Cestos City: Day 1

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The First day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Tuesday April 1, 2008 at the Cestos City Hall, Rivercess County. The Hearings session started with the Commissioners of the TRC being ushered into their seats followed by a display from the students of the county and the singing of the national anthem the audience. The TRC County Coordinator for the county was called upon to introduce members of the TRC and the County Authority present at the occasion. This was followed by a speech from the Superintendent of the county who was represented by the County Inspector after which the representative of the Traditional Chiefs and Elders of the County presented Kola Nut to the Commissioners signifying their support to the process. The Chairman rounded it up with his welcome speech and introduced the Commissioners of the TRC to the audience after which he declared open the Hearings Process.

Welcome Statement by the County Inspector: Well, we want to thank our young people this morning; we know it is not easy to wake up early this morning, they started this thing. we ourselves, it was something that we should have been there, on the Commission this morning, on this rainy day, this rainy morning, so we can just match here.

But thank you for your effort, this shows that you have represented your county and your very selves. So we want to thank you as you have come, we want you to be patient right in there as we want you to match right through there, when you get in there, make sure what you exhibited out there, I mean from out side there, to prove to the commission in there, that we have come. Thank you very much.

Statement and Presentation of the White Sheet of the County by the Representative of the City Mayoress: Good morning every body, on behalf of the Rivercess County, I welcome the TRC official presence in Rivercess county, I welcome the superintendent of Rivercess county, the NN Agencies here present. On behalf of the county authority and the citizens of the county, I present the sheet of Rivercess to the Chairman, right now the sheet is not here, so I use the white sheet to show that Rivercess citizens have clear heart and their heart have been whole to welcome you here in Rivercess until your departure from Rivercess county. Thank you.

Representative of the Traditional Leaders and Elders: Presentation of Kola nut to the TRC by the traditional authority of the county, by Samuel C. Gbasaygee who welcomed the Commission to the county and said their stay in the county is highly welcome and the support of the elders and traditional council was pledged to the Commission.

Good morning everybody, this land of Liberia is always represented by the elders and we have not forgotten our traditions. So our tradition is still in existence. So right here we want to present the Kola nuts and the white egg as token of appreciation. We are saying we appreciate the effort of TRC. Even though we have peace, but they are backing our peace. And s, we welcome them, who speaking, my name is Samuel C. Gbasaygee, I do this for and on behalf of the elders. I thank you.

The Office of the Superintendent: was represented by the County Inspector who welcomed the members of the Commission and pledged the support of the County Authority most especially in the area of security. He stressed that the work of the Commission can not go on with out the support of all Liberians, as such the County Authority is willing and ready to work along with the Commission together with the people of the county.

Good morning everybody, well, as you heard from the group MC, he said the superintendent is not here, but I am the county inspector and acting as the superintendent. So I want to talk to you on behalf of the honorable Bob Ramsy Zeata who has gone, who happen to be in Buchanan, which is the superintendent of Buchanan Grand Bassa County, and he has ask me to do this for him.

And I want to take this time, firstly to thank God for the time, that our road is not perfect, we know the road condition in the entire country is not good but they were able to reach to us here safely and we want to thank do for given this time, to all of us that our people were able to reach us. And we want to say one or two words. It is important, we as Liberians, it is important to us after all we have gone through, and today by the grace of God, we were able to have peace. This peace is not given to us by the barrel of guns or by the guns, it is just as you see people sitting here today, people sat discus and compromise it and we were able to have peace. But, that that peace that we have must have some little backing. And the backing as some one said is the TRC.

The problems we had, the sour period we went through in our country, the peace can be durable only when the TRC is supported by all of us, well, most of the time, we hear people saying this is some you know to bring back our old wounds, I am sorry to say, but for me, I am always there to tell the people that the TRC is one of the best instrument that we can use for our peace, to be eternal, even though nothing is eternal but to be long lasting. So, for us in Rivercess, we want to welcome this group, we want to welcome the chairman and his commissioners and in fact the entire troop.

This group that ha come to us, we can assure you, that we will do everything possible as long as you are here, that you will get protection, whether it is moral, whether it is security, what ever it is, because we are whole heartedly holding up the idea of the TRC. It is this TRC that will carry all of through, it is this TRC that when even we shall have left this world, we think our children without thinking about the any thing.

So I want to thank you very much, as we are here, we and our children them, we say please be attentive, here are number of things you can learn here, that if you listen carefully, you will benefit from.


