague. Thank you, sir. We've got the latest coverage --

JONES: Thank you.

ANDERSON: -- from the region on our website,, and in Arabic as well, on Do read the latest developments on Saif al-Islam and 37 others from the Gadhafi regime who are also standing trial. You've got the story and the latest from the Middle East and North Africa,

This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, live from Abu Dhabi. It is 22 minutes past 7:00. Up next, India's next generation could hold the key to the current elections. We'll hear what young voters want and what they see in the country's future. That up next.


ANDERSON: Well, seven police officers have been killed in an attack in central India. Now, that attack took place in the state of Maharashtra. Local authorities say that a landmine triggered by suspected Maoist rebels detonated as a police patrol passed by.

Now, this attack comes as security is enhanced during what is the final throes, of course, of this nationwide election. That vote, the largest election in the world, and it ends this week. It's being called India's most significant vote in 40 years.

Now, a key part of the balloting, young voters making their voices heard. CNN's Mallika Kapur with more on that.


RIDDHIMA SHARMA, STUDENT: I am Riddhima Sharma. I'm a student.

MUKESH JAISWAL, FRUIT SELLER: I am Mukesh Jaiswal. I am a fruit seller.

RIA CHOPRA, FASHION INTERN: My name is Ria Chopra. I work at a fashion magazine.

SHARMA: And I want --

JAISWAL: I want --

CHOPRA: And I want --

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): All three are first-time voters. Given that India's youth makes up half of its billion-plus population, how India's young vote will determine the country's future.

SHARMA: We are obviously -- very obviously really frustrated with the current political scenario in our country.

KAPUR: The only government these youngsters have really known is the current Congress Party-led one, in power for the last ten years. In that time, prices have risen sharply, says Mukesh. "Just look at the price of petrol," he says. "It's doubled. It's a huge problem." Disillusioned, he says he's going to vote for a different party, one that will fight inflation.

Even Congress has acknowledged the problem. Its election manifesto says the party will take some action to, quote, "control inflation in a difficult global economic scenario." For Riddhima, though, economics takes a back seat.

SHARMA: The kind of vast communal divide, the kind of gender disparity, you know? Gender -- or lack of empathy and sympathy toward the situation that we are currently in as a country and community is extremely bad.


KAPUR: Fed up of sitting on the sidelines, this generation isn't afraid to take on the government. Thousands took to the streets to protest a Delhi student's rape in 2012, one of the defining moments of popular activism in India's recent history.

CHOPRA: I want to make sure that it's not me or my friend going through that. That's why it was very important for us to stand for injustice.

KAPUR: A powerful took in their hands: the internet, a quick and easy way to share information.

SHARMA: Instead of calling five people, now I can share it with a thousand people on my Facebook friends list.

KAPUR: And politicians are listening. For the first time, they're connecting with the youth online. But the young will also have to do their bit.

SHARMA: And because I believe in democracy.

KAPUR: They must go out and vote.

CHOPRA: I do not have the right to complain and be angry or be upset if I don't cast a vote.

KAPUR: Taking part is what will make this generation different.

Mallika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.

JAISWAL: I pledge to vote.


ANDERSON: Well, the latest world news headlines are just ahead, plus a sense of victory in the air. Manchester City just some 20 minutes or so away of possibly being crowned the English Premier League champion. CNN's Leone Lakhani is with many of City's fans here in Abu Dhabi.

LAKHANI: Becky, tune into Man City, and the fans here, young and old, are watching the club that's very close to their hearts cruise to a Premiership title.



ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. The headlines for you this hour.

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan is welcoming the help of US and British security specialists in an effort to free the more than 200 schoolgirls who have been kidnapped by Boko Haram. That, of course, was last month. Pope Francis took to Twitter this Sunday, urging people to pray for the girls' release.

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi appeared in front of a Tripoli court via a video link before his case was adjourned earlier today. The son of the former dictator, Moammar Gadhafi, is accused of killing protesters during the 2011 uprising.

