Monrovia: Day 10

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The Tenth day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Wednesday January 23, 2008 at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion. The Hearings session started with the Commissioners of the TRC being ushered into their seats followed by a welcome remarks form the Chairman of the TRC Cllr. Jerome Verdier, who then called on the Hearings Officer Pastor John Teayah to invite the first Primary Witness to give her testimony.

Forty First Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
Richlue Bowen
(First Primary Witness of day ten)

The first Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: Good Mr. Witness we want to say welcome you to this session and to use this opportunity to that the TRC recognizes and appreciates all the courage to come forward and say the experience with us and the Liberian people. We see your story as a support to the process of reconciliation in our country and we whole heatedly applaud you and all other witnesses that have come here. The commissioners are all here to listen to your story and the opportunity is yours to share your story with us.

Primary Witness: thank you sir.

What is your name again?

Primary Witness: I am Richlue Bowens from the City of Clay Island presently living in Monrovia on Benson Street opposite the Ministry of National Defense.

Your date of birth if you don't mind.

Primary Witness: I was born August the 2nd 1947.

You may proceed.

Primary Witness: It happened on July 2 1990, I was at my shop doing my work, I am an electronic technician and heard of the coming of the rebel and that they have taken over the whole of Du Port road, I immediately closed down my shop and got home. It was on the 12 of jolly a racket felt near my house in Du Port road about 10 yards and destroyed things in the house. It was on the 10 or 12 and we decided to leave. That night when the rocket fell we slept down where Tarpoeh Doe is living because we felt that that area was little bit safe. After that day we decided to move and we move to a town called Wackor near Fendell and we were there for three weeks and we saw check points one morning and the people started harassing us and my wife and one former Deputy Minister Mr. Williams and his wife left and went on the road and we decided to follow them and the people did not hesitate to tabay us, as for me they did not get me because I was smart to run away from them. But the others were they tabay them. That made us afraid and I decided to seek refuge at Fendell.

On the 12 of October I went to Carresburg to see if I could get some food and while coming I met up with a gate and I was arrested and they asked me of my name and I called my name and they said I was on reconnaissance and that they would killed me and I took it for a joke. But being that I had been working for people, and a fellow knew me and said called me and said do you know me and I said no and he said isn't your name bread and butter? And m said yes. He said I should now for he was surely going to kill me. So I left and when I got home that Friday by 4 o'clock we were told to stay indoor for they were expecting an attack from Prince Johnson. When we got up the next morning they had taken the whole place. They called us on the field and they told us not to be afraid that they were there to rescue us and that we should not go far in the bushes. Sunday morning getting ready to go to church, my nephew waiting for me to come out and while taking bath, I heard somebody say what is that red thing coming I did not pay attention and there was an expulsion. The place got dark and I had no feelings and my nephew died and I had no feelings and I was wounded and Mr. Reeves informed Mr. Johnson and he escorted me to the Redemption hospital and after two or three day Mr. Johnson came to the hospital and told me it was war and he was sorry and he give me 35 Liberian dollars and I have not see him since that day. I was discharge after two weeks and said they could not keep me there because my case was critical. As God would have it, the Snapper Hill clinic was open and I immediately send to my mother and she went and spoke with Doctor Salley and he accepted me and he send me to the refuge home and they were treating me. And from that time till now I have been paying my own medical bills. I have pieces of fragments in me, and my spine is damage and I can not get medication.

I travel to Ghana, Ivory Coast and they charge me US$25,000.00 and I have been appealing from day one and no assistance from anywhere except friends and people who know me. As a train electrician technician u dint fell good begging for the rest of my life. This is unfortunately because I have learned and can not use what I have learnt. Besides I am the first technician to serve the late President William V.S Tubman. I even served the late Tolbert and I open my own shop from what I have learned. Before opening my own shop I was called by the Ministry of education and I refused for I wanted ton be my own boss. I ran the shop with three other technicians and closed the shop in 1990 due to the war and here I am not being able to work. I can hardly urinate. If I drink water and don't get to the rest room quick, I will urinate on my self.

The first 2 weeks I could not help but shit on my self and wanted to kill myself for a young man doing such thing on your self was a bad. I have here a bunch of news papers and have appealed to all I can and no assistance. I wrote the American Embassy and the Council of Churches and who ever you can think about but no one pick me or lay me down. Should I live in this pain, for no assistance, as such I said let me explain this to you if there is a way I can take my operation and keep my children in school. I met the NCDDRR man and he talked to me but said there is nothing he can do for he was catering to combatant. I have a lot of problems and have to be taking medication on a daily basis and have to pay about US$375 every week for medication, where do I get that money? To be frank with you I wrote the commission when it was establish and wrote to the commission but I did not hear from them for I did not put a return address and went there on occasion but did not see him and was told they move and was fortunate to hear about this that is why I am here.

