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Ratko Mladic Convicted of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity; Mugabe Forced to Resign after 37 Years; Efforts Continue to Rebuild and Bring Peace to Survivors and Families Affected by War. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired November 24, 2017 - 14:00:00   ET


[14:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: A week for the history books. The long road to justice for the victims of the Bosnia war. As right Ratko

Mladic, the commander behind massacres at Srebrenica and across Bosnia was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. And jubilation, too, in

Zimbabwe, nearly four decades of Mugabe's war is now over. But what changes will his successor bring, the man they call The Crocodile.

Good evening everyone and welcome to our review of the week. I am Christiane Amanpour in London. And we begin with justice for horrific

crimes committed a quarter century ago in the Balkans. Ratko Mladic, the man who came to be known as "The Butcher of Bosnia" was found guilty on 10

of 11 counts including genocide and crimes against humanity committed throughout the 1990s. The former Bosnian Serb Army commander was finally

held to account for ordering the worst massacre in Europe since World War II at Srebrenica. More than 7,000 men and boys were slaughtered simply for

being Muslim.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For having committing these crimes, the Chamber's (census is), Mr. Ratko Mladic, to life in prisonment.


AMANPOUR: But Mladic was even in the court to hear his own sentence. At the start of the proceedings, he had infuriated people by giving a thumbs

up only to be later dragged out of the court room after shouting that it was all lies.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Mladic, if you continue like this, we adjourn Mr. Mladic will be removed from the courtroom.

MLADIC: (Inaudible).


AMANPOUR: And the presiding judge said that he had been found guilty of the most heinous crimes and in Srebrenica itself, the mothers, the widows,

the sisters of the victims could not hide their emotion when the verdict was finally read out loud. I first met Ratko Mladic in 1993 and he

immediately came across as a swaggering bully who would try to win over anyone with his idea of humor, even about ethnic cleansing.


MLADIC (through interpreter): We'd be poor without the Muslims. It's good to have them around but in a smaller concentration.



AMANPOUR: Chilling words from the man they called "The Butcher of Bosnia", General Ratko Mladic. The snide humor masked his killer instinct. It

defined Mladic and made him an uncomfortable man to confront.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): And we'd see this preening smile again and again as the war unfolded. Indeed the Muslims the Bosnian government said I'd been

covering the Bosnian War for more than a year by the time I had met him living in this shell-sniped and besieged city of Sarajevo. A year of

witnessing the ferocious war machine that the Bosnian Serb Commander had unleashed and he did not like my reporting.


MLADIC: You know it, what's the lady's name?


MLADIC (through interpreter): I like killing this Christina.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) this Christina.

MLADIC (through interpreter): It won't be difficult for her to understand because when I saw her first reports from Sarajevo, I was very angry.



AMANPOUR (voice-over): Mladic was commanding the Bosnian Serb military mission to carve out their own ethnically pure republic and join it into a

greater Serbia. This was a daily occurrence dodging bullets as we covered the unfolding tragedy. For the Bosnian Mulslims, the villain was clear.

AMANPOUR: Sir, you know your own people and your soldiers, to them you are a great man; you are a hero. To your enemies, you are somebody to be

feared and somebody to be hated. How do you feel about that?

MLADIC (through interpreter): Very interesting question. First things you say are correct.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Prosecutors say what Mladic believed to be his greatness was in fact ethnic cleansing and genocide. It would reach its

climax with the massacre at Srebrenica July 11, 1995. More than three years into this brutal war. It was meant to be a UN protected zone for

Muslims when Mladic's forces overran UN positions and invaded the tiny enclave, they handed out candy and General Mladic promised the townspeople

they would be safe.


AMANPOUR: Of course they were not. Their soldiers slaughtered more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys who tried to flee. Hurem Suljic was one who

miraculously survived the massacre. I tracked him down in the Bosnian-held town of Tuzla four months later.


HUREM SULJIC, SREBRENICA MASSACRE SURVIVOR (through interpreter): The Serbs said, "Don't look around." Then I heard a lot of shooting and what

is thrown on top of me. They were the people standing behind me. I fell too.

AMANPOUR: Here he says, he saw Mladic one last time.

