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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Foley Fallout; Amish School Shooting; The Killing Fields: Africa's Misery, the World's Shame;
Aired October 3, 2006 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, thanks very much.
And indeed, for Republicans, the scandal surrounding former Congressman Mark Foley has gone from bad to worse to just plain bizarre in the span of just 24 hours. We've got two reports ahead on all of this.
CNN's Joe Johns starts us off.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since he resigned last week following accusations that he sent sexually explicit messages to teenage boys, Mark Foley hasn't spoken publicly, but his lawyer is speaking.
DAVID ROTH, ATTY. FOR MARK FOLEY: Mark Foley wants you to know that he is a gay man.
JOHNS: That was just the tip of the iceberg at a news conference full of surprises about the Republican's private life, both past and present.
ROTH: Mark does not blame the trauma he sustained as a young adolescent for his totally inappropriate e-mails and IM's. Mark has asked that you be told that between the ages of 13 and 15 he was molested by a clergyman.
JOHNS: His attorney says Foley insists he never actually had any sexually inappropriate contact with minors. But today "ABC News" says Foley allegedly engaged in cybersex with a teenage boy who had previously worked as a congressional page, just moments before Foley voted on the House floor. According to "ABC", Foley said, OK, I better go vote... did you know you would have this effect on me. Laughing out loud I guessed. You go vote, I don't want to keep you from doing your job.
In a separate exchange, "ABC News" reported Foley suggested getting together with the underage former page for drinks, saying, we may need to drink at my house so we don't get busted.
CNN has not independently confirmed the online conversations. This scandal continues to rock the capitol in just weeks before the midterm elections. Tonight the big questions are, who knew what and when did they know it.
ROBERTS: Joe Johns is going to join us in a moment.
This is the kind of October surprise that no party welcomes just weeks before a crucial midterm election. It has left Republicans scrambling to explain how Foley's alleged misconduct went unchecked.
CNN's Dana Bash has more on the fallout.
DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The headline rocked Washington. "Resign, Mr. Speaker," is how this conservative newspaper put it. "The Washington Times" editorial slammed House Speaker Dennis Hastert for not doing enough to stop Mark Foley, saying, "Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account... or he deliberately looked the other way." Then, another bombshell -- the speaker's top Deputy John Boehner called his hometown radio station and took a shot at Hastert.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), MAJORITY LEADER: I believe I talked to the speaker, and he told me it had been taken care of. And in my position, it's in his corner, it's his responsibility.
BASH: But the anxiety among House Republican leaders is intense. No one knows how this will turn out. So Boehner played two cards at once, later writing "The Washington Times" to defend the GOP leadership and suggests Democrats were behind revelations about Foley, time to release right before the election. "If this evidence was withheld for political purposes, one can only speculate as to how many additional children may have been endangered before this information was finally revealed."
As for the house speaker, he launched a major counteroffensive to head off an all-out revolt. CNN is told he was burning up the phone lines to fellow Republican Congressmen, asking for their support and calling talk radio hosts around the country, trying to convince their conservative listeners to keep faith in his leadership or risk losing to Democrats in November.
VOICE OF REPRESENTATIVE DENNIS HASTERT (R), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There are people that try to tear us down. We are the insulation to protect this country about and if they get to me, looks like you know, they could affect our election as well.
BASH: And the speaker got a boost from the president.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He is a father, teacher, coach who cares about the children of this country. I know that he wants all of the facts to come out.
BASH: But many Republicans, especially those in tough races, know "The Washington Times" editorial calling for the speaker to go gave voice to the fury of conservatives who say GOP leaders put politics over morality. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The alarm bell should have gone off from one end of the capitol to the other and it's just no excuse for the entire Republican leadership to have turned a blind eye. It looks like they just wanted to cover this up until after the election.
ROBERTS: As we said, this mess is unfolding just weeks before the midterm elections. So how is it all going to play out? Joining me now, CNN's Dana Bash, Joe Johns and Candy Crowley, part of the best political team in the business.
Dana, let's start with you. We got a new CNN poll that came out, was taken over the last three days. Question, if the elections for Congress were being held today, which party's candidate would you vote for in your Congressional district? Take a look at the results here. 53 percent said Democrat compared to 42 percent Republican.
So, with all of this Foley mess out there, Dana, are rank and file Republicans saying to the leadership, you've got to be aggressive in responding to this, you got to do more than you're doing now?