I really need a help, my house and church are all destroyed and I have a lot of frustration that is why I am here so that you can talk on my behalf. I will ask yon the Honorable Commissioner, I am begging you to please talk on my behalf and please try to see my plight and find a means of assisting me. I don not have a house right now, if you went to Clay Island right now you will see that they took down my house and even my church. The frustrations are so many that is why I am here. As I speak, I will advice you not to feel discourage for people are saying reckless statements about the Commission and I strongly feels if you were not chosen by God you will not be here. I do not want you to listen to the criticism about the talk, but what will take us forward for we need you. People who have done bad things to us and know they wrong us they should be punished to set the precedence for if we don't do they will repeat this knowing that nothing will happen. As such do not relent and keep up the good works. That is all I have to say.

Questions from Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you very much for telling this Commission and the Liberian people your story. We sympathize with you for all the pains and accept your advice and very wise council in terms of how we should conduct ourselves. The TRC is a public institution and so we are open to all the pieces advises and criticism similarly. There will be few questions.

Commissioner Stewart: thank you for sharing your experiences. You mentioned that while you were in the bath room a rocket was fired, which group fired this rocket?

Primary Witness: I do not want to lie, it was a fight between Mr. Johnson and Taylor forces and I do not know who really sent it. Because that Friday on the 12 they had the place under their control and said they were expecting attack and the next morning we saw Johnson all over the place, and it was Mr. Johnson who instructed Mr. Reeves to have me sent to the hospital. Bishop Reeves is my living witness, he is not dead.

Commissioner Washington: good morning and welcome to the TRC Public Hearings, You mentioned that you home in Clay Ashland was burned down?

Primary Witness: Not burned, they took the roof including the church. After that happened I move to Monrovia for I don't have a property in Clay Ashland.

Do you know which group or faction was in the area, or who was responsible for this and do you know whether it was done by the civilians?

Primary Witness: The group in the area at the time was Taylor group.

When was this?

Primary Witness: About 5 to 6 years ago for before that time the church was there and we used to worship in it. This happened after the 1996 crisis.

Where is your family now?

Primary Witness: My mother is across at St. Paul Bridge and my little brother and I am on Benson Street opposite the Ministry of Defense.

What do you do now do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am begging, hand out

Do you beg on the street?

Primary Witness: No, only people I know.

You said you worked as a professional person before the war right

Primary Witness: Yes

You mentioned that your nephew was killed by the rocket

Primary Witness: Yes my nephew but he was staying with me.

Commissioner Coleman: what time did it happened

Primary Witness: 1990 10 o'clock on Sunday morning

Who territory was you in?

Primary Witness: Charles Taylor

So the attack was from INPFL?

Primary Witness: Yes

And the group leader came to apologies?

Primary Witness: Yes

You talk about a possible operation, would that help you coming to normal?

Primary Witness: I don't want to say yes and there has been no one to say I could be saved. I went to Ghana 2003 and he told me that money was not the only but that the only problem but that the operation was critical and I went to Abidjan and was asked who will pay the bills and I said it was me and he said it will cost 20,000 dollars and I went to another hospital in the same Abidjan and met a doctor who told me no doctor in Africa can help me and even in Europe I have to be careful and I came back.

Have you tried you technical skills for service?

Primary Witness: Yes those who know me have come and if I can help them I do their work and if not I say no and I have not done it more then 17 years now so I don't want to lie and take people money. Those who know it will come and force me to do it.

You mention about your wife die, she died from the tabie?

No she survived but died in the Ivory Coast, and when I return from Ghana I have been surviving with my children and my oldest daughter is a senior student at the AMEU and the little one a grade 10 student.

Commissioner Dolopei: what is the name of your nephew who died?

Primary Witness: Bonneh Gibson.

How many children do you have?

Primary Witness: I have 3 children 2 boys and 1 girl but my son is in Ivory Coast, it happened that he was talking to some people who started wearing my wedding cloth and they almost killed him and he went to Abidjan and during their crisis was assisted by a girl and he is now in Europe.

Commissioner Kulah: how long did you stay in Fendell before been hit by the rocket?

Primary Witness: More then a month.

When there, did you do any work at all?

Primary Witness: No I did not do work for anyone I use to cut wood and sell to make a living.

You said you went to Ghana and Ivory Coast who sent you?

Primary Witness: I was sent by the former moderator of the Presbyterian church of Liberia S Prince Quote.

Do you know where he is?

Primary Witness: Yes he has been assisting me.

There is a ship called Mercy ship, have you try them?