An election official in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk says that about 69 percent of registered voters have turned up to vote on a controversial independence referendum. And a large crowd of Ukrainian expatriates lined up in Moscow to vote on the measure. Kiev calls it illegitimate, and in fact, Moscow itself, calling for a postponement.

Matthew Chance out amongst those voters earlier in the capital, Moscow. He joins us, live from there now. And CNN's reporters on the ground, Matthew, in eastern Ukraine, saying that the turnout seems to be a lot lower than election officials certainly reporting.

There's some concern about the future. Not everybody voting yes, it seems. But at least from our sense on the ground, it seems most people will say that they are seeking independence. Is that what you were hearing in the queues for voting today in Moscow?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, it's difficult to comment on the turnout, because I don't know how many people from Ukraine there are in Russia. But certainly, there were many thousands, a couple of thousand at least, say, of Ukrainian expats that have gathered in the center of the Russian capital to cast their ballots in what was, essentially, a very makeshift polling station.

There was no secret ballot. People were there presenting their identity cards and their passports to the organizers and on the basis of that, on the basis of that proof that they're from, originally, eastern Ukraine, many form Donetsk and Luhansk, they were given a ballot paper and went over to a table and, transparent ballot box.

And quite happily, most of them, all of them, the ones we saw, ticked the box calling for greater autonomy. I think it's the very nature of a referendum like this that essentially people who aren't in favor of it are not going to turn out in vote. Certainly that was the sense that we got from the expats that were voting today in the Russian capital, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. So, the question then is what happens next? What does Moscow do next? What's the sense of its strategy given, it has to be said, that Putin himself was urging a postponement of these referenda?

CHANCE: Yes, that's a very odd thing about this referendum, isn't it? The fact that on May the 7th, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, did a political about-turn and said, essentially, that he supported the presidential elections in Ukraine on the 25th of May as a right step forward. He called on the pro-Russian groups in eastern and southern Ukraine to postpone this vote.

Yet at the same time, we heard from our reporters on the ground that state television from Russia had been broadcasting details and instructions about how people in eastern Ukraine could vote. And of course, this goes a step further than that, actually allowing a polling station to be set up and to be run to cater to the expatriate Ukrainians in the Russian capital.

So, on the one hand, it seems that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is trying to put some distance between what happens on the Ukrainian front and what he actually says. But what he actually does is, apparently, not very much about trying to stop these referendums taking place, allowing even this vote to take place in his own capital, Becky.

ANDERSON: Matthew Chance in Moscow for you today.

Well, authorities in western Mexico are beginning to enlist local vigilantes to work with local police. It is part of an effort to fight the Knights Templar drug cartel and control the armed militia in the state of Michoacan.

Now, the government gave a Saturday deadline for vigilantes to register all weapons or join the police force. If they do neither, the government says they could face arrest. Well, not everybody's going along with the government's scheme, as Nick Parker reports. Some say it's still too dangerous to disarm.


NICK PARKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This vigilante in the flashpoint state of Michoacan is registering his guns. They must be kept at home or their owners need to join a rural police force under state authority.

The government estimates there are nearly 3,000 vigilantes in the state. Alfredo Castillo was appointed by Mexico's president to restore order to Michoacan.

ALFREDO CASTILLO, COMMISSIOENR FOR SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT, MICHOACAN (through translator): We have arrived at a point where it is easy to wear a white shirt which says "vigilante." The facts are, in the last few weeks, we detained 100 people who claimed they were vigilantes but were committing crimes. It told us the groups had been infiltrated and that we had to take urgent steps.

PARKER (on camera): Michoacan is famous for its beautiful and colonial capital, but the state has been plagued by insecurity for decades. Mexico began its drug war here in 2006, and it's also where the new president launched his first major military offensive.

PAKER (voice-over): The vigilante groups were formed in rural areas last year in response to continued violence and intimidation by the area's biggest drugs cartel, the Knights Templar. They say the state was unable to protect their villages and began taking over territory occupied by the cartel.


PARKER: Last month, the government struck a deal with the main leaders of the groups. They would disarm by May 10th as the government poured in troops and police to secure the state. So, will they keep to the deal?