BASH: That's exactly what they're saying to the leadership, John. The question is, what are they going to say? And do they have a coherent message in? Over the past five days or so, it seemed as though, at least up until today, the more they tried to explain, the more confusing and frankly contradictory their statements were about when they knew about the Foley matter, what they actually did about it.
So, certainly they are trying to sort of get a handle on this message, try to put the fire and their aim back on Democrats. But, clearly, Republicans who are out there trying to run for election, for re-election, are saying that this is what they're hearing about from constituents.
But one thing is it is important to make clear, there's a little bit of victory here I think for the speaker in that he ended today without a single lawmaker, Republican lawmaker, calling for his resignation. It was not clear at all when this day began that's how it would end.
ROBERTS: Yes, well it ended better than it started off, no question about that.
Candy Crowley, a big fumble on part of the Republicans. Had the Democrats effectively been able to pick up the ball and make some headway with it?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, we'll see, because this is only sort of newly come to the headlines. Certainly they're going to try. We've seen Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats, out there arguing that the Republicans covered this up. We have seen an ad go up being used in one district, you know, saying the Republicans covered up this man who was, you know, a predator online. They have to be a little careful here because you lose the high ground when you start making commercials out of this. You can no longer say, my gosh, it's all about the children when you've got a political ad up.
So, you know, usually they sort of stand back and watch the Republicans destroy themselves. So they need to kind of step back, I think, and not make this look too political because then they do lose the edge.
ROBERTS: Joe Johns, Republicans are trying to motivate their base with charges that the Democrats are behind this October surprise. But that would seem to be at odds with some conservative groups who really feel here that the party is putting politics above ethics and morality. So there's this clash within the Republican Party.
JOHNS: There certainly is a clash within the Republican party. And a lot of the conservatives I talked to, including some conservatives who are were on Capitol Hill and are now not on Capitol Hill anymore, they suggest, we really don't want to come out and say what we truly feel about this because what we truly feel would just sort of fuel the fire and make people even more upset at their own Republican Party.
So, it's a difficult situation all around. What the Republicans really need, quite frankly, is some damage control, some type of a strategy. We've heard a little bit about that. They'd like to point back, for instance, at the Monica Lewinsky scandal. But the problem is the Republicans are in control of the House and the Senate, and when you're running the show, you take the heat.
ROBERTS: Yes, they need the paramedics. There's no question about that.
Dana Bash, what's your feeling on Dennis Hastert? Survives for the moment, but perhaps the long run a little more problem?
BASH: You know, I spoke to a top aide just before coming on at this hour who said, what we're going to see tomorrow is similar to what we saw today in terms of their strategy. You're going to see him doing media in Chicago, more conservative talk radio. He's going to continue to fight back.
But you know, at this point, I think if you would probably get into this brain, he's probably trying to fight back more for the Republican Party or to hold onto the Republican majority than his personal standing as leader because after this, it's really unclear whether he can survive it.
ROBERTS: Candy Crowley, how much longer does this go on? Are we just seeing the beginning or is it starting to die down?
CROWLEY: Well, so far every day we've had a new headline, so tonight Foley's lawyer certainly filled the morning papers. And really this is the big thing that's working against Republicans is, it's really hard to be out there talking about the war on terror or how the economy's gotten better and gas prices are down when every reporter in your district wants to know how you feel about Foley and how the Republican leadership handled it.
So they are losing time here. And that's what they don't like. So as long as this goes on, they really are cutting into their golden time for elections.
ROBERTS: Not just the reporters that want to know what's going on either, the constituents are asking the same questions.
Joe Johns, Candy Crowley, Dana Bash, as always, thanks very much.
As more of Mark Foley's life becomes public, we're taking a closer look at his background. Here's the raw data for you. Foley was born in 1954. He lives in West Palm Beach, Florida. He attended Palm Beach Community College. His previous occupation was as a real estate broker. Foley was first elected to Congress in 1994.
Another big story that we're following tonight, the Amish school shooting in Pennsylvania. Police release grim details on why it seems the gunman killed five girls.
Plus, a 360 exclusive interview with people who knew the gunman's wife.
Then we'll go back to Anderson Cooper in Africa. Nearly 2 million people are displaced because of the conflict in Sudan. Many headed to neighboring Chad, but was that really a good move? That and more when the special edition of 360 continues from around the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Despite all of the difficulties of life here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, people find a way to survive. They're amazingly resilient.