SULJIC (through interpreter): He stood there and waited until they killed them. When they killed them he got back in his car and left.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): After that massacre, the US led a bombing campaign against Bosnian and Serb military position and peace negotiations that

eventually ended the fighting. Mladic became a wanted man and soon went into hiding.

I never knew if I would see him again, the man with whom I stood on a Bosnian hilltop at the height of the war. But it was with deep

satisfaction that I watched Mladic stand in the dark at the Hague to finally face the justice he so brutally denied others.

MLADIC: General Ratko Mladic.

AMANPOUR: America calls him a war criminal. And under any kind of UN tribunal, he may have to be prosecuted. What does he think about that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a tough question but he's a tough man he can answer it.

MLADIC (through interpreter): Yes I can take it. I've taken more rough ones. I can take her's too. I defended my people and only my people can

judge me. And there's no greater honor than defending your people.

AMANPOUR: What he called honor and defense, the court called genocide. Something that Paddy Ashdown, leader of Britain's Liberal Democrats came to

investigate during the war itself. We met in Bosnia when it was seeking access to the Bosnian Serb concentration camp, but we of course were shown

relatively mottled versions, not the counts where the true horrors of the Bosnian Serb project were on display like this one outside of Sarajevo.

After the war Ashdown was named International High Representative to help rebuild Bosnia and its institutons. So I got his reaction just after the

verdict and the sentence against Mladic were handed down.


AMANPOUR: Paddy Ashdown, welcome.


AMANPOUR: We are on this day, right?

ASHDOWN: Anybody who was there at that time, as you were so often and I was infrequently will be, see this as a great day. I mean there's a day

frankly I didn't think actually would come.


ASHDOWN: I was a great-I didn't. I mean I was given up three times at the tribunal. Once


against Milosevic, once against (Delic), and once against another Serb. And I didn't think they'd get him when I was in Bosnia. I worked very hard

to make sure that we set the context in which he could be captured. So I was delighted that he was and delighted that this long process, careful,

steady, meticulous process be brought to an end and this man is where he should be, in jail for the rest of his life.

AMANPOUR: Give us a sense of you met him obviously several times-


AMANPOUR: --during the war. You saw my interview with him-


AMANPOUR: --just a year into the war and I met him many times afterwards. He was a swaggering bully.

ASHDOWN: He certainly was. I met him twice. Once when I went out there in '92 and was actually taken in by (inaudible) before (inaudible) stopped

allowing me to come to the Serb side, I had to make my own way there. The second time was a bit more chilling. I think you may have been there

because it was on (Inaudible), and the year is 1993-1994. The Serb army has now taken (inaudible) and it's closing in on Igman. It's closing the

ring around Sarajevo and it's bombarding with very heavy weight artillery, 115 millimeter artillery pieces, the city down below.

Little story-the Serbs had just tried to capture Sarajevo the day before, been beaten back by the Muslims the last two brigadiers, I tried it (an

adage) that I said you can't take Sarajevo. Soviet chilling stories that my Russian trend. Well that means if I have an enemy in my sights like in

(inaudible) the head over testicles, I shoot for the testicles. If he's shot in the head, he takes one one man, two men an hour to dig a grave for.

If he's wounded in that way he takes 50 men six months to put right. I'm leaving Sarajevo because then you have to feed it and while you are so busy

feeding it, I can get on with doing what I want to do. And I rang the Prime Minister not long after that and said this many will eventually cause

a terrible massacre in one of the safe havens and so it turned out to be.

AMANPOUR: You know you say you rang the Prime Minister and you heard for yourself him actually describing his project in so many words. I heard it

in my interview. He said, "We like the Muslims but not in such big numbers." So he was actually saying it. But you remember your Prime

Minister, the American President, the French President, the Germans, nobody wanted to confront and intervene to stop this war.

ASHDOWN: Yes, they called me a warmonger in the House of Commons because I went down, I was there as member of Parliament to Sarajevo because I kept

on raising questions of Prime Minister's question time, in the Labor Party in fact used to bore me down saying, "Warmonger, you want to bring back the

body bags." I'll tell you what, there's an even more terrible story. Easter 1995, right at the end of the war. I'm run by Prime Minister [Mija]

who says we're going to reinforce British troops. I actually you already fought with [drool]. I think you have taken the decision that you would

not defend the safe havens. And in fact I've discovered afterwards that a secret position was taken by the Prime Ministers and the inevitable

consequence of that was a wreck and to them and the Dutch troops, they got the blame but actually it was the leaders behind them.