GAVIN STRONG, CONTROL RISKS: One thing we have noticed is this sort of emerging tension within the leadership of the vigilante movement in Michoacan, which suggests that perhaps some of them of less willing to lay down their arms.

PARKER: The vigilantes' new spokesman, Estanislao Beltran, sounded a defiant tone just days before the deadline. "It's hard to give up halfway," he says. "We need to continue the fight wherever it takes us. We have to look for organized crime in all corners."

The government has arrested local politicians accused of cartel links and captured or killed three senior Knights Templar figures. But the overall leader, Servando "La Tuta" Gomez, remains at large, a potential sticking point with the vigilante groups.

CASTILLO (through translator): They're the first ones who know very well that in the case of this person, he is completely surrounded and unable to operate. If they didn't know, they would have more skepticism regarding the issue of disarmament.

PARKER (on camera): And if some of these vigilantes don't lay down their arms and don't submit to state authority, are you prepared for armed conflict with them?

CASTILLO (through translator): We are prepared to restore order. In this sense, we are the first who don't want blood to be spilled. We are clear they are going to be disarmed and they will not have the mobility because of the checkpoints we will put in place.

PARKER (voice-over): Sunday will be the final test of a shaky disarmament deal.

Nick Parker, CNN, Michoacan, Mexico.


ANDERSON: Well, North Korea is emphatically denying South Korea's assertion that Pyongyang has a drone program. South Korea raised the concern when it found these unmanned, crudely-built aircraft on the ground near the demilitarized zone. Now, the North has called for a joint investigation while accusing the South of making a fuss and peddling fiction.

Well, former basketball star Dennis Rodman has been making some pretty stunning comments about what's going on in what is this secretive North Korea. Maybe the most jaw-dropping allegation concerns the uncle of the leader there. Brian Todd has more on that.


DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Just this night was really different.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Far from being contrite, Dennis Rodman is still glowing about the trip he made to North Korea in January and the basketball exhibition he staged for Kim Jong-un's birthday. In an interview with "Du Jour" magazine, Rodman said he's still impressed with the show of worship Kim got when he entered the arena that night.

RODMAN: I was just so amazed just to see the people crying. I mean, literally crying.

TODD: Some of the interview was videotaped, but in the more substantive portion, Rodman wanted just the audio recorded. He told "Du Jour" Kim Jong-un's uncle, Jang Song-thaek, was still alive when he was there.

RODMAN: There's his girlfriend and his uncle, there's his sister. That's his sister, they're standing right --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The uncle is alive?

RODMAN: They're all right there, standing right behind him.

TODD: The interviewers were skeptical, asking again if the uncle was a live.

RODMAN: He was standing right there.

TODD: This despite reports from North Korea's own government news agency the previous month that Kim had had his uncle executed for treason. Other Rodman revelations, he said he paid the other former NBA stars who accompanied him to North Korea $30,000 to $35,000 each out of his own pocket. He said he's held Kim's baby and portrayed the uneven, volatile young dictator as something like a cruise director.

RODMAN: He laughs, jokes, and do all kinds of (expletive deleted), man.


RODMAN: Loves playing basketball, loves playing table tennis, he loves playing pool. He has this 13-piece girls' band.


RODMAN: That's no karaoke machine, it's a band, a real band, and it's all girls. They all --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you ever sing?

RODMAN: Did I sing with them? They played "Rocky" and "Dallas."

TODD: Rodman has admitted that he was drunk for part of the time and said he went to rehab after returning from North Korea. But he remains the only American ever to have personal, face-to-face meetings with Kim Jong- un. Rodman says Kim wants to change that.

RODMAN: He really, really wants to talk to Obama. He says it -- I mean, he can't say it enough. He say he don't want to bomb nobody, that he don't want to kill Americans.

TODD: US officials are now concerned Kim's regime is preparing to stage another underground nuclear test, but Rodman told "Du Jour" Kim Jong- un only wants nuclear weapons to defend his country.

TODD (on camera): Rodman was not only apologetic for the regime, but in denial over North Korea's human rights record. When asked about the hundreds of thousands of people suffering in labor camps there, his response, quote, "Which country does not have that?"

