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Cairo Calls For Unified Arab Fighting Force; al Shabaab Calls For Lone Wolf Attacks on Western Malls; Are Iraqi Security Forces Ready To Take On ISIS?; A Night at the Academy Awards; African Forces Train To Fight Boko Haram

Aired February 23, 2015 - 11:00   ET



ABDEL FATTAH EL-SISI, EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This is a stance that we see that a unified Arab forces together, we see it is

now a necessary...


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: A call for a united front to face a common enemy. Tonight, we bring you the battles that cross borders and talk to

the people demanding a response (inaudible).

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: Well, some of the bloodiest conflicts we bring you each day know no borders. Fighters disregard state lines, refugees sneak across

them and countries pool efforts to cope with today's transnational wars.

This hour, we're live in Cairo as Egypt once again calls for Arab states to unite, this time against ISIS. Meanwhile, Kurdish forces defend

Iraqi soil backed by American airstrikes. I'll ask the leading Kurdish representative in the United States whether they are getting the support

they need.

We hear how Europe is trying to cope with teenagers being lured away by terror groups and ask one British MP should governments go so far as

seizing passports?

And while the world focuses on ISIS, other conflicts continue to spill over and force neighbors to face a common enemy. We're going to take you

to west Africa for more on that.

But we start with a call to action from the leader of the world's most populous Arab state. Egypt has been drawn into the direct fight against

ISIS after the murder of 21 of its citizens in neighboring Libya. After launching airstrikes last week, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is

calling for a pan-Arab force to confront ISIS. he was speaking in an address to the nation. Have a listen.


EL-SISI: This is a stance that we see that a unified Arab forces together. We see it is now a necessary and an important and necessary

because the challenges in the region and facing our countries are huge challenges and that we can overcome those challenges once we are together.


ANDERSON: Well, Mr. el-Sisi did not give any more details about his proposal, CNN covering the threat of ISIS from across the region, of


Ben Wedeman is in Irbil in northern Iraq.

I'm going to get you, though, to Cairo first and to Ian Lee. el-Sisi talking about unified Arab force to fight extremism across the region, not

least of course, Ian, in Egypt's chaotic neighbor Libya.

Egypt's strikes on Libya were popular among his regime's supporters. What is Sisi doing to engage with a wider coalition to fight what isn't

just ISIS related, of course. In Libya, it is much more nuanced than that.


And President el-Sisi in his speech last night talked about how he was engaging countries in the region, other Arab countries, other western

countries and really talking about the need for everyone to come together over this ISIS threat.

And the interesting thing, he did not give any details about it. The presidency's office so far hasn't elaborated on what he meant. But what we

did hear also is that President el-Sisi said that for the Egyptian military, its role is to protect Egypt's borders. And he mentioned that

quite a few times that it was a defensive military, but he noted that if there -- was a need that arose where the Egyptian military was needed

elsewhere in the region, that that was still a possibility only with the cooperation of their brother Arabs, as he puts it.

And this whole pan-Arab military idea has been around for quite a while, decades. In the 50s, 60s and 70s we saw a real push for it, really

championed by the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. It didn't come to fruition.

Now with this ISIS threat -- and there really isn't many countries in the region that haven't dealt with ISIS directly or indirectly, President

el-Sisi is trying to capitalize on that.

But it is going to be difficult. Arab leaders are not known for their unity. And so it will take a lot of diplomatic maneuvering to get

something like that going, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, I'm going to talk about that more this hour. Ian, thank you.

In Iraq, the fight against ISIS has been underway, of course, since last summer, but there seemed to be cracks emerging. With the Iraqi

defense minister, for example, taking issue with U.S. statements about Iraqi force.

Ben is with us.

And Khalid al Obaidi voicing his frustration, Ben, with Washington for declaring a timeframe for a Mosul assault on ISIS. He says it was for Iraq

to decide that military commanders should not -- and that military commanders should not show their hand to the enemy.

How would you describe relations between the U.S. and Iraq at present on this?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESOPNDENT: They're -- well, obviously Iraq is highly dependent on the United States at the moment,

Becky, so it's not a relationship that can be broken. But certainly they clearly do not see eye-to-eye on how to deal with the situation in Mosul.

