Return to Transcripts main page


Missing Chibok Schoolgirl Found; U.K. Divided over Position in Europe; U.S. 2016 Race for the White House; Inside Operation to Root out ISIS in Libya; Five Years a Slave. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 18, 2016 - 10:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK: reports of one of the kidnapped Chibok girls has been found alive.

An exclusive report on the threat from ISIS inside Libya.

And Bernie Sanders takes on the Democratic Party.


CURNOW: Hi, there, welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow.

At this hour, there is cautious optimism over reports out of Nigeria and a Nigerian government official and an activist tells CNN the first missing

schoolgirl from Chibok has been found, she's one of 276 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram two years ago.

Our David McKenzie joins me now from Johannesburg and senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, is standing by in Istanbul.

Both of them have reported extensively from Nigeria and neighboring countries on this story.

To you, David, I know you've been trying to monitor the news coming out of Nigeria. There is conflicting information.

What have we ascertained so far?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we know at this point comes from activists and vigilante groups, several of them, who say that this

young girl, woman, was found on the edges of the Sambisa Forest, that is the stronghold of ISIS controlled -- or ISIS-linked Boko Haram. Now they

say they found her on early Tuesday, she was collecting firewood, according to those sources, and had a young child.

That person, whose name is Amina Ali Dashame (ph) Nkeke, has been handed over to the military in Nigeria. Now if this all pans out from official

sources, it will be the first time that, in many months, in fact, just more -- over more than two years, that any of these 270 girls who were kidnapped

by Boko Haram from Chibok has managed to get out of that awful situation.

According to those sources, she said that many of the girls are still alive and in one place in the Sambisa Forest. Now the conflicting information is

that the military is using another name for the girl who has been released.

But they do say it's the same person. We'll work out those details in the coming hours.

But what we do know is that there's a lot of optimism amongst those Chibok families that perhaps one of their young girls who was taken is free and a

lot of frustration and anger already coming out of these groups that have been following the story, saying that Nigerian military needs to act now --


CURNOW: And David, I'm just looking at the different statements also trying to just queue everything up. We see from the Nigerian army that

they say this girl was rescued by Nigerian army troops; however, the activist is saying that she was found.

This is two very different scenarios.

MCKENZIE: Yes. The two scenarios could mean that there's two people or just the same story and just different versions of the events. Certainly

the girls have been put in that Sambisa Forest, according to sources we've spoken to over the months in Nigeria and in Cameroon.

They are heavily guarded by Boko Haram, which means that any rescue attempt for the rest of the girls would be extremely challenging and could put

those girls at risk.

But for the remaining parents and relatives of the girls and young women who were taken, it must be extremely frustrating; a bit of hope here for

them but still their loved ones remain under captivity after more than two years -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, indeed.

Stand by, David. I want to go to Arwa.

Like David, Arwa, you've also traveled, reported extensively from that region.

What do you make of the story?

But also more importantly, the context, that the challenges in trying to face them, there's been a lot of hiccups?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There have been a lot of hiccups and there's been a lot of criticism of the Nigerian security

forces for failing to act quickly enough on various different forms of intelligence but also on failing to actually being able to go in to the

Sambisa Forest.

Part of that drives from what David was mentioning there, the difficulties and challenges in trying to launch any sort of rescue operation without

actually jeopardizing the girls' safety.

And then there are portions of the Sambisa Forest that are fairly dense, that make it difficult for surveillance technologies to try to pinpoint

exactly where these camps are located.

Even if they are able to pick up heat signatures, it's difficult to determine who is, in fact, captive and who might possibly be one of the

militants. A worse-case scenario would be for some sort of rescue --


DAMON: -- operation to be launched and then have it end in some sort of tragedy that saw some of these captive girls being killed.

The other issue, of course, has also been as to whether or not the bulk of the girls are being kept in one group. The widespread belief is that, yes,

they are. But then there are other indications that they were split up into smaller groups, perhaps not just being held in the Sambisa Forest but,

some two years ago, right after the kidnapping that took place, we did travel from Northeastern Nigeria into neighboring Niger, onto Lake Chad,

which is dotted with islands that Boko Haram had also managed to capture some of them at least.

