Monrovia: Day 15

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The Fifteenth day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Thursday January 31, 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.

Sixty Forth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings

Lauren Smith

(First Primary Witness of day fifteen)

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: thank you for coming to talk to us. This is the right place you are to tell your story then we will tell the government what to do.

Primary Witness: Thank you.

What is your name again?

Primary Witness: Lauren Smith

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: Nov. 29 1952.

Primary Witness: I tell God thank you the time 1990 war come my children pa say let us go VOA and we go there and the white people go to their home and the army people take over and he say let go back in town. While coming back four children leave west point only three follow us. When we reach St. Paul Bridge they caught us and they ask what tribe I say I Kru and my husband that Sapo. They tabie me and they killed my husband and my children. They say I should laugh. The same day they caught Doe that the same day they killed my children and my husband.

Then one man came and say the chief say we must not killed and so they free me and I went. I was just like crazy person and one man take me, my husband people and he carry me to Public Works. One girl was with me my husband's people and she born two children. We went back to west point. Around 12 o'clock in the night I came outside because I was hot and I was taking bath and the army people came and carry me to the check point and they say they will kill me because I can take news to the barracks. I say I na no anybody there who I will carry news to. Then the boys say they will kill me, then one boy he was eating somebody nipple then he said when he finish he will eat my own I say thank you God must bless you. Then he bring pupu, he say if you eat this pupu you will live. They bring it and I started drinking it. Then the boy who foot I sat down on he get up and say Oboko ma who bring you here I say that these boys and he say you will not die. They started making argument.

Then I tell them say I want pupu and I went to pupu to put army people behind me in the mourning I started shouting my sister they coming kill me oh, and she went to call our brother. Around 9 their big man came and said old ma that you can carry the news to the barracks? I say no. he said he will bring my daughter to testify, I say bring her. Then they bring my sister daughter and I say this girl crazy if you mind her you will kill me for nothing. Then I started praying in my husband name. Then the people take my cloth and put the gun under me and all the gunshots wasted under me, and my sister daughter the put the gun under her and she died. Then the other brother came and he said your give me my sister let me burry her. My own they say this woman na die yet I was just bending down and I was dreaming and I saw my husband in the dream. I was crossing bridge then when I finish I say I cross but I can't see the other people. Then I open my eyes and the whole place was different in my eyes and the man taught me one song that it you must sing anywhere you go. (Witness sang the song in her vernacular) I was enjoying myself singing the song. I get up I was looking at the sun, army people looking at me. He came 6 o'clock and he say I come kill you. The Commissioner of West Point Richard told the people to collect money and they collected $1800 and give him and he say I want only the $800. Then my son came and he knew the commander and he say my man that my ma and my sister you doing like this. Power said your take the old ma and carry her they carry me.

They go to Teh Quiah, they say Lauren Smith giving our name to the army people to kill us and he say your move from here that woman na do anything. They came back and they tell me say don't go in town we come from there to the chief to kill you, I say I will go there and I went to Quiah and say I come so you can kill me and he give me 3000 and say I must go. I say I will not go I will stay in public works. While I was there they kill my big daughter and I was crazy, because they kill all my children I na enjoy them, I just suffer for them for nothing. That one girl who helping me she gave me some things and she can talk to me and she helping me.

1998 war me and my daughter and my son we were in west point and the people started shooting and they killed my son, then my daughter came and say they kill my brother all of us finishing. She faint and I na no who to go to. I was fighting the boy who killed my son, nicked him. I went to the ambulance and say they kill my son but he na die yet they say that war zone and while we were talking other army people the bullet came and killed the two soldiers.

I took the other 3 children so we can go and burry their brother and while we were going to burry them the soldiers came and caught the last three children and they wanted to kill them I started crying and 3 army boys came and say your can't see how the old ma and her children get the blood of the body on them then your want kill them? They took us and carry us to west point. My daughter got sick in 1998 and died in 1999. Right now I have only 2 children, the girl is sick right now. So I say God why you doing this to me I suffering like this. If you want me to steel and be a beggar you should tell me. The girl who your call yesterday they call her Blamo, that her helping me. So that the sickness I get on my heart, and that sickness it can't finish. That the thing why I see in the war. When my friend them talking about children I can talk, that the thing why I see in the war. I finish.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you for coming to share your story with the Commissioners and the People of Liberia. This is the opportunity for you to tell the Liberian people what they have done and what happened to them. The Commissioners will now ask you some questions.

Commissioner Bull: Sorry ya mama for the thing that happen. We want tell you not only God is with you, but all the Liberian people are with you. The things we now talk that it going be in our work and in our book and in our report. The thing that happened in this country is very bad. After we say there are people who are suffering so we have to hear from them. The Commissioners will ask you small and encourage you.

The place where all this thing happen that where?

Primary Witness: That to St. Paul Bridge, we were coming from VOA; they get one small house there.

Commissioner Stewart: if you can remember the people who kill you children that which people?

Primary Witness: That the Newkru town Prince Johnson people.

How about the April 6

Primary Witness: The boy the call him General Power I don't know the group he among

You said the September 18 you were to public works yard?

Primary Witness: Yes

What happened there?