Now last October I was in Baghdad and I spoke to John Allen, the American coordinator for the coalition against ISIS. Back then he was

saying it would be at least a year before the United States and its coalition allies -- the Kurds, the Iraqi army -- would be able to make a

move on Mosul.

Now late last week, an American official at the Pentagon said that it would be as early as late April or sometime in May. That obviously took

the Iraqis back by a bit.

And we heard today Khalid al-Obaidi, the Iraqi defense minister, was a bit taken aback as well. This is what he said.


KHALID AL-OBAIDI, IRAQI DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): In terms of U.S. troops coming back to Iraq or any other foreign troops for

that matter, they will need 100 percent political approval. That means approval from all political parties as well as from the Iraqi parliament.

The defense ministry alone can not make a decision on such matters. But we believe Iraqi troops with the help of local civilians will be able to free

the land occupied by extremists.


WEDEMAN: So, of course the Iraqis are not happy about this statement. The Kurds as well were taken aback. Their attitude is that they are ready

and willing to defend Kurdish territory, to retake Kurdish territory that was seized by ISIS, but they're very hesitant to volunteer their men, their

limited resources, for a potentially very risky and bloody attempt to drive ISIS out of Mosul -- Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. Ben Wedeman is in Irbil for you. ISIS, then, already controls Iraq's second largest city, Mosul. It also occupies other

territory in Iraq.

So, who is involved in the fight to oust the group? Well, first, there are the Kurdish Peshmerga, as Ben was pointing out fighting on the

front lines. The Iraqi military is reported to be preparing for an offensive to retake Mosul. Also helping in the fight against ISIS in

various guises is a U.S.-led coalition of some 60 countries.

Well, for more on the role of the Kurdish fighters, I'm joined by Byron Raman. She is the Kurdish regional government representative to the

United States. And she joins us now from Washington.

You have been lobbying for greater intervention against ISIS for months. How well are the foot soldiers in this fight, the Peshmerga, are

being supported?

BAYAN RAHMAN, KURDISH REGIONAL GOVERNMENT REP. TO U.S.: Well, first I would like to take this opportunity to thank the United States and all of

the coalition partners -- Britain, France, the Gulf countries -- for partnering with us against ISIS.

ISIS poses a threat to all of us in Iraq and Kurdistan, but actually to all of us around the world.

We are being supported. The airstrikes are very effective. There is a sharing of intelligence. The advisers on the ground are helpful, the

training, the equipment. Where there is some difference in opinion is that we're saying the Peshmerga need direct arms. The arms don't need to go to

Baghdad first. And we're saying that the Peshmerga need heavy weapons. We need helicopters. We need tanks. We need armor piercing equipment and we

need equipment to counter IEDs. This is where the differences.

But broadly we're in line and we support the United States and we are thankful to the United States.

ANDERSON: Right. I understand that.

But back in September, you were calling for heavy weapons for training and indeed for airstrikes. You say you're getting those. It doesn't sound

to me, though, as if you were getting everything that you need.

Do the foot soldiers, the Peshmerga on the ground, feel isolated at this point? The question was simply are they being supported well enough?

RAHMAN: We do need more support, you're right. We've been calling for direct arming of the Peshmerga and for the heavy weapons for months.

And we will continue to do that. This is an ongoing process. So you're absolutely right.

If we are talking about completely defeating and degrading ISIS, then this is what the Peshmerga will need.

ANDERSON: Concerning the much flagged plan to liberate Mosul, Ben Wedeman spoke to a senior Kurdish commander, Soran Botsani (ph) just a

couple of days ago. This is what he told Ben about plans to retake this city, and I quote, "I don't think it's realistic. And I don't have any

idea about a plan. And if it involves the Iraqi army only, it's not going to work. The Iraqi army is not ready for the fight."

What do you know about plans to liberate the city? And do you agree that the Iraqi army is simply not ready and clearly that will be massive

involvement by the Peshmerga?

RAHMAN: I understood the announcement said that there would be 25,000 Iraqi forces involved. And included in that would be about 8,000


I have to say the announcement took me by surprise as well. But we have to believe that there must be a good reason for this announcement to

have been made at this particular time.