And then there was belief and speculation that perhaps some of the girls had been moved into these areas as well, where it would be increasingly

difficult to try to figure out exactly who and where they are, because they could have been mixed into the population that is already preexisting.

But most certainly, yes, a lot of frustration on the part of these parents who have been through some unbearable suffering when it comes to just

imagining what it is that their girls went through but also, when we talk about, you know, the hopes right now that perhaps if it does in fact pan

out that this young woman is one of those who was captured that she has managed to somehow get out of their clutches.

She may hold vital information that could help security forces eventually, if not free the girls, at least get a bit closer to accomplishing that.

CURNOW: OK. Thanks so much, both of you, thanks to both of you. I'm going to leave you there for the moment.

We will come back to David and Arwa if we get any more information. But I do want to move on to an activist from the Bring Back Our Girls movement.

She joins us now. She -- Bukky Shanibaro (ph) has told CNN that the girl from the Chibok kidnapping has been found. She joins me from Ethiopia.

Where are you hearing this information from?

BUKKY SHANIBARO (PH), BRING BACK OUR GIRLS: The chairman of the Chibok community, Wum Isentis (ph), called me earlier, told me about the

development and then we spoke also and then he gave me all the details. And as well, I spoke with a spokesperson for the Chibok community.

CURNOW: And what exactly have they told you?

SHANIBARO (PH): First the girl was found; the name is Amina Ali Dashame (ph) Nkeke but for short on the list that we have, she's known by 127 on

the list and her name is Amina Ali. She's from a Mbalala (ph) community close to Chibok and she is one of the girls who were abducted by Boko Haram

on April 14th of 2014.

She was found yesterday by the local civilian, JTF, a member of the local civilian JTF, who then took her to the military in Damboa (ph). That's

where the military are based.

And upon identification, she was take taken to Mbalala (ph). She spoke with her mother and then her identity was then verified by her mother. So

now that all that process has been done, she's still with the military.

And so we are hoping that further actions will be taken.

I'm also told that she, unfortunately, came back with a child. The exact age of the child is yet unknown. She's breastfeeding. And from all the

information that I got, the family is quite excited that their family's -- that their daughter is back. We got less of the condition.

CURNOW: You're getting this information from fellow activists on the ground.

Why is your information different from the Nigerian officials, who are saying the Nigerian army troops rescued this girl and they give a different


SHANIBARO (PH): Talking about the rescue, rescues and other information entirely but one thing we need to know in terms of identifying the exact

source is the fact that it came from the local -- it's organic, it's from the civilian JTF and then transferred to the Chibok community.

The name of the girl has also been identified, so I wouldn't -- at this point what is really important is that one of the Chibok girls is back. So

debating on the issue of whether the military rescued or not, I think can be subject to another debate. But we have one of our girls back.

CURNOW: And what does that mean?

And do you know what she has told --


CURNOW: -- the military and her family on the ground about the status, the condition of the other girls?

SHANIBARO (PH): What she has said so far, which has also been communicated to my source, the Chibok community member, is that she believes that six of

the girls have died since the abduction, one su (ph), also that they are heavily protected or heavy guarded by soldiers.

It gave the Nigerian military -- and this is bearing in mind (INAUDIBLE) literally we've seen a lot of offensive action by the (INAUDIBLE) against

the insurgent and we -- this fact that they have been so decimated and we are moving very close, the girl said that they are heavily guarded and

heavily protected against the Nigerian military.

What that means is they've heavily been shooted (ph) away from rescue by the Nigerian military.

CURNOW: Bukky Shanibaro (ph), thank you so much. And I think we do need to stress here that this account, cautious optimism; however, CNN has not

independently verified this information.

But thank you for sharing with us what you think has been taking place there on the ground. Appreciate it.

SHANIBARO (PH): Thank you.

CURNOW: Well, now to the big decision facing Britain; in five weeks, voters will decide whether to leave or stay in the European Union and the

result will have huge ramifications for the future of the U.K., Europe and beyond.