Primary Witness: Nobody go there to kill people. The people why kill my son they were Krahn people, they say you following our woman because we no get money we will kill you when war come. When the war came they ask my daughter for my son the Krahn people she said he go change money with the Fula people in town. They go to his working place and they see him then he ran away from them and they follow him to public works and they killed his small brother because they resemble and later he came and they kill him.

Commissioner Washington: the people who kill your son do you know their names?

Primary Witness: I don't know their name.

If you see them will you know them?

Primary Witness: No.

Is there anybody who knows them?

Primary Witness: The girl who they were fighting over she living Barnesville but I have not seen.

How old is your son?

Primary Witness: He was born April 14 1979.

That the Prince Johnson group killed you son in Newkru Town?

Primary Witness: I don't know the difference between them but the man why was talking he say PJ say we must not kill anybody.

Commissioner Coleman: I just want to say sorry for what happened to you, I have no questions for you.

Commissioner Dolopei: I don't have a question but to say sorry for what happened to you

Commissioner Kulah: I want to join my colleagues to say sorry for what happen to you. One of the reasons why you are alive is due to your faith in God. And as a Bishop I want you to continue to be with the lord and I will also pray for you.

Commissioner Konneh: I want to join my friends to say sorry and want you to continue to praise god. Thank God that you are still sound and 2 of your children are still alive and you have grand children who might be somebody tomorrow who the people of Liberia will be proud of. What is the name of your husband and your children?

Primary Witness: My husband is Harris Smith, the other boy is Doe because he was born on April 14, after Tolbert was killed the other boy God Time is the Best, he was born 1988, the girl is Chinese Girl and she was born 1982.

You said one night you were taking bath and you were arrested, who arrested you?

Primary Witness: I know them.

Can you give their names?

Primary Witness: The one who give me the pupu I don't know his mane but the one who arrested me he is Soloko.

That what group they were in?

Primary Witness: I na know the group they were in.

Who was in charge of the checkpoint?

Primary Witness: General Power.

You think Soloko is still living?

Primary Witness: Yes, the time they go take my statement he was there and he say he want talk too.

When they bring the girl before you to testify what did she say?

Primary Witness: She na say anything.

Where is she?

Primary Witness: They killed her

What is her name?

Primary Witness: Tutu Girl.

What is the name of your big son who they killed for girlfriend?

Primary Witness: They call him Obey Smith, he was the one with the Fula people changing money and the boys came to the house in public works and they killed him. He escape from them form public works and he went to west point. And they went after them and he was killed. The other boy when he came outside to see what was happening the gun pick him up and he died and she fainted when she say it and I left I ran to the ambulance, while me and the man was talking, the other army men were coming and gun pick the up. When we went to burry them other army came to kill my three children then other army came there and they said your can't see the oldma and her children condition then your want kill them, and then they rescue them.

What is the condition of the children?

Primary Witness: The boy now get child but that the girl pick up sickness. She sick right now.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming to the TRC for everybody to know what happened to you. I join my friends to say sorry. You said you were arrested and they give you pupu to drink and you wanted to pupu and they carry you with gun. You said you call your sister, where was she?

Primary Witness: She working in the toilet she can get up 5 in the morning.

Did she come?

Primary Witness: She na hear me first then I say my sister they coming kill me, then she lift up her head and she saw me and she went to call people and that later the Commissioner came and that how the people collected money for Power to free me. My husband was na like for me to even sell, I use to hide and sell, that the man na move in my hand.

Where is your brother?

Primary Witness: He is here, that my ma first born.

Commissioner Washington: you had nine children and your husband and you have only 2 now?

Primary Witness: Yes they killed 6 and one died from frustration and my husband.

Chairman: We want to tell you thank you and that you are a brave woman and you should keep faith in god. The way you came so, you are talking for thousands of women. What you have said now make us to know that war is not good and we should do everything in our power to make sure that the war should not be brought back. You have told your story, even though the children can not be brought back, but their names have been recorded and will be in the history. If there is anything finally you want to say, this is the time.

Primary Witness: I say that God say like that, if he na agree the children will not move in my hand. What he say that it can happen. But what I am saying is that god must pass through somebody to give me the help. When me and my friend people sitting down they can say Lawrence we get children they in the States, it can worry me. So I know God will do it for me.

The song you sang in Kru do you know the meaning?

Primary Witness: It say God I am happy all the thing you say I will not fear any evil. The second foot say lord look in me I na fear anything, I want your holy ghost to come inside me.

Thank you, you may leave.

Sixty Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings

Daniel S. Simpson

(Second Primary Witness of day fifteen)

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: we believed your experience will help us in a lot way, it is the responsibility of the entire Liberians to come forth and your courage is laudable.

Primary Witness: It all started in 1990 lately to be precise around October, I witness a killing of Ghanaian little boy but a lot of people that were killed, but the little boy own touch me heart that how I came testify.

I was in Gbah in 1990 at the age of 13 years when Charles Taylor passed an order that they should arrest group of Ghanaian from Robert sport. The group of Ghanaians were about 165 they brought them and we were shock, then one of them say that Taylor said since the new ECOMOG field commander is killing innocent people, he too were going on a revenge, majority were men they beat them, there was a fellow who pretended to be dead, then the man say your carry him to go debedie (kill) him. It was my first time to see them killing people. More than 10 men put bullets in him. Put in jail in Gbah there Gbah ray was their commander, sometime even the things we were selling, they will take it with out paying for it. They use to come and carry them 3 4 5 and this day they came for this little boy I think he was younger than me. The pekin use to work for them but this afternoon, we saw Gbah ray coming, he use to come to my shop self sometimes in Gbah, when we look the boys started saying that they killing the pekin. He was small thing for them they took him behind the town, they started bulleting him it was like an attack I say all of them fired. That all that I saw. Some those guys I can see them in the street.