In my view, I'm not sure whether the Iraqi forces are ready, but I'm not a military person. So I can't say that I have every piece of

information with regards to their readiness.

But the crucial thing about Mosul, Mosul is surrounded currently on three sides by the Peshmerga. The southern side needs the Iraqi forces to

control. The other thing that we need to be clear about, whenever the assault on Mosul takes place, whether it's in the spring as has been

flagged, or later in the year, it is possible to retake Mosul, but the question is will the victory be sustainable?

We need the retaking of Mosul to happen in such a way and at such a time Iraqi forces are ready, the Peshmerga are ready anyway. Iraqi forces

to be ready, the victory to be sustainable and the Sunni Arab community in that area to be on board.

If those elements are not in place, there's no point going ahead.

ANDERSON: With that we thank you for your time.

Tonight, we have much more to come as we look at this seam of nations coming together to confront a common threat. After a very short break.

We're going to look at European efforts to stop teenagers running off to join ISIS. How far should governments go to stop them?


ANDERSON: Right. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

It has been six days now since three teenage girls left their homes in London. One told her family she was going to a wedding. Well, instead

they got on a flight to Turkey. And police fear that their next stop is Syria to join ISIS.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says that schools and communities must do their part to prevent the poisoning of minds by what he called an

appalling death cult.

Well, the father of one of the girls has pleaded with her to come home.


ABASE HUSSEN, FATHER OF AMIRA ABASE: The message I will have for Amira is to get back home. We miss you. We cannot stop crying. Please,

think twice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't go to Syria.

HUSSEN: Don't go to Syria, of course.


ANDERSON: You have heard -- we've heard from a spokesman to the Turkish president show says that British and Turkish authorities are

working together to try to find the girls.

Let's go to London. Atika Shubert joining us live. What do we know at this point, Atika?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the last we heard is that the girls were still in Turkey. But it has been a few days

now. This is why we heard from the families, from British police, all putting out appeals over the weekend hoping that the girls will get the

message and not cross over into Syria.

But it may be too late. They may already have crossed over. This is why British and Turkish authorities are working together to try and locate

the girls as quickly as they can, Becky.

ANDERSON: When they say they're working together, do we know what they're doing at this point? Do they have any idea where these girls are?

SHUBERT: Well, we know that they were most likely headed towards the border. What they'll be trying to do is trace back and figure out what

communication the girls may have had with ISIS recruiters inside Syria. What are the routes they might have taken.

We do know that the girls were likely in contact with Aqsa Mahmoud (ph), this is a 19-year-old from Glasgow who left for Syria last year. And

she has actively been recruiting online, telling young women in particular how to get into Syria step by step, what clothes to bring, what other

equipment they may need.

So it's quite possible that they followed her lead and took her route. But we don't know for sure. It's one of the leads that police will be

following and trying to figure out how they left and how they got in.

ANDERSON: Well, Atika, on the very latest from London. Thank you.

Rashanara Ali is the labor member of parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow where the missing schoolgirls are from joining me now from London as


You said that the government needs to look at the border control procedures that allow these girls to travel to Turkey. This is shutting

the barn door after the horse has bolted, somewhat, isn't it?

Firstly, at this point what more can you tell us about the search for these girls?

RASHANARA ALI, MP FOR BETHNAL GREEN AND BOW: Well, I know that there's an -- you know, a great deal of work going on by the police trying

to reach out to the community and of course overseas and we are continuing that appeal.

Today, the head teacher made that appeal as well. And I hope that anyone who has any information, whether in the UK or in Turkey, will get in

touch with the police as a matter of urgency so that we can do everything possible to return these girls home to their loved ones.

ANDERSON: Like it or not, the UK is being accused of, and I quote, exporting terror abroad. France has been trying to stop its own citizens

from joining ISIS. Last month, you'll know that the prime minister said some 1,400 people from France have either joined ISIS or are planning to do


Today, French authorities said they've confiscated six people's passports on suspicion that they wanted to join ISIS in Syria.

French interior minister has also said that 40 other cases are being protested.

Would you support the British government's right to remove passports as a counterterrorism measure?