Now Queen Elizabeth formally opened Britain's Parliament this morning with the referendum looming on the minds of lawmakers. Draped in her ceremonial

robes and sitting on a throne, the queen listed new rules for Parliament to consider; a sovereignty bill backed by those favoring a Brexit was not


CNN's in-depth coverage leading up to the June 23rd referendum starts today. Hala Gorani joins me now from Dover Castle, a symbolic location and

Dover, the scene of anti-immigrant protests last month.

Hi, there, Hala.

And I think what's so important about this discussion is that there is still such a wide spectrum of public opinion.

HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There really is. It's just around the corner, this very important referendum and you could argue that this is one

of the most important votes in modern British history because the people of this country will be asked whether they want to remain or leave the

European Union, the last time that happened was almost 40 years ago and circumstances are extremely different now.

It's very difficult to look at polls and -- because of the general election where polls were wildly inaccurate -- and count on them as an accurate

gauge to what British voters will end up deciding on June 23rd.

But what is certain here is that there is a large number of undecided people. So even though those who express an opinion are pretty much 50-50

on either side of the issue, you have, according to the latest poll tracker that the "Financial Times" has on its website, 10 percent undecided voters.

So really at this stage, it could go either way, even though over the last several months the Remains, those who want to stay within the European

Union, have had a slight upper hand.

But again, polls have been inaccurate in the past, especially for the last general election. The Scottish referendum, you will remember in September

of 2014 as well, there were polls there that suggested perhaps that those who would vote to secede had an upper hand that they did not end up having

on referendum day.

The big issues are the economy, their immigration, their sovereignty for this country, those who would like to leave the E.U. say they would like to

have their country have a say, a bigger say, independent from Brussels, independent from the European Union, on all matters, not just economic but

also border control and security.

Those who would like to remain say, well, they need to stay in the E.U. because, economically, there are many advantages; jobs are created, jobs

are linked to the free open market of the European Union.

And so there is still a very vibrant debate in this country as to where the country should be headed with the E.U. and which way the vote should go --


CURNOW: Hala, thanks so much. We will be talking a lot over the next six weeks. Appreciate that perspective there.

Well, let's talk about this vibrant debate. Let's get perspective from a Brexit supporter.

Kate Hoey is a British MP and member of the Labour Party.

Hi, there, Kate. Thanks for joining us there.



CURNOW: Hi, there. This is a once-in-a-lifetime decision with life- changing implications, essentially, for Britain.

Is it just too much of a risk to leave?

Or do you think the risk is better than the status quo?

HOEY: Well, I think the issue is that staying in the European Union the way it is at the moment, I mean, in my view it's a pretty dysfunctional

organization now.

We have no idea what's going to happen to the euro, which, of course, the United Kingdom decided not to join. There are huge uncertainties about the

whole E.U. and what we want to do --


HOEY: -- on June the 23rd is the British people I think want to send a signal that really what they voted for way back in 1975 was a common

market, was a trading area that you have, similar to what you have between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

But now the Brussels bureaucrats and the anti-Democratic nature of the unelected commissioners want to actually make it into a federal Europe.

And they have moved closer and closer to doing that so that our Parliament -- and we've seen that opening of our wonderful Parliament today -- we are

finding more and more that we are being overruled by a court which is not in our own country.

So this is about democracy to me and about sovereignty and about recognizing that we need to get control back of our own borders as well,

which of course you in the United States would never give up control of who's coming into your country.

We want to get that back, too, and we want to continue to trade with the whole world, not just the shrinking European Union.

CURNOW: When critics for and against put forward scenarios, it is exactly that; this is an educated guess of what might or might not happen if

Britain leaves the E.U..

There's a lot of consequences bandied about, particularly the issue of security. Let's just listen to what Prime Minister David Cameron had to

say about if Britain leaves the E.U. and what it means.


DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: Who would be happy if we left?

Putin might be happy and I suspect al-Baghdadi might be happy. But our friends around the world are giving us a very clear message. They're

saying, it's all up to you. It is your sovereign choice.

But our friends in Australia, in New Zealand and America and all around the world, they're all around Europe. They're saying it's all up to you. It's

all your choice. But we'd like you to stay. We think it's good for us and it's good for you.


CURNOW: You have experience of working within the former government.

Do you think leaving the E.U. will make Britain more vulnerable?