It's market day in this village. There are hundreds of people here selling items. This woman is selling some vegetables, some tomatoes. Here, this woman is selling some beans. Most of the people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo live on less than a dollar a day. So even if they don't have money to buy items here in the marketplace, they'll barter with each other. People find a way to survive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: One of the signs of just how hard the life is here, how little access there is to medical care. The average life expectancy of a male is 42 years. The average life expectancy of a woman is 47 years. It is hard to believe that when you reach your mid 20s, here in Congo, your life is already half over. We're going to have a lot more from here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as from Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Jeff Koinange in Darfur and along the Chad border for the covering of the humanitarian crisis there. First, let's go back to John Roberts, though in New York -- John.
ROBERTS: Thanks, Anderson.
Another big story that we're following tonight, in Pennsylvania authorities continue to try to make sense of a tragedy that makes no sense. Why would a father of three, a devoted father of three apparently, walk into an Amish school and shoot a group of young female students at point blank range, killing five of them?
Tonight, some possible clues as to what drove him to do what he did.
CNN's Allan Chernoff reports.
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police believe the possible motive in this horrific shooting was a dark secret inside the mind of a man who on the surface appeared to be an ordinary father.
Milkman Charles Roberts finished his early Monday morning pickups from local Amish dairies, then he followed his daily routine.
MARY MILLER, ROBERTS' NEIGHBOR: He seemed like a normal guy. He walked his kids to the bus stop about 8:45 every morning.
CHERNOFF: His wife, Marie, was at this local church, leading a mother's prayer group for their children and schools.
(On camera): Was there ever any indication that Marie had a clue what was inside of the mind of her husband?
KRISTINE HILEMAN, MIDDLE OCTORARA PRES. CHURCH: No. We had a wonderful prayer meeting. Uplifting and fervent and honest and everybody there felt the presence of God while we were praying.
CHERNOFF (voice-over): As Marie Roberts was praying for her children, her husband, Charles, entered another school, heavily armed. He let the teachers and boys go, then boarded up the one-room Amish schoolhouse. At that point, with 10 girls captive, Roberts revealed his deepest secret to Marie during their final phone conversation.
20 years ago, he claimed, he had sexually molested two of his very young relatives when they were 3 years old or 4 years old, a claim that police are still working to confirm.
COL. JEFFREY MILLER, STATE POLICE COMMISSIONER: This was a very deeply disturbed individual, but he wasn't disturbed in the sense that people could pick up on that at the surface. He was very deeply troubled underneath.
CHERNOFF (on camera): As he held the school girls at gunpoint, Roberts told Marie he would not be coming home. He also told her where to find his suicide notes to her and their three children.
(Voice-over): Roberts wrote that he had dreamt for two years of molesting children again, a plan police say he may have intended to carry out at the Amish schoolhouse.
MILLER: It's very possible that he intended to victimize these children in many ways prior to executing them and killing himself.
CHERNOFF: Police quickly arrived at the schoolhouse, and authorities say, Roberts panicked and began shooting the girls, who stood at the blackboard, execution style. Five children are dead and tonight five other girls, age 6 to 13, are fighting for their lives in area hospitals.
Another possible motive, Roberts also spoke in the note to his wife about his anger that his firstborn daughter, Elise (ph) died only 20 minutes after her birth. He wrote, quote, "I am filled with so much hate, hate toward myself, hate towards God and unimaginable emptiness."
Allan Chernoff, CNN, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
ROBERTS: And more now from those who new Charles Roberts' wife. Earlier I spoke with Kristine Hileman and her husband, Douglas, who was the pastor of the church where Marie Roberts was taking part in a prayer group on the morning of the shootings.
Here's the 360 exclusive interview.
ROBERTS: Kristine and Douglas, how well did you know Charles Roberts and his wife, Marie? Was there any indication that he was a ticking time bomb?
DOUGLAS HILEMAN, PASTOR, MIDDLE OCTORARA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: No, there wasn't an indication for that at all. We've been members of the community for 10 years and we have known -- I knew Marie from times when she would come to our church. I would also see her at the Bart-Colerain Elementary School when we were there doing things with our kids, and there was no indication whatsoever from any of the family members that something was wrong.
ROBERTS: There was a statement that was read on behalf of Marie Roberts yesterday. It said, "The man that did this was not the Charlie that I've been married to for almost 10 years. My husband was loving, supportive, thoughtful -- all the things that you'd always want and more. He was an exceptional father." Did Marie Roberts just not know her husband at all?
D. HILEMAN: That's true. What she wrote is true of him. Something happened that he snapped. We're not sure what that was. The man that did this act was not the same man as her husband. While being the same person, something happened.