Primary Witness: No sir.

Why did you not try?

Primary Witness: If you can record reverend, there was the same thing in JFK and I went there and they recommend that I travel and I don't have the money and I was told they don't do major operations on the spot as such I cant go there.

Those people on the ship are experts and when I was in Freetown and they assisted me in Freetown so you need to go there

Primary Witness: I will take you advice and go there. But is the ship still here

They are on there way back they might be here soon.

Commissioner Konneh: we are sorry for you condition. We all need to thank God that you are suffering from physical and not mental disability, he knows while he did that. He is a God to be glorified in all circumstances, have hope in God perhaps if he can't give your physical health he will give you mental soundness and he might help you children top be good people. For your information the ship will come on the 5 of Feb. and will be here till Dec. they said they will register people on the 18th as such you should go there.

Do you think that if you can be given capital can you still do you electrical engineering or to renovate your church and devote your life to your creator?

Primary Witness: Think you very good question. I have been communication with the Presbyterian Church and told them it would be better going back to my church and I want them to renovate my church and if I am home it will be a rest, all I need is have somebody to work and things will be fine. With that I have been writing people to have funds to make business and have had no response. I want to do business such as cool selling or money changing business in booth selling scratch cards. I don't want to do work that will bring headache. I am praying and hoping that somebody will be touched and help me with the fund and monitor how I spent it. I am not doing it for myself but for my children.

Where you live, are you renting it or for the family

Primary Witness: The late rev. Cooper HG George children asked me to stay there and his wife said I should pay rent and two month I receive letter from a lawyer to pay rent or vacate. So I don't know what to do.

I am asking this because some people here or outside listening to you may want to help you. If they will want to know where you are, what can you say is your duly recognize address?

I live on Ashman street house N0. 0505G05 phone no.077422578

Chairman: did in gather that the rocket parts are in your body?

Primary Witness: Yes

The commission have just listen to your testimony and your experience is just what thousands of Liberians are going through that is why the Commission was formed and at the end of our work we will make recommendation for reparation and persecution and so forth. As such your story is relevant to our work. We pray that god will guide us all to have a good end. Is there any last thing you want to say?

I am begging you may his grace be with you that you may not relent in finding solution to our problem. Hearing the name and seeing the personality I know you people will work. There are a lot of criticisms but do not pay attention to this. I strongly believe that this Commission will bring relief to the Liberian people. I know God will guide you in doing your work, do not pay attention to negative criticism but carry on with your work.

It is a form of healing and we know that a lot of old wounds will be healed

Primary Witness: I want to ask; People talk about reconciliation, who is suppose to reconcile to whom, is it who that will victimize or those that brought the war, for I have appeal a lot in the papers and no one pick it up or lay it down?

At the time you were appealing alone but this is a national healing process and we can not compel a victim to say I beg you but will insist we want national reconciliation and can insist the people account for their wrongs. Thank you.

Thank you too may go bless you all.


Forty Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
Tarnu Johnson
(Second Primary Witness of day ten)

The second Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: Mr. Witness, you are welcome to the TRC Public Hearings. The Commissioners are here to listen to you together with the Liberian people. We want you to say what you have experience and it should be the truth.

Primary Witness: thank you sir.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Tarnu Johnson.

You may go on with your story.

Primary Witness: We were on the farm one day me and my nephew the rebel come grab us and they say your money here and when I was going on the farm I border with them and they took me back and they ask me for my woman and I say I don't have woman and they put us in jail and they say they will take us to Guineas and I say why they say you not suppose to be in Liberia here and I say this is my country I want be here. The next day they were carrying us to Guinea and

They grab me and cut my two ears and cut my hand with a dull cutlass and say go and tell the Loma people that we the Mandingo people who own this place. I was waiting for my nephew because I say where they kill him that where I will die, and the man say all the thing we do to you you still here and they say I should go before they kill me, they push me to go and I was waiting for him and he came and wee left.

We went across and we meant our people and the town chief say what thing we were doing in Liberia and we never came ever since, so we must go back to where we come from. Then some people say no, these this people should not go back after all what they do to them.

We go in town and they say there is no hospital here to so they put two men behind us and I can't see any road again and I fall down and the people take me and that how I went to Guinea, and that what happened to me during the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you Mr. Witness for your story to the Commission, we can assure you that what you have told us is very valuable to the work of the TRC in that we want to know what happen to all Liberians so that we can use this in making a recommendation to the government of Liberia at the end of our job. We are sorry for the pains you have suffered as a result of the war. The Commissioner will now ask you few questions. Before then, what year did this happened to you and have you been able to see him since then?

Primary Witness: 1993 and the young men he in town here his name Sakou I know his father, we all coming from one town, but he die now.

