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The thirteenth day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Tuesday January 29, 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.
Fifty Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
James Dudu. Thomas
(First Primary Witness of day thirteen)
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 morning Mr. Witness how are you?
Primary Witness: I am fine
We want to welcome you and others who are here this morning. We are starting late because we had an in camera hearings this morning this is why we are starting late. Every body coming to the TRC have the opportunity to ask for an in camera hearings. We want to once again say you are welcome to contribute to this national event.
Your name again?
Primary Witness: I am James B. Thomas
Do you work?
Primary Witness: Yes I work for myself
Do you live in Monrovia?
Primary Witness: Yes
Primary Witness: I am starting from 1990 I was living in Slipway, me and my parents when the town was rough and we decided to go to the American embassy where I use to work and I had one of my friends who also called me to be there. But still things were not already still so we left and went to the island clinic area with my brother. We were there after few times we heard that Doe was captured and killed, so the slogan they were crying "No Doe, No Monrovia", they destroyed lives and properties up to about 12 house in our neighborhood and other properties.
The soldiers later stopped the Ghanaian not to fishing for some time. So one Ghanaian boy was there he say ok since we are going on sea these days I get some gas come for and go sell it. So he gave me 27 gallons of gasoline then I carry it to the island. Because that in Vai town the boy gave the gas. Then one Suah bought 10 gals from me and the balance 17 gallons one British guy called me that he needed it and he will give one bag of rice for it. I accepted it because it was not easy to get rice at that time so I was happy and I told him no problem. He took 10 gallons from me first and later he sent for the 7 then I sent my little cousin and the boy carry the gas and I told him to bring the rice, the British man give thee rice to the boy but when he brought it outside with the rice, the INPFL boys saw the boys with the rice then they took the rice from him and give him only 20cups, but he did not tell me who took it from him he only tell me the people took it from him, so I say lets go when we were going as soon as we came outside on the road they say oh your come here that rice your want that bag of rice you want I say that one bag of rice me and the man agree on then one of them their commanders said your carry this man behind there. They went and tie me and put me in the ants and beat on me enough all my body was like somebody who get measles. Their commander knocked his pistol on my head and he said he was going to come back and when he come back he was going to kill me then one nine (9) yrs old child step on my face and he left me in the ants and later when he came back he say they should carry me to the swamp behind island clinic. They went and throw me in that swamp the things started by 10 in the morning they went and put in the swamp and the water was just getting full I was just thinking about alligator or crocodile business. I was there up to 6 in the evening in the swamp. I couldn't talk again because my mouth was filled with the mud all in my throat.
The ECOMOG soldiers use to go on patrol so luckily for me this evening one ECOMOG man was on patrol and he saw me in the swamp. He went to me and loosen the rope from on me took me from the mud and he carry me to his house and bath me and asked me to leave from that area and he carry me to my house and found car and to carry me to Vai town and to the Ghana people area, the boy who give me the gas self that the place he was. But I was in door, he gave me food but I could not eat because my throat self was all mud I could not get outside. I am a plumber and with all I went through in the mud now I can't do any hard now.
They took me on the sea, and I was there for one year 2 months along with one of Samuel K. Doe brother who had the Monrovia Fishing Company. When I came back I think that Amos Sawyer was already around in power. And I open my shop and Price Johnson self use to come to my place and encourage me to do business in his area I use to sell those plumbing parts. Then one day Prince Johnson boys came and started threatening me. They said oh my man you still around, so you na die ok, then they came in the night to burn me container, but they burn one container right side my own. Then myself I was afraid and luckily one of my daughters sent for me in Ghana.
I went in Ghana after sometime I came back and I encounter the same mess with ULIMO. One my sister went in Kwekpo around the Po River Bridge area. I did not see my uncle that day so I decided to go look for her and I never knew that people can't cross the Po River Bridge. So when I cross the bridge and got to the ULIMO they called me to come and they say I on reconnaissance and they give me cutlass to brush the bush like from here to the church there [Centennial Pavilion to the Providence Baptist Church]. And later they say they should [must] carry me on the bridge to go and finish me, then luckily one of their men called Jabateh came and saw me and asked who that man they say that man came on reconnaissance then he said your bring him here and when I turned to Jabateh he said oh that my boss man, he said oh I live in this man house I was not working and he did not give me hard time so he talked to them and he cross me again and turn me over to ECOMOG.