HOEY: Leaving the E.U. will not change in any way our relationship with the United States, our membership of NATO, which we very much depend. The

European Union has done virtually nothing to keep the peace when we saw what happened in Bosnia, thousands of people killed.

And it took the United States to get involved before that was solved. I think that this shows that our prime minister is beginning to really worry

very much. He said just six months ago that he would be quite, you know, happy that the United Kingdom, if it left, could survive well and do well.

Now he's putting fear after fear because he's seeing that, out there in the country, the British public understand. Our real friends around the world,

real democratic countries understand democracy and your American public will understand that, I'm sure, that all we're wanting to do is to get back

control of our own country.

And that doesn't mean we lose friends. We can be members of Europol. We can do all these things. And I think for the prime minister to bring in

some kind of relationship with, you know, one of the most appalling terrorist organizations in the world at the moment, that somehow they --

that -- bring that in on their side about remaining shows the depths of the concern that there is.

And I'm very confident the British public will have seen through that and will, on June the 23rd, show the prime minister that this is going to be

the people versus the elite, the establishments, who want us to stay in and the public, who are clear that we want to get control of our own country


CURNOW: Yes. And this is CNN international so people from around the world, not just here in the States, will be watching and are watching this

with interest because this is a decision that will have an impact, not just for Europe but for all sorts of bilateral relationships.

Let's talk about that. Boris Johnson, who is on your side, essentially, says Britain should leave, says the U.K. leaving will provide, you know,

Britain with more freedom from rules, from costs.

But particularly when it comes to trade, the American president says, uh- uh, wake up. Listen to what he said recently.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a U.K.-U.S. trade

agreement. But it's not going to happen anytime soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc of the European Union to get a trade

agreement done.


CURNOW: So again, we are talking about assumptions, scenarios. But President Obama sending a warning to folks like you.

HOEY: Well, the president -- I think President Obama was asked to say that by David Cameron as a sort of a farewell gift to him. The reality is, of

course, the United States trades with the European Union now, trades with us now, businesses trade, not politicians.

And the idea that, you know, we're at the back of some queue, I don't think the United States has a queue for trade agreements. They've been trying to

get one with the European Union. And many, many people in this country are very opposed to the trans-Atlantic trade partnership, particularly those of

us on the Left.

And of course it's the European Union spends a long time trying to get a trade agreement, it's been waiting --


HOEY: -- for eight years to get one with India and with China and yet Iceland, a tiny little country like Iceland, can get a trade agreement

almost instantly with India and with China.

So we have no fear. We're the fifth biggest economy in the world. And I think those people who want us to remain and are sending out all these

scare stories are actually doing our country down.

And I know the American public wouldn't want to do the United States down. We are standing on the side of those people who want to show that our

country is a strong, independent nation and that's what we're wanting to get back to.

CURNOW: Kate Hoey, thank you so much.


CURNOW: Split decision in the latest two Democratic primaries in the U.S. race for president. Bernie Sanders won Oregon and Hillary Clinton eked out

a win in Kentucky by only about 2,000 votes.

But in the numbers that really matter, the Democratic Party delegate count, Clinton is now less than 100 delegates shy of clinching the nomination.

Many Sanders supporters are now convinced that the system of counting Democratic delegates is rigged against them in favor of Clinton. That

frustration is already boiling over.

And now as CNN's Manu Raju reports, party leader are telling Sanders to rein his party in.


DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, CHAIR, DEMOCRATIC PARTY: The senator's response was anything but acceptable.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Overnight, Bernie Sanders getting slammed by Democratic leaders, calling for Sanders

to rein in his supporters after this weekend's chaotic state convention in Nevada.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I say to the leadership of the Democratic Party, open the doors. Let the people in.

RAJU (voice-over): But Sanders is claiming Democratic leaders used their power during the convention to, quote, "prevent a fair and transparent

process from taking place."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The leadership there that was running it was not following the rules. They were overruling voice votes on the floor to get

the result they wanted.

RAJU (voice-over): Senate minority leader Harry Reid, who spoke to Sanders yesterday, is angrily dismissing Sanders's claim of a rigged system,

telling CNN, "It's a silly statement."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you boo me, you're booing Bernie Sanders, go ahead.

