Harper City: Day 4

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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 her testimony.

Twenty-fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Annie Nyangbeh
(First Primary Witness of day four)

The First 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 morning and thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. This thing we are doing is to find a lasting peace in our country, so that we can not make the mistake we made before. So who na come to help us do this work, you are a good citizen, because this will make war not to come in this country again.

Primary Witness: Thank you.

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer and I doing business.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born 1959


The 1990 war when it came the NPFL made the announcement that we should not leave any Krahn people in any time, they say if the meet them there they will burn the town. We the town people we had one Krahn man there he was a big hunter and we told him to leave the town and he left and went to the cavalla and the people say he should go back to where he came from and he pass the town while we were sleeping and they went in the forest. So the logging people went there and they saw them and they ran away and the people brought their things and say your keeping these Krahn people here so we will burn your town. That is how they started beating us and looting our things, they say we were keeping Krahn people. We told them we drove those people but they still beat us.

Later they say the people in the town should bring all the guns and they started bringing all the guns. They even beat the town chief and the paramount chief and they were forced to bring all the guns. A certain man was there too they beat him until he was about to die, and they beat all the people in the town. The man was sick and he did not survive. Then in 1994 LPC came and they did not do anything. But 2003 MODEL came to our town and started beating us and looting our things. They carry gas to burn but god so fax it and they did not burn our house and they beat all of us. I even had zinc for my house and they took it. Through that time we went in the bush and our children started dying. That what happen to us in the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you very much for giving us information on what happened to you in the war. What was the main town the thing happen?

Primary Witness: In Kaluway.

So the NPFL beat your and they took your things?

Primary Witness: Yes

The LPC came and they did nothing and the MODEL came and beat your and looted your things?

Primary Witness: Yes

Can you remember how many children died?

Primary Witness: More then five.

Were your own children among?

Primary Witness: Yes three of my grand children died that time.

Commissioner Stewart: thank you for sharing your story with us, we are very sorry. Before MODEL, who was the big man of the NPFL in the area?

Primary Witness: I can't remember their name because they were calling their soldier name.

Can you remember the soldier name?

Primary Witness: One man one, bone cracker and all kinds of names.

Did MODEL born house and rape people or force young men to join them?

Primary Witness: They no burn people or rape but they force one boy to join them but he na join them.

Did they force you to carry loads?

Primary Witness: They force us to carry their loads.

Commissioner Dolopei: what is the

Primary Witness: Diah Smith, Francis Nenaweh and Martha

Commissioner Stewart: how is your family situation now?

Primary Witness: I have a husband and eleven children

Are they all okay now?

Primary Witness: Yes

What kind of problem your had in Maryland from 1980 to 1990.

Primary Witness: The Krahn people were giving us hard time. If you go in the market and you hear car sound and you not move on the road they will beat you so when the freedom fighter came we were happy.

What happen when the LPC came?

Primary Witness: When they came they were good first but later they were good, nut our town na on the road so we not see it too much.

Before the war how was the relation between the Greebo and the Krahn?

Primary Witness: Before the war every body was alright.

Chairman: thank you ma, you finish giving us all the information you know and we appreciate it. You have done your part as a citizen and we tell you thank you for all you have said. You have talk for all the women in your town who shame to come and those who don't have the opportunity to come and talk. If there is anything else on your mind now you can say it.

Primary Witness: Yes because our school house we have in the town is small for the children and there is no zinc, and we wanted to build hospital and school house but the people carry it so the help I want is your should help us for our zinc and we the town women your should help us so we can make our business.

Okay mama that is a good recommendation. You can now go. Thank you.


Twenty-sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Beatrice Wesley
(Second Primary Witness of day four)

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

Chairman: Good morning and thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. This thing we are doing is to find a lasting peace in our country, so that we can not make the mistake we made before. The Commissioners and the people of Liberia are listening to you at this moment.

Where were you born?

Primary Witness: Harper

Your date of birth?

Primary Witness: 83

What are you doing presently?

Primary Witness: Tailoring

Chairman: The way now come now you are helping all of us to find peace in Liberia so we say thank you very much for coming

Primary Witness: That was in the LPC war one of the fighters they call Take-it-by-force, I was living here with my brother Nyeneh Wessely the war was in the town he went to my brother and say why my brother did not join the Taylor rebel so he say he will killed him, so he was on any one he shoot my brother and he died then he forced me and carried me and took me to be his wife for two weeks. That time for me to pepe self it was hard for me I was feeling pain in me stomach then my mother carry me in Ivory Coast. My mother carried me to hospital. I was Ivory Coast there until I born a boy child, then when I came back again, the same thing happened to me again.

One day I was going to draw water then one soldier boy again called Blackie sent his boys to call me when I refuse he said they must bring me and put me inside for 3 days and all of them used me there again to the extend that up to now I not to myself my womb not bearing I not to myself. My friends can be laughing at me say the people did that to me and I can't born all kinds of things I say that the war do me like that. So that's why I came to the TRC so that they can help me.