What I want to tell the Liberian people is that if you trust God he will save you, the things I pass through if not for God I would not have survived. That what I explained to the TRC people and they asked what I will like to say or recommend with what happen so, I said lets forgive one another, what can I do, even looking for the INPFL fighter that did the thing to me what I will do to him or what I will get from it.
Questions from the Commissioners:
Chairman: You mentioned that Prince Johnson was killing plenty people?
Primary Witness: Yes even behind my container he kill one of his boys there then he came to me and say make business and I say yes boss man, but I was afraid because what he did in my presence.
You use to go on Prince Johnson base to do his work, how was live there?
Primary Witness: You can't even turn around to talk any body, that so-so those girls called wads girls who use to be there. You do what you get to do and leave.
How long you worked there?
Primary Witness: About 5 months we use to work there for food.
Commissioner Syllah: Where you able to learn any of them name when you went back to them?
Primary Witness: No I was afraid.
Since the war you have seen any of them?
Primary Witness: No, they say the boy died in April 6 on the train track.
How long you stay in the mud?
Primary Witness: Well I never had watch, they carry me there by 10:00 and I was there I think by 6 pm because it was getting dark.
Then what happen to the boy you sent for the rice?
Primary Witness: I don't know I did not see him again, they took him different place and carry him but I don't know where.
Chairman: thank you for coming to give your statement. Your testimony has added some value to our work. Any last word?
Primary Witness: The only thing I have to say is for us to forgive for some people still want to revenge what has happened. We should all know God.
Fifty Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
(Second Primary Witness of day thirteen)
The Second Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and she 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 afternoon, thank you for coming to share your story with us. Please tell us you experience as you have said you will come and do. The people of Liberia and the Commissioners of the TRC are all here to listen to you and they all thank you for coming to give you story.
Your name again?
Primary Witness: My name is Annie Tennih.
Do you live in Monrovia?
Primary Witness: No, in Nimba County
You date of birth
Primary Witness: 1958
Primary Witness: It was in Lutheran Church, we were living behind Development Bank and that time it was 1990 wart the government soldiers use to go from place to palace looking for people to destroy life and they came to our place and they were shooting and there I lost my husband. They went to UN compound and they were shooting.
While we were going they were in car and they stop the car and started shooting in the UN compound and I was told of my husband death and I was confused. We went behind the Development Bank and in the morning the people came and took us to the Lutheran Church and they said they will take care of us there. We were there and they use to take care of us, we were many. Later the food was not enough and they use to give us small and it was not enough and we use to go out and find food for the children like greens. July 29 in the night, the soldiers enter in the fence. We were 6 people from my family in the church. The men were in the church and the women and children in the school building. I was upstairs and the whole place was filled with human beings.
The soldiers came with guns and cutlass and started killing all the men and we were upstairs scare and crying. After killing all the men they came to the women and started killing from room to room. We were all standing up in the rooms and crying. The children were crying my pa save me, my uncle save me and the soldiers were saying I am not you pa and uncle. The soldiers said we should not spoil our shots on the children; they were cutting them with cutlass. When the finished them they were coming to us and I was in the corner room and we were the last person they came and that time it was between 3 to 4 in the morning because I had a watch. I saw one soldier he was sweating for they had killed a lot. He came to us and we started begging him and he said since you want to be safe you should collect money and give it to me, and we started collecting money by head. And we were paying money and his friend came and said what are you doing with these ants and dogs and he said they are collecting something and he said let them bring my own and we started collecting the money. After collecting the money the man said let us start operation.
Witness burst into tears....