RAJU (voice-over): And Senator Barbara Boxer, a Clinton supporter, seen here trying to calm the convention's raging crowd, tells CNN that Sanders

has to, quote, "get things under control."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we do not condone any kind of violence or threats. That's unacceptable. Bad language, we don't -- that's unacceptable.

RAJU (voice-over): The anger didn't stop Saturday, the chairwoman of the Nevada Democratic Party receiving over 1,000 angry calls, even death


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People like you should be hung in a public execution to show this world that we won't stand for this sort of corruption.


CURNOW: Well, the fear now is that the anger could become part of the Democratic National Convention in July. Let's talk about all of this.

Assistant editor of "The Washington Post," David Swerdlick (ph), joins us now live.

Hi, there. Just looking at those images, chairs flying; it was a hot mess in Nevada.

DAVID SWARDICK (PH), "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yes. "Hot mess" is a good way to describe it, Robyn. Look, Sanders' supporters have a lot of enthusiasm.

Senator Sanders has overperformed in this election season and now the expectation of his supporters is that he will go all the way to the

Democratic convention in Philadelphia and that he is still challenging Secretary Clinton for the nomination.

He, I think, has a case to make that he should go all the way to the convention, even though the delegate math doesn't favor him. He will have

a prime speaking slot at the convention, he will try and get some of his issues on the party platform.

But for his supporters, I think we're at a point where there has to be some sort of understanding between the candidate and the supporters that the

Democratic Party has a set of rules; under those rules which Sanders chose to compete, he is still trailing Secretary Clinton in the delegate count,

both pledged and what we call super delegates and that the rules are, in fact, set up to favor the establishment candidate.

Not everybody likes to hear it but that is how the system has operated and it operated when Secretary Clinton lost to then-Senator Obama in 2008. And

it will continue like this until the rules are changed.

CURNOW: Well, let's talk beyond the rules but about Bernie Sanders' supporters.

Clinton's campaign, how much does his continued persistence reflect the vulnerabilities within her campaign, particularly with white working-class

voters and the youth, for example?

SWARDICK (PH): Well, she clearly has a vulnerability in this election season, Robyn, where there's both -- on both the Republican and the

Democratic side, voters have said pretty loudly and clearly in these primaries at rallies, you know, in the media, online, that the

establishment choices, Clinton in the Democratic Party and then the many candidates, Jeb Bush and the like --


SWARDICK (PH): -- on the Republican side, that they are tired of the same old candidates as usual. That's why there's been a lot of enthusiasm for

Senator Sanders and that's why Donald Trump -- one of the reasons Donald Trump prevailed on the Republican side.

But I think that there is a recognition at the same time in the Democratic Party that we're nearing the end of the cycle. And that, you know, Senator

Sanders, if he wants to continue to play this role with his Democratic colleagues, probably has to figure out a way to bring his movement and the

party together.

CURNOW: Yes. Reality might have to set in.

Let's talk about the Republicans. As you mentioned, Donald Trump's attractiveness to many voters, primary voters, was his independence,

financial independence as well.

The fact now that he's got to -- kind of done this fund-raising deal with the party, how much of an impact will that have on his supporters, who

were, perhaps -- might be disappointed?

Or do you think his supporters are just so solidified that it doesn't matter?

SWARDICK (PH): One thing that's been proven in this campaign season is that Donald Trump's core supporters have not been deterred by any of the

things that have cropped up along the way in this campaign.

When he has made statements, disparaging statements about women, when he's made disparaging statements about Muslims, about veterans, when he has

changed positions on issues like abortion, on issues like foreign policy, when he's changed positions on the minimum wage recently, his core

supporters have stayed with him.

So I don't expect that Trump's core supporters will now all of a sudden express doubt because Donald Trump once said he was self-funding his

campaign and now he's setting up to fund-raise in a more traditional way, Robyn.

That being said, he -- you know, it is going to be this slow transition where I think, personally, that his supporters are going to see that, as he

gets toward the general election, his sort of tell-it-like-it-is brand, his outsider brand, his stick-it-to-the-system brand, is going to slowly

migrate toward a more traditional political frame as he tries to win over those undecided voters in the middle of the political spectrum.