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. It is 42 minutes past 7:00 here. With about eight minutes or so to go, Man City battling West Ham with everything on the line. An update on what is the final match and one of the most exciting in the English Premier League, after this.


ANDERSON: All right, before we do a bit of football for you, I just want to return to one of our top stories today. Voters in eastern Ukraine lined up at polling stations to weigh in on whether or not they want to separate. An election official in Donetsk says about two-thirds of voters have turned out. There are, though, concerns that not everything is above- board. Atika Shubert with more.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly looks like democracy in action. IDs are being checked and registered, and ultimately, people cast their votes into the ballot boxes. But there are still a lot of things wrong with this picture.

We've seen at least one man come in around twice to vote. Some people have just slipped in multiple ballots, something we've caught clearly on camera. And since the ballot boxes are transparent, few people have folded up their ballots, you can easily see the "yes" votes in these boxes.

Now, is this, then, a verifiable, accurate representation of the will of the people here? Probably not. But what we do know is the undeniable amount of people that have come out here to vote today.

And what comes across, talking to voters, is not a militant insistence on independence. It's not even an insistence on joining Russia. Rather, it's an anger and frustration with the government in Kiev being either unwilling or unable to stop the violence.

SHUBERT (voice-over): "I'm hoping the level of violence will decrease," this woman tells me. "I'm hoping it will give more power to the local government to resolve the conflict. That's how I understand it. Right now, they can't deal with what's happening because they have no authority."

"How could there be more violence?" this man tells me. "It's already so violent. Frankly, I wasn't going to vote, but taking into account my family and countrymen being shot at, I don't see what other choice I have."

SHUBERT (on camera): Now, the results aren't expected until later tonight, but that hardly seems to matter. It's a foregone conclusion. Most people here say they know the answer to the question on the ballot. What they don't know is what happens next.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Donetsk.


ANDERSON: Well, it is the last day of the season for the English Premier League, and with less than a minute of full time to go in Manchester, at least, Manchester City playing West Ham. Liverpool also vying for the title.

Well, Man City leading West Ham, as I say, with less than a minute to go full time. There's a couple of minutes of extra time. They are leading two-nil. They need a win or a draw to secure the title for a second season.

Manchester City owned by Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed. So, there is a big fanbase here in the capital of the UAE. I'm going to get reaction to the match in a moment with Leone Lakhani, who is with some fans standing by right here in Abu Dhabi.

First, let's cross to CNN's "World Sport" presenter Don Riddell at CNN Center. I'm going to put you on the spot, here, because there's going to be something like -- what? -- 90 seconds to go, and I'm going to get you to talk me through this game.


DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: We had a great deal of drama in injury time two seasons ago when Manchester City won their first league title in -- what? -- 44 years. Not quite the same amount of drama this time, not that any of the City fans in Manchester or the Middle East or anywhere else around the world are going to be complaining.

They knew that going into this last game it was really in their own hands. They've had a phenomenal record at home this season, Becky, and they really wouldn't have been -- or they wouldn't have expected to be troubled by West Ham. And in the end, they were not.

As you say, two-nil the score, Samir Nasri scoring towards the end of the first half for City, and then Vincent Kompany, there, Belgian captain, scoring very early in the second half made this a much more comfortable afternoon for any City fans who are feeling anxious in the stands.

A great moment for their captain, Kompany, because it was only just a few weeks ago in that crunch game against Liverpool where he failed to clear the ball, allowing Liverpool's Coutinho to score, giving Liverpool the win, which gave Liverpool the momentum in the title race.

And at the time, you really felt for him, because he knew what that meant at the time. But in the end, City have managed to overcome the deficit. They went into the final game of the season top of the table, and they're going to end it as champions for the second time in three years.

ANDERSON: All right. Listen, they've done it. They've won. Let's get to Leone. What's the atmosphere like there as Man City are crowned the English Premier League team once again?

CROWD: Thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten --


CROWD: -- nine, eight, seven --


LAKHANI: You can hear that they're just --

CROWD: -- six, five, four --

LAKHANI: -- the excitement is just palpable.