He was a respected person of the community. We have no idea what went wrong. He would take his girls shopping. He would play ball with the children. He would take them to the soccer tournaments, to the baseball games. He would change their diapers.
All that you had been told before from the various networks are a true portrayal of him. He was a good husband. He was a good father. Why this happened, we're baffled. It's -- there's no rhyme or reason for it.
ROBERTS: I'm wonder, Doug, how do you make sense of this idea that he appeared to be a good father, that he was devoted to his young girls, and yet he took the life of five other young girls in Amish country?
D. HILEMAN: I know. It's heart wrenching. It's torn us in pieces and gut wrenching. The only thing that we can come up and say is that there is evil in the world and sometimes we find ourselves embroiled with it.
ROBERTS: There was also this death of his premature daughter, some nine years ago. He said he was very angry at God because of that. Did Marie ever talk to you about that?
K. HILEMAN: She had mentioned in the group before about the death of a child, yes. And I think any parent's heart just grieves forever when a child dies. But as to any instability because of that, no, they have three beautiful children. A good family together.
ROBERTS: Amish leaders have forgiven Charles Roberts. Does that surprise you?
D. HILEMAN: No.
K. HILEMAN: No. That's what Christ came for was for us to learn how to forgive each other. That's what our faith is all about. God has forgiven us and he requires us to forgive each other.
D. HILEMAN: While there is justice to come about with it, there is forgiveness as well.
ROBERTS: As you said, it is Christian to forgive, but many parents would wonder how you could ever forgive someone who did anything like this.
Kristine and Douglas Hileman, thanks very much for being with us. Appreciate it.
D. HILEMAN: You're welcome.
K. HILEMAN: Thank you.
ROBERTS: Now, a 360 news and business bulletin. A new Congressional report finds that a North Korean nuclear test would pose a setback to U.S. diplomacy with Pyongyang. The House Intelligence Committee says a nuclear test would also further alienate Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. According to the study, the testing might spur those countries to begin their own nuclear programs. The report also concluded that North Korea does pose a serious threat to its neighbors and the United States.
A record day on Wall Street. The Dow closed at an all time high of 11727. The blue chips gaining 56 points in the day. The NASDAQ climbed 6. The S&P added two points.
Helping fuel the big day, a drop in oil prices. They fell more than $2 to below $59 a barrel. That's the lowest price since February. OPEC's president says the current mark is oversupplied. He is calling for OPEC members to cut their output, which would drive the price of oil back up again.
That's our business and news bulletin. Now, let's go back to Anderson in the Congo -- Anderson.
COOPER: John, thanks.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees have made it across the border from Darfur into the neighboring country of Chad, but what awaits them is not what they are hoping for.
Coming up, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has a report from that border.
And Actor George Clooney is just one of the many celebrities who are hoping to bring attention to the crisis in the Sudan. We'll talk to him about what he saw on his trip to Chad, when this special edition of 360, "The Killing Fields," continues.
ANNOUNCER: It's happening so far away, but it affects all of us. There in plain sight, tremendous suffering. Millions dead. The numbers unthinkable. But not when you're there. There is no hope, only fear. From the killers to the camps to the desperation in a young child's eyes. This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360. "The Killing Fields: Africa's Misery, the World's Shame."
COOPER: We are here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country that in 1994 provided shelter for hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the fighting in Rwanda. And the nation of Chad has also become a safe haven for people from several war torn countries in Africa. Most recently, those looking to escape Darfur. For the refugees, however, seeking a better life and already overburdened Chad may not be the right answer.
Here's CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Nearly a quarter million people have fled Darfur for their lives. Most have ended up here, across the border in eastern Chad. What they probably didn't know was they were seeking refuge in a country with the worst health care system in Africa, probably the world. Ironically they move from a horrible situation to a hopeless situation. LAURA PEREZ, UNICEF: The health care system in Chad here, it's very bad. Less then 10 percent of the population in eastern Chad has access to health care. Less than 10 percent, that's hardly anything.
GUPTA: 31-year-olds Mohammad Girard Ali (ph) is a nurse. There are no doctors in this area. This medicine here has to take care of the entire community for the next three months.
And this -- look at this rickety wooden bench. This is where they do surgery. Here is where they deliver babies. No electricity. Just this month they got a solar panel to power a refrigerator for vaccines. Only 1 percent have access to functioning bathrooms.
A fifth of all babies never reach 5 years old. The average eastern Chadian can expect to live to only 44 years.