ALI: For what we need to do is a whole series of things to prevent young people -- these are vulnerable young adults and young people under

age in this case, who are being radicalized either online or offline. And we need an urgent review of what went wrong in this case and that means

that we need to look at what happens in schools, outside of schools, in communities so that families can get the support they need.

So that's the first thing.

And the second thing is about agencies can do. And the help that is given to teachers and those in authority who come into contact with young

people so that there's practical help to people who feel that their young children and young people, family members, might be being targeted by

radical extremists, either overseas, from overseas or domestically.

This is going to need a collective effort from society at large to do the preventative work, the hard graft of making sure our young people's

minds are not being poisoned by extremists. And that needs challenge from within the communities, but also across agencies. We need to look at what

has to be done to prevent what's happening in the future.

ANDERSON: Let me put this to you, young minds are being poisoned, it is absolutely clear that they are being poisoned. So I guess I'd put it to

you again, would you support the measure that the French have adopted of the right to remove passports from people ahead of them ever getting a

chance to travel?

ALI: Well, I know that there are already restrictions within the UK. And the authorities will need to look at the appropriate measures to

prevent someone who might be at risk of going and joining ISIL -- ISIS and other extremist organizations abroad. And every effort needs to be made to

prevent them going into danger, dangerous places, but also being radicalized and getting involved with things that they shouldn't be

involved with, frankly.

ANDERSON: With that we're going to leave it. We thank you very much indeed for joining us this evening.

And more on that story, of course, as we get it.

Coming up, a warning from the United Nations about widespread human rights violations. We're back in Iraq. We're going to have the details on

that in about 10 minute's time.

But up next, moving away from the headlines for a moment, we're headed to Costa Rica. We're going to visit an old cement factory that's being

turned into a public park providing much more than green space for area residents. That up next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right in the heart of Costa Rica, De Samperados (ph) is rarely visited by tourists, because here the streets the are

plagued with crime. So, the government proposed an unconventional answer to the concerns of the community. It's called Parke la Libertad (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were all very clear that this was going to be a green area, a park, but it had to be much more than that, because of

where it was and because of the populations that were around it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Commissioned by the ministry of culture, the aim was to turn almost 80 acres of land into a public park, a place where kids

can skate and ride their bikes, but also where they can learn.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of the kids do not have the possibility to continue starting or have a formal education after high school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Free classes are offered to people of all ages from children to senior citizens, learning everything from music to

programming with many of the courses geared toward gaining technical skills for employment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a place where underprivileged young people are trained to become productive citizens and when they get out of here

after 18 months, they have a job. And they all come from the surrounding area, which is a very poor area of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six years ago, this site was home to a cement company. The industrial space was repurposed into what you see here.

CLEO VAN DER LAAT, ARCHIECT (ph): We tried to step back a little bit and not focus on the buildings so much, but we focused on the like a

connection between these buildings in a way. And we had this like circulation pathways for bicycles, people running.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the transformation wasn't just physical, with more than 11,00 people a year now enrolled in the courses, the path has

become very popular with locals.

But it took time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it was a little bit difficult in the beginning having them, you know, trust us and believe in us and what we

wanted. And to tell them, we are here to stay and we have the funds to do this and we are going to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now as this area becomes the foundation for progress in De Samperados (ph), it's a model they hope can be replicated in

other parts of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I think that the whole park means opportunity and it means like a chance, that's what people need, they just need a




ANDERSON: This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour here on CNN.

And Turkey says it is working with British authorities to help find three British girls who flew to Istanbul from London six days ago. There

are fears that the girls are traveling to Syria to join ISIS.

The U.S. secretary of state and his Iranian counterpart have been meeting in Geneva of Tehran's nuclear program. And according to Reuters a

U.S. official says those talks have made some progress. They're trying to meet a March 31 deadline target for a framework accord. And according to

Reuters, Iran's foreign minister called the talks useful and serious. But adds there's still a long way to go.

Some western shopping malls are on high alert after Somali-based terror group al Shabaab called for supporters to carry out attacks similar

to the 2013 massacre at the Westgate mall in Kenya. In a video message, the group specifically named malls in the UK, Canada and the U.S. as

potential targets.

Well, Homeland Security officials in America warn law enforcement to be vigilant and shoppers to be attentive. They also say there is no

credible evidence that any attack is in the works.