When we heard the word operation, we lie down and I lie on my left hand and I had my sister daughter and my son Leo under my arm and my sister put the little girl under her and they started shooting. They were flashing light and shooting and they killed a lot of people. The shoot me and the bullet pass through me and killed the woman behind me and they shoot me in the leg and it touched the little boy on the foot and the shoot me on my hand again and it got broken and the bullet came out but it did not touch the boy and I fainted. When I got up in the morning I look up and the whole place was blue. I was confuse I did not know what was happening to me I thought I had four legs for my bones were shaking and I came to my self and said ooh the soldiers that came here are the one that did this, and one girl that was in the corner said ma the shouting here last night all of you died but you are the only one who got up. Your sister was killed and the little girl she had was cut with cutlass and the other sister they shot her, but she did not die but they were all hit with the bullets and she was under the dead bodies and I told her to force herself to come out from under the bodies and she brought the children and I put my hands on them and pray for them. The soldiers were coming shooting those who were not dead. Around 6, the Red Cross came to collect bodies to go and burry and since they met people who survived, and they started carrying. Our room was the last they came to and I was thirsty and one of the nurses said we come for you people but because of your condition you will be the last and I said I want to drink water before I die and I said there is water behind me and when she went for the water there was blood in the water but I was forced to drink it. I was the last person who the carried by 2 o'clock and by 4 o'clock the soldiers came and told the workers to move from there because they want to killed all the people in the hospital, and there was a woman who I knew and she put a white cloth over me on the stretcher and when they come they will shake the stretcher and say this one is dead body and so they will leave me. They killed a lot in the hospital and I was there until in the night. The next morning the lady came and said I wonder if she is alive, and the big doctor said they will cut my hand and I said they can give me medicine to die but nit to cut my hand, and they talked to me and I said no and they took me to the emergence room and the next day to operation room and I said the same thing to them and after seven days the fighters came and brought many cars and said they are ready to fight so all the workers and wounded people should be transfer to Phebe Hospital and one woman who was in critical condition with me and they put us in a pickup and they carried us and the other woman died in the car.
They said again they want to cut my hand and I said no but after they talk to me, they cut flesh from my thigh and I had lot of problems on me and the dressed my sores for more then five months. My foot was getting short and the people said in the country side the people can hall it and the nurses said it will be bad for her and I said they should carry me and they carry me to Bahn and then one other man said you have to go to the clinic in Bahn and people came and took me to Ganta that was in 1991. they look at my hand and said hey have to put iron in my hands and they took the iron from Bong Mines hospital and it use to heart me and the sore cure, and I went back to Bahn in 1994 and I went to Ivory Coast and I was sick and they took me to hospital and they did ex-Ray and they took me to Abidjan. My hand you see here I can't do anything with it. The hospital people said you have to go to other country and they said is should wait and the war came in Ivory Coast and we came back to Liberia.
The children now after my case the children were outside and they saw one man and they said they killed our ma and the man said oh this children ma that good woman and he took them. Then they took all the children to one place and I went there and I na see any of the children. So the other boy the people that was carrying him they meet my uncle and he took the boy from them and told them thank you and they took him to Kakata hospital and they toke the shot from his foot. So while I was I the hospital now one fine day the people came and say oh Annie don't cry here are the children and I say where is the girl and I na see her. That is what happened and the children are here and no help and I am shame to ask anybody for help. The children don't have anybody to help them. That is all the things that happen to me during the war.
Questions form the Commissioners:
Chairman: thank you and sorry for what happened to you. That is the work of the TRC, for people to came and say what happened to them so that we can know how to solve the problem. If we know what happened than we can know how to help people. The commissioner will now ask you some question.
What is your husband's name?
Primary Witness: Samuel Lamie but he na pay my diary so I using my pa name.
How many children your have?
Primary Witness: We have one living boy
What is the name of the son?
Primary Witness: Leo Lamin
And one girl is still mission today
Primary Witness: Yes the little girl who was one year then her name is Goodie
What of your sister
Primary Witness: They killed her
Primary Witness: Her name is Ester
Commissioner Stewart: we are very sorry for what happened to you. I want you to think back a little and tell me if you see any of the big people who went there that night.
Primary Witness: Pa-pa that the l thing I can remember them
What was the date?
Primary Witness: July 29 around 10 o'clock
What language were they speaking?
Primary Witness: They were speaking English and calling us dogs and aunts
What about the first place you were do you remember any of them?
Primary Witness: I don't know any of them, my husband died and I was afraid.
Commissioner Coleman: we are very sorry for what happened. You mentioned another place before the Lutheran church what was the place?
Primary Witness: We were to our house and the soldiers use to come and we ran to UN Compound and they came there and they were shooting and we went to Development Bank and slept and the people came and took us to the Lutheran Church. Some white people with mix up colors.
You mention one woman you knew before at the hospital who was she?
Primary Witness: The woman I knew her and she make me up and she help me her name Helena.
Did you see Helena later?
Primary Witness: No
Do you know why they were doing this?
Primary Witness: No they were just killing the innocent people that what I hear from them.