In fact I found this stunning, people from Chad are constantly coming to refugee camps, not because they're fleeing brutal attacks but because they're fleeing brutal lives. They believe life as a refugee would actually be better, and it usually is, at least when it comes to health care.
(On camera): Compare the birthing room in Chad to this room. You can see right away the equipment quality is better. You also have a midwife here, you have a doctor standing by as well. And you have lots of equipment, important equipment to actually be able to deliver babies. And remember, we're in the middle of a refugee camp.
Then there was that pharmacy at the Chad hospital, just a few medications for lots of people for three months. Compare it to here, all sorts of different medications for infections, you have steroids, you have medications to treat diabetes, even valium. And remember, this is a refugee camp and all of this medication is for free.
PEREZ: In the refugee camps there are services that are provided, minimum services for health care. So there's a nutritional center, there's a health center, there's a therapeutic feeding center. There are also other minimum services that are provided such as food and water and sanitation.
GUPTA: Part of the reason the health care situation in Chad is so bad is for a simple reason, lack of water. This is where they tried to dig a well. They struck out. They tried twice more around here, each time no luck.
So bad is the situation, they are actually forced to drink that disgusting water from the river bed. And this is the water that we're talking about here. Take a look. This is a clear bottle. This is what it looks like. This is what they're forced to drink. And if the river bed is dry, they actually dig into this and get puddles of water which they drink as well. And it's part of the reason that it's so hard to take care of people here in Chad.
(Voice-over): The attention of the world is now focused on Darfur. But remember, for much of Chad, this has been a long standing way of life. (END VIDEOTAPE)
(On camera): We spoke to the Chadian ambassador to the United States as well. He told us that there's 250,000 refugees now in Chad from Darfur. It's a large number of people. The country of Chad is simply not equipped to handle that sort of influx.
They also acknowledge that the health care system is bad, to the point where citizens of Chad actually will go to the refugee camps to get their own care because the country sometimes can't provide it for them, Anderson. A remarkable situation.
COOPER: How porous is the border between Chad and Darfur?
GUPTA: Well, you know, it's interesting. The borders, if you look at them on a map, obviously you have distinct lines. But as you know, it's much more tribal. For example, Darfur is obviously land of the Fur tribe. And you do have members of the Fur tribe living in Chad as well. Its actually crossing over from the border as on a map isn't as distinct. And a lot of times they are welcomed into Chad as if they're welcoming long, lost relatives, for example.
COOPER: All right, Sanjay, appreciate it. We'll talk to you a little bit later on.
Sanjay is now here in the Congo and he'll be joining us over the next two days from here.
Actor George Clooney recently traveled to Sudan and the Chad region. I spoke to him earlier about this experiences there.
COOPER: You've been there, you've seen those camps along the border. What stays with you? I mean, when you went with your dad a couple months ago. Do you still think about it?
GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: Oh, sure, every day. Literally every day. You're in the Congo, but there's a lot of similarities in the sense that it's the humanitarian issues are just -- it's just mind boggling because it's not as if -- you know, as Americans we always feel like, well, you can somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you can, if you have the ability. Well, there's no bootstraps, there's nothing. They have nothing.
We were in little towns in south Sudan, a town like Jacques (ph), and little towns where a lot of refugees have come. And they have a tree to lay under. They have no tents. They have nothing. And when the rainy season comes, they're vulnerable.
COOPER: What are some of the stories that people told you that stay with you?
CLOONEY: Well, you know, they're the ones that each of the families told us. You know, the stories were basically the same, which was, every one of these families have lost eight, seven, members of their family and their children, and the stories were always, they would run to the hills because the bombers would come in and then after the bombers would finish bombing, and usually it was with oil cans filled with nails that they'd drop out. They would paint the planes to look like the U.N. so people would come out and think it was the U.N. planes and then they would bomb them.
They would then send in the Janjaweed militia on horseback who would burn everything to the ground, rape all of the women, kill everyone in sight and sleep there for a few days. And these people are all refugees and running and hiding for their lives -- 3 million of them.
COOPER: It's been going on a long time. Are you optimistic? Do you think change can really happen?
CLOONEY: Well, am I optimistic? No, because I don't think -- you know, I met with -- I spent a good deal of time a couple of weeks ago at the U.N., and every single member, every single ambassador I talked to, every single -- every single person I talked to at U.N. feels that it's going to get much worse before it's going to get better.
I do believe we can do something and I believe something great can happen. Let's hope so.
George, I appreciate you joining us. Thanks.