Nima Elbair reports.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A new propaganda push by the al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group al Shabaab shows a man with

his facial features obscured reminding the world that there are still so few answers as to how the group managed to pull off the horrifying attack

in the Kenya Westgate mall.

The man speaking with a British accent calls on those around the world who subscribe to their ideology to carry out lone wolf attacks. With the

specter of Paris and the Denmark attacks still so close at hand, these threats are being taken very seriously. Indeed, the masked man goes so far

as to give the coordinates of malls in the U.S., the UK and in Canada.

With ISIS tapping into what was traditional al Shabaab recruitment grounds in Minnesota and amongst the Somali-American community, clearly al

Shabaab are trying to regain the propaganda momentum, propaganda translates into recruits and into money life lines for these kind of groups.

But whether propaganda will translate into action remains to be seen. But nobody is taking any chances neither here nor in the U.S. nor in


Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: All right. Back to one of our top stories this hour, the fight against ISIS in Iraq.

A United Nations report published today describes the horrific ascent of Iraq's spiral into violence. It not only outlines how minority groups

are subjected to the brutality at the hands of ISIS. It also reports on violations committed by Iraq's security forces and affiliated militia.

Well, for more I'm joined now by the UN special envoy to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov who joins me now from New York.

And, sir, the United Nations report published today makes depressing reading, particularly on the reported crimes committed by the Iraq security

forces and affiliated armed groups. How widespread is this to your mind?

NICKOLAY MLADENOV, UN SPECIAL ENVOY TO IRAQ: Good morning, Becky. We've seen an increasing trend of violence and atrocities committed by

ISIL. The report focuses very much on those. However, over the last couple of months we've also seen an increase in reports of incidents

committed by armed groups that work alongside or in support of government operations.

This is a worrying trend. However, the encouraging news on this is that the government, the Iraqi political and religious leaders have shown

universal agreement that these incidents need to be tackled with and the responsible need to be taken to the courts of law.

So as worrying as this news is, there is also a glimmer of hope in the fact that the Iraqi political establishment universal condemned them.

ANDERSON: All right. Which groups are we talking about here, sir, working alongside the Iraqi government?

MLADENOV: Well, I think we're looking at a number of groups, some are malicious, other are part of the popular mobilization forces. These are

the Iraqi volunteers that responded to the calls to stand up and protect the country against ISIL. And there have been a few incidents in -- mostly

in the province of Diyala, but also elsewhere in areas that have been freed from the control of ISIL, the acts of retribution have happened.

And it is these acts of retribution that need to be very, very thoroughly investigated because they have the potential of undermining the

very fragile successes that Iraq has had in the fight against ISIL and undermining the long-term success of operations against the terrorist

organization that still controls about a quarter of the country.

ANDERSON: I want to talk about the flagged assaults on -- or the flagged operation to liberate Mosul, because this speaks to I think

possibly what this UN report was speaking to as well.

A senior UAE government official has told me that the fight against ISIS and specifically any operation to liberate Mosul, must utilize Sunni

elements. He said using Shia militia will be counterproductive.

Does the UN agree? And does Washington understand these concerns by regional coalition partners?

MLADENOV: Let me separate my answer into two parts. Firstly, it is true that to liberate the areas that are currently under the control of

DAESH you need local people to stand up against the terrorist organization and to liberate their homes. It would be obviously counterproductive if

this happens in any other way.

But generally, I want to make a very broad comment with which I think there's now agreement not just in Iraq at the United Nations, but also in

the region with, that a purely military solution to the problem of ISIL, would in fact be counterproductive.

Yes, you need security operations, you need the coalition activities, you need Iraqi security forces to stand up. You need the national guard to

be formed so that people can take control of their security. But very importantly you need a political process through which people can see the

inclusivity of the new state of Iraq. They can see how long-term problems have not been addressed are finally being addressed.

And a lot of that political processes within the government of Iraq's administerial program within its political agreement.

And I think we all need to work very -- in a very great engagement with Iraqi authorities to ensure that this agenda of reconciliation, unity,

social inclusion, is delivered across the board, not just in the areas that are currently under control of ISIL, but also in the south of the country,

in the north of the country. This is the solution.

