25/02/2017 Witness


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at more than 40. Now, it's time for Witness, with


Hello, and welcome to Witness, with me, Tanya Beckett.


I'm at the British Library in London to bring


you five more unique glimpses into history


This month, we'll hear from the victim of one of India's first


high-profile sexual harassment cases.


A Berliner who remembers West Berlin's Soviet blockade.


And the musicians behind a Swahili pop


But we start in Mogadishu in 1993, when a US raid against a


Abdul Aziz Ali Ibrahim was an eyewitness to the incident which


What I remember is, people were lying on


the streets, even including Americans.


I knew Somali people would pay a very, very


The drought came, and many people were dying.


That was the reason why the United Nations


intervene by force - to deliver food.


General Mohamed Farrah Aidid was the most powerful warlord in


The Aidid militias started fighting with the United Nations


peacekeeping mission, so Americans started


going after Aidid, and the


When it was confirmed that Aidid's generals,


supporters and allies were meeting, the Americans decided


This was an enemy territory, and it all


Just a few kilometres away from my home, I started seeing


When they passed, the Aidid militias started blocking


the streets, so even if Americans wanted to go


Around 3:30pm, we arrived where the meeting was


When they started, the Aidid militias started shooting.


When the first helicopter was hit, it was


And where it landed, it is less than 700 yards


While the first helicopter was down, they were


trying to defend themselves, and Americans were trying to protect


that helicopter, and another helicopter was also shot, so things


The Somali militias were firing everywhere.


Every space they can see or shoot Americans, they


The Americans were firing back, and any threat they


have seen, they were shooting, including civilians, because they


18 Americans were killed, and 73 Americans wounded, and I heard


people saying 1000 Somali people were the casualties.


The Aidid supporters and militias, they were


dragging the dead American soldier in the streets of Mogadishu, and the


people that were celebrating were from Aidid's part, they were not


We are very, very sorry for the loss of those who came


The American government decided to pull out their troops


So, once again, the fighting started by the warring


Taking down these helicopters, it was a very


successful operation for them, but for us, it was disaster.


Abdul Aziz Ali Ibrahim went on to become a


Next, we're going back to 1948 and one of


the first confrontations of the Cold War.


The Soviet Union blocked access to West Berlin, so the Western


powers started to supply the city by air in what became known as the


Ulrich Kirchbaum was a child in Berlin


TRANSLATION: We didn't know anything different.


It was only three or four years after the end of


Our flats had been destroyed, but it didn't bother us.


There was a lot of disease, nothing to eat.


Berlin was separated into four parts,


surrounded by the Soviet occupation zone.


The Soviets tried to force the Western powers out.


ARCHIVE: On June the 18th, all road traffic from the


The reason given, a bridge was under repair.


TRANSLATION: Overnight, all traffic was stopped.


ARCHIVE: There was one way into Berlin which the Russians couldn't


put under repair - the right of way by air.


There are three air corridors to Berlin, from Hamburg,


from Hanover, and in the south from Frankfurt.


TRANSLATION: Every plane they could find was sent to Germany


There had never been anything like it.


ARCHIVE: It takes a lot to feed 2.5 million people, keep them healthy


TRANSLATION: They landed here, in Templehof airport.


There would be American lorries waiting.


Berliners would unload the planes and they


would go back to Frankfurt in a kind of loop.


They would bring medicines, fuel, household supplies, everything


We stood on the balcony, and we timed it on our


In the end, every 90 seconds, a plane would come, vroom,


over our house, then on over the rooftops to land in Templehof.


And during these flights, one pilot had an idea.


Gail Halvorsen was a 19-year-old Lieutenant, and he was


standing at a fence when some children came up to ask him for some


So, he said, why don't I drop sweets down from the plane?


So, where three or four years ago, there


had been bombs being dropped, now, there were little chocolate bars,


each wrapped in an individual little parachute.


Whenever he came over, he would move his wings up and down,


After a year and three months, the airlift came to an end.


ARCHIVE: It's a great day in Berlin, a day


Soviet planners did not understand our determination to fulfil our


obligations to the people under our charge.


TRANSLATION: The Soviet Union had seen that they couldn't


get round the Berliners, they couldn't break their will.


This airlift meant that our gratitude to


-- This airlift meant that our attitude to


the Americans, to the English, the French, changed radically.


We had been enemies during the war, but


Ulrich Kirchbaum, speaking to us from


Templehof airport in Berlin, one of the centres of the airlift.


And he still lives just around the corner.


Now, we're going back to 1956, when five American missionaries were


killed by members of an indigenous tribe in the Amazon jungle of


They had gone there to try to convert them to Christianity.


Valerie Shepherd's father was one of the missionaries killed.


My father and the other four missionaries


definitely knew it was dangerous, but they were willing to give up


their lives in order for the Huaorani to know the truth,


My father arrived in Ecuador in March 1952 to


be a missionary to indigenous or primitive tribes in the Amazon


He found out about the Huaorani through another missionary who


This missionary said that the Huaorani were very


violent, Stone Age, and they knew nothing about the outside world.


It just caught his heart, and he felt


that those were the people he was supposed to go to.