AMANPOUR: It was several months after you had that call, indeed, where we were together and we saw one of the concentration camps.

ASHDOWN: I mean, let's just talk about it, a happy, happier year, I saw the (Inaudible) and the mothers of (inaudible). If there's anybody who

believes that our system of international law needs to be made and for anybody who bled in Bosnia this is a good day. I would say justice was


AMANPOUR: So let us talk about that then because you said, "I can rebuild I think as many institutions as I can but I can't-if I can't change

people's minds and hearts it won't matter." Well today while most of the world was celebrating this, the Serbs and the Bosnian Serbs were pretty

much ignoring it. They didn't see it on live television.

ASHDOWN: My position as you know, you need to remember this-

AMANPOUR: But the war is almost still going on in Bosnia, politically.

ASHDOWN: No, no it's not. There are free elections there. But what's happened is the Bosnian state we tried to create has been allowed to

unravel because frankly the international community has given up the will to drive the process forwards. I think when I left as I represented, they

thought the job was done. You know, here's a thought for you. I first marched into my home city, Belfast, in 1970-

AMANPOUR: As a soldier?

ASHDOWN: As a soldier to keep the peace. I've never believed that nearly 50 years later that war was going under the surface. It takes a long, long

time to leach away the enmities of war-those who want to build a future in Bosnia will look at this as an act of help as a sustainable peace be



AMANPOUR: And all the way across in Africa, an historic week too for Zimbabwe. Jubilation filled the streets of Harare, the capital, as Mugabe

finally was forced to resign after 37 years. So what next for that country which was once the breadbasket of the continent?



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. This week we witnessed the remarkable fall of Robert Mugabe. He had clung to power for thirty seven

years, two elections that he thumbed his nose at, protest that he ignored and a collapsed economy that turned his nation from Africa's bread basket

into a basket case, as Desmond Tutu famously said. In the end, this week was quick and bloodless; his military simply chucked him out.


AMANPOUR: Within minutes, horns were blaring and people took to the street to celebrate the end of his rule. And CNN's David McKenzie was right in

the middle of it.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL COORESPONDENT: Since earlier, we had people righting signs and calling for Robert Mugabe to go. But now he is

gone and this is the reality here. We have old ladies, celebrating saying he's gone, professionals as well. Now take on the riots, right on to the

center of the street, in the middle of town here in Harare. And the scenes here are incredible.

The Zimbabwe flags in the air, people on (ph) gear celebrating jumping up and down. I can't overstate what this means to ordinary Zimbabweans, this

means an end of an era possibly with sight of a new dawn and look at these people celebrating. I'm going to need (ph).

AMANPOUR: So much happiness and such high hopes. But what difference will the former Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, make as Mugabe's successor

now? Rule of law, real elections a proper transition to democracy.

Questions that I put to Morgan Tsvangirai, who's the leader of the opposition party movement for democratic change. He stood against Mugabe

in 2013 in elections that he claimed were rigged, then he lost by a landslide so what's next? Welcome to the program Mr. Tsvangirai.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Thank you, Christiane. Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: Do you believe that this man that they call the crocodile will, as he promised, bring proper democracy to the country, restore the economy,

bring jobs?

TSVANGIRAI: Let me say that knowing Emerson Mnangagwa, his character he will have to work very hard to change his character so that he can define

the future of the country and define it's future as a democrat.

As a reformer, that I doubt, but at the same time he knows that he can not continue on the same path that Mugabe's traveled. And it's truly expected

that the nation will respect him.

AMANPOUR: So where do you think the constraints will then? He obviously going to be sworn in and he, we understand, is going to lead the nation

into elections next year. Are you convinced and confident that these promised elections will happen on time, and as regular internationally

accepted democratic elections?

TSVANGIRAI: The MGC has already stated that constitutionally, elections can be held no later than August. And I hope that Emmerson Mnangagwa

completing the taking over of Mugabe, will stick to those constitutional. But, however, there are risk to extending the time and also shutting it in

with out reforms.

So we are caught up in a case 22 situation, but one hopes that we stick to the constitutional part, which is to go for elections. Now, in the face,

in the face, of military intervention and the without defining the reforms for the military, it will be very difficult to undertake such an exercise,

where the military is confined to barracks, where they're not involved in the electoral process.