ANDERSON: And I hear what you're saying. And I'm sure many people, particularly across this region, will agree with you that no military

solution can be achieved without a political one.

But we are at that point of the military activity at present. Let's talk about what happens next. Should, for example, Washington have flagged

their plans to liberate Mosul?

MLADENOV: Well, we are not privy to any of the security discussions between Iraq and its allies. However, I can make a very general comment to

the United Nations is preparing if there is a push for Mosul over the next few months that we might see more people displaced by the fighting and we

need to be ready to accommodate these groups.

And more generally, again, a point to the fact that really the Iraqi security forces should be the one in the lead on any ground operations.

They must be supported, or they can be supported by the national guard, which is now going to be formed. O ve the last months we have seen for the

first time about 4,000 Iraqi Sunnis join the fight against ISIL alongside the government and this is also an encouraging sign.

ANDERSON: But those Iraqi forces, quite simply, are not ready, sir, on the scale that would be needed. And we've heard these concerns about

Shia militia being used, which would just create a greater sectarian divide.

Do you agree that quite clearly on the ground it is the Peshmerga who are doing the hard work at present? We've just spoken to one of their

representatives who say that they are still, even though they appreciate the support, for example, from the coalition led by the U.S., are still not

ready, not well equipped -- well equipped enough -- with a sort of heavy weaponry that they will need in order to get rid of this scourge that is


MLADENOV: Well, it is true that the Iraqi security forces have some way to go before they are fully prepared for any largescale ground

operations to liberate areas from ISIL. However, that process has started.

I would like to point to the fact that outside of that training, equipment, et cetera, of the Iraqi security forces, what is really, really

necessary is to build up the national guard. The draft legislation has already been sent to the Iraqi parliament. The national guard would allow

the provinces to take more control of their security, it would allow people to join the ranks of an official force that would provide protection to the

territory and fight ISIL.

This would also allow for better cooperation between the Peshmerga, between the Iraqi security forces, the police, the national guard and

anyone else that is part of the coalition in the air.

And I think this is really the crux of the matter right now is to ensure that this legislation goes very quickly through parliament, that the

national guard is formed very quickly. And that the coordination that we've seen emerge between Baghdad and Irbil, on the Peshmerga and the

Iraqi security forces is strengthened by the day.

This is the solution on the security side.

Then obviously there's the whole package of unity and reconciliation and social inclusion measures that need to be taken on the political side.

ANDERSON: Sir, in your latest and what will be your last briefing to the UN in your position, you described yourself as a paranoid optimist with

regard to Iraq's future. Very briefly, explain what you mean.

MLADENOV: Well, I'm optimistic because I've seen a lot of good things actually start emerging on the ground, not just the government of national

unity, but the overwhelming commitment by the political and religious leaders by Iraq to balance the relationship between the communities to

focus on a political rather than a purely security solution.

These are all very positive elements. The dialogue that has emerged between Baghdad and Irbil as well.

However, I also remain concerned that many things can go wrong. ISIL still retains control of about a fourth of Iraq's territory. The training,

the equipment of the Iraqi army still needs to take place. The national guard, as I said earlier, is still not there.

So we need to watch very, very carefully. And what the responsibility of the international community really is to work with Iraq's authorities,

with all of its components, provide the necessary support, provide the necessary expertise, but also ensure that it is the Iraqis that take the

lead, because it is their country, it is their waste. And they actually know best how to resolve the problems that exist on the ground.

If we, from the outside, try to do it for them, we're likely not to find the success that we would see when the Iraqis do it themselves.

ANDERSON: The outgoing UN special envoy to Iraq joining you this evening on CNN. Thank you.

And we have a lot more on this story on the website, of course, for all of our reports, including one about the top five terror

groups, for example, making headlines this month from ISIS in Iraq and Syria to al Shabaab and its fresh threats against western targets. These

past days we've profiled the players for you. That and more on the website.

Well, live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson.

Coming up, we go to a remote training camp in southwestern Chad next. This is where military experts are teaching African forces to fight

extremism. That is up next.