Commissioner Kulah: thank you and we want to say sorry for the painful story you are telling today. There were a lot of people who were not able to tell the story you are telling today. Your husband that was killed who killed him?
Primary Witness: That was Government Soldiers
How do you know it was them?
Primary Witness: Because that them were going around killing people.
When you were at the compound did you hear that soldiers were coming to kill you?
Primary Witness: No we na hear anything and the soldiers just came and they were killing.
Who are the people that were minding you people?
Primary Witness: I said it was the marines and church people.
Do you think the little girl who lost is still alive?
Primary Witness: I don't know because they cut her foot that time.
Commissioner Syllah: sorry for what happened to you. What happened to the other people who and you went to the hospital?
Primary Witness: The other people went to Nimba and when I went to Nimba I met them there and they are here with me now with one girl that can take care of me and I have six children with me now.
What happened since they were supposed to do the operation and you came back top Liberia?
Primary Witness: I was sick and I turn black and I was taken to Danane and I was sent to Abidjan and he people said I had to go out of the country to do the work on my hand and I was on waiting list and went to Danane and I came back to Liberia because of the war in Ivory Coast.
Commissioner Stewart: where is that UN Compound that you went?
Primary Witness: The UN Compound is near that Development Band and that around there I use to fry Doughnut and the people know me there so I went there.
Commissioner Bull: the UN Compound is where we have the lone Star Headquarters.
Chairman: so your hand is still hurting?
Primary Witness: Yes the doctors said I should eat good food but no money and when the hand is hurting I will go to the hospital.
Do you have the papers?
Primary Witness: No I lost it.
Do you have anything last to say to the people of Liberia?
Primary Witness: I came here to make you understand what has happen to me.
You are a strong and brave woman. All of us that are alive today it is God who kept us alive today. People decided to run different and some died, some people told us of your story and some people believe it and some did not and you are here telling us today. The entire story you are telling we will decide what to be done and we will tell the government. Everything we are doing here today is about the future of Liberia and so all you are saying is not going to be in vine.
Primary Witness: Your thank you for listening to me too.
Fifty Seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
Rev. Tijjli Tartee Tyee Sr.
(Third Primary Witness of day thirteen)
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: we appreciate every one that comes to share their experience with us because every individual experience is good for our work
Primary Witness: I am very happy to be here today. I did come to tell the story of my brother who was Clergy at the Lutheran church. And since then I am just hearing of how the Lutheran church massacre occurred.
I am here because one Gen. John Tarnue who molested me and my family and humiliate us for one reason concerning my own property. It all stated in 1996 when Gen. Tarnue commanded two of his men to my property of 6 lots land which was duly probated in 1981. Sometime in 1996 two young men attempted to survey my land and my son intervene which later led to arresting the two men and took them to prison. I never saw anyone from those boys and I did not see them again until 1999. I was in my yard that morning brushing my mouth and these two men came again and say they want talk to me and when I finish one of them said you in your own yard you na have shirt on I say oh you come in my yard then you telling this kind of things then get out of my hard, and his friends say you wrong the man leave him. Then they say in 1996 we attempted to survey the land and our son prevented us and now we are going to plant this corner if you are man enough then follow us.
Then later Gen. Tarnue himself came and asked are you Tyee, I said yes and he asked who get the land around the Coca cola factory area there, and I said it was mine and he said the land was his just by then his boys were in my house and took every thing that I had there. His SSS boys started beating on me and my family and afterwards he said he men should carry on the land. His son junior and his wife we went to the site and the demanded that I should replant the stone that I took off earlier. I told him despite his power the land was for me. It was one Gabriel Donkey who sold the land and he Gen. Tarnue also bring that man, the Gabriel Donkey along. With all the beating his boys were giving me I kept telling him that he was wrong and he ordered his soldiers saying as-you-were. Then he asked me what I have to say about the land, I say yes, and then he said go and sue Gabriel and if you win Gabriel him then I will get my money from him but if you loose then I will come and destroy everything that you get here. I say but today Sunday, but give me your address and Monday morning I will get the writ from the court and give you copy. The next morning I served Gabriel copy of the write and give him Gen. Tarnue copy also. But sometime later, I don't know how to call it but unfortunately the Gabriel donkey died.