COOPER: Right now the difficult task of maintaining this fragile peace in Darfur lies with the African Union Peacekeeping Force.
CNN's Jeff Koinange went on patrol with some of those troops. Is their mission impossible? Are they it right soldiers for the job? That's next.
And fighting to save the mountain gorillas here in the Congo, when this special edition of 360 continues.
Estimated number of conflict related deaths since 2003: 400,000.
COOPER: We're in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where life is incredibly hard, but the people here are just extraordinarily resilient. They're able to make do with very little.
Obviously a car is out of the reach of most people. Most people here live on far less than $1 a day, about 20 cents a day. Bicycles are even too expensive for many people here.
But Congolese have invented their own form of a bicycle. It's actually made out of wood. This is a young man, named Seku (ph), who has what's called a chukadu (ph). They call it the village car. It's basically kind of a scooter bicycle completely made out of wood. This one does have a shock absorber. It's got a tire made out of wood with some rubber on it. They use this to transport huge amounts of goods to and from the marketplace. Seku (ph) rents out this chukadu (ph), and it's just one of the ways people make do with very little here.
We're going to have a lot more from the Democratic Republic of the Congo coming up.
But turning to what is happening in Darfur, there are about 7,000 African Union peacekeepers right now in Darfur. Back in August, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution that would bring the number of peacekeepers up to 20,000 -- a resolution Darfur rejected. All of this to help bring some law and order to a country about the size of California.
CNN's Africa Correspondent Jeff Koinange went on patrol with some peacekeepers as they tried to maintain a very fragile peace.
JEFF KOINANGE, CNN AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: These are the men trying to stand in the way of genocide. We tagged along with this battalion of the African Union Peacekeeping force in Darfur, to see what chance they have of succeeding.
Their assignment on this day is to travel 50 miles to the town of Tawiya, the scene of a recent attack that forced nearly 15,000 villagers to flee their homes. It was a journey these peacekeepers could not complete.
Along the way, the patrol takes a routine stop for information. Just as they are moving out, their commander's radio crackles with a message from headquarters.
(On camera): Halfway on the road to Tawiya, we have just been informed that there's some rebel activity not too far from where we are and that we have to turn around immediately and head back towards El Fasher.
(Voice-over): Four weeks ago this battalion lost nearly a dozen men in a gun battle with antigovernment rebels who stole their vehicles and weapons. They are not about to take chances on this day.
We returned to base and these men are tired. Frustrated. Their morale, low.
Their new force commander is only days into his new job. But this peacekeeping veteran of wars as far way as Kosovo, Liberia and Congo will be the first to tell you his mandate here is a mission impossible. MAJOR GENERAL LUKE APREZI, A.U. FORCE COMMANDER: Simply put, the force has inadequate, gross inadequacy of men and material. We cannot carry out simple peacekeeping duties. We cannot provide the enabling environment for humanitarians to do their work.
KOINANGE (on camera): If you had a wish list, if someone said, here, General, what do you need carry your mission, what would it be?
APREZI: I need about at least twice the number of troops I have on the ground and I need adequate logistics and air assets to be able to carry out the duties, for me to carry out the mandate given to me.
KOINANGE (voice-over): But the battalion is back on patrol. Despite their lack of resources and manpower, heading to this makeshift city of plastic tents, population, 43,000 internally displaced people. A polite term for refugees in their own country.
People like 47-year-old farmer Abubaka Ahmed Abdanr (ph), who recently fled fighting in his village, 50 miles away, with his wife and 12 children. Now trying to make a living selling fruit with protection from these African Union peacekeepers.
I am alive because of these peacekeepers, he says. God bless them.
But these peacekeepers didn't reach Tawiya. And they don't achieve peace here. There just aren't enough of them and they don't have enough firepower to protect even themselves from the warring factions here.
So these are the men trying to stand in the way of genocide. They don't stand a chance.
COOPER: Jeff joins us now via broadband signal from Darfur.
Jeff, everyone in the world community seems to agree that it's essential to have this Africa force there, these peacekeepers there, and yet they remain poorly equipped and lacking the manpower they say they need. Is there any chance that they are going to get what they want?
KOINANGE (on camera): Well, I hope so, Anderson, and everyone on the ground does hope so. Because if you ask, if you talk to the United Nations' top man on the ground, Jan Pronk, he says when they first came on the ground, these African Union troops were great. They had the initiative, they had the fight in them. And they still do. But everyone has been beating down on them, telling them how bad a job they're doing. Why? Because they're undermanned, because they're ill-equipped.