Chairman: thanks for sharing your experience with the TRC.

You said your entire experience was within 1990?

Primary Witness: It was the late part of 1990.

Is this Gbahray still around....he still around?

Primary Witness: The latest information I got is that he was killed by an angry crowd mob, I am sure he is dead by now.

Commissioner Stewart: Who were those who were in charged at that gate?

Primary Witness: That Gbah ray, the town is a central town, other people use to go there like CO Dickson, Oliver Varney, CO Kottor but Gbah ray was the popular and one Sweet-sweet was assigned with One man one.

The top people you are talking about they know that people were being killed by Gbah ray?

Primary Witness: Yes I can belief so; they use to come for them and carry them on the highway.

Commissioner Washington: You said where they took the Ghanaians from?

Primary Witness: You know these people can settle around the sea sides and that's around Robertsport area, there they took them from.

Can you estimate the number of people they were?

Primary Witness: They were more than 100 like 165 like that.

Did you say that they say Ghanaians were part of ECOMOG, is that why they were haunted?

Primary Witness: I never the opportunity to listen to radio but I was told that the president [Charles Taylor] say the first ECOMOG field commander was a Ghanaian was causing havoc on the citizen the jet bomber so he Taylor was retaliating.

Was the Ghanaian boy with his family and how old you think he was?

Primary Witness: He was with his family, his family was taken first and then we though they spared him later they came for him, he used to work for them cooking and even hauling water for them I think he was around 10 to 11 years.

Do you know any of the names of the fighters he was staying with?

Primary Witness: Gbah ray and Ugly Child they were all in Gbah.

Did they kill all the Ghanaians that they arrested?

Primary Witness: I believe they were all killed.

Commissioner Coleman: Were there any other nationals kept at that place?

Primary Witness: At the particular moment, but there were people who used to be escaping they use to catch them and killed them.

Can you describe Gbah Ray?

Primary Witness: He is a tall and a light skinned man.

Commissioner Dolopei: Was he from the Gbah area or from where?

Primary Witness: I am sure he was a Nimbanian, because those fighting songs he used to be singing were either Gio or Mano songs.

Commissioner Kulah: Where there any other place in Cape Mount where these people kept?

Primary Witness: Well beside Gbah, they use to carry some of them to Klay, even the place in Gbah the cell was very small they used to squeeze them in one place.

Commissioner Konneh: how long did you stay in Gbah town?

Primary Witness: 1990 to late 1991

All this time Gbah ray was the commander there?

Primary Witness: Oh yes

They never change him?

Primary Witness: I can't remember really, he used to be there.

Do you know the whereabouts of the others beside Gbah ray?

Primary Witness: I have not seen any of them, but some low ranked fighters in Gbah; I can see them but not those guys I just name.

Do you remember at any time an over all commander of NPFL visited Gbah and saw these Ghanaians?

Primary Witness: Yes but all those COs I named were not from Gbah they used to come and go.

Commissioner Syllah: How has it been like for you for seeing what you saw?

Primary Witness: To be very frank, that particular story keeping striking my mind so even the statement taker came to me that what I told them.

Chairman: We want to thank you again you have spoken of a lot of other experience that you have especially of the Ghanaian, anyway were women and children treated differently from the rest of the group?

Primary Witness: Beside the Ghanaians I witness the manhandling of a women, around the Lofa river between Bomi and Cape Mount, one fighter said that the women was a Krahn she said no he made the women to swallow a kiss-me with rough back.

Ok thank you very much you have just shared with us your experience of how West Africans brothers were treated for coming to keep peace in our county.

Primary Witness: I want to say thanks first of all, I want to recommend that since justice is out of the question, one of the things I want you people to do is to look after the victims not only financially but morally. That you should do your work to the fullest to begin the perpetrator here I thing few weeks aback some was being defiant that they were will not come after being accused.

Sixty Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings

Satta Baffaly

(Third Primary Witness of day fifteen)

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: Thank you for coming to the TRC; this is where the problem of Liberian can be solved. The Commissioners and the people of Liberia are listening to you so you can tell your story.

Primary Witness: During April 6 on one Saturday we were lying down me and husband one little boy came and say my grand pa na come before then my grand pa was in the bush hiding they say they only wanted his head, then I came outside me and my husband and we saw the papay we all started crying I went for water and he took bath. After that he said he wanted to sleep then he went to sleep. Then my husband was suppose to go some where in Gardnerville to some kind of program he asked me for money I gave him the money and he started going down the stairs and he saw one ECOMOG man the ECOMOG man said who was the soldier boy who ran in side here then he said but no one ran here but you can check if you see any soldier you can carry them then they went and came back they started shooting on our house. And the market women then started running. So the firing was not easy I thought that joke, after sometime one person say seize fire, all that time my grand father was still lying down, so they carry us out side to Kuwait area on the big field, we all went there, the Ghana ECOMOG then came, the ECOMOG people started pushing the car them on the road, then the papay say let me go there and see what they are doing there, I say don't go there to see they were during with the car. He went and after that I saw one small little boy just slapped the papay in his face, then I went I told the Ogar and I told him one little was slapping my husband than the Ogar said not to be me business oh , then I go and I was standing and looking at them. The other boy pushed the papay.