AMANPOUR: And it's going to be difficult, isn't it? Because isn't the military portraying itself as the saviors of the country, right now?

TSVANGIRAI: Well, as elsewhere, one, the military always intervenes on so called (ph) for the people, but in this case we hope that what they say

they will do. And the respect that will defend the people, to defend the constitution, and to uphold a new disposition will materialize.

We, you all know, that the military intervenes to impose Emmerson Mnangagwa as a candidate of the (ph). That creates a problem because, what will

happen to the (ph) faction of Zanu PF? So it's clear that we have a problem that the military is to step aside and allow the civilians to sort

out their own differences.

AMANPOUR: So tell me how you will try to lead the charge politically, to that end?

TSVANGIRAI: First of all, we have to commit ourselves to an irreversible process of democratization. It means that we have to engage a number of

sextile, the old veterans the civic society, and even the military to say how do we define the future.

And I think it will be important for President Mnangawa to appreciate that the opposition was the best for the country and not to undermine it. What

we have, some sort of agreement around the benchmarks and the roadmap to the next elections, especially around the reforms that are necessary.

Then, the country can be assured that the next elections will be free (ph).

AMANPOUR: Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC, thank you so much for joining us, as this really important historic time for your country. And

up next, it took more than twenty years for, Ratdo Mladic, to be sentenced for his crimes in Bosnia.

We imagine the pain of those who've waited all these years for justice, the mothers touching photos of their children who were murdered or who are

still missing, the rape victims who sat and watched with anger throughout his courtroom antics and those who suffered and bleed on his command who

finally have retribution.


AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, this week the United States accused Myanmar of carrying out ethnic cleansing, in it's brutal crackdown on the Rohingya

mausoleum. The Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson who visited Myanmar last week, said that there would be targeted sanctions.

And now both Bangladesh and Myanmar say they will try to repatriate these people, who continue to flee their homes with terrible accounts of what

they've endured and what they've witnessed. So image a world where people are still without any offer of hope or justice.

Two years ago marked the twentieth anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica. Two years before the verdict against Ratdo Mladic, I went to

speak to the families and the survivors who explained to me that there can not be peace without justice.



AMANPOUR: (ph), lost her 22 year old son that day and she's come with her sisters to remember. That there is her son's head stone and he's buried

under this mound. Where they're sitting right now is where they hope they'll be able to burry (ph)'s husband. He has yet to be found, yet to be


(FEMALE): This day means a lot to me, a day of remembrance and the more people I see coming here, the more relieved I feel because I know we are

not forgotten.

AMANPOUR: President Clinton spoke and said he loved this place but what he did gathering a coalition to confront the Bosnian Serbs after (ph) and then

later on in (ph) were among the most important things he did with his presidency. And he issued this heart felt plea:

BILL CLINTON, FORMER US PRESIDENT: I am begging you not to let this monument to innocent boys and men become only a memory of a tragedy, I ask

you to make it a sacred trust.

AMANPOUR: In an extraordinary to think that all these years later, two decades later, remains are still being found, have yet to be buried and

there are another thousand victims who have not even been identified yet. But as the Sorbian Prime Minister came to pay his respects, the grieving

families here in (ph) could contain themselves no longer, booing and hissing and even pelting him.

They were angry than under Serb pressure, the Russians vetoed the UN resolution calling this a genocide. The Prime Minister and his people fled

and left the scene. Afterwards, I asked President Clinton, what all this meant.

CLINTON: Who would have thought that when you were asking me questions about this, 22 years ago, that after 22 years the question of identity

would still be at the root of most of the world's problems.


AMANPOUR: A sobering thought indeed, but Mladic's convictions and sentencing this week should sent a clear message to the rest of the world's

tyrant that they can run but they can not hide from their crimes forever.

The UN high commissioner for human rights, Prince Zeid of Jordan, praised the ruling, saying in his quote, a warning to the perpetrators of such

crimes that they will not escape justice not matter how powerful they may be nor how long it may take, they will be held accountable. So one down

with Mladic this week, many more still to go.

That's it for our program tonight, and remembers you can listen to our Podcast at anytime, and see us online at Follow me on

Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.