CURNOW: Yes. He himself has said that he's flexible. So you know, I think you're right.

David, thanks so much for your perspective.

SWARDICK (PH): Thank you.

CURNOW: Still ahead, we're still keeping an eye on this news out of Nigeria that one of the Chibok schoolgirls might have been found. But

we're also keeping an eye on this story, ISIS has been gaining territory far from the world's focus on Iraq and Syria.

Our reporter has been on the ground in Libya. We'll bring you his exclusive report. Lots to talk about. Stay with us.





CURNOW: You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. Here's a check of the headlines.


CURNOW: Executions for crimes as small as cursing, corpses hanging in the streets, a constant fear of arrest: this is daily life in the city of

Sirte, the ISIS stronghold on Libya's coast, that's according to a new report from Human Rights Watch.

It says ISIS has executed nearly 50 people there in just over a year. But for the tens of thousands living in Sirte, escape can be treacherous. ISIS

controls land to the east and to the west along Libya's coast. Now that's where the U.S. has been sending surveillance. Our Nick Paton Walsh has

this report.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the eye in the sky for America's quietest war on ISIS in Libya, specially

adapted spyplane. These flights, part of a growing effort by U.S. intelligence agencies to learn as much as they can about ISIS in what many

consider to be its most dangerous stronghold so close to Europe.

Buried in the rock of the remote Sicilian island of Pantaleria (ph), it's run by a handful of Americans. They fly over North Africa's coast. Public

aviation records show likely Hoovering up electronic chatter video from above the failed state, a 10th of whose coastline ISIS now control.

And down here is where it matters, on a long, isolated road between the Libyan city of Misrata and the ISIS stronghold of Sirte.

This day is all bad news. ISIS using a suicide bomber to help them advance the furthest yet. Fighters tell us that Americans are also on the ground


Along this road we're seeing reinforcements pouring down there and one witness said they saw what looked like four armored SUVs containing

Western-looking soldiers.

They're nervous about what we see. One Libyan official later revealed a dozen U.S. troops operating out of a nearby airbase, the Pentagon

confirming U.S. troops are, quote, "meeting with Libyans" but wouldn't give details.

This man saying he managed to save his family as ISIS moved into their hometown.

This was the scene they left behind. These chaotic militia are all that stand between ISIS and one of Libya's biggest cities.

Hours later ISIS sent another suicide bomber in an armored car. It threw Misrata into a state of emergency, flooding it with casualties; scenes they

thought they'd seen the last of, once they defeated Gadhafi, are back again. Over 100 injured and nine dead, on a scale the hospital can barely

cope with.

Relatives kept out can only peer through the glass for news. The most severely wounded are being brought out now, a steady stream of casualties,

quite unlike anything this city is used to. Along with that sense of ISIS never really having been so close or so threatening.

Funerals now too common, they say. This for Abdullah Foteye (ph), killed in the first of the two suicide bombings, leaving his wife pregnant with

their third child.

"The martyr is a friend of God," they chant.

After five years of war, it barely --


WALSH (voice-over): -- jars other routines. Weddings go on nearby. America is, for now, here as little as it can be and ISIS are winning. The

wait for outside help measured in sons lost.


CURNOW: Our Nick Paton Walsh has just returned from Libya, as you can see from that report.

Very powerful images there. So the big question then is, Nick, what next in this fight against ISIS and Libya in particular?

WALSH: Well, as you saw there, those militia based out of Misrata are having a very tough time in keeping ISIS back out when they get organized

and ruthless, which is much of the time.

Now as you see also, there is limited Western help being sent that way. The special forces we came across near Misrata have other teams in the

capital, Tripoli, and out to the east as well and there's increased surveillance over the country, too.

But U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry has said last week -- sorry; earlier this week that they keen to try and provide weaponry to, quote, "the

legitimate government of Libya."

Now who is that legitimate government?

Well, in the eyes of the U.S., it's led by a man called Fayez Serraj. He has recently arrived in Tripoli for much of the time, actually, held in a

naval base there, which he sailed into and he's trying to wrestle the institutions away from two other effective groups who consider themselves

to be also the legitimate governments of Libya as well.