Questions from the Commissions

Chairman: We say sorry yah, we know during the war the fighters took advantage of the women. All over the world ever body knows, this why we have special program for women and children because we know that they were venerable and this did not only happened to you but thousand of other women through out our country.

That the only name you know for Take-it-by-force?

Primary Witness: Yes.

When you see them you know him?

Primary Witness: Yes but he died, in New Kru town he went to steel zinc and killed him.

What about Blackie?

Primary Witness: That his soldier did it to me to me he sent his soldiers on me.

You know where he is now?

Primary Witness: They say he in Zwedru during MODEL war he was in Pleebo.

Commissioner Coleman: Was the child the result of those experiences?

Primary Witness: No that

How children you have now?

Primary Witness: One child.

How old is he?

Primary Witness: 5yrs

How old are you?

Primary Witness: I was borne 83

Commissioner Syllah: What was your age at the time they killed your brother?

Primary Witness: I don't but that time I don't know man business.

Commissioner Washington: If you see Blackie you will know him?

Primary Witness: Yes

Commissioner Stewart: Since then you ever went hospital?

Primary Witness: No, so my stomach still giving me problem.

How old was your brother?

Primary Witness: I don't know he was my big brother

Did your brother have children?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where are they?

Primary Witness: They are here with us.

Did your family bury his remains?

Primary Witness: No he got rotten

Where did they kill him?

Primary Witness: Tubman station

Where is your mother?

Primary Witness: She is here

Your live together?

Primary Witness: Yes, but she still worrying about my stomach.


Were you going to school before yes?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where is your father?

Primary Witness: In Ivory Coast

Are your mother and father together?

Primary Witness: No

When did he go to Ivory Coast?

Primary Witness: During the war.

How is your family now?

Primary Witness: Fine when that thing happened to me I went Ivory Coast and when I came back I was living with my big sister too and she too they killed her too in Pleebo in the MODEL war.

You know who killed her?

Primary Witness: No, but that MODEL.

You know what time?

Primary Witness: That in MODEL war

How your surviving right now?

Primary Witness: No work we can find kiss meat before we eat but me I living with my grand ma and the other children live my mother.

Which NGO you doing the Tailoring under?
Primary Witness: That part of the DDRR program.

After training what you want to do?

Primary Witness: Today I am graduating they are waiting for me at the office now.

Ok congratulations very good!

Commissioner Coleman: Why didn't your father carry your with him?

Primary Witness: I don't know they say he and my ma were in confusion.

Where is the baby pa?

Primary Witness: He died in Ivory Coast, so every man I border with they will say you who can't born what I doing with you.

You ever went to hospital since then?

Primary Witness: That Ivory Coast my mother carried me since then now no

Chairman: what is your Ma name?

Primary Witness: Chaylie Wessely

Your father?

Primary Witness: Tourel Freeman

Chairman: You are doing great thing in your live you are a good example and we congratulate you on your graduation day today, we are to go all around the country to understand what happened to people and recommend to government what must be done for the victims and what must be done to those who was doing these bad things and also recommend to government to avoid war so thank you very and keep up the faith.

Primary Witness: Last word: I want you help me especially my medical attentions.


Twenty-seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Beatrice Merriam
(Third Primary Witness of day four)

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: Good morning and thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. This thing we are doing is to find a lasting peace in our country, so that we can not make the mistake we made before. The Commissioners and the people of Liberia are listening to you at this moment.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: January 1st, 1973

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: Business

Primary Witness: I have already forgiven those that did what they did to us, so that is why I came to the TRC. in 1995, in April the first group that came at that time I was in the IVORY COAST when they came so I never knew their reaction, but the second time when they came I was in Harper on Revis Street and I was eight months pregnant and had a two years old child with me.

Then the came they enter the city around 12 mid day and when I heard the firing sound I woke up and I said Mr. Thompson they said LPC is on the town, and he said when they came they did nothing to anybody and you cant carry all the children. In the period of 2 hours I came out and saw 2 gentleman coming with arms and I went in side a they came and knock the door and said these are the asses we are looking for and they took me and my son and put us in prison, we were 32 there. The general came and said your know me and we said no and he said I am General Satan and I am here to kill everybody. I said Mr. Thompson you said they were not going to kill us and I was afraid.

The man set example on Dr. Cooper grand mother and she refuse and the man said I wail kill you and she was praying and the man shot her. He came and said you were here first he said yes and he said who is this lady and he said it is my wife. He carried us outside with my child and the man. My spirit was out and he said if you cry I will kill you. He put me in jail and he took one lady child and threw the child on the ground and the child die and he took my child and he look at the child and he said this child and my child resemble so you will not die. Out of the 32 before the next morning we were 16. Then he went to the border, and one of his security said that belle you have that boy child inside you bet me and I said I can't bet you.

