Harper City: Day 3

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The Third day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Thursday February 14, 2008 at the Harper City Hall, Maryland County. 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 his testimony.

Thirteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Jerome K. Nuefville
(First Primary Witness of day three)

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 very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. We know you have basic schedule but you have come to serve you county and country by telling your story.

Primary Witness: What I do know about is the war is when the war came to Maryland County in the 1990. I was working in the security force but because the people never wanted to see security force I went to our village Pedoo town, and later I came back until during the duduboy and the gunboat time came so we for left the town for good and started making farms. Until in 1994 the first LPC came in Maryland County.

The second of the LPC entered in 1996 April 5th they entered Maryland County. On the 6th of April I was in my town that morning my father sent for me. You know my father was a country doctor he was heading the doctors of Maryland, he called me and started discussing about the things that were coming. While talking from one thing to another I heard a car sound so he go and see where the care is coming from as soon as I came outside. I am sorry the shirt I had one I was keeping it you could see the bullet marks, they just started shooting there was a cotton tree around our place I ran to the cotton tree and drop side it. The only thing I could hear was they had getting to the place the old man was making medicine and then the next thing I heard was ehn he said gun can't do anything to him your put gas one him and see if he will not burn, they burnt the place and the brunt the old man too. One old ma and one old man was there they carried them and killed them and one patient that went to the old man for medicine that day they catch her too and killed here.

Primary Witness: Later I went and we saw those bones of the people they had burnt and I collected my family we cross to ivory coast where we spent 2 to 3 years until we came back that's what I know that happened to my town.

Chairman: ok please have our sympathy for the tragic experience of the death of your father and relatives, this is some of the reason why the TRC was set up to look into these things there are some people who don't believe that these things happened, in this public manner we extend our sympathy once again.

Primary Witness: I am sorry I could not remember the people but only the organization and most of them were dressed up some had head tie and bags on their faces.

How did you realize the particular group they came from?

Primary Witness: They said there is a man who is here making medicine for NPFL, so every time they wanted get to the old man the place will turn dark in front of them so they had to send for some one in Pleebo and they came and caught the papay and put fire on the house but still only smoke was coming from the house.

What was the name of your father?

Primary Witness: Adam Neufville

Commissioner Konneh: Can you give us the names of your father wives?

Primary Witness: They called one Wehlay Neufville, Namba Neufville, and Youdu Neufville

What's about the name his daughter in law?

Primary Witness: Her name was Namba Mehnlaw.

The Grand son?

Primary Witness: He was just a small baby yet.

How old was he?

Primary Witness: He was just learning how to sit down.

Was it because your father was giving medicine to the NPFL the reason why your father was selectively targeted?

Primary Witness: You know where the breeze blows, it was NPFL that had Maryland and they spent long time in that area.

Was he engage in preparing protection for the NPFL fighters?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was there as a country doctor and he was looking for his daily bread too.

Was it your making that shot never entered your body when they shot at you?

Primary Witness: Yes at that time, because I was the one going up and down for the old man.

Do you remember the name of some of the people that went to your father place?

Primary Witness: I can't remember, because that same very evening we crossed and I never use to care about their names because some time they use to go across to the Ivorian side and take people from there and come butcher them on this side.

Commissioner Coleman: where did you work before the war?

Primary Witness: I use to work at William VS Tubman College as security.

Do you know if that college was destroyed during the war?

Primary Witness: I don't know I can't give any account of the college because before the war could come they asked us to leave from the there.

When NPFL came to your town, before LPC how did they treat the citizen?

Primary Witness: Well the people here, you know Taylor use to say Maryland that his county but they were still beating and killing sometime but LPC own was the worst.

Was it worse in LPC time you said?

Primary Witness: What happen is when they came they say Marylanders were defending Taylor, the first group of LPC was not bad but the second LPC coming was not easy.

Where you here for the MODEL period?

Primary Witness: By then I have left.

Commissioner Syllah: Do you know the LPC fighters that did this to your father?

Primary Witness: I said and continue to say, when that thing happened that very day I left form here.

Commissioner Dolopei: What do you mean when you said in your statement no bible?

Primary Witness: During LPC time there was no forgiveness, when they border with you there was no way you could make it, there was no were in the world where killing was in like Maryland, ask anybody who was here.

Commissioner Stewart: Did you hear of any name when they were coming to your town?

Primary Witness: No, the people arrive here on the 5th in the evening of April 1995 they were shooting the whole night, the next morning I went to see the old man , my father.

What happened during the duduboy boy and gunboat time?

Primary Witness: During the duduboy time only one person died at the port, one Minikon died on the spot because they say Taylor was exporting logs so they say if any body goes to the port they will launch and that's how Minikon died.

Do you remember the duduboy and gunboat killing anybody?

Primary Witness: No only one person.

Ship used to come to the port with goods?

Primary Witness: No I can't not say, because I never got closer to the port there.

Commissioner Bull:...So can we say that African sign exist or not, you are a witness because you were 39 years old then and you are attesting to it that it does exit is that right?

Primary Witness: Yes

How many children your father had?

Primary Witness: Plenty about 30.

Did he give his information that African sign to any of his children?

Primary Witness: No I don't think so.

Can you tell us anything about the high priest or the African sign zoe who was higher?

Primary Witness: The high priest is there for discussion and consulation he is like pa to the witch or the entire town people.

Do we consider the people like your father as witch then?

Primary Witness: Yes somebody, you know there is a witch doctor and a witch who killed people and the other that people go to for help.