And, tonight, a jubilant Eddie Redmayne takes the stage in Hollywood to accept his Oscar for best actor, one of the many highlights that we're

going to get you in about 10 minutes time. This is CNN.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Boko Haram and its brutal campaign of terror have plagued Nigeria for six years. But now Nigeria's neighbors, Niger, Chad and Cameroon are

mobilizing as the group's violence threatens to spill over their borders.

Boko Haram controls large parts of Nigeria's Borno state in the northeast of the country. And it's been moving to take land in neighboring

countries around the Lake Chad basin.

Well, the fighting is creating a refugee crisis with many Nigerians heading to what is the relative safety of Cameroon. But once they are

there, they face overcrowding at refugee camps, food shortages and poor sanitation.

According to aid workers, at least 1 million people inside Nigeria have been displaced. And according to the UN, another 157,000 have fled

into neighboring countries.

Well, as the threat posed by Boko Haram expands beyond Nigeria's borders, neighboring states are taking action. Chad Television showed

these pictures of soldiers seen around Boson (ph), Niger. The report said the troops have inflicted, and I quote, heavy losses on the militant group


Well, regional countries are said to be preparing an offensive against the terror group, perhaps as early as next month.

Well, in the meantime, Chadian forces are getting help from military trainers in north America and Europe. Arwa Damon with more on that.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Off a remote air strip in the middle of Chad's austere landscape, some of the

world's most elite soldiers have come together. We're with America's secretive special forces. The ground rules, no identification, no on-camera

interviews and no combat technique specifics.

Here the Chadians drill on how to respond to a vehicle ambush. Their commander, Captain Zakaria Mada (ph) tells us, "If you have this kind of

training, you can defend yourself from death."

This is Exercise Flintlock. 28 nations in all. American and Europeans training with African elite units to respond to a growing threat from

terrorist groups.

Nigerian Navy special forces who have lost men to the fight against Boko Haram instructed by the Brits on how to extract a wounded soldier

while under fire.

(on camera): The countries that make up the Lake Chad Basin have been heavily criticized for their slow response to the threat posed by Boko

Haram. As one U.S. special forces operator out it, Boko Haram was allowed to fester. So as important as the tactics learned here are, what is equally

if not more significant is that this exercise will strengthen the newly formed coalition.

(voice-over): A regional coalition at war with Boko Haram to the west surrounded by even more threats. From here, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

operates in the northwest. ISIS to the east.

Dangers Europe already faces among Flintlock's training partners, Belgium. A country that recently had its own sense of security shattered by

extremist violence.

PIERRE, BELGIUM SPECIAL FORCES OPERATOR: And everyone is trying to do their part because there's no -- there's not really a sense of national

security anymore where it's more of a risk society in a sense where what happens far away is eventually our concern.

DAMON: It is all of Europe and America's concern. A U.S. special forces operator telling us, quote, "We need to build relationships in

Africa and you can't do that if you aren't on the ground."

Arwa Damon, CNN, Mao, Chad.


ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi at 10 minutes to 9:00, you're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, Oscar glory for a

pair of recording artists and numerous other nominees. We're going to take a look back at some of what were the triumphant moments from Sunday's

Academy Awards.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN and Connect the World.

All right, the 87th Academy Awards now in the books. And perched on top this time around Birdman. It took the top prize: Best Picture. And

also to award to over three other Oscars.

For some of the highlights, Stephanie Elam looking back at Hollywood's big night for you.


SEAN PENN, ACTOR: The Oscar goes to "Birdman".

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alejandro Inarritu's "Birdman" soared over the competition taking the top prize of the night's best


ALEJANDRO INARRITU, BEST DIRECTOR, "BIRDMAN": We are here. I don't know how that happened but it happened.

ELAM: "Birdman" about a fallen star fighting for success earned four Oscars including original screenplay and director. First time host, Neil

Patrick Harris, got into the act recreating "Birdman's" famous underwear scene.

HARRIS: Acting is a noble profession.

ELAM: It was a night marked with passionate speeches about causes near to the winner's heart.

Eddie Redmayne who won best actor for playing Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything" dedicated his award to people battling ALS, the

diseases that afflicts Hawking.

EDDIE REDMAYNE, BEST ACTOR "THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING": This Oscar -- wow -- this belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS.