I say Mr. Kemokai come then he said I will come. Then after that before I look they started taking out his shirt and they stated carrying to Beer Factory, and I wanted to go with but there was no way , then I want to go then ECOMOG say carry your ass on that side. While I was still looking some of them went to our house and they launched our house and put fire on the house, then it not still long I see them they come and they started carry him. Then me and my mate we were standing there until our house got finish burning.

Five dollars we never had to pay our way to come Sinkor, then is saw my sister I told her what was happening that was on Saturday, on the next day Sunday there was going to be hard, then Monday to Tuesday from place to place then one of my nephews say we should to E COMOG base and to explain to them then we went in Free Zone their big man was there we talk we na see head no tail, then we went Caldwell again the same thing no head no tail.

Then my sister say let me go bible college one of their big man there, she went with Ballah and they spent the whole day the same thing. Then when they coming back they saw on dead body on the road by Rayhill Field with gold chain, and red bazzin, then I asked the boy what he was saying then he changed it then by 7 o clock the big big people came and say that they people killed my husband.

They force the people around the Rayhill area to bury the body but the people say ah this man that responsible man and he look like Muslim man so they were keeping body and later they put him in one hole. We sat down we never any thing to do and the man had 19 children and I have two for him, so the children I gave them to their mothers.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you for coming, what year this thing happened?

Primary Witness: April 6 1996

Where it happened?

Primary Witness: Duala, Beer Factory

What was the name of your husband?

Primary Witness: Boima Kemokai

You know who killed him?

Primary Witness: That ECOMOG that na nobody killed him that ECOMOG.

You know why they kill him?

Primary Witness: I don't know today, today.

Commissioner Syllah: What happened to your grand father?

Primary Witness: I went for him, when I was going for him in the house ECOMOG people was there and they allow me to go in I went and woke up the papay and I carry him and he na stay long he die by him self.

Who was the boy who slapped your husband?

Primary Witness: I don't him that ECOMOG I say.

So there was no Liberian there?

Primary Witness: Yes, no Liberian was there.

Where are the children you were taking care of?

Primary Witness: Some are in Cape Mount, some in Freetown, some in Ghana.

Commissioner Konneh: Do you the ECOMOG which country they came from?

Primary Witness: Ghana and Nigeria

Why did they touch the car in the first place?

Primary Witness: I don't know, I was far from them we only saw them pushing the car.

Your husband owned the cars before the war or he got in the war?

Primary Witness: That was his own car.

Did you look at the body of your husband?

Primary Witness: That was the man, I myself did not go there but the woman was living together she saw him.

Did you go to launch complain?

Primary Witness: I went there what they will do, nothing.

Commissioner Kulah: Was your husband an old soldier?

Primary Witness: No.

Did someone tell them that your husband was as soldier?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Commissioner Dolopei: At that time was there any fighting?

Primary Witness: Yes at that time fighting was here, I think between Taylor and ULIMO but that particular day there was no fighting.

Did they search your house?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Coleman: Did ECOMOG had any base round there?

Primary Witness: No some were living around there in Beer Factory.

What question they asked your when they went your house?

Primary Witness: They asked who ran here in the house. They say one soldier boy run in our yard so they were looking for them

Do you know their name?

Primary Witness: One was there his girl friend was babe, his name was Wilson, even in my dream self I know him.

Did they come to apologize?

Primary Witness: Only Amine he said if I was here it was not going to happen.

Commissioner Washington: Was there any looting going on in the area?

Primary Witness: No, no looting was going on.

So the place was peaceful?

Primary Witness: Yes

And ECOMOG was in full control of the area?

Primary Witness: Yes

How was the relationship with the people in the community and ECOMOG?

Primary Witness: There was no problem, gate was between us, some of them their time finish they change them.

Do you hear of any other problem in the community?

Primary Witness: No

So everyone was ok?

Primary Witness: Yes

Commissioner Stewart: What the people tell you they kill your husband right there or at Rayhill Field?

Primary Witness: That to Rayhill Field?

Commissioner Bull: They take statement from you?

Primary Witness: Yes

You gave it to the TRC workers?

Primary Witness: Yes

You say you saw Kuku Dennis was around there fighting ECOMOG?

Primary Witness: Yes

Did you remember going to the commander telling you sorry?

Primary Witness: Do I can't remember?

So which one we mush take Ghanaian or Nigerian, because you mentioned in your statement say Nigerian?

Primary Witness: That Ghanaian and Nigerian?

Commissioner Dolopei: That the two groups were living in that area together?

Primary Witness: All two were living in Beer Factory.

Commissioner Coleman: Did you hear about any other fighter beside Kuku Dennis?

Primary Witness: No it was Kuku Dennis that came with his body guard they were fighting and they killed on ECOMOG solider.

Chairman: Thank you thank you very much for telling some of the things the ECOMOG people did behind the bridge we are sorry for the death of your husband.

Primary Witness: The only things that on my mind, after we explained what your do for us now, some man they went marry women tithe children if you get one or two children so I prefer to sell my potato greens and fix my bread with juice and I leave doing until my

I want to ask for your help, if your can help me.