Do your father groups still exist like those were like him?

Primary Witness: Yes most of them died only some of their children alive

You said the high priest is higher than the Zoe?

Primary Witness: Yes he is the person the town people put together as the head of the town; the priest is not to do any work, the people work for them and all of that.

So it does not mean the high priest is a witch?

Primary Witness: Yes, people go there for consultation.

We hear the issue of high-man what do you know about this?

This has been going on long time but mostly no head no tail people been dieing here just like that.

So could you say your father was a part of this?

Primary Witness: No what my father does was to help people but not to kill, if something happened people go to him and he find out and advice them.

Where did your father draw the power from?

Primary Witness: I don't know, but when use to pick leaf you use to call god name.

Chairman: As I said earlier all of this will help us to do work and the international community will know how these things happened in our country, that for being as a good citizens.

Primary Witness: what I want to say is thank to the TRC because what has happen here we still have feelings to be frank when the TRC business started I said it was foolishness, for some one who killed my father so say that me kill your father then later I say no I say if my father was no going to die was he going to be alive up to now, and in fact I say if I see the person who killed my father what will I do to the person, there is time for everything I say thanks to every one I will discuss with friends what had similar believe that they should come to the TRC too.

Fourteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Blind Denedi Walker
(Second Primary Witness of day three)

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. He was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. We want to thank you for coming to share your experience with us. We know you have basic schedule but you have come to serve you county and country by telling your story.

Primary Witness: thank you.

Do you know your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I only know our country way of describing it but not the English way

Tell us the country way

Primary Witness: Since I was born, I been in this country for 60 years.

Primary Witness: Since the revolution I always on my farm, because when war was fighting we had nowhere to seek refuge but to go on the farm and hide, so while we were on the farm I saw some body who came and started pushing me and said what all your have on the village? He said if you don't show it to me you will see. I was afraid and I took him to my sugarcane male. He said oh so that is what you are doing here and he rake my feet and threw me on the ground and he started to pepe all over my body and he was torturing me. He said I should leave and he went to the woman in the house and he also tortured the woman. This is what happened to me at the time. I was so afraid and since that time I have not seen him since this thing happen to me. This is all that I have to say.

Questions for the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. Commissioners will not ask you couple of questions.

Commissioner Stewart: thank you for coming to share your experience with us and the rest of the Liberian people. Can you remember if you heard them calling these people by name, or do you know them by names?

Primary Witness: Actually I can't describe them, now because I was been tortured and I can't remember them.

So you don't remember the faction that did this?

Primary Witness: I can't say what I don't, I don't know the faction they came unexpectedly and did this to me.

Can you remember the year?

Primary Witness: The only thing I can remember is that it has been almost 24 years now since it happened to me.

Besides what was done to you were they torturing other people or burning houses?

Primary Witness: I myself I was too afraid and I was only finding means to escape and I don't know what was going on.

After that did you meet anybody who explained anything?

Primary Witness: Yes someone can come and testify what happened to them in the town and say what happened to them. But actually what happened to me was so terrible to me and I am still not to myself.

Can you recognize this person who did this to you?

Primary Witness: As I am sitting here presently, I can not recognize that person because of the way I was treated.

Was any woman raped in the town?

Primary Witness: I who here what happened to me is what I can tell, but I can not say anything that happened in the town.

Can you explain the kind of suffering you are undergoing due to the incident?

Primary Witness: Since the incident I have been having body pains

Commissioner Coleman: the name of the town this thing happened?

Primary Witness: Fish Town

Did it happen only to your family or other families in the town?

Primary Witness: Yes

Commissioner Konneh: what was the name of group that attacked the area?

Primary Witness: The only thing I can say is what I have seen, I don't know the faction that did this and the only thing I can remember is that since that thing happened to me it is going to the four years now.

I know somebody who did that to you, you will forgive him but will not forget, so have you made any attempt to know his actual name?

Primary Witness: Since then I have not made any follow up to know his rightful name.

So you don't know whether take it by force is alive or dead?

Primary Witness: No

Chairman: thank you for coming to share your story with us.

Primary Witness: Thank all of you too and I believe since you are here I believe that God is working a miracle for things to be fine.

Fifteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Sarah Wesseh
(Third Primary Witness of day three)

The Third 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 thanks you for coming here, you know anything you say here will go in history, and that what the international people will look at so that war can't come to this country again.

What year were you born?

Primary Witness: 1973

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: Farmer sells palm wine

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Pleebo

Primary Witness: I want tell the reason of my coming here is that during the war when the LPC entered our town what they do to me is that what I coming say, when they entered, before we come to ourselves they were already there, we tried to escape, in that they killed my small two brothers and they left and I saw my big brother and his wife, the other group came again then they entered in the day, while running away again they entered my husband house to take the things when he was giving them hard time they beat him and through that he died and he left me with that 5 children, for me I na coming from this Maryland I come from somewhere in Lofa I come get marry here. My pa and ma not here to help me so that what I come to the TRC for so that your can help with they children.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: you said where you from?

Primary Witness: I from Lofa, I Kpelleh by tribe.

Since when you came here?

Primary Witness: I was 14years when I came here.

What was the name of your husband?

Primary Witness: His name was Romeo Yeman.

Your husband people there?

Primary Witness: Yes

They can't help you?

Primary Witness: His brother there but I na do what they say I must do, because I don't agreed to marry in their family so they don't want to help me.

What is the name of your family?