If they can get the equipment, if they can get the manpower, these men who we spent the whole day with today, they can do the job. They want to do the job. They want to help. Most of them have been involved in peacekeeping operations across Africa. They know what it's like saving lives.
But listen to this, Anderson. They don't have a Chapter 7 mandate. They can only shoot if fired upon. They need the mandate to change. They need all of the equipment. They need all of the help they can get.
COOPER: Jeff, appreciate the reporting. Stay safe over there.
It is dawn here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We've started to get some visitors out here watching our broadcast. It's obviously a rare sight to see some foreign reporters standing in your street outside your home. Some of the young kids from this neighborhood just coming out to see what all the activity is about.
When we come back, we're going to show you how it is not just people here who are under threat. Also gorillas in the Congo and the fight to save them.
Plus, we'll talk to Animal Expert Jack Hanna when this special edition of 360 continues.
Congo's Endangered Species: Bonobos "Chimpanzees" - Democratic Republic of Congo
1984: Estimated 100,000
2006: 5,000 chimpanzees
Females give birth only once every five years, making the species especially vulnerable.
COOPER: Welcome back. We're coming to you live from Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it is just morning now. Families just begin to wake up. Villagers just coming out to start their day.
Between farmers claiming land and hunters looking for food here in the Congo, the gorillas of central Africa are few and far between. That makes baby gorillas a rare and precious animal, both to conservationists and on the black market.
The young normally stay with their mothers for about three years. So, when a baby gorilla is snatched by poachers, the life expectancy for the little baby plunges dramatically. And often the entire family of the baby gorilla is killed before the gorilla can be taken.
I met with a young woman who is trying to rescue gorilla orphans and in turn the entire species.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER (voice-over): A baby gorilla stolen from her mother, a young victim of the chaos here in the Congo. She's just 5 months or 6 months old, one of four young lowland or Grauer gorillas who found a temporary refuge behind the guarded walls of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund headquarters in Goma.
Like the other gorillas here, she was brutally taken from her family to be sold on the black market. Now none of these gorillas can survive in the wild on their own.
(On camera): So someone, soldiers or whomever, would just go and grab them from their families and try to, and then hope to sell them?
ALECIA LILLY, PRIMATE PSYCHOLOGIST: Exactly. But the worst thing is they had to kill significant numbers of their family members to get them. They are like human children that are suffering from war and have seen family members killed.
COOPER (voice-over): Lilly a primate psychologist who hopes one day to reintroduce these gorillas into the wild.
LILLY: We work with them to encourage them to bond with their caregivers because gorillas are like babies, they're like human babies. They have to have a close bond with a caregiver when you don't have a parent or they don't survive.
COOPER: After several months here these gorillas have improved dramatically. They're once again playful, and naturally curious. As interested in us as we are of them.
LILLY: You have a gorilla behind you.
COOPER: I know, I can feel, I can feel the gorilla behind me. Any advice on...
LILLY: Just ignore her.
COOPER: Ignore the gorilla?
LILLY: Yes, just ignore her.
COOPER: This is a gorilla, named Idaberry (ph). She's 3-1/2. She was rescued from poachers about a year ago. They stole her from her family and hoped to sell her on the black market.
She's now smelling my armpit.
(Voice-over): It's not known how many lowland gorillas still live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Estimates range from 7,000 to 15,000, but their population has dropped 25 percent in recent years.
LILLY: And so there's hunting in the forest, people are going in to bring in food for the mining camps.
COOPER (on camera): So the more mining there is, the greater the threat to the gorillas?
COOPER (voice-over): It's believed a gorilla like this one might fetch from $50,000 to $100,000 on the black market, sold to buyers in Asia or Eastern Europe.
LILLY: Someone in fact came here trying to sell us a baby gorilla because we had...
COOPER (on camera): They tried to sell a baby gorilla to you?
LILLY: Yes, yes. Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International because they saw our logo with the gorilla on the gate, and they thought, oh, they must like gorillas. So we called the wildlife authorities and set up a sting, pretending we were going to buy the gorillas.
COOPER (voice-over): It was a small victory in a war these gorillas are not yet winning. Innocent victims of a conflict they simply know nothing about.
COOPER (on camera): Well, as you can tell, there's an uphill battle to save the gorillas. I spoke to renowned Animal Expert Jack Hanna. He's trying to raise awareness of the effort. That interview is next on 360.