Then one of them carry me and he said why did you stay here and I said I am pregnant and I could not go and he said I should give him water to take bath and he said if I go in the bath room you will run and I said no and he said I should give him money before I can go and I gave him 1000 and he took me to Huffman station and I went in the bush and I had the child. So this child for every time the months come she can jerk. That is why I decide to bring this child to the TRC, so that they can find solution to the problem. Thank you.

Chairman: Thank you very much for taking a giant step forward and the concern about the future of your child that is what every good mother does. We appreciate you coming to tell your story. The commissioners will ask you some questions: where is the two years old child?

Primary Witness: He is home.

Is he the one with the problem?

Primary Witness: No it is the girl who has the problem.

Commissioner Coleman: thank you for sharing your experience. When was your daughter born?

Primary Witness: May 14

What condition was the moon in at the time?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Where is your husband?

Primary Witness: He is in the Ivory Coast

How did you get separated?

Primary Witness: It is due to the war.

Is he an Ivorian or a Liberian?

Primary Witness: He is a Liberian.

Is she in school?

Primary Witness: No she is not schooling, we try to register her but when she is in the class the jerking can start and when we were in Ivory Coast the IRC was helping us and they said when she was born she had brain problem.

Commissioner Syllah: when you deliver the child were you the only one in the bush?

Primary Witness: People were there but I was alone on my side, but people came there to help me.

You said when the child can be jerking?

Primary Witness: Yes when she be sitting down she can say the thing coming, and some people say that traditional thing.

Commissioner Dolopei: thank you for coming to the TRC, your story is very pitiful and we are very sorry for what you went through. What is the name of husband?

Primary Witness: George Thompson.

Where is your mother?

Primary Witness: They killed my mother, but I never knew, it is the people that were there that came and told me and when they explain it I knew them and when I went to Grand Gedeh I came across them, and he went to my friend and told her that he wanted me and I told her that I will agree to him so that I can revenge and she said don't do that you are a Christian and she said she will tell him and he came and apologize and he brought people to me and they beg me and I forgive them. Even the man who wanted to kill my son the Satan (Paulson Galteh of the LPC) man I saw him and I went to him and told him what he did he was in jail, but I have forgiven all of them.

Commissioner Washington: thank go for you to be able to come and tell your story. Do you know where he is now?

Primary Witness: I don't know where he is now but during Charles Taylor regime he was in prison?

Do you know what time it was?

Primary Witness: 2001, 2002 and 2003.

You also spoke of the man who killed your mother?

Primary Witness: Yes I saw him he was a doctor and he wanted me.

Is he the same Paulson Galteh?

Primary Witness: No he was called Doctor, what is his common name.

Where was your mother living at the time before being killed?

Primary Witness: She was living in Harper and she was trying to escape and she was met on the high way and that is how she was killed.

You have only 2 children now?

Primary Witness: No I have 3 children.

Commissioner Stewart: we want to say sorry for what happened and we are happy that you are able to forgive the people who did these things to you. How far were you from the time of delivering?

Primary Witness: Two more weeks to reach nine months.

Did you feel any kind of pain in your stomach?

Primary Witness: I can have dreams sometimes and anytime the thing happen to my daughter I can remember all the thing that happened to me.

Between the time you went in the bush and the time you deliver, did you have the same dreams?

Primary Witness: Yes I never use to sleep sound and I was suffering.

When you went to the hospital did you explain this to the doctor?

Primary Witness: I did not tell the doctor but when the things started happening and they ask me and I explain to them before they knew what happened and they said there was no doctor to do the work on the child.

Why is she sent back from school?

Primary Witness: Because of what the situation is doing to her. She can say that she is seeing something.

Commissioner Coleman: you said when the people came they said you're the one we looking for, you know why they were saying that?

Primary Witness: He said when they came to Harper they came with peace first but they people join CT so when they came back again they came to kill everybody.

What happened to the other 16 person that were in the prison?

Primary Witness: They killed them, before killing anybody the will bring us outside and they will kill the person and they will ask us to laugh.

What was your experience during the time of MODEL?

Primary Witness: During that time I could not make it aging, I was in the Ivory Coast

Chairman: Thank you very much, you are one fortunate victim who met the perpetrators and they came to you and said sorry for what they did and you forgive them. We are very grateful to you for coming to tell us your story. Just incase you know where they are or you met them, you should encourage them to come to the TRC, for this will be the true reconciliation. For the child we thank you for bringing her, in our mandate we were told to give special attention to women and children and so we shall report her case. They have been victim in the war and so their situation is very special in our work. What you have said has contributed a lot to our work.

You said General Satan was in Prison and you met him, which prison?

Primary Witness: It was the Salt beach, I had a fried that was in the Charles Tailor group and I use her to go there and she did not know why I was going there until I express myself to him and she said that is why you brought me here.


End of Day Four of the TRC Public Hearings in Maryland County


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