Primary Witness: Sunday girl 16 yrs in school, Catharine 8yrs in school, Junior 7yrs, Baby T 4yrs, and Patrick 2yrs.

Commissioner Bull: Do you know the name of the big man for the group that did this to?

Primary Witness: No

You know who he is?

Primary Witness: No


Commissioner Dolopei: what was the name of your brothers?

Primary Witness: Mely vlan and kwan

Commissioner Syllah: did your brother have children?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where are they now?

Primary Witness: Some are with us and some with their grand ma

Commissioner Coleman: what happened to their wives?

Primary Witness: They in town with the people.

So the family is takings care of them?

Primary Witness: Yes

In your culture if a husband dies what happened to his wife

Primary Witness: I don't know because I didn't grow up there.

Commissioner Konneh: Before your husband died did he own any property like house and farm?

Primary Witness: Yes he was having Sugar farm but since he died there is no one to stand for it but he did not own any house

Why you refuse to marry to his family?

Primary Witness: The time my husband was living the way the people was treating me the way he died now how will I go there I can't make it he was my pa there.

Have you made any attempt to go to the family and tell them about the children, for help?

Primary Witness: No

Do you belong to any group in this county like church or mosque?

Primary Witness: Yes church group.

Are your prepared to go to them to the family?

Primary Witness: No

Would like for the TRC coordinator here to go to with him for the family to do something?

Primary Witness: Yes

Primary Witness: It is true about TRC our part of problem is that we in the town there we want help from TRC and we don't want war again, we want you and us to pray to our god so that we cant have war again.

Sixteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Toe T. Derricks
(Forth Primary Witness of day three)

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 very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. We know you have basic schedule but you have come to serve you county and country by telling your story.

Primary Witness: thank you

Are you employed?

Primary Witness: I am making rice farm.

Can you remember your birth day?

Primary Witness: I was born 1954

Primary Witness: Since the war so many things have happened but I will cut it short, when Charles Taylor people came I was going to Grand Gedeh and I met them and they stop me and asked me where I was going and I said I was going to Grand Gedeh and they said the car you are driving is not for you again it is for us. They said the only thing we will tell you is that you will take the car to Grand Gedeh and you will leave it there and come back. I stayed one week in Grand Gedeh and luckily for me they found a car coming from Monrovia they told me to get on it and go back. They said if we meet you anywhere we will kill you and when I came I told my wife. They came to Maryland County and our self we were on the farm, while we were there we hear say LPC arrive Maryland. we were in the Town Called Wechoken and they kill one of my uncle call Klah Martian and they kill one of my brother call Warchu. We just hear say they were killing people and we don't know what s happening. We were confuse and the people can't tell who their leader they were just and Charles Taylor people came back and take over and they we what was there that receive LPC.

While we were there, they say the LPC coming back that that how we cross the water and we begin to experience a lot of difficulties. We talk to the people to register us as refugees. While we were there we hear say Charles Taylor people came and took the place again but I refuse to come back. Ivory Coast is very hard, and the people say your war finish your go home. We came and for true the war finish. While we were here we hear say the war coming again, MODEL coming LURD coming and we could not go Ivory Coast again. While we were here MODEL came with bad guns. So I decide to get back to the soil to sustain myself. MODEL who told us that they na come to kill people, they started taking all our things. Anything you have they will take it from you. They told us who have power mail sugarcane mail we should pay L$1000 to register and we gave them the money. While there they will bring their container and say your fill it, that how they started looting from us and if you talk they will beat you. I who here, because of this I loose all that I had, and today I have only one trousers. I stop this far first but I still have a lot to say.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you very much for coming to share your experience with the Commission, the Commissioners will now ask you few questions.

Commissioner Konneh: you said when NPFL came the Torture you and took your jeep, can you tell us what kind of torture and the made of the jeep?

Primary Witness: Toyota pickup

How they torture you?

Primary Witness: Before telling me to give them the car, they ask me to take up my shirt and gave the car six feet. And they said you will die today, they asked me for my tribe and I said I was a Greebo and they say I should wear my shirt.

What other thing they took from you?

Primary Witness: I who here there was a transaction between me and my sister and I had a lot of things which they took.

You also said you had five children and you give one to George Toe, beside that one, what happened to the other four?

Primary Witness: Presently they are all alive.

Commissioner Stewart: do you have a daughter name Sarah Toe?

Primary Witness: Yes, but she is dead

How did she die?

Primary Witness: She died from sickness.

You had three encounters what can you say about them?

Primary Witness: What I know is what I have said.

What happened with the encounter with MODEL?

Primary Witness: They came and looted all of our things

Did they force you to work for them?

Primary Witness: I was not directly working for them, I was working for myself but they use to come and take my money and my materials.

Commissioner Syllah: you said so many things happened during the war but you will cut it short.

Primary Witness: The whole thing that affected me is that what so ever you work for is for you but they came and took all of our things which is bad.

Commissioner Stewart: you mentioned the LPC slaughtering your family; do you remember the commander under whom this was done?

Primary Witness: His fighting name was General Satan.

Which group was he in?

Primary Witness: I can't tell but I use to hear the name General Satan.

Commissioner Dolopei: thank you for coming to the TRC and want to let you know that you have contributed to the process a lot. Is there any last word that you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: Thank you very much, what I want to say is that what happened to me that has passed and you want me to say, what will be your contribution towards me?

That is why I am asking you for your last word to the TRC because at the end when we finish our work all that you will say we will put it on paper and sent it to the government.

Primary Witness: What I want to say is that some time when you share you suffering and some time when you make your farm and have small money you will build you house and now all is gone away.