COOPER: Before the break we told you about the effort to save the gorillas of the Congo who are under threat from all sides, farmers desperate for land taking their habitat, miners seeking natural resources are even hunting them for food.
Jack Hanna spent his career as an animal advocate, traveling the world to teaching importance of being caretakers for the earth's wildlife. Earlier tonight I talked to him about the effort to save the mountain gorillas of Africa.
COOPER: You've spent a lot of time in Rwanda studying, looking at these mountain gorillas. Why is it so important to protect them? What is the significance of them?
JACK HANNA, DIRECTOR EMERITUS, COLUMBUS ZOO: Well, you got to remember the mountain gorillas only in Rwanda, there are 360 in Rwanda. Obviously, there are several hundred more over in Uganda.
But with the turmoil all around Rwanda, Rwanda is kind of like the country that has to really protect their species. And they're doing a tremendous job. The population's gone up 17 percent right now. And you and I were talking, it's probably the cleanest country in Africa right now. And really, believe it or not, the safest country in Africa. Because the president has now had his armies in there, they're patrolling the borders, they're up there with the gorillas.
Again, I was walking all around there the last three times, I've been three there times in one year, and I'm amazed that every time I go back at how these gorillas are being protected.
Yes, they do have two or three that have been poached in the Congo where you are, that have actually been sent to Rwanda for rehab, and the lowlands will go back in there.
But the mountain gorillas, there are about 40,000 or 60,000 lowland gorillas, where there's only about 500, 600 total both countries Uganda, the D.R.C. and Rwanda are the mountain gorillas. So you can see what we're talking about. And there's more to pick from, I guess, in the Congo where you are.
COOPER: I guess part of the problem is in the Congo the security situation is so volatile. There's been fighting up in that area, that they don't have the same protocols as they have in Rwanda, the same -- even though they're good hard people working here, trying to patrol, trying to protect the gorillas, it's just not as organized yet as it is in Rwanda and it's not yet bringing in tourist dollars. I mean, in Rwanda they're bringing in about $2 million a year from tourism.
What's it like for you when you go up and see the gorillas? I mean, I think it's one of the most remarkable animal viewing experiences you can have.
HANNA: Well, you said it right there. After 36 years of doing this, and being in Africa 56 times now, seeing a gorilla is like something -- it's probably like racing an Indy car 200 miles an hour. I mean, there's nothing else like to spend an hour there, as you well know, sitting with a 400 pound or 500 pound silverback gorilla from me to that cameraman right there, and just seeing the family operate together. It's like something that nowhere on earth can you see this.
COOPER: We're looking at some of the video that you shot with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. I mean, when you're that close to them -- I was surprised. I'm sort of not scared -- a lot of people always ask, well, do you get scared. Have you ever been charged by a silverback?
HANNA: You won't believe this, the gorilla, as you well know, is a gentle giant. Never in history has anyone ever been killed by a mountain gorilla. However, in 1988 in Uganda when we were -- I'm sorry, 1993, we were filming in Uganda, the cameraman was just like they said -- because they have strict rules there. For some reason, I don't know, he just got upset and charged the cameraman. All he did was hit the camera and knock it off the tripod. But that guy, he was -- I don't know what was in his pants when he got done, but I'll tell you what, he was nervous. And that's very unusual though. Because he stayed exactly where the guide told us to. It's just one of those deals. We were in Uganda and it happened. But they're a gentle giant.
But you do what they tell you. You never look them in the eye. You go like this. And I want to tell you something, you look at that 500 pound silverback in the eye, you go like this, real quick. And that's just how the animals are. You know, you listen to exactly what they tell you. You spend one hour there. And it's the most magnificent hour I've ever spent anywhere in the world.
You're 8,000 miles to spend one hour, as you saw, with my family. I've been there many times. I never taken my family. I took my girls up there and a big silverback came out of the bushes behind one of my girls, and never been there before, and just brushed right behind her. Even the guide, we didn't see it. But that's how -- they accept you as part of their family. That's what's so great about it.
COOPER: Jack, we appreciate you coming on and talking about the mountain gorillas. Thanks so much.
COOPER: And we'll have more of 360 live from Africa in a moment. Stay with us.
COOPER: I want to thank my colleague, John Roberts in New York for covering the news out of our headquarters in New York there. John will be back tomorrow night as well. So will we. We'll be in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And Jeff Koinange will continue to be in Darfur. And Dr. Sanjay Gupta will also join us here in the Congo.
Thanks very much for watching this special edition of 360. I hope you join us tomorrow as well.
"LARRY KING LIVE" is next.
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