So that political paralysis has caused the chaos that allowed ISIS to some degree to slip into the stronghold city of Sirte, near which you saw that

report, and expand their control.

The question is, can Libyans unite behind this one key figure who the West believes can possibly get some cohesion?

If that does happen they may see weaponry. The U.S. has to be clear those weapons go to the right militia and not to other dangerous armed groups

across Libya.

And these are a whole series of conditionals, of "ifs" before that fight properly gets underway. And as you saw there, ISIS is using the pause

between that moment to continue to take territory. They now have about a 10th of the coastline and that dawns straight on to Southern Europe, Robyn.

So a very clear and immediate threat, certainly to Europe.

CURNOW: Yes. Good point there. Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much for joining us.

And of course Nick's exclusive reporting from Libya continues. This, expect another one on Thursday. He shows us what new threats migrants face

as they leave Libya to get away from ISIS. Here's a taste.


WALSH: This trade in human souls is awful enough until you think that perhaps ISIS are using this passage of human life into Europe to try and

infiltrate the continent with sleeper cells.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): ISIS can be among the illegal immigrants on the boats. They travel with their families without weapons

as normal illegal immigrants. They will wear American dress and have English language papers so they cause no suspicion.


CURNOW: That's tomorrow. Only on CNN. We'll be back after this break.





CURNOW: A 23-year-old woman says she became a victim of slavery without even realizing it. She was held captive for five years in Mexico City, at

one point kept in chains by a woman she trusted enough to call Mom. Rafael Romo has her story in this CNN Freedom Project report.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): She's 23 years old but looks much younger. Her bright eyes and friendly smile can easily hide

the horrors she has lived.

She says she ran away with her boyfriend at the age of 17 but the relationship quickly fizzled. Instead of going back home, she found food

and shelter with a lady who owned the dry cleaners.

In the beginning, she says, she treated her so nicely, she started calling her Mom. But little by little, the amount of work she was asked to do

increased. A heavy workload was followed by beatings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The first time she started kicking me. Then she said, "You have no right to talk back, because I'm

like a mother for you. If you call me mother, you have to understand that mothers discipline their children."

ROMO (voice-over): The work load only got heavier. She was ironing clothes 16 hours a day.

ROMO: Did you ever think to yourself, this is not normal, they're treating me like a slave?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No. I saw it as, I give you work and you give me a roof over my head. I didn't think of it as slavery.

ROMO (voice-over): As the workload increased, the amount of food she was allowed to eat decreased. Finally, she says, when she felt she could no

longer take more beatings or humiliation, things got much worse. Her captor put her in chains.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): She told me, "This is how animals like you should be treated," and she grabbed me and put the chain

around my neck.

I could only say, "No. This is unnecessary. Don't treat me like this. Don't do it."

ROMO (voice-over): Sunduri (ph) is now celebrating her first year in freedom after five long years in captivity. She was finally able to escape

in April 2015, when the woman who enslaved her left the chains a little loose.

This human rights attorney was one of the first people to see Sunduri (ph) after she escaped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There was not a single part of her body without a scar or a wound. She also had scratches and bruises.

She had also lost a lot of hair.

ROMO (voice-over): Human rights activist Carla de la Questa (ph) says Sunduri (ph) was also tortured.

CARLA DE LA QUESTA, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST (through translator): Her little head was very hurt because she was burned with an iron.

ROMO: After Sunduri (ph) escaped and her case came to the attention of authorities, police raided the house where she had been held captive.

Seven people were detained, including two minors. They were all members of the same family.

The two minors were later freed but the five adults remain behind bars and face charges of human trafficking and exploitation, punishable by at least

40 years in prison.

ROMO (voice-over): Sunduri (ph) has undergone a number of medical procedures as part of her recovery. She told her story to New York Mayor

Bill de Blasio and later traveled to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis.

Saying that Sunduri (ph) is a survivor is an understatement. But when you sit down to talk to her, it's easy to forget she was a victim --


ROMO (voice-over): -- especially when you realize that, in spite of everything she went through, she never lost her joy -- Rafael Romo, CNN,

Mexico City.


CURNOW: Thanks to Rafael for that report.

Well, that does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. "WORLD SPORT" with Alex Thomas is up next.