But the problem here is that, Gen. Tarnue has molested me and my family. His men ransack my home and took some valuable from my house, amongst the valuables were silver, gold which worth about 10,000 USD. So he should be made to court to and pay for those damages, and for him to also come here at the TRC to apologize and if he said no then let him come then we go to court. Thank you!
Questions from the Commissioners:
Chairman: Do you know the whereabouts of Gen Tarnue?
Primary Witness: I heard that he felt from grace to grass with Taylor, and I also heard that he is in Sierra Leone, what is worrying is that his family here still claim ownership of the land.
Are they in position of the property now?
Primary Witness: No not really but his corner stones are still on my property.
Commissioner Syllah: what was his position in the government at the time?
Primary Witness: He was the Commander General of the Armed Forces of Liberia at the time.
Does it mean that his family is in Monrovia?
Primary Witness: His wife sister is a member of my community, and she feeds other with information regarding the land.
Commissioner Konneh: Is your case a land issued or the mistreatment that you receive?
Primary Witness: Yes, the mistreatment, the molestation of me and my family.
Why you did not take his complain to other higher officials?
Primary Witness: During Taylor time it would have been detrimental if I did that but I told him that the time will reach for him. I dare you take issue with Taylor generals during those days.
Why you and your lawyer did not include Gen. Tarnue in the writ from the court you issued Gabriel Donkey?
Primary Witness: It was clear that you could not including man like Gen. Tarnue in any case, court proceedings if you wanted to live and get your case handle, but now this why I am taking issue with him now, because there is a government now of law.
The two young men, were they military personnel?
Primary Witness: One of them was James Kessely and the both of them were body guard to gen. Tarnue and they say they dare me to follow them
Commissioner Kulah: Did you take this to any elder at the time?
Primary Witness: You know that I know you could take that man to any body; I was only brave to tell him that the country is a county of law not of men. The good thing is that the administrator of the property is still alive and is willing to go with in court.
Commissioner Dolopei: Do you have the deeds to that land?
Y-e-s I do have the deed, 6 lots this the deed, [deed been displayed]
Coleman: You mentioned Gabriel Donkey and Jackson, is there any relation between the two?
Primary Witness: Robin Jackson is the administrator of the 96 acre of land who is willing to accompany to court and the other old man Gabriel that the one going around selling the people land to others.
Is Gabriel alive?
Primary Witness: No he is dead that's why the case has taken all this long.
Do you belief it's possible, the family of Tarnue will give up this land?
Primary Witness: I think so, but it depends on the impression he gave them, what I suggest is that since the guns are silence we should go to court.
Did any one of your family sustained physical injuries as a result of Gen. Tarnue's action?
Primary Witness: Yes, here is my wife, she have a scar from a rusty iron which she was knocked with.
Who all with him at your house?
Primary Witness: His wife was there, his son was there, and soldiers were saying if their chief had not come with them you have been dead.
You were still a reverend by then?
Primary Witness: Yes.
Commissioner Stewart: Did you file a complain against at the defense ministry or internal affairs?
Primary Witness: I say it was possible at the time, taking a man like Tarnue at the time, but it was Gabriel that took to court.
Commissioner Bull: Could you please give us the name of your brother who died in Lutheran church?
Primary Witness: His name was Nyemah Tyee; he was a pastor assigned in River gee then lower Grand Gedeh, educated in Gbarnga School to Theology. He came to Monrovia to get his BTH and he was stop with me. His wife was doing business, and went to do small business and that how my brother left my place that day, at soul clinic the news hit us of the Lutheran massacre, and that went I got the news that The pastors were taken turn every night one pastor will spend the night with the displaced and that night he was there that how he met his death and this is my first time to hear that someone survive from the massacre. He was a driven force for me to acquire education; I almost die when I heard it.
Do you know the whereabouts of your brother's wife?
Primary Witness: His wife persuaded him to go to bong, but he was confident that the marine soldiers were around and in fact the church was the place of god and nobody was going there. It was just god again on the 28, he took our younger sister to Father William and he left the girl with father William and she survive.
What's her name?
Primary Witness: Her name is Korllo Nimley
Don't you think that your lawyer can apply for journal-of-party so that everyone associated with Tarnue can be summoned, what do you think?
Primary Witness: I think I will take your advice and discuss that with my lawyer.
Chairman: We empathy with you and family for what happened to you, all of that amount to human rights violation and this commission has been set up to investigate such violations form 1979 to 2003 and your case fall with that range. Thank you for sharing your experience and this has added value to our work.