My father and a missionary pilot took several


flights over the Amazon jungle, looking for this group of Indians,


and eventually came upon this one very small settlement of the


It seemed an old man stood behind the house and waved


with both of his arms, as if to signal for us to come down.


The pilot by that time had found a spit of a beach


along the river that he knew the Huaorani could walk to.


These five men decided to set up camp on that


After three days of waiting at the camp, there were


three Huaorani that came out of the jungle -


The joy of the five men was that they


were perfectly friendly and there didn't seem


But the Huaorani were, of course, suspicious of these white


men and really had no idea of the goodwill


They might be deceiving them, they said.


They might be tricking us, and we had better kill them


We believe it was around three in the afternoon, ten men arrived at


the beach, and with their spears, they brutally speared all five of


the men and left the bodies in the water.


After my father's death, my mother got to know two Huaorani


women who had fled the tribe because of


and they said, we want you and the pilot's


While we lived with them, and we were there almost two and a half


years, I, of course, got to know all of the tribe


and the ten men who had done the killing.


Amazingly, I really don't remember being afraid


They were always laughing, and they would always make my mother


laugh, so I simply enjoyed being with them.


Of course, it was a tragedy, and of course, I have often


wished that I had known my dad, still do.


believe that God allowed this to happen so that more and more


people could actually see what real commitment to Christ means, and I


really don't believe their lives were wasted.


Today, the Huaorani tribe still lives in the Ecuadorian


Remember, you can watch Witness every month on the BBC News


Channel, or you can catch up on all of our films,


along with more than 1000 radio programmes, in our online


And now to the Indian state of Punjab and the country's first


high-profile sexual harassment trial.


In 1988, Rupan Deol Bajaj was a high-ranking female civil servant,


but none of that mattered when she was sexually harassed


at an official party by the state's top policeman.


She may be working-class, an officer, she may


In 1988, I was serving as special secretary


There was a dinner party hosted by the Home


Secretary, and Mr KPS Gill, who was the director-general of police, was


He called out to me and said, Mrs Bajaj, I want to talk to


He got up and he came and stood in front of me,


He put the finger in my face like that, and he said, up.


So, I said, Mr Gill, go away from here.


And I got out from the gap in between him and me,


and when I was going, that


Always, people have considered it to be a very trivial


thing, but I could not get over the enormity of it.


Letting it go meant living with lowered self esteem,


gulping down my humiliation, facing that person every day, facing all


Consequences of complaining, I had not really


Nobody was willing to take up the case for me


because they were so frightened of the DGP.


He was the highest-ranking police officer, with all the powers


No one wanted to do anything against him.


And I found that no one had ever filed in


section 509 and 354, which are the lesser offences


17 long years of my life, all of it was taken up by this one


The lower courts had quashed the case, they had thrown it out.


The case reached the Supreme Court, and


it was the Supreme Court which called for all the records,


reinstated the matter, and also laid down...


They reprimanded the High Court judge and said, this cannot be


All the people, in every household, this


was the talk between husband and wife.


I attended the proceedings of the trial throughout, along with my


But on the day the verdict came, I specially requested, I said,


KPS Gill was expecting to win, so they had


And then my husband's driver rang up and said,


madam, he has been convicted on both counts.


I fought against the mindset of a society.


People have started saying, now, offences


Rupan Deol Bajaj retired not long after the final judgment in the


She now runs an academy helping people get into the Indian


Finally, this week, we are going back to Kenya in 1980, when


the booming tourist industry turned a Swahili pop song into a global


# Kenya nchi nzuri, Hakuna Matata...#


The tourists were just crazy about this


It went silver then gold, then it went platinum.


That came as a complete surprise to me.


I started the group, Them Mushrooms, in 1972.


Me and him were working in a cement factory in Mombasa.


There was a lot of tourists coming into Mombasa, so


it was a very vibrant scene in Mombasa.


We were playing mostly Congolese stuff and Kenyan music, or


whatever, but when we realised that we could make more money and playing


for less time for tourists, we switched to play these cover


versions of chart music from Europe and from America.


One night, I think it was late 1979, I was sitting at


the pool bar after a performance, and there were these tourists in the


pool, played around and joking, trying to speak Swahili.


And I got this idea, maybe we should write a


song with the simplest words in Swahili and get the tourists to


learn Swahili while they sang along and danced to our music.


All guests and visitors are welcome to Kenya.


When we finished, another tourist would come and say, can you do this


We had to do it about 20 times, and any financial


We had to do it about 20 times, and then the financial


director of PolyGram said, here's my card.


We didn't know that it was going to be this big.


After recording, the rest was history.


When we signed the agreement with PolyGram at that


time, I didn't know much about copyright ownership.


We were just happy to have our music recorded and


so many people have wanted to do cover versions of it.


Most Kenyans say this is a song for the tourists,


But they are proud of it and at least it has


given some kind of identity to Kenya.


Any Kenyan who goes overseas, they are always asking, you know


the song and start singing, which is a big honour for us.


Billy Saro Harrison, and Terry Kalanda Harrison,


That's all from Witness for this month.


We'll be back here at the British Library in March.


Next month, don't miss our India direct


From me and from the rest of the witness team, goodbye.


After a burst of cold air at the end of the week, things are more mild


this weekend. It has been cloudy and windy across many parts, but there


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