CROWD: -- three, two, one!


LAKHANI: Becky, we may be hundreds of miles away from Manchester, but for fans here in Abu Dhabi, they really believe in this club. It is a team very close to their hearts. And that's because, as you mentioned, it's the team that's owned by Abu Dhabi -- by an Abu Dhabi group.

Now, two seasons ago, we were right here, and we're seeing the fanbase grow and grow and grow. We've got football academies sponsored by Man City. We've got team players like this, 700 students from the ages of five onwards, all here, all with a newfound support for Man City, ever since Abu Dhabi took it over.

And we've even got a fan like Brian, who's a brand-new fan ever since Abu Dhabi took it over. Why? Why is that, Brian?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's -- Abu Dhabi's Manchester's second home, right? So, I didn't know anything about Manchester until I moved here five years ago, and now I'm a huge fan. I can't miss a game. If I can't watch it, I watch it online or watch it blogged. And tonight is obviously amazing to see them win the Premier League championship.

LAKHANI: And Becks, and as I said, there's Brian, there's fans as young as five years old here, all with a newfound love for Man City ever since Abu Dhabi took it over. This is a football-loving nation, but ever since 2008, there has been a newfound interest in the Premiership, and winning a title helps a lot, Becks.


ANDERSON: Yes, of course it does. Well done, thank you. And thank -- oh, the lights went out on you just as we say good-night to you. Back to you, Don. And I guess Brian a great example of why Man City bought the team, to a certain extent.

This is about the football on the field, and what a great afternoon it's been, but it's bigger than that. It's about a big new fanbase, isn't it, going forward? This is entertainment at its best at this point, worldwide and global.

RIDDELL: Yes, and Man City a very entertaining team. They've scored more than 100 goals this season. Defensively, they've been very strong. They were always a club with a great history, but of course, they were overshadowed for so long by the success of their crosstown rivals, Manchester United.

But when the group from Abu Dhabi made that big investment in 2008, they knew that this club had massive potential, and so it has proved, with -- what? -- two titles now in the space of just three years.

And of course, contrasting fortunes in Manchester, given United's absolutely miserable season. They're so bad, they're not even going to be playing in Europe -- any kind of European competition next season. It's the blue half of Manchester that is smiling once again.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. All right, well, the blue half of Manchester smiling today as Manchester City takes the English Premier League title. Let's see what United do next year with what will be a new coach. Who knows who that will be at this point? But lots of talk about it being -- being the goal, of course. Thank you very much, indeed.

What did you think about this season's Premier League? Do you think Man City deserved to win? The team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you,, have your say. Tell us who you support and why.

Of course, you can always tweet me @BeckyCNN, @BeckyCNN. You know I'm not a Man City fan, you know I'm a Spurs fan. Also an important game for us today. The league in the -- in England coming to an end, pretty much wrapping up all over Europe.

Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, long locks and a trimmed beard. Why Eurovision's winning performance is turning heads.


ANDERSON: Your Parting Shots this evening out of the UAE. Well, meet the Eurovision winner, who has a face as distinctive as her voice.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The winner is -- Austria!



ANDERSON: Known as the bearded lady, drag queen Conchita Wurst took the trophy for Austria. The diva won with the tune "Rise Like a Phoenix." It's Austria's first victory in 48 years. As for how Wurst keeps her beard looking that grim, just ask 25-year-old singer Tom Neuwirth. He's the man under all the hair, and he created the alter-ego as a call for tolerance.

Neuwirth started dressing as the character back in 2011. As for Wurst, well, she says winning Eurovision is a dream come true.


CONCHITA WURST, EUROVISION SONG CONTEST WINNER: This Eurovision family is a family I ever wanted to join because this project is based on tolerance, acceptance, and love. And so, it really felt like coming home, actually.

And I know there is a different world beside Eurovision Song Contest, but I believe that also the people outside of the Eurovision are thinking hopefully in the way I do.


ANDERSON: Since Austria won the competition, it will host, of course, next year's contest. We wish them the very best. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD from the UAE. Thank you for watching. Your headlines, though, are next. Do stay with us.