ELAM: Julianne Moore earned the best actress Oscar for "Still Alice" about a woman struggling with Alzheimer's.

JULIANNE MOORE, BEST ACTRESS "STILL ALICE": And people with Alzheimer's deserve to be seen so that we can find a cure.

ELAM: J.K. Simmons won the supporting actor prize for his tough as nails music instructor in "Whiplash" while Patricia Arquette took

supporting actress for "Boyhood" and used the Oscar platform to speak out.

ARQUETTE: It's our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.

ELAM: Graham Moore made a startling confession after his adapted screenplay win for "The Imitation Game" about World War II code breaker

Alan Turing who was persecuted because he was gay.

GRAHAM MOORE, BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY, "THE IMITATION GAME": When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt

different and I felt like I did not belong. And now I'm standing here. I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like

she's weird or she's different or she doesn't fit in anywhere. Yes, you do.

ELAM: John Legend and Common brought the audience to its feet and tears with their Oscar-winning song "Glory" from the civil rights drama

"Selma". The raw emotion carried over to their acceptance speech.

JOHN LEGEND, SINGER: We say that "Selma" is now because the struggle for justice is right now.

ELAM: And in an unexpected musical highlight, Lady Gaga performed a 50th anniversary salute to "The Sound of Music."

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.


ANDERSON: And Steph joining us now from Los Angeles. What a night.

And some political point scoring last night on the west coast, Steph?

ELAM: A lot of political points were made yesterday during the Oscars. Becky, when you look at this statement, you look at Patricia

Arquette talking about those equal pay for women in general. And you know, Hollywood is an industry just like any other. And that's an issue here.

You look at the moving speeches by Graham there talking about how he felt different.

You looked at even John Legend and Common and their acceptance speech and how they had people moved to tears with their song.

There was a lot of moments there in this entire show that were really about what mattered to these people as individuals and less to the glamour

of what is the Oscars.

So a lot of moving moments really came from those.

ANDERSON: Yeah, we're going to ask our viewers what their favorite Oscar moment was last night. Our team at Connect the World of course

always wants to know.

Steph -- they can get in touch with me @BeckyCNN as well and with you on Twitter.

What was your favorite moment?

ELAM: I think when you look back at that performance by John Legend and Common and the way with such grace that they accepted the award. It

was really beautiful.

And I had the chance to talk to Oprah Winfrey outside of the Governor's Ball afterwards, after the show. And talking about like this

whole idea of whether or not the movie Glory whether or not -- Selma, I'm sorry -- if Selma was snubbed.

And they're like look we're here, we're part of this. And so just really taking that moment to enjoy being nominated was really moving.

Also, you know, people are showing different sides of them. You take a look at Lady Gaga showing this understated side of herself and show that

she really just has the chops to sing was also quite beautiful.

But these moving speeches and people taking advantage of this platform around the world really, really fabulous to see. And Eddie Redmayne. I

talk to him outside the Governor's Ball last night, he is so charming in person and so happy to have won an Oscar for playing Stephen Hawking. So

it was a delight to see how happy he was in his moment.

ANDERSON: Yeah. And I have to say I saw that movie and it was quite remarkable.

Well done.

Just to let you know, John Legend was one of your favorite moments, Steph last night, I'm seeing him here in Dubai on Friday. So, come and

join me.

ELAM: OK, I'll be -- I'm getting on a plane tonight.


ANDERSON: Excellent stuff. Thank you, Steph.

And just to remind our viewers, they can get in touch: Of coruse, we always want to hear from you.

@BeckyCNN is how you can reach me or @CNNConnect, the team.

We've got a parting shot for you this evening. We bring you a final look back at the Oscars through some poignant photos. Here is best song

winner Common celebrating backstage his live rendition of Glory along with John Legend brought at least one actor to tears.

Birdman director hugging his son after walking away with two prizes.

Also among the evening's last winners was best actor Eddie Redmayne, of course, winning for The Theory of Everything.

And who could forget Neil Patrick Harris doing his best Birdman impression, or actress Julianne Moore collecting her statuette for best


I'm Becky Anderson from the team here in Abu Dhabi, it is a very good evening. Thank you for watching.