What town?

Primary Witness: Cedejah

Commissioner Stewart: thank you for the story and sorry fro what happened to you. You said it was 1993?

Primary Witness: Yes

The month and date?

Primary Witness: Yes November 9, 93.

Where were they coming from?

Primary Witness: From Guinea.

Did they come with arms?

Primary Witness: They use to bring arms and do the thing and go back to a town called Ponia.

Did the Guinea police not stop them?

Primary Witness: No

What kind of people were in that village?

Primary Witness: The same Loma people from guinea

When you were taken to Guinea was anybody taking care of you?

Primary Witness: When we went there, the man who was taking care of us they put him in the paper and they grab him they almost killed him.

Were the guinea people supporting the ULIMO?

Primary Witness: definitely.

Did they use to take things and carry it to Guinea?

Primary Witness: Yes they took things and carry it to guinea.

The authority did not stop them?

Primary Witness: I don't know the authority

You said they put you in the paper in Liberia or Guinea?

Primary Witness: In Liberia here and nobody came to help me.

Primary Witness: What is the name who did this to you?

Primary Witness: Sakou and his father name is Mamadu Swaray.

The way all of you are from the same town has any of the family member come to say sorry?

Primary Witness: No

You said you recognized him?

Primary Witness: I saw him driving bus and I went to him and say that you curt my hands and he say Papie I was not to myself.

Have you seen the ULIMO big man?

Primary Witness: Alhaji Kroman I have not see him and I want to see him.

Commissioner Coleman: what reason they Dolopei: is your nephew still alive today.

Primary Witness: Yes,

Where is he?

Primary Witness: In guinea

Did they cut his hands?

Primary Witness: His left hand and his two ears.

Commissioner Kulah: when you were capture who did they take you to

I slept in jail in my own town and in the morning they take us to the border to take us to guinea

Was it in your own house?

Primary Witness: No in a jail, and Sakou was the commander and he was the one keeping us

How many people were affected like you?

Primary Witness: Only the two of us.

What was the reason?

Primary Witness: Because they said we did not follow the pother people to guinea

What else did they do to you?

Primary Witness: When they cut my hands they said we should run go guinea go tell the Loma people say that us own Guinea.

Commissioner Konneh: are you from the same town with Sakou?

Primary Witness: Yes

His father was Mamadi or Swaray

Primary Witness: Yes Swaray.

Was there any misunderstanding between the two of you?

Primary Witness: No I am older then him I don't know him he doesn't know me.

They said you should go back to Liberia after cutting your hand?

Primary Witness: No that I should go back to guinea and when I went there the town chief said we should go back to Liberia what we were doing behind.

The name of the boy who was with you?

Primary Witness: Fakpa Yea Pewee

Where is he now?

Primary Witness: He is in Guinea working with UN

Commissioner Coleman: was there any misunderstanding betrwee the mandingos and the Loma before

Primary Witness: No

Chairman: thank you for sharing your experience with us. The TRC as I said earlier on will collect all the information and put it together and make a report and the information you gave us will help us in doing this. We are happy that you have forgiven the man' what finally do you want to tell the Liberian people.

Primary Witness: I only want to tell them that war na good, if we say this man did this to me and we want pay debt we will not get peace, we all are one. We just have to forgive these thing that happen to us, that all I have to say.


Forty Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
Oretha Williams
(Third Primary Witness of day ten)

The third Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: This is the opportunity for you to come and tell us what happen to you in the war. We are to put together what went wrong and try to put things in place so that our country will be as it was before. We thank you for coming to tell us your story. We will listen to you and the Liberian people are listening to you, we want you to say the truth and nothing but the truth.

What is your name?
Primary Witness: My name is Oretha William

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born 1984 January 15.

You can now tell you story.

Primary Witness: That was during the war my mother Mary William, we were living west point and the war was in Monrovia, and she said we should use the Kakata road to go and there were some boys on the road with red cloth on their head. When we reach them, they divided the men and women and they tie one men and the kill the man and cut the thing that was in front of him and they hand it as rope and they killed two other women with my mother that how I came in this town and I follow my aunty that how I came to this town. And later we took Kakata road and one woman they call Yata was taking care of me. Then April 6 rocket killed the women and I am taking care of myself.

Question from the Commissioners:

Chairman: you said rocket killed the woman at Gray stone

Primary Witness: I say they killed the woman on Kakata side and one woman Mary can attest to this and when I was going in front I met this woman who was taking care of me and this woman was killed at the gray stone with rocket.

The boys who were wearing the red cloth what group the come from?

Primary Witness: No but they were all in red shirt.

Thank you for telling us your story and sorry for the death of your ma and the woman who was taking care of you. The Commissioners will ask you some questions.