Sixty Seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings

Anonymous

(Forth Primary Witness of day fifteen)

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 for coming, we have heard and followed you request of protection and there is going to be no photographing and video taping except that of the TRC. The commissioners and the People of Liberia will listen to your story.

You may kindly proceed.

I am a Liberian living at ELWA junction, while there one ATU boy wife came to ask of my cell phone, that was when Lone Star just started operating to make a call, and I say ah man you know the card is expensive so just gave my number to the person and you will have enough time to talk. It hurt her, but there was nothing I could do. I knew somebody send her but I could do nothing, she went home and after two days she and I give her the same respond and her husband came and the same thing. So I was sitting in the front part of sitting at the front at my yard and she came and started making fuss with me and my husband was across he came and asked and I explain and when he was coming to me she caller him and I told him not to do anything because she is looking for her husband was a ATU. She was trying to fight him and she tore his cloth and I got angry and I fought her and beat her. She went home and I came and when her husband came she told him but I don't know what he was told.

Sometime in the night he came alone he asked my husband why we jumped on his wife and my husband explained and he left angrily.

July 14, 2002, he came 6 in the morning and he knock and I open the door and when I saw the mood he was in I said lets walk and talk I said my husband was across the road, he punched on my arm and attempted the second time and I dogged him. Then I got up and tried to defend myself and people started telling my husband when he came and parted us, after that he decided to run in General Varney yard to call the AFL soldiers and when he left that boy collected a knife and tore me to pieces my back, my right heel, he cut the vain, he cut my stomach he cut by thigh, my hands my head and he left and started to run to Doe Complex and I jumped and went on the road. I was nicked and the blood was running down on me. I stopped all the traffic from the both directions, I don't know who called to the white flowers and the SSS car came they asked who did it I said there he was and they arrested him. The put me in the car and put him in the same jeep and took us to the white flowers then to the mansion and my mother followed me there for she could not stand it. They wanted give me stitches without injection and I said no I am not taking any treatment there, I want to go back home. The refuse for me to get outside with the blood on me and took me to another room. There was a General one lady I can't really remember her name, but she was with Kadijatu and she said she was going to find out from her soldier for he was in jail and when she came she said if she was there she would have shot me dead. My mother got afraid for she has pressure and I started crying and they took me out. They took me to Louis Brown house because my uncle was his work mate at the time. He took money and say they should carry me to the ELWA hospital, they took me to the hospital, during my treatment I escape and me and my husband went to the human right and before we could talk Louis Brown called my husband and said if we say anything there we will be exposing he president, so it is very dangerous. So we left and I went back to the hospital and after three days they went there and were looking and the doctor said if we keep you here they will come and kill all of us so you have to leave. So I came back to the junction to get reader to leave.

That morning by five, Paul Mulbah came around my area and burst all the houses there and burst mine. I left and went back to the hospital for there I could fine peace. Then a lady dressed in whiter nursing dress came and assisted me and I was taken to Ganta and that is how I left Liberia. I was there and some part of last year, I can't really remember but every thing is on record. He went there in the night and he said he can't wound a person and let them go so he will kill me and my family. My husband came out and said this is foreign land so you have to kill us now. He ran away and the next day we took the case to the police station. From the police station we charter a taxi and ran behind him to the border to Togo and we did not see him we search some other areas and did not see him.

I left and went to the UN office and the police give me clearance and we carry it all over to all the police stations all in Accra. I did not see him and I was sleeping out of my house for sex months and I had man power sleeping around my house with my husband. So I left I came back and I was there then TRC sent a man to talk to me, that is how they brought me and today I am here. I tell the TRC thank you for what they have done for me.

Questions from the Commissioner:

Chairman: thank you for coming to share you experience with us at the TRC of Liberia. We empathies with you for the situation you have underwent. The Commissioners will now ask you few questions to clarify so things. You said you left the country and you went into exile, is that true?

Primary Witness: Yes

He followed you into exile and located you?

Primary Witness: Yes

Did he say why he followed you there?

Primary Witness: He said he can't wound a man and let him go. He wrote a letter and left it to my house and it is what the police used to chase him.

Did he hand deliver the letter?

Primary Witness: He gave it to one Ghanaian and he told him that they don't take letter for anybody and he went and put it under our door.

When did this happen in Ghana?

Primary Witness: It happened last year.

You did not call his name?

Primary Witness: His name is Nuculas Slunteh

Do you know what he is doing now?

Primary Witness: I got the information that he is in the police.

For the information of the people I will have the Hearing Officer to read the letter.

Primary Witness: You are welcome.

The Hearings officer read the letter to the audience.

Commissioner Syllah: you mentioned the lady who wanted to use your cell phone, do you remember her name?

Primary Witness: I can't remember her name, it is his wife.

You said you went to Louise Brown to take treatment instead of the Mansion what else he did?

He was the only man in the government who give me money to go the hospital.

When you were taken to the White Flowers you mentioned a lady who wanted to look for her man and wanted to kill you what is her name?

Primary Witness: Mother Lion, she and Kadiatu were together.

Commissioner Kulah: where there other people who knew about this?

Primary Witness: More then 500 people, General Vanie, his men and lot of other people.

Commissioner Dolopei: Are there any visible scars on your body that people see?

Primary Witness: Yes I can show it right now.

Chairman: are you prepared to show it?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I do not want any photo of it foe I am ashamed of my body.

Then the four female commissioners and psychosocial female personnel will go with you to see the scars.

Commissioner Bull: audience I am convinced after see what is on the picture and that this woman have been victimized.

The Psychosocial Officer: She has two scars on the back, between the breast she has on the stomach, the two hands, behind the legs and on the head.

Commissioner Coleman: could you clarify what the white flowers means?

Primary Witness: Charles Taylor House at Congo town.

Did you enter?

Primary Witness: No I was in the town.

You mentioned some names I want to get clarity on, Kadiatu?

Primary Witness: Kadiatu, she was working with the president and mother Lion.

Was the mother lion part of the investigation?

Primary Witness: No she was the one who came to see when she heard and she said I am going to find out from my soldier and she when she came back she said if I was there I would have killed her.

What did Louise Brown say about you talking to the Human right lawyers?

Primary Witness: I wanted to go to the Human right groups and he came and advice me and my husband that if we try it we will be in problem because the soldiers were watching.

Did he give you a friendly warning or a threat?

Primary Witness: I really don't know.

You mentioned Paul Mulbah that came to your house?

Primary Witness: They came to remove boots from the road that is hoe they came to Eastman Jones yard and broke the place.

Can you say anything about these pictures?

Primary Witness: I took them when he injured me, and when I went to exile he followed me and said I should turn it over to him before he killed me.

Have you had any redress from them?

Primary Witness: I gave them the letter he wrote me and they gave me police Clarence to take it the next police station and the UN office and we were going from place to pace to get him and we did not see him then.

The investigation that was done by the SSS was there any thing that came out of it.

Primary Witness: He said I was using the cell form to call people to kill Charles Taylor.

Did they find anything from the investigation?

Primary Witness: No there was nothing except my little sister.

Commissioner Washington: there was no fighting when this happened, and it started with you denying the use of your cell phone, do you know who he was assigned with in the ATU?

Primary Witness: No but he was a ATU

You testify that they went to the hospital and the doctors advise that you leave the hospital for they were afraid of their lives?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Due to the gravity of your situation at the time and fear you had to go into exile and even then he followed you and threatened you there to eliminate you?

Primary Witness: Yes

I am sorry that the audience can have the benefit of the doubt to actually see what had happened. Considering the extent of the wounds, how is you health now?

Primary Witness: I have a problem with my legs and my hands. If I am sitting and I gets up I have to walk a strange way.

Are you taking any special treatment for the problem?

No since I left ELWA hospital I have been catering to myself.

Have you gotten any words from the doer of the act?

Primary Witness: I want to tell the TRC thank you for the have made me to feel a Liberian.

Why do you think it was necessary to tell your story?

Primary Witness: Sometimes you want to have help and that our president want us to come home and we are afraid because of what has happened to us. We don't what to be killed by our own brothers,

You heard that he is in the police force?

Primary Witness: It is just rumors but he was in the ATU.

Commissioner Stewart: thank you for coming to share your story with us. Even though it is not conformed that he is in the police force but there is a rumors, there is a reason for concern. I want you to tell me the time it happened

Primary Witness: It happened 2002, July 14 on a Sunday.

What it the date that he went to you while in exile?

Primary Witness: I can't remember but it is on the document that I gave you.

When did you go to exile?

Primary Witness: I went in 2002 and go in Ghana in February. 2003. I could not sit in the car with the sore on my back, it was dangerous.

The reason why you had not come home is because you have feared Snotteh?

Primary Witness: Not only that but because he chase me in a foreign land.

Commissioner Bull: thank you for the courage and thank God for giving you the live to come here. The motto of the TRC is not only reconciliation but promoting national peace security and unity and then reconciliation. You have given us names of those who we have the authority of investigation today. Nucular Snottee who is also G. R. Parker this is now a problem for which we might perceive him being in the national police. Your facts in the papers talk of you having cell phone which at the time was very expensive for they are still snatching phones from people now. This can show the facts in the story in what you said. This made it clear to see while the police do not have guns yet because we do not know who is who in the police. Thank very much and I hope you get the right medication and psychological attention.

Did they bust the house in connection to this story?

No, they were doing their work.

Chairman: thank you for coming to tell us all you are engulfed with. A lot of people in your situation are afraid to come forward. We thank you for coming from exile leaving your family to come and say your story. Is there anything last that you will want to tell the Commission and the people of Liberia you have the opportunity to do that now.

Primary Witness: I will like your TRC to help me and even our mother of the nation for she wants us to come home. I need her personal help so as top be able to get proper medication. If I am here with out money if there is any thing how do I get back? My poor mother is in Toddy and she has nothing when she saw me last night she was crying. As such I need your help.

Thank you we have heard and she is listening.

Sixty Eight Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings

Musa Fofana

(Fifth Primary Witness of day fifteen)

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: Mr. Witness, you are welcomed to the TRC Public Hearings, this is the opportunity for you to share with the people of Liberia what you experienced during the conflict in our nation. The Commissioners are all here listening to you.

Primary Witness: thank you sir.

Primary Witness: 1990 the war started we went Sierra Leone I left in Kenema but the way things were looking I was not satisfy because I use to wash the children clothes the Nigerian used to send his children to school. So my heart cut and that's how I went to join ULIMO but it was not ULIMO it was called LUDF the Liberian United Defense Force. That one Gen. Cobra was our chief. We were trained in the Dalu Base in Sierra Leone. And that's the place I was assigned in Dalu Base. One time that Armah Yulu sent to go killed the ambassador. And before we could get there Cobra and his men them finish that operation. When we got there it was finish. They the catch them and jailed them.

Captain Strasa was commanding us on the front one time he told us that if we can go and over throw President Momo in Sierra Leone we will not suffer for supply again, then we went to Freetown and overthrew Momo and put Stratcher there. The place we did all of the training from the base we came back to Monrovia na.

In Monrovia I was assigned in Gen. Dumouya until he died. That the time I say let me forget about this whole soldier business. And I used to be driving taxi when the LURD war started. So every time Varley Threat stated threatening me say that ehn you fought for ULIMO I say yes, but I can fight for Taylor I was under oath to fight for ULIMO. Then when one day when I came from the traffic I went to wash my car right down here Buchanan Street. I left the car at the car washer and walked to my friend place on Gurley street then before I look I was Varley Threat and Zekee with their pick up, they say here the man here and put inside the pickup saying they were carrying me on the front, it was written on the pick up Minus - Plus. And they started carrying us we were about 13 men in number but before reaching Bomi Hills we all fell in ambush. We were thirteen men on the pickup I the only person that survived. I lay [lie] down like I was gone the bullet hit my face and pass through and that how my eye get problem now - now today. When the LURD men them came I could not show myself because I was already wounded they will say I enemy. So I manage to leave that area and I spent three days between Bomi hills and the sawmill junction to come Monrovia. When I was coming too again the government men then say they want kill me again because I was coming from enemy line then I explained to them we were going but we fall in ambush. They take us to hospital and there is no care now the bullet spoiled my eye for nothing. No good medicine and things were just like that.

Then one day Taylor was passing I stated telling him the astray he was doing, he just made people to spoil their selves and nothing there for them and I told that the place I air now I can fire your ass hole right on the road. I left from the hospital and after sometime that how they collected some of those boys for money business put them in the dump truck and go dumb all of them in the hole with the dumb truck self and all right to Ambush Village.

Questions from the Commissioner:

You say what time there was LUDF, what year?

Primary Witness: That 1991, yes 1991

Who was the ambassador your went to in Sierra Leone?

Primary Witness: That Ambassador Karpeh, I just forgetting his first name ooh, and we killed him.

Who gave the orders to go and killed the ambassador?

Primary Witness: That Arma Yulu gave that order to us but before we got there Chief Cobra them was already finish with it.

Do you know of any Mohammed Sheriff?

Primary Witness: No

Who gave the orders to killed President Momo?

Primary Witness: Oh the order came from the frontline that Capt. Stratsa gave the command the people were not supplying us good. So Capt. Stratsa say if your can go and finish Momo and I be up there I will give you supply, supply part will be no question.

Commissioner Syllah: Who was Captain Stratsa you just talked about?

Primary Witness: Capt. Stratsa that Sierra Leonean. He used to be on the base on the Dalu base. We the one use to fight for those people, any attack that was hard for them that we they used to call. And they used to give us armor.

Do you know the whereabouts of Capt. Stratsa?

Primary Witness: No

You were how many years old when you joined?

Primary Witness: 14

Where were your parents?

Primary Witness: In guinea they left me with one Nigerian man a diamond dealer but he was treating me good so that how my heart cut and I go join ULIMO.

Where are your parents now?

Primary Witness: In Bakedu, Lofa County.

Commissioner Konneh: You said who were those who put you in the pickup to go to the front?

Primary Witness: Vamuyan Sheriff, Varley Threat and Zeekee.

Who they were fighting for at that time?

Primary Witness: Taylor

Where was that ambush, where it happened?

Primary Witness: Right to Bomi hills and sawmill junction around there.

Was it the same time you lost your eye?

Primary Witness: Yes the same time, the bullet him and I fall down and I just started feeling my head turning before I can reach Monrovia it was swollen.

So you fought for a lot of forces?

Primary Witness: Only LUDF and ULIMO but the government force own I na call that fighting.

What was the mean reason you went to fight?

Primary Witness: The way I move from here I was not satisfy, I join for me to come back.

Commissioner Kulah: Were you forced joined the fighting?

Primary Witness: No, no nobody force me part I just joined.

Where you took the training?

Primary Witness: On the Dalu base near Kenemah .

How long?

Primary Witness: Rebel training part that just quick - quick business just show how to shoot the and dismantle it that all.

What kind of food you used to eat?

Primary Witness: We use to feed ourselves, from the front line anything you get from the front line that what you will eat

Commissioner Coleman: Why you volunteer to join ULIMO?

Primary Witness: I was not satisfied the way I was driven out of the country and that ULIMO was coming at that time.

When ULIMO split which side were you with?

Primary Witness: I was K soldier, I was with ULIMO K.

You said the ECOMOG was supporting your?

Primary Witness: Yes that ECOMOG was supporting us in Sierra Leone.

So they help you with weapon and supplies?

Primary Witness: Yes, they use to supply ULIMO J and ULIMO K and most of the rebel forces may be I think only NPFL, yeas so far.

Do you know about LURD?

Primary Witness: Yes I know about them.

Were you ever involved with them?

Primary Witness: No

Commissioner Washington: What ECOMOG use to supply your with?

Primary Witness: With arm and ammunitions

How do you know that ECOMOG was supplying the other groups?

Primary Witness: Because the person I was assign with that was big man any body who know Den. Dumuya you will know that I am talking about.

You know any contact were the arms come from?

Primary Witness: You know how it was looking, we had people digging diamond and we were changing for weapon, we sell the diamond to the ECOMOG and they give us what we want and what we want that weapon.

Were you with Gen. Dumuya during the April 6?

Primary Witness: No that time was in Gardnerville, always he use to tell me to come back and I was used to be like that.

Were you part of the April 6 fighting?

Primary Witness: Yes I was fighting part of ULIMO K.

Commissioner Stewart: You said ECOMOG use to supply the fighting group I am correct?

Primary Witness: Yes

You bought the ammunition Guinea is that what you were saying?

Primary Witness: Yes guinea and all supply us.

Who use to get the diamond?

Primary Witness: That chief AB Kromah use to carry the diamond and bring the arms for us.

Did you know about Major Salomon Kamara?

Primary Witness: Yes that was my chief.

How did he died do you know?

Primary Witness: Well he died in ambush to Ambush Village and after he died then that the time Gen. Dumuya became chief of staff.

Was Capt. Stratsa at the barrack?

Primary Witness: Yes he was the commander for us in the Dalu base.

Who was the commander?

Primary Witness: The same cobra too who was in LURD he was one of our commander.

Do you know any other name Cobra?

Primary Witness: No even my name only my Ambush name people know, that me they called Ambush.

Were Liberians involved in that Sierra Leonean mission?

Primary Witness: Yes that the whole ULIMO.

Who was Arma Yulu at the time?

Primary Witness: Field commander

Was he aware of the mission in Freetown?

Primary Witness: We were on the front line and what the commander Capt. Stratsa says that we should and carry out that mission. Yulu was not there but when you on the front

Who were those digging the diamonds?

Primary Witness: We had people there.

Were children and women involved in the digging?

Primary Witness: No only men were there and they use to cook their own dry rice.

Commissioner Bull: You still want to be called Ambush?

Primary Witness: No I like my name Musa.

Do you think you made the right decision joining the fighting?

Primary Witness: That one I can't explain anything to you on that one ooh!

Where is Cobra now?

Primary Witness: That recently they say he died ooh.

Chairman: I kept hearing Stratsa is it Valentine Stratsa in ECOMOG?

Primary Witness: Yes that the man there.

Do you have training base in Sierra Leone?

Primary Witness: Yes, called Dalu base.

Chairman: How you use to treat civilians in your area?

Primary Witness: Everybody assignment was different. Some use to treat civilian good and some bad like for Voinjama where pepper-and-salt was controlling and we were in Bomi was not bad. One time the chief went to Voinjama the civilians told him that the soldiers were eating human heart.

Your eyes were affected have you been taking medical treatment?

Primary Witness: That one Dr. Diesel was the one helping me with my eye but for long I can go there again.

You gave up with it now?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you have reason why ULIMO split?

Primary Witness: That just power business.

Chairman: thank you very much do you have any last word?

Primary Witness: I only want to say thank god that all!

Sixty Ninth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings

Elizabeth Withfield

(Sixth Primary Witness of day fifteen)

The Sixth Primary Witness and the survival and the Town Chief plus the Translator of the day were 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: Madam Witness Good evening, we are happy that you are here and want to welcome you to the TRC. We are the people the government put together to look into Liberia palava. You have come to help us find a solution to the Liberian problem. So we are happy that you all came to help us solve the problem.

Primary Witness: I want a moment to sing a song.

We allow that and hope she will tell us the meaning of the song.

The song is the lord and the spirit has power if not I would not have been here.

Primary Witness: 1994 January we were in our town the soldier came and captured our town. Before they came in the town the LPC was there. When they went there the people were already in town. When the came they started mobbing them. We were 406 and the started mobbing us with sticks. I who sitting here I was 8 months pregnant. I started to run with 2 of my children and they caught and slaughter them and hit behind my head with a mottle pastel and they started mobbing me until they got tire. They mobbed and killed a lot of people but I survived by the mercy of God.

They went in the next town and like in a dream somebody woke me up and my entire body was bleeding and I crawled and went in the bush. As god would have it, I had miscarriage and the child die. I was in labor and I couldn't come to myself and as God would have it I miscarriage and I came to myself. I crawled on my knees and went to Gwayen where people went for hiding. The people I met grand pepper and rub my body. From that time I have not gone to the hospital but the pepper has helped. From that time I can't do physical job. The TRC people that came around us, I am appealing to the TRC and the government of Liberia for her to get medication and another thing is I want to be help to have a business.

Secondary Witness: we were in the town when the thing happen, 2 LPC fighters were in the town with us and they left and went to the soldiers in the bush. When they were there the group of fighter came in the town and they started mobbing displace citizens in the town. The put them under the palava hut. When they started mobbing the men I ran. When I started running I ran into them and they mob me on the head and as God would have it I got up. One of the fighters said sit down, I am not sitting down, are you not sitting down, I am not sitting down. He
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