Primary Witness: I want to commend the TRC, for the kind of job, truly it will bring about the anticipated healing of wounds though some people have the view that this brings our old wounds but I don't think so. My brother and I were proud of one another, what will profit me to go after people. There are some emotions there are some people that came and give testimony that they have done things under the command of a warlord I don't know that will be your role, because if some come up like, I don't know what kinds of protection you have in place for those kinds of people. For me I don't fear anything, you have to see to it that those guys are protected. I am available everything you are ready, just incase General Tarnue came back and want some exonerate him I am available to come. I am happy and I thanked you and ask you to keep up your hard work and god bless you.
We do have security and protection program for our witness not only for perpetrators for with
Fifty Eighth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
(Forth Primary Witness of day thirteen)
The forth 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: thank you Mr. Witness for coming to the Commissioners to tell your story, we appreciate you coming and the Commissioners and people of Liberia are here to listen to you.
You name again?
Primary Witness: My name is Paul Sherman
Did you live in Monrovia?
Primary Witness: Yes
Date of birth
Primary Witness: On May 1st 1972 in Grand Cape Mount County
Primary Witness: What I am about to say is what happened during the civil war and it happened when ECOMOG came to Liberia. My mother is a Ghanaian Oliver. It was in August when Charles Taylor ordered his commanders to arrest other nationals who were part of the ECOMOG. They took us from Robert Sports to Trumansburg. There were a lot of people form Nigeria Sierra Leone, Guinea and Gambia. They took us to the magisterial Court; we were there until Doe was captured. The ECOMOG went there and said the man we came for has been captured so what don't you release these people and they said Charles Taylor should give the order.
We were there and people started to disappear. We then started to escape to Robertsport and there was a check point and they arrest us and we explain to the saying he men they came for is already dead and you are keeping us and we are dying why should you hold us. And they said we should pay before you can go and we collected our little resources and we were left to go. We went to Clay and there was where I slept. The next day we left and when we reach Gbah, we were arrested by Gbah Ray and he placed us in a small cell for about 2 months until CT give order that if a soldier is dead they should kill 10 ECOWAS citizens. One night the came and collected 20 men to Guthrie plantation and we did not see them.
One night there was a heave down pour of rein and we managed to burst through the ceiling of the house and we left. We were 30 men and we entered Guthrie plantation on an unknown path and we reach Lofa River. We were rearrested by the joining of the river and the ocean and were brought to Gbah and on our way we came across CO Myers and I called his name and he said who is calling my name and I said I am Paul and he said what are you doing here and I told him my mother is a Ghanaian that is while I am here and he did not leave me. He was to take us to the capital but no battery for the car ands we were taken back to Gbah and when we reach there he said he had an order from Charles Taylor to kill all of us. We were tortured by his small solder and we ate a lot of bad things and were put in prison in tibie and while there a soldier came there and shot between us and three persons died. I was thirsty that night and I had to drink somebody's urine and my own before I survived.
Later they were calling my name and said who is the Paul here and I said nobody should disclose me. They came and said Paul I was given a lot of money to come and save you and I later came and expose myself. I said we are suffering we need water to drink and he said do not allow anybody to see you before they take you away because your mother sent me to bring you. While we were in the prison Gbah Ray send solders who started jucking us with knives. Later he brought water and Cucumber. Later some guys came from the front line and collected 7 persons and kill them and they collected us to go and burry them. I told them I am tied up and I can't do it. We told them to bring wheel barrow and they did and we went to burry them and the other man wanted to shout and I shouted CO-CO-CO they want to shout me and he came and save me. He said Paul you have a short time here be on your guide I will take you away.
Sunday afternoon by 2 to 3 a guy by the name of Stephen and another by the name of Kamara came and show my ID to the commander saying they came for me and he said I have been given the mandate to release him but if you are carrying him he should move fast so that they will not kill him. I was worried for I could not wear any cloth and I ask him to give my big cloths. He said Paul I will dress you like a soldier and you will move like a soldier. At the time my 2 brothers Uncle and friends were killed. They tied seven people and threw them in the bridge. While going we saw Gbah Ray and I went in the bush and when he left I came out and they wanted to give me gun and I said no I want the cape bag and they give me. While reaching Robertsport there was a gate and I said I can't pass that check point for I will die and I told them to go and bring a canoe for me and in the night the brought the canoe. I was taken to Soliema where I took my treatment then I went to Sierra Leone and there was a ship that took me to Ghana. I came late back to my fathers land.