Commissioner Sheikh: you said when your left West Pint you met boys with red shirt and they cut of the things in front of the men; do you know how many person they did it to?

Primary Witness: They were plenty

Where they more then 10 people?

Primary Witness: Yes

What did they do to the women?

Primary Witness: Some of them were pregnant and they were raping them and the women them they were not killing them plenty but that the men they were killing plenty and they hang their heads them up for flag.

You know who and who were fighting?

Primary Witness: No I was small at that time so the woman that was explaining this said I was baby when my father died (witness in tears)

Don't cry, it has happened and God loves you that is why you are alive, many people died that day and you are alive and you are okay.

Primary Witness: I say the woman who took care of me explain to me how my mother died and she died also and I was with one woman on Ashman Street until I get big like this.

Have you gone to school?

Primary Witness: I never go to school since my mother born me.

You know any trade?

Primary Witness: I learning how to fix hair.

Commissioner Kulah. Sorry for all that happened I will say you are a triple orphan and more then that. When your mother and step mother died there was a young man who was helping you was he a fighter?

Primary Witness: No

How did he get to know you?

Primary Witness: I did not say man, that woman.

When you were in line did they asked you to speak any tribe?

Primary Witness: No I told them I can't speak any tribe but I Greebo girl.

If you see the people who were doing these things, will know them?

Primary Witness: Yes if you bring them I will know them.

Commissioner Washington: Oretha, we want to say sorry for what has happened to you and this show how people have destroyed lives and how you saw all of these horrible things and denied you the opportunity of acquiring an education. We can assure you that the TRC was establish to address these things that have affected you. I have no question for my heart have broken with your story, but that you will recover from the story and I am very proud of you for coming here to tell us such horrible story.

Commissioner Stewart: I only want to say sorry for what happened.

Chairman: you are a very strong woman and I urged you to continue to be strong, for you can stand to talk to the TRC today. The name of your mother will go down in history. Is there any thing you want to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: I get something to say because after my ma die and I na get anybody to take care of me. When the woman went there I told her say the man I with when he ready to beat me and the woman who helping me can be talking all kind of things and I get one uncle and he na get time for me and I get my two children, no body to help me. This morning I tell the man I no coming there because I no having any money and he say if you coming you must bring the man that how come I bring him here.

Chairman: thank you audience for attending our hearings, this is to show the interest in the process and we hope you will all come and say what happened so that we can be able to put the ugly past behind us. The chairman at this juncture remanded the audience of the disturbance in the hall, saying there should not be another forum other then the story of the witness so as not to distract their attention and to also respect them for what they were saying.


Are your children living with you?

Primary Witness: I brought them with me.

How are they?

Primary Witness: One year nine months and five.

Where are the fathers?

Primary Witness: The father name prince.

Oretha it is okay, we will talk with you after here.

Ladies and the Commission will take five minutes recess.


Forty Forth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
Solomon Gonleh
(Forth Primary Witness of day ten)

The third Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

It all started September 24 1995. One of the general of NPFL named John Gbalay also known as Ghankay Son chief of Strike Force Division. In a well organize conspiracy against my father went and kill in my presence and Ghankay Son instructed Erickson Badea and Jacob Gbangon to proceed to go and destabilize Tappita and kill the Commissioner. As we speak the bound of those guys are around and while future of the 18 children of the late commission, my father is strenuous and his property being destroyed and misappropriated. Especially in Monrovia, in Thinker's village on of our houses is being taken because our father was killed. One man within that area took advantage of our situation and sold the house to one Mr. Sheriff. These are what I have to say my father death and his property taken by force.
At this time I end my testimony!

Chairman: thank you very much Mr. Witness for taken up your time to come and share our experience. We assure you that all these information are helpful and useful to our reconciliation process. Now the commissioners will ask you couple of questions for clarity. You said when did this incident take place?

Primary Witness: September 27, 1995 in Tappita, I was present when they killed him. They ask him where is the government money. He said I don't have any money here but your check anything your like here your can take it within this time they shot him two times in his stomach.

Commissioner Stewart: Was it about the same that Gbarnga fell?

Primary Witness: No it still long before that.

Who give these orders?

Primary Witness: John Gbalay who is also known as Ghankay Son

What was his motive did you find out?

Primary Witness: You know LPC was in Grand Gedeh and later they came to Tappita. After some time NPFL Strike Force move in the area. While they kept harassing people of Tappita and every time they harass the people they will bring the complaint to the Commissioner and the Commissioner call them the soldiers now and advise. After some time in this they say his mouth can run in soldier because he used to complain them to Taylor.

Did Charles Taylor take any action when the complaint was launched to him?