So what do you want the TRC to do?

Primary Witness: I want the TRC to build me a house.

Thank you very much; we have heard you and we will pass this on to the government.


Seventeenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Oretha Kyne
(Fifth Primary Witness of day three)

The Fifth 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 and thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. The Commissioners and the people of Liberia are all here to listen to what you went through during the conflict. what you doing by coming to the TRC is what every good citizens should be doing, and by coming up to talk to the TRC is a big that you are doing because it will in to the history book and you will be speaking for a thousand of other people.

How old are you?

Primary Witness: 39 years

Primary Witness: We were in Bong Mines 1990. I was loving to one Krahn ma called Daniels Phillips we had a child of 3 months. When Prince Johnson and Taylor divided Gbarnga, Prince Johnson went Menhgai to get to Bong Mines, two soldiers came and asked me for my name I call my name and my tribe I called my tribe and they say what relationship I have with the Krahn people, I say nothing then he took a picture that had me and one man on it then I told them that the man on the picture were in the same school.

I told my sister and she said we should find somewhere to go. On one Tuesday we went in the market by 2:00 we did not hear any gun sound, by mid night we heard a voswagon sound then the sound seized, in the morning they started calling every body outside. They started carrying people behind the mountain. I had my child on my back they started checking for Mandingo and Krahn people, when they open our door and see a Mandingo or Krahn man they will kill all of your for that one person business. I can remember the only thing I could remember one Kpelleh woman spoke Kpelleh and I only saw the man coming to me from the crowd and he said bring the baby and I give him the baby, my sister went and told one Mano man and the man said he was going to meet Prince Johnson, we spend 3 to 4 days nothing, we use to chicken greens and palm butter. One time I was walking on the road a car came behind me and blow horn I didn't know the man came down and asked what I was doing on the road and I explain to him and he said I should go home.

We came to Monrovia, I met my sister but she could not say anything to us, then my sister came to Cape Palmas with the picture asking me for the child every time the child business come to my mind I will go in the bath room or somewhere and be thinking and crying about it. We had a workshop and with the Catholic People and they say I should come to the TRC that why I came to Cape Palmas on Monday to explain my story to the TRC so that what happened to me during the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: sorry for what happened for an innocent child who you have not seen since 1990, you know what happened to us one persons can not bear it that's why we put this together so we all can sit down and talk about it, this why we say we got heal our nation, it is not a crime to have a child by a Krahn man or being a Mandingo man.

Commissioner Konneh: what was boyfriend name?

Primary Witness: Daniel Philips

What was your child?

Primary Witness: Wanti.

Which group did this to you?

Primary Witness: Prince Johnson group.

Do you know the person who was the person who took the children from your back?

Primary Witness: No

Was Prince Johnson in town when it happened?

Primary Witness: Yes the very night he entered that was the next morning.

Did you see the man who went to meet Prince Johnson about your child?

Primary Witness: No we only heard that they killed him too.

Commissioner Syllah: How old was your child?

Primary Witness: 3 months old

Primary Witness: Last word: nothing

Eighteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Martha Maya. Toe
(Sixth Primary Witness of day three)

The Sixth 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 and thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. Thank you for leaving all you were doing and coming to tell the Liberian people what happened to you. The Commissioners and the people of Liberia are all here to listen to what you went through during the conflict.

Primary Witness: Thank you.

Are you living here in Harper?

Primary Witness: No, in Kaloken.

Are you making business?

Primary Witness: No, I making farm.

What year you were born?

Primary Witness: I was born in Tubman Time

Primary Witness: The time the war came the 1990 war we were in Kaloken the people came and we started running in the bush. We were there for whole month. Me and my children were there and one man say that you keeping Krahn woman here so from that we started running again I and my children. Then my children wanted to go in town and I say no and one man and his wife say we must go in town so I say let me go in town so they can't come look for me. So that the place I was when they catch all my children and kill them.

So I was there and they people say they mush look for me and bring me and the people say we na no where she is. So some people use to go on my village and say you can't go in town and the people say if the catch you they will kill you. I was on the farm until they sent for the man and say you better go look for Martha; we will not do anything to her. He came and say let go they will not do anything to you and that how I came in town and nothing happen to me but all my people die.

Then the woman who I was with and me were there and I say I want go to my people house and I was there and LPC came and we started running again. Then my friend came to me and say Martha lets go to my village because your running whole day. So we go there and that the palace we were. And we use to come in town some time and go back.

In 2003 MODEL came again and we run in the bush and the people say we must come in town and we come in town again and the say other soldiers coming so we must go Fanti town so I go to my man in the village and I say I will not go in town again because everyday running. So I was there and I go IC, so that my story.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we want to say sorry for what happened to you. The Commissioner will ask you some questions. The first question is I want to know who all the people that died.

Samie Harris Alex Diah Chalie Toe, Samie Dugba, Number Four Charlie Toe

Commissioner Konneh: we say sorry for what happened and ask God to give you courage and strength. Before the war was there any misunderstanding between the Greebo and the Krahn people?

Primary Witness: I na know.

What was the reason when the Krahn people go and die on the battle front the put the blame on the Greebo people?

Primary Witness: The time the soldier people were there, they use to give the Greebo people hard time.

You know the reason why the kill your family?

Primary Witness: Since war was coming, so they were looking for Krahn people, that how they kill them.

Commissioner Coleman: where did this happen?

Primary Witness: Kaloken

How many people you think were killed that time?