I am happy that the TRC is around to hear my story. There are a lot of crimes that have been committed during the war. Even though they have killed my uncle and brothers and people but I am alive to tell what happened. People are saying TRC will open old wounds but that is not the case, who receive the beating and torture are here to tell what happen to us and for others to know.
Chairman: Thank you very much TRC is surely about speaking up you mind and not digging old wounds. You were because you had a Ghanaian mother. We are sorry and say thank you for you story. The Commissioners will ask you few questions:
Commissioner Bull: what is the name of your brothers and your uncle?
Primary Witness: My brother JB William, Dennis William my uncle Comena Andor
Do you know which group of people took them?
Primary Witness: It was NPFL.
Can you remember the year?
Primary Witness: It was 1990 august in cape mount
Commissioner Stewart: think back a little bit and record who the top commanders of the NPFL were at the time?
Primary Witness: They were a lot but the one I am aware of is CO Oliver Vanie.
You mentioned that when you left Cape Mount going to Sierra Leone in Sonnimeh were there Liberian Refugees there?
Primary Witness: Yes there were Liberian Refugees.
Where you there when NPFL attacked?
Primary Witness: At that time I had gone.
Commissioner Washington: do you know or were you a part of the West African national who were detained in Trumansburg and were in different compounds.
Primary Witness: I was a part of the group.
From you experience, it was not just one place?
Primary Witness: We were taken from CM to Bomi, but not Cape Mount but in Marshall and Buchanan City and people were taken to Flamingo. In Marshall there was no survival. In Bassa they took about 1000 people and just few survived.
Besides the group taken from Cape Mount could you be able to estimate those killed in Bomi County?
Primary Witness: I can estimate 1000 people from Bomi and only 75 survived.
Have you been able to see some of them?
Primary Witness: Yes there are some here.
Did you know any other reason why they were killing you order then CT order?
Primary Witness: The main thing was the order of Charles Taylor that they people who came to fight and have people here you should kill 10 for one.
What happened to the women and children?
Primary Witness: I can remember there was a little boy among us and there was no woman.
What happened to the little boy?
Primary Witness: He was torture but he survived and is in Ghana.
Commissioner Stewart: thank you very much; we have been able to learn that other foreign nationals were also killed who came to keep peace in this country.
Commissioner Kulah: besides your group do you know of any other group they were killed? What I know of is those that live at Marshall and Buchanan. Those that were in Marshall they were massacre on the day Taylor give the order. One of them was even buried alive.
Can you identify some of the soldiers who did this?
Primary Witness: Yes CO Mires was seen after that in Monrovia.
What about Gbah Ray?
Primary Witness: He is dead now.
Commissioner Syllah: you mentioned three generals Gbah Ray CO Myers and others, apart from CO Myers have you seen any other?
Primary Witness: No
You said you knew CO Myers?
Primary Witness: He used to come to our area.
Commissioner Washington: if you were to speak for that community, what you would say about what has happened.
Primary Witness: It has happened and the community knows very well that those killed can not come back even though they are hurt. What I want for the TRC to do is to reach to the various ECOWAS states and sympathize with them. For me I have no problem with any other person I have forgiven them, and I know deep down in my heart that they have forgiven the people.
How do you think you community can help the process?
Primary Witness: I think some of them can come and share their experiences with the TRC and for the Perpetrators to come and say what they have done.
How do your community feels about the issue of security, I they not feeling insecure about staying with Liberians?
Primary Witness: They are feeling secure in that there is no war and there is UNMIL and an elected government.
Chairman: how did you get to know that Charles Tailor issued those orders?
Primary Witness: It was through their commanders.
Thank you very much for your courage to come and speak of your experience. What you have done is on behalf of you community and other West African Communities in the country. Is there any last thing you would want to say before you leave?
Primary Witness: I want to tell the Liberian people that we should keep telling people that war is not good, it destroys everything you have. I am calling upon them to come up those who were severely torture to come up and the perpetrators should come up before they are called so that they can say what they have done so that they can be free. They need to say sorry for what they did. I am calling on everybody be it a Liberian or a non Liberian so that the culture of impunity will not exist.
End of Day Thirteen of the TRC Public Hearings
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