Primary Witness: Yes, usually he used to change their assignment from one point to another.

When your father was killed did you bring it Taylor's attention?

Primary Witness: Yes I brought the mater to his attention but there was nothing.

Have you seen any of them since then?

Primary Witness: Yes, Ghankay Son live right behind LBS compound, every time I come to town I make sure I see him.

What about Jacob Gbangon?

Primary Witness: The last time I was Jacob Gbangon was in 2003.

Was there other top officer that you contacted?

Primary Witness: No I was small I could get any one up there to contact and beside that we became target so we kept to ourselves.

What prompted you to come to the TRC?

Primary Witness: To tell the truth about what happened to me I don't want them to go with impunity I want them to be prosecution.

Commissioner Washington: what about any other like Eriksson Badea, have you seen him?

Primary Witness: Since that time in 1999 in Tappita I was managing my sister hotel but it was SOD time so I left to go.

What do you think he is doing now?

Primary Witness: I was told that he may in Lofa and they said he doing hunting.

What's about Ghankay Son?

Primary Witness: Yes Ghankay Son has a diamond creek in Diaplay in Zoegeh District in Nimba County.

What about land dispute that you mentioned.

Primary Witness: It is a notorious land dealer in Thinker's Village because our father was killed so he took advantage to that and he possesses our father property.

Have you reported this to anybody?

Primary Witness: Yes I can remember we met in court one time but I don't have money so I can send there by then it was Theophilus Doe was the Solicitor General.

Are you the oldest amongst the 18 children?

Primary Witness: No I am the last of them.

Where is your mother?

Primary Witness: Our mother is in Nimba.

Commissioner Coleman: were those people acting on resentment or command?

Primary Witness: Their actions were base on what their commander use to say to them that my father had big so they will get rid of him.

Commissioner Dolopei: What is the name of the person who sold your father land?

Primary Witness: His name is Bobby Freeman.

Is he known by that name in the area?

Primary Witness: Yes, he is the town chief for that area, Thinker's Village.

Do you have the deeds?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Kulah: how do you feel toward those who kill your father?

Primary Witness: I feel very bad because they are going and walking around with impunity. I use to love my father and he too loved me.

What is your reaction when you see them?

Primary Witness: Well the last time I wanted to put my friends together but I decided to wait and come to the TRC and recommend prosecution.

Chairman: do you have a title deed against your father property?

Primary Witness: Yes

You said no money?

Primary Witness: Yes

For how long he has been on your property?

Primary Witness: Since Gyude Bryant time that's 2003.

Chairman: ok thank for coming to TRC and sharing your experience and you have made couple of reconciliation and we value every testimony.
Anything final: no nothing to say what I had do say is what I said. I don't want to lie.

Ok thank you may leave.


Forty Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
James Kerkula
(Fifth Primary Witness of day ten)

The fifth Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: Welcome Mr. Witness, you are welcomed to the TRC Public Hearings. The Commissioners and the people of Liberia will be listening to you story and we want you to say the truth and nothing but the truth.

Primary Witness: Thank you sir.

What is your name again?

Primary Witness: I am James Kerkula.

You may give your story.

Primary Witness: July 27 1990 when the war was approaching Mount Barclay my family I mean my children and my sisters' children came to my house from Red light there were they were living. I was the only one working in the family, and decide to live on Bong Mine road.

Bangali Kamara married my sister Gorwu and she was in Mount Barclay so I carry every body along Kamara my brother law. I told him if anybody ask you say you Kpelleh and you should your name Singbeh and we put in the middle of us. He could not speak any other tribe besides Mandingo and some English. We past by many check point[s] and we continue walking going until we reach a check Point in Careysburg. Then they asked me for my tribe I told them I was Kpelleh so they say we should put our load down so that they can search it and after they said we should continue but by then they had collected some people in the mini coca-cola factory truck and they were killing these people around the area and so they say we should wait until they were finished with the operation they were on. While walking on Prince identified Bangalie as a Mandingo and told his friends so they told us to stop.

They ask for his name and he called his Singbeh name they denied him say he was lying that he was a Kpelleh they say he was Mandingo man. They grabbed Bangalie and started carrying him, then his little son Kalifa started crying and then they call him too and asked that your pa the little boy say yes they took Kalifa and hit him with the gun butt and he drop and they took the cutlass and chop the boy and lay him on the tree and cut his neck off and they say they want know the mother.

They ask and nobody talk so they say they want see who Bangalie came with. While they were carrying Bangalie then one of them said something drop and asked Bangalie to pick it up as soon as he bent down to pick it up they chop his neck straight. Right there his other son Mohammed started crying too then they say oh that your pa too come here and they started carrying Mohammed and then the mother started talking to them say I beg your - your leave that one with me so that I can carry him, then they asked you are the mother she said yes then they called her too and carry her in one room that's how they started rapping her and we were hearing her yelling.