The Chairman: Thank you Mr. Hearing Official and Good morning to every one. Honorable Acting Superintendent, elders of this land, NP agencies, and member of the TRC, we want to Thank the Almighty God, we give him the glory for making this occasion what it is at this movement. We thank God, because our country is faced with a lot of challenges as well as the TRC, but despite all of that, as the superintendent said, we all have come safely and I thank the Almighty God, and we give him the praise for this time. The TRC process, as the superintendent said is for the every Liberian. And despite all we have heard, despite, all of the conflicts, we at the TRC are confident that the TRC, and as you support the process, and as it is requested by the TRC, and certainly will participate. We started this process from Monrovia, and we have been to few counties and now we are here in Rivercess. And from here we will move on to other counties. Grand Bassa, Gbarpolu, Lofa, Bong and all the remaining Counties.

The purpose is to give all of us, we the ordinary people, the chance who were victimized, who suffered, we want to give you the opportunity to share your experiences with the TRC. What we doing is documenting the history of the country. If two person had a conflict and in our case we fought for more then 14 years, we cant just say let bye gone be bye gone, and if we do that, the mistakes from the past will follow us into the future, and then we are ,likely to have similar mistakes in the future.

And this is why the TRC is looking back, from all our witnesses, to tell where we went wrong and find the solution, so that tomorrow, our country can be free of conflict and free from war. So that the youth and our children can enjoy their future and their lives better. So we want to thank the honorable Superintendent, the city mayor, the elders, and all the citizens of Rivercess County, for welcoming us into your county and pledging your fullest support. We have been here for a little over two days and we enjoy that support. There's been no threat, there's been no mosquito, and the city is very quite, calm, and welcoming. Today you all will join us in praying for the peace and reconciliation process in Liberia.

The fact that we are here, as the superintendent said it was established some where, to come together to find a way that we will never have war in Liberia again. And we pray that at that at the end of the TRC process, we all will say, never, never again. Thank you very much and welcome.


First Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Jerome Smith
(First Primary Witness of day one)

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: We want to say thank for come the process intended to foster the reconciliation process in Liberia and we see this the way forging away having said that we have asked you preliminary questions after that you will continue with your testimonies and right after that the commissioners will ask you few question for clarification.

Your name again?

Primary Witness: Jerome Smith

Do you live in Rivercess?

Primary Witness: Yes sir

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I work in the office of the development superintendent as a draftsman

When were you born?

Primary Witness: December 29, 1959

Primary Witness: In came from Monrovia to come back to work for my people on March 16 1990 a month and two weeks after on the 31st of May the NPFL got on our mission and they scatted all over and took over our transmission two weeks later a cousin of me called Philip brought my father wrist watch and his radio on the dormitory on Open Bible Mission and he say the rebel took my father took away and I went and told the principal that I was coming to come and see what was happening and I started going to with one of my friends. When we were coming we fell in an ambush and my friend that I was traveling with he knew the rebel so they say we should go back while going back we saw a procession of rebels who accompanied us to the mission. After some time I receive news that my father was among the five people that were killed up to now I have see him.

Then we learnt the LPC was coming and had to run away to Bassa I walked from Rivercess through the bushes to Buchanan where I took refuge finally. The very day I left it was the same day that our house my father house now was burnt.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: which mission that you mention?

Primary Witness: The Open Bible Mission

Your father name?

Primary Witness: David smith

Who was here?

Primary Witness: He was working with the local administration here for government.

Do you do know why he was adopted and killed?

Primary Witness: They were looking for government employees and government officials all of the five that were killed were working for the local government here.

Commissioner Konneh: what were the positions of your father and the others that were killed with him?

Primary Witness: He was the Public Works agent but the other I know them by name but there their positions they were David Smith my father, Joe Thruce, Bruce Nelson, Lawrence Nimley and John Bestman.

Do you remember the names of some of the fighters?

Primary Witness: No only one they called Super Killer.

Since then have you seen him?

Primary Witness: No the arrest was carried on by one John Guan also known as Noriega.

Did you go around to see where the bodies where?

Primary Witness: No up to now

Do you remember any other atrocities by those people in this area?

Primary Witness: The had a gate about 7 ? miles from here they killed one Thomson Jacob they killed his father and in the Bassa tradition we shave our head when he did when he reached at that gate they say he was one new recruit and that's how they killed him.

Did they recruit young people?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you remember girls and women being used as sex slaves?

Primary Witness: Yes they use to go in the bush and villages.

Did you see Noriega with your own eye?

Primary Witness: Yes they had a gate right by my father house by then he had died I used to go and speak the widow of my friend who they killed I was working in a clinic where use to treat them sometime. And he Noriega had a son Emmanuel I used to carry candy and banana for him so he started liking me then one day he himself called me and told me and he said why you did not tell me I say but no need he said if he had lives or control over life he would have given my father life back but I told him not to kill any other innocent lives in the that community again.

Beside that did you see any change in him?

Primary Witness: Yes psychologically he use to be embarrassment and I went around telling the people they things the people use to take from us by force when they come let give to them peacefully.

How many fictions came here?

Primary Witness: LPC came here on the 23rd of October of 1992 and they adopted some people and killed some they carried on lots of killing one Paul from Ziatown he was a little bit crazy so they say he was a rebel and they tied him on the tree and they only cut the two veins from his throat, model later came.