Primary Witness: They killed five first then one was running then they kill him.

In you family how many people they kill?

Primary Witness: I was not there.

Commissioner Syllah: before the war were you married, where is your husband now?

Primary Witness: Before the war he ran away.

You say how they kill the people?

Primary Witness: No, I was in the bush.

Commissioner Stewart: Do you know the faction that killed your people?

Primary Witness: That the 1990 war.

That which people killed them?

Primary Witness: That was Charles Taylor time.

They kill any people that you know in front of you?

Primary Witness: No

Commissioner Bull: were you in Putu?

Primary Witness: No

Chairman: sorry again for what happened. If there is anything in your heart you can tell us.

Primary Witness: Well, this thing what I want say, I na get no house because all my people na die. The man who and my self together, that the man place I am this few days, no money to build my own house. When I try to make farm, nothing good can come from there. We na in the interior so no way to make good farm.

Thank you we heard what you said, you can now go.

The hearings was Adjourned by the Chairman to resume after and hour.


Nineteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Adama Kone
(Seventh Primary Witness of day three)

The Seventh 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 afternoon and thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. Thank you for leaving all you were doing and coming to tell the Liberian people what happened to you. The Commissioners and the people of Liberia are all here to listen to what you went through during the conflict.

Primary Witness: Thank you.

Are you are farmer?

Primary Witness: I am a business man

When were you born?

Primary Witness: March 11, 1967

Primary Witness: 1990 I lost my father in the war, then the third war which is MODEL war 1993, I was going to Kaluawea then we fled in the bush and when we return, one of my friend and myself we were doing business called Jerome Waldea. He went and gave L$1700 for my brother-laws to cut tash for him to put it on top of his house, and later on he said that the work was delaying so he was wanted the money the was already given to the children. They had cut part of the tash and I went and show it to him and he was never satisfied and he took it to the MODEL and they compel me to pay his money and I pay it back. After paying it back then they asked for their fees and one of my friend pay their fees. From there they went and enter my house, it was on Sunday and they ask me which of the materials you working with here, I was fixing my own door for my house after I left the bush. Then I went and brought my carpenter tools out because they said if I was not going to bring it out they will going to kill me. so I brought my materials out I had six begs of Coco which I was suppose to carry to Ivory Coast to get some money then they went and took that Coco, the sixty dollar CFA three hundred Liberian dollars with my carpenter tools mix up with other tools and they took it from me. I try to beg them but they refuse to give it to me and they took, that is what happened to me in the war. My people nothing happened to them, but my properties and some people money that was with me that what they took. That is the story I have to give.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you for coming to share your experience with us. Did the entire incidence happen in Kaloken?

Primary Witness: Yes

What was the name of your father?

Primary Witness: Daoda Konneh.

How did he die?

Primary Witness: He died of sickness in IC

Which year was that?

Primary Witness: 1993, August 24 in Glabo.

Commissioner Bull: thank you for telling us your story. Do you remember the name of the people who took your things?

Primary Witness: One Games Gickor.

Do you know where he is?

Primary Witness: Yes, he is here in Harper and he is an Immigration officer

What did he do to you?

Primary Witness: He was the one who and the other guy came and he said he will not permit me to work after the crisis so he took my tools.

What would you recommend should happen to him?

Primary Witness: Since that time I have decided to forgive him because he was a soldier and he did what he was not supposed to do.

Where is the Commander?

Primary Witness: He is Zoan Beh now in Grand Gedeh

Commissioner Stewart: what year this happen?

Primary Witness: In 2003

Was James Gickor fighting with MODEL?

Primary Witness: Yes

What else did they do?

Primary Witness: I can't say I only know what happen to me because I was afraid, and they came to my house and attack me.

When you came form the bush, did you see any house on fire?

Primary Witness: Yes when I came back some houses were burning.

Were people forced to join the soldiers?

Primary Witness: They were not forced, they join by themselves.

Commissioner Konneh: what was the position of Zoan Deh before and after the MODEL war?

Primary Witness: I only saw him during the war.

Is it not true that he was S2 commander?

Primary Witness: Yes he was S2 commander for MODEL.

What about the Gickor man?

Primary Witness: He was S2 Commander too.

Why they took your things?

Primary Witness: One of my friend they called Jerome Wladie wanted tash to put over his and I give the money to my brother-in-laws to get the tash for his house and after three weeks the children na finish the contract so he wanted the money and I pay the money back. Then the MODEL wanted their fees and I went to another friend who gave some money to pay their fees.

Chairman: how long did you stay in Ivory Coast?

Primary Witness: I stayed there for four years.

How was life there?

Primary Witness: I was trying because I am a able man and I use to help myself.

Thank you for coming and we want to express regret for the lost of your father. Is there anything lastly you want to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: I will say thank you to the TRC for coming and for the work they are doing.

Twentieth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Cecelia W. Gaye
(Eighth Primary Witness of day three)

The Eighth 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 and thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. Thank you for leaving all you were doing and coming to tell the Liberian people what happened to you. The Commissioners and the people of Liberia are all here to listen to what you went through during the conflict.

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: I am a Farmer

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Kaloken

Primary Witness: The one I know the one I pass inside that what I coming talk for 1990 war we escape but me and man was in river Gbeh that the place he was working so the man go to work he come in town when he come in town, he say my woman they say war fighting I hear the news to the working place so that what I tell you then I say ok that kind of people fighting he say that Krahn and Gio fighting I say ok everything to god, the next day again he come back soon for the same news business. The man say it not easy now they are looking for Gio people. So I want go then I say what place we going he say I want to my people before they come kill me I say the best thing lets cross and go ivory coast I get my people there before we go I will call my people to tell them tell them war is fighting here. He say the people looking for us and the place we working they there and I can past there to go ivory coast. So I say ok go ahead me and the children will come later. So the man left me and the children two days me and the children I went to him in Kanweaken I sleep there the next day I tell him say that Gio and Krahn fighting and I Krahn woman so I going in my town. He say you will go I say yes he say you able to go I say yes. He said I will carry you half way I say no you Gio man I scary he say no I will carry you I say ok me and he go we go we reach hot sun we reached hot sun my father was in the piacer [sitting room] then my pa said what you bring the man here for you know war fighting the thing scareful now I say it will be ok, so my brother and myself carry my man half way so my people came Krahn soldier they say then say the what the man I say oh the man go ever since the man run away, they say you lie, to try me try me they tire so later then we go back for 2 to 3 days I hide from my people and go to the man in Kanweaken, he say oh you come back I say yes the children are crying for you nothing happened to us.

The 1994 war came LPC people they came by 4 in the morning we were in the hut one big rocket sound I woke my man up I say wake up the something sounding then we jumped in the bush they were shooting scattering thins in the house then we pass we went they spoiled everything, people say where Peter Gaye the people say we not know he had plenty Krahn children and he had Krahn woman. When we came outside, I was sitting side my friend in the kitchen side my friend. The one oldma called my son Emmanuel and she give my son rice then I went and told her thank you. Then the big one Nelson, say he had dream in his sleep say they shot him say he monkey I say ok the war going on so leave all to god. I was outside picking rice no rain, noting then my rice just fall down I say oh what happened they say people now entered the town then they say you woman you under arrest I say for what they say you know what you do they say what your children and man I say they here, they say you must go I say who say so, they say that war fighting time you go I say ok, then I told my husband, then another group came again, then they say we must go one - one. They say the people should go one by one I say we can't be here because the people who get the place going then what we doing here.

So they tied me and husband they beat him beat and beat him fine, they tie me and the man together and call the children they came and sit down and asked for their name, Emmanuel Gaye, Nelson Gaye, they say ok nothing will happened to your yea. Then I started crying they started beating me again, they say you Krahn woman what you crying for. Two men hold one so one so and they put pepper and salt there and they will put it there because I Krahn, then my husband they will make him anywhere he see Krahn women he will take by pass.

Then they say your let go they tie the two children together and we started going we reached to the river, the boy say I want drink they say he can't drink I beg them but still they he will not drink we pass we reach certain town, they went and cooked their own food they call us say Krahn dogs your come lets eat we say we alright, they eat and wash their hands in the dishes and waste the water in the children face, pepper water then they we must get up and go I say how the children will see you wait let me wash the children face they say no I say I think your will kill me now but I will the children face then I wash the children face. By 6 in the evening, we reach their big man then they say here the people here we bring them, my husband uncle son was there too, they tie him small and later they put him outside only me and children were there, they say me and children are Krahn so the children sleep in the tabay [tied up] rope then mid night they say your go the children will sleep with us here then I say I beg you your must loosening them small they say oh you na thinking about yourself alright then they started beating me again then one man came and say your leaf her, that woman, they sent us in one room soon in the morning day not break good, they all us outside and asked me where your husband I say here him there they say come here you man who like Krahn people the put hot water on the fire, they say what you see behind this women, he said this woman that not any kind of woman that during Quiwonkpa time this woman safe me when they were looking for Gio people, me and this woman that's not just now business. then they say ok you Krahn woman why you marry Gio man, I say Gio man want me before war come since 86, he not say he not want me so I cant say it too. Then they say we want sent this woman in Krahn home then my husband started begging them they say you must look for different woman, then Mr. Gaye say those children are my children, then he started crying, they say oh you not man enh. They say we will sent you to Krahn home first and they will go and wait for you in front.

They say your let go they carry them in Jakaken on the road side, they say oh you look at them they going now they will go and build up stair house for you. I cry and cry. The thing what my ma and pa not see that what I see. After some time they brought the cutlass they killed the children with they brought it and showed it me and then cry again they say your children go to wait for you in front, they say your make it this woman need to go too they say Mr. Gaye what you say, he say my people I begging your I don't want to live new life with a new woman. Then one old papay come, he say your wait if I say some thing your will listen, they say yes, he say the thing this woman na see her ma and pa self not see it so I begging your you leaf the women they say ok papay that's true, they say wake up quick - quick, they stated kicking me then I woke up, the they started beating my husband too, the one papay came again he say your stop it, this woman is not in Krahn home your stop he I beg your leaf her. Then they say ok your go. Then me and my husband went home then I started crying then they say oh the woman still crying they your come one man calling your in the center then man something taking this woman that not your tribe woman, that clear day sun was shining, they were carrying us to kill us the children left in the people piacer [sitting room] no relative there nothing then one man spoke Grebo say your stop it, when thing finish it finish, the children are behind we beg your then the woman carry me in her piacer, then they say where your husband I say they carry us outside and something was coming, I don't know the man say that country devil, then my man came and put us in the room then I say the children bursting palm kernel, then one Gio man call one man say your come your country woman here they suffering her so the man carry me to hospital and they sew the place and give me some medicine.

The man say this woman that Krahn woman but the woman been with me before the war. So the man take care of me until the war finish. Then my man go there they give me my husband and we started going we had to pass in the push to go Dweken, then one girl show us the short cut to go we went and stop in her town I was cooking my daughter food in the kitchen, the girl went and called the people say one Gio man and Krahn woman here coming with plenty children she brought the people and say here them here him there then the people started beating us, then one of husband friends from Kanweaken say oh I know that man oh he go talked to the people, then man who safe us, he say I know these people so I beg you your leaf them.

The man say they told him say one Krahn woman and Gio man coming with plenty children then the and he said what your suffering the people for then he give our children cassava to eat. Then the man say ok he carry us half way small, before we reach Kanweaken self, the people self that were coming to us again they put all kind of leaves on them with cutlasses, one man say your must not beat them your ask them first then he carry us to Kanweaken self and give us food but we never eat, we were in the man place of three days, then one man come and say they people you keeping here in case the people come and kill all of your now the man no nothing will happen.

Then one Gio man came to us and my husband say he now see is country man he explain all to him and later that same man went in front of us on the road and explain to the other Gio people that one Krahn woman and her children were coming, when we reach there, they say we must sit on the ground, they say that your woman here he say yes, they say that what tribe he say that Krahn , the say what gave you power to marry Krahn woman he say that my woman before the war come and they asked me too and I say the same thing, they kept us there for two hours......[chairman interrupts..."that which year all these happened"]

Then we left and went to Goleken, then we reach to his pa but he was on the farm then my husband went to his farm, the whole town came say they going to kill me when they came from the farm, they went and beg the town people but still they say I must not sleep in the town. I was there until LPC war came again we all chakla [scatter], then I came Pleebo to his people I spent 4 days then we saw him and he say he going look for food and that place he was until the whole LPC finish, we went Ivory Coast for one month 4 days, then he and started asking for me and until he find me in Ivory Coast, then 2000 we came to Monrovia we here until MODEL came no body died from us but they take all my things. That all I know!

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you very you know it true it is not a crime to be borne Krahn or Gio or Mandingo, you had a unique but painful experience, please have our sympathy for the lost of your children.

Primary Witness: The only thing that really brought me here is my hand condition I can't do work myself that my children can work for me because of the things that happened to me.

Commissioner Bull: it was the power of love that you and your really had, your husband is a good man he loves because if not for that he could just leave you with the people say your carry her and leave my children, that's and example a true and real love, where is your husband, will you see him today?

Primary Witness: Yes we live together in Kaloken.

Ok when you go tell honey happy valentine to you I love you, this your story you have said on the right day a day like the Valentines Day.

Commissioner Stewart: That which solider group did this to you?

Primary Witness: That doe soldiers

Who was their commander?

Primary Witness: I don't know self, but I know one Fayah, I used to hear his name

Commissioner Syllah: What is the name of the children they killed?

Primary Witness: Emmanuel Gaye and Nelson Gaye

You said you protected your husband in Quiwonkpa time what happened in Quiwonkpa time when you were protecting him?

Primary Witness: During that time they were looking for Gio people and that time I hide him so my time reached he hide me too.

Commissioner Konneh: You will need to give us your full address; I think we can use you as an example to tell others there exist intermarriage between people from different ethnic background. What about Victoria, Sarah and Peter are they alive?

Primary Witness: Yes they are living, they in the house now - now, we have six children now all living

Is this hatred a long time thing or it just started do you have any idea why they don't like one another

Primary Witness: I don't know what happened them.

Chairman: we want to tell you thanks for everything

Primary Witness: Last word: nothing.


Twenty-first Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Robert S.K Freeman
(Ninth Primary Witness of day three)

The Ninth 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 afternoon and thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. Thank you for leaving all you were doing and coming to tell the Liberian people what happened to you. The Commissioners and the people of Liberia are all here to listen to what you went through during the conflict.

Do you live in Harper?

Primary Witness: I live in Kaloken

Are you employed?

Primary Witness: Yes I am self employed

It happened in that I was schooling at Zwedru, I was to come out of high school in 1990 when the war started. And when the war started we decided to come down to Maryland, my friends together with my brother and myself, but then my brother and I decide to stop to Kanweaken to one of our sister. There we were here when the Charles Taylor group entered the country that is NPFL. Surprising to us they were able to circle the entire town, not knowing he way out and in, we all rush in the bush and begin to hide ourselves. They enter around 11 to 12 on a Saturday. Since there was no way out to reach my house, and there was no way to run. I went across the road where there was water and went under the pipe there is where I hide myself until they seize the shooting.

From there one man came to our house and begin to speak Greebo, that we should leave the bush and come to town, that they were freedom fighters, they were not there to kill us. So we thought that is was completely truthful, we left the bush and we started going to town. When I got in my house, what happen was the soldier man just came from the house was and said halt, looking at him he was not looking like a real soldier man, he was holding a short gun and he said don't move if not you will die. He said common on sit down, he pointed the gun at me for a long period of time and he told me to leave before his eyes open. After he left another person came and he did the same thing and he said I should leave the door open. I was so afraid that entire night and I slept in the house alone. My sister and her husband and the other children they all fled. I slept in the house the entire night and the people were shooting, nobody know what was happening, but before day could brake, there was some reeves near the water, that whole place was filled with dead bodies. Most of those people were Mandingos, because most of the Krahn people left by then. Then one of them came and said are there any of those people around here and I said which people? He said the Krahn and the Mandingos and I said no, there are no Krahn and Mandingos around here, we are Greebo and he said if we catch any Mandingo and Krahn we will kill all of you.

It was on Sunday and my brother came form Zwedru, he was a student there and he had a Krahn girl and two children, then somebody came and said just because of that Krahn girl business they kill your brother. I went there and I met them on the ground dead. I was not to myself and I wanted to cry, but then they told us nobody should cry. My sister was still in the bush, and in the evening they brought this Krahn man he is a boy like us and the boy beg and beg and right before us they spray that boy. So I could not bear it, my brother died and another person dying before me, so I told my sister to come in town in the night and when she came, we were there and the town was not really easy that myself when I am somewhere I can feel it that something is happening, she herself her own was worse anytime she somewhere she will say Freeman my brother my heart is cutting, then I will say nothing that the fear. With in that period of time no one knew what happened and she herself she died. She was sick and there was no medicine at all and she died.
When she died then I decided to take the little children and bring them to Maryland County. When I got to my home, I left the children with my mother and father and came back to Pleebo to stay. there I was then one of my friend we were in the same school and same class in Zwedru, one Peter Toe, he join the soldiers and he said the only way I can help you to have your freedom is for you to join these guys, and I said my man we stay in Zwedru for all this time and we never joined and we have been going to school with most of these guys so I will not be able to see them and point gun at them. So when I said this, he carry it among his friends, so the plot now was for them to come and kill me, before one of our friends that we knew before he and I are from Fish Town here, he came and told my parents that if I don't leave Pleebo, I will die. This is the kind of story he told this man and that is the story the man carried to us, so if he don't leave plebe he will die. I had to pack my things and leave that kind of way, by the time I got under the rubber, I started running so that nobody will get behind me. So that how I was there until I cross the border to my uncle across the water to Ivory Coast to ULIMO until 1992. I use to come small small and I asked if they were still there that is how I use to do and gradually in 1993 they were not there and I came back to Pleebo.

So besides what happened to me, those Mandingo people that were killed, those big people, the city mayor the superintendent the left the area and they hide. So the chief and beside that after 3 days the city mayor and the chief or Kanweaken, what he did was he went to the general, that time it was Noriega and told him that that water was the only water we had for drinking so those people should be removed from there to be buried. We had to dreg those people without gloves to go and burry them. These and many things brought many feeling to me to be frank. Although I even look at this kind of thing and say if other war come myself too I will join.

While I was in Pleebo then my brother I was with they call him Wah Harris, most of the people here know him in Zwedru, he was one of the Doe big men, he was the port master but now he is not working. They got there beat him and use gun to kill him. His wife, the woman who I was staying with, they said she was a witch craft and they also killed her. These were some of the things that cause me that I wanted to join the war. These are the kind of things that made me I wanted to join the war, for the bible self said it, that time will come and people will not have love for one another, for the love of money and material things. Because of this I made that oath that I will never be in Liberia if any other war is coming, so when I hear that the LPC was coming I went to Ivory Coast, I was there until Taylor became president, then I came back to Pleebo. Then I heard again that MODEL was coming I also went to pack my things and went to Ivory Coast and I said I was not coming back here until president get there. So as a result now I have children and there is no foundation laid for them 23 years old when I finish high school but now I am 41 years old and have no foundation for my children. So these are the defects that I have from the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for showing how tribalism was a bitter influence during the war. We express sympathy with you for the lost of your relatives. The Commissioners will mask you some questions.

Commissioner Konneh: you talk about killing some Krahn and Mandingos, do you know the names of some of the people that were killed?

Primary Witness: I don't know their names but I knew their houses.

Were all the people killed buried in one grave?

Primary Witness: There was a whole dug and we put all of them there.

The Commission is interested in inspecting the area, are you willing to carry them there?

Primary Witness: There was a chief there Wesseh; if he is alive he can be the better person.

Commissioner Syllah: how long you stay in Kanweaken before the incident?

Primary Witness: I left Zwedru in July after some big people died and we pass through the bush and we came.

While in Kanweaken did they do any other thing to people?

Primary Witness: The only thing I saw was the beat one woman but they na kill her, they took things from her.

Your brother that died and the girl did they leave any children behind?

Primary Witness: They left three children behind, they are in Monrovia.

Commissioner Dolopei: can you please tell us the names of your brother and the girl?

Primary Witness: My brother name is James Freeman and my sister name is Cecelia Freeman, and the girl friend is Beatrice Zeon

Commissioner Stewart: can you remember the name of the Commander?

Primary Witness: He was General Noriega

Did you see him do other things: how did he behave?

Primary Witness: He was the commander and he gave all the orders. There were other people under him so I am not sure but I think he gave them the orders.

Did they loot and burn houses?

Primary Witness: No they were only killing.

When you came back, did you see any of them?

Primary Witness: No.

You talk about the commander requesting the bodies to be removed from the water, who was him?

Primary Witness: The same Noriega

How many bodies were there in the water?

Primary Witness: I can't say.

Was he there when the killings went on?

Primary Witness: Yes he was present.

Is he the one that gave the orders?

Primary Witness: Well, he was the commander and I am sure that he is the one that said they should kill the people.

Chairman: thank you for coming to give your story, I did not her you say anything about rape, was there nothing like that?

Primary Witness: I did not witness anything like that, I was in the IC and I heard about it.

Do you have anything thing last to say?

Primary Witness: Yes


Twenty-second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Alexander L. Menden
(Tenth Primary Witness of day three)

The Tenth 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 afternoon and thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. Thank you for leaving all you were doing and coming to tell the Liberian people what happened to you. The Commissioners and the people of Liberia are all here to listen t
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