We went to the police station. Isaac Musa was there and he said he na want see anybody we were there until in the night waiting for Louise. It was on the 28 until the 29. When they brought Louise out now the little Gio that we found on the road while coming, started crying and the guy who was Isaac Musa said why you are crying. The little girl said me I Gio that her ma there so the man say oh ever since you can tell us that that how they left Louise and he free us. We started walking from July end up to the end of August before we got in Kakata. Until now she is cripple she can't walk and that's how up to now she remains in the interior.

For my own of story I don't want to explain it yes I don't want explain it because the people who did these things are still around. So I did not put it on the paper because the people who did these things to us know our house and they can go there any time.

Chairman: what your sister nane:

Primary Witness: Louise Singbeh

She was not Kerkula?
We were related by ma but not by pa.

Can you remember any other person beside Isaac Musa?

Primary Witness: Yes one Prince who identified Bangalie, one lady called 2 for 5.

And she was a female fighter?

Primary Witness: Yes

Have your seen her since then?

Primary Witness: If I see him I can't remember.

Did Isaac Musa know about the execution at the time?

Primary Witness: Yes the place was not far from Careysburg, he was in the Mission School right up the hill he was there and he hearing the noise down the hill.

Can you remember how many persons were executed at the time you were there?
No they had one coca-cola truck that what they use to carry the people and you can't look at them too much I did not check it because if you at them too much may the will call you too.

Commissioner Stewart: Was Isaac Musa aware that killings were taken place there?

Primary Witness: Yes because the place was close to him where he was it was no distance from where the police station and where ECOMOG built their booth.

You could see from that point?

Primary Witness: Yes the place was clear; they had just cut the grass I think to plant rubber there.

Were the people crying, the people that were being executive?

Primary Witness: Yes, the place was noisy

So where Musa was, was he was hearing?

Primary Witness: Yes

He did nothing to stop it, is that what you are saying?
Yes.

What they were using the truck for?

Primary Witness: They use to bring people in the truck and put them from the truck as they come down they asked for their names and pass them behind the truck and go kill them.

Did you see 2 for 5 killing any body?

Primary Witness: All of them were there, in fact for they use to say the 2 for 5 there she can't play when you her just run.

Have you seen any of them since then?

Primary Witness: No even I see them I will not know any of them because you can't look at their face. If Even I know them ah if I know self that how the place was going to be park I was not going to come here self.

Chairman: warning on security matters and the principle confidentiality with the commission.

Commissioner Washington: can you describe prince?

Primary Witness: He is short, light skin, boy.

What about his age?

Primary Witness: Between 19 - 20.

And 2 for 5?

Primary Witness: Tall not too slim and attachment hair.

You have not seen her since?

Primary Witness: Yes, you know after the war when we came in town everybody change their name.

How old you think she was?

Primary Witness: Not too old a young girl.

Are you saying Isaac Musa should bear some responsibilities for the things happened in that area?

Primary Witness: Yes, If I left my wife in the house and she left there the children broke any place glass when I come back will blame her so that how is looking.

Commissioner Coleman: have you understood the root to the bitterness between the Mandingo and Gio?

Primary Witness: When the rebels were coming they say they were freedom fighters and were only coming for Mandingo but I don't know why they were like that.

What did they do to your sister?

Primary Witness: They rape her for almost two days every day

How do you feel about those people who did wrong to you?

Primary Witness: I don't keep any bad things in my heart if somebody do me wrong sometime I discuss it with my wife and we pray over it and sometime I go to the person the next day and speak to you.

Commissioner Dolopei: what was Karlifa's age?

Primary Witness: About 12

What about the Gio Girl?

Primary Witness: No she was small that was small girl.

Commissioner Kula: what about your sister who went Mt. Barclay?

Primary Witness: She died a natural death, for her she could speak both Mandingo and Gio.

Commissioner Konneh: where the lady who was affected?

Primary Witness: To Charles D Sherman Farm on Bong Mine Road.

Is it possible to bring her for the commission to see?

Primary Witness: If she agrees because some of our people don't like too much crowd and they can be free in this kind of places.

Did Mohammed leave immediate after his father death?

Primary Witness: No he was with us until 92 he left for guinea say that the first war missed him so he will wait for the second one.

Did he talk about his plan?

Primary Witness: All he knew was his father and brother died but we were the ones who told him how they were killed.

Was he going to school?

Primary Witness: That time were you will not find school there was no school in fact we were living on the farm up to 1992.

Do you think your sister is being taken good care of to where she is?