Who was commander of LPC here?

Primary Witness: He was one Wulo Kahn, also known as ?thick go' he use to play for Defense Invader.

What about MODEL time?

Primary Witness: By then I have gotten enough experience so I could not wait for them

Commissioner Bull: where did they statement takers take your statement?

Primary Witness: Right adjacent the Cell com towel here in Rivercess.

What year you became aquatinted with Noriega?

Primary Witness: June 13 1990 by the same time my father got killed around the 21st of August 1990.

Is it true that you worked with Noriega as a project planner?

Primary Witness: When NPFL capture this place they establish the NPRAG and they had represented from this part called the great Liberia when they came here I was called it took me two weeks to consult with the elders and because I was in the capture area of the NPFL so I came and asked them if I was the only in this area to occupy that area, then I asked is it not a crime to worked for government and I asked what would be my pay.

What did NPRAG means?

Primary Witness: I don't know

What year and how long you worked there?

Primary Witness: June 1991 up to 1993

In what position?

Primary Witness: As Project planner

Who you were directly under?

Primary Witness: It was the then superintendent one Hon. Henry B. Sobier

What was your function as project planner?

Primary Witness: I usually have meeting with one community to another I though there was need to burnt a market ground so in Dasso Town in 1992 we built a 40 hut market grounds and that was one of my undertaking.

During that time there was a human right abuse by the NPRAG?

Primary Witness: Well we continue to here about other killings but has conscious can set me I could not see Noriega himself involved in any killings, but we heard about other killings and other things. I still here form 1990 and 1994 Feb. I left Feb. 25

And where did you go?

Primary Witness: I went to Bassa.

What were you doing in Bassa?

Primary Witness: I was displaced in Bassa first I was on Bassa High campus from Feb. to June that year by 1995 July I was opportune to start working as a teacher at Maratha Preparatory school the Proprietor is one Marlise Rose.

Do you know the whereabouts Noriega now?

Primary Witness: After the war when I came I was working with Red Cross Rivercess branch the upstairs where I was living my spirit use to be heavy to sleep there I spent two nights out of the one morning I met Noriega with the boys and told the local authority and they told him to go and the next time was in Sinoe where they say there was outburst of gold and diamond after some time they people were running from there that there were Jinni in the area I saw in Gba town and that was in last time I saw him in 1995.

You have not heard anything about him then?

Primary Witness: I heard that he was in Nimba.

Doing what?

Primary Witness: I think he was a immigration but the uniform that I saw him in.

Commissioner Dolopei: do you know where your father and others that died with him were buried?

Primary Witness: They say they put them one grave the tie right behind the TRC office now, I have not gone there

Is it a known atrocity here in Cestos City?

Primary Witness: Yes most of the people around know about it.

Commissioner Stewart: can you remember of the top commanders of the fictions that came here?

Primary Witness: For NPFL: Noriega or John Guan, Patrick a Burkina-bib, one Junior Nupeh, Dolo, James Payleh, Varney.

Have you seen this Burkina-bid around here?

Primary Witness: Yes when they open the OTC he was one of the securities there one time we rode together that was when he said he was with OTC. For LPC, they were under one Wulu Kahn or ?thick go', one Victor Brueah a Grebo-Krhan, one Edward Garlay deputy commander for Wulu Kahn and Richard Garlay called Red Devil.

What about MODEL?

Primary Witness: By then I was out

Commissioner Syllah: did you ask your cousin where he got your father watch and radio from?

Primary Witness: Yes his father is a relative to my father when they took my father they family went around he went to the room and he took the watch and radio and when to tell me, they were just like brother to us we all were together.

What you happen to your other siblings?

Primary Witness: Two three days later I went to the house I met them there.

Was there any special area here in Rivercess they killed people?

Primary Witness: Right in front of the store that right opposite the guest house there they use to kill people.

Did you work with Noriega?

Primary Witness: No I did not work for Noriega I worked for the NPRAG.

How was it like especially knowing that I was Noriega who killed your father?

Primary Witness: I have read a lot of book where I learnt that in a revolution there have to bloodshed and not could identify themselves to be killed.

So there were no shooting then in this area?

Primary Witness: No there use to be shooting but we got humane to it.

Commissioner Konneh: did you experience a case where people identify people as government?

Primary Witness: Yes there is a gentlemen called Solo Beah, who was said to be associated to the killing my father.

Is he still around?

Primary Witness: Yes in this city.

Commissioner Bull: Daniel Grisby superintendent and Henry Sobiyea development superintendent what happen to them?

Primary Witness: For Daniel Grisby when they NPFL was retreating, Grisby left the town and with in that time they ground that came they came with Charles Bright when he came I was not able to see Grisby and they very NPFL killed Grisby. Mr