Primary Witness: She is with the oldma there if I get little money I carry there and sometime I pay people to make farm for them.

Commissioner Syllah: What was Louise doing before the war?

Primary Witness: She was doing petty business, but her husband was driving for Charles D. Sherman.

Since Mohammed left so nobody has traced him?
Primary Witness: Yes because we don't know where Bangalie himself came from only Charles D. Sherman knew but he too is dead.

Chairman: we see that you have done it on behalf of your sister so that your world can know how she was the pride of the family. Every thing you just said are good and helpful to the commission's work and if you have any thing final to say...this is the time.

Primary Witness: I want the TRC to continue its work there are some people who did bad if their names are not called they will feel they are not known for their deeds. Some of your family members and husband died in this and their children are with us there is no way for them so if anybody can take care of them so that they too came become some body tomorrow they are between 2 - 3 years. This is not only going to the TRC but even people out there

Thank you we agree with you that it is good to expose those who have done wrong things in an effort to encourage them to come and be part of this process.


Forty Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
Prince Boika Perry
(Sixth Primary Witness of day ten)

The sixth Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: Mr. Witness, you are welcome to the TRC, this is a place where we are suppose to right all the wrongs that have happened in this country. In this light we need the support of all Liberians in other to carry out this job, as such we are happy to have people like you coming to tell us what went wrong which we will use in making this change for the better.

Primary Witness: thank you sir.

Can you say your name again?

Primary Witness: I am Prince Boika Perry

You may tell your story.

Primary Witness: A man by the name of Zigzag Massa as more people know. My brother and I use to go buy goods and carry to Cape Mount, on one Friday we reach one check point in Sinje and they stop us and Zigzag Massa was there. The soldiers searched our goods and told us to go. While going he Zigzag Massa left before us when we reach to Gbah they check us again and we left while living two soldiers came to us and say their boss want to see us we said we just from the charge of quarters and they finish checking us still they say we should go so we follow them those guys started searching again and they took our money. They say we should wait for their boss to come so while waiting something came to my mind to carry the other money in pocket to the driver, then I carry some money to the driver. So when they came the other boy started searching our goods again and he put bullets in my bag and acted like they were searching and they found it there they started beating us and they carry to their chief who was Zigzag Massa. And he was at the Guthrie Plantation in some kind of area there

So I thought that the money they wanted but he gave order to kill my brother and carry him to where he was having his human flesh but my brother was crying say oh they going kill - they going kill me. So I started crying. They took me to the kitchen where I saw human flesh, heart and other parts on drier so he said they should kill us but the boys self were hesitating and not wanted to do it so he himself took his pistol and shot my brother three times in his chest. Then he left to go on the road. Late in the night one boy came and said oh my man you still hear free me and he said I should follow him and by two o'clock that morning he said I should go. So he took to a short cut leading to Tubmanburg and he gave me 50 dollars I pay my way to get to Dualla.
Few days later, I got to Dualla and the next day I went to the driver who I gave the money to give it back to me and he did.

Question from the Commissioner:

Chairman: having shared this story with the Commission, we Commissioners will now ask you some questions. Can you remember the name of the driver?

Primary Witness: No

What about the fighter?

Primary Witness: he was called JR.

Have you seen him since?

Primary Witness: No

How long this incident took?

Primary Witness: 2003 the 3rd war

Which forces did it?

Primary Witness: NPFL government forces.

Commissioner Syllah: how old was your brother when the incident happened

Primary Witness: 22

Commissioner Konneh: have you been able to see him in person?

Primary Witness: Yes

Is he still around?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you know what his real name was?

Primary Witness: No

When last you saw him?

Primary Witness: 2005 and last year about old road Joe bar area.

Can you identify him?

Primary Witness: Yes

Commissioner Dolopei: thanks and accept my sympathy.

Commissioner Coleman: did you notice any of them eating human part?

Primary Witness: Yes, he said his soldier I was his meat he was going to eat me the next day I can carry anybody there.

Commissioner Washington: have you been able to go back there may be bury him again laid flower?

Primary Witness: No I have not gone there.

Commissioner Stewart: what year was it?

Primary Witness: 2003

Do you remember the month?

Primary Witness: I can to remember the month this thing happened.

Chairman: thank you again Mr. Witness we hear your testimony, it contains a very valuable to our work. What you have just told us explained a lot to us. Do you have any last words before you leave?

Primary Witness: the only thin I get to say, I have made that promise long since that if I border (meet up) with that man one to one it will be another news, I will kill him or he will kill me. But if he come here and admit then that one that another thing, if not anywhere we meet I either die or he die. That all I get to say.


End of Day Ten of the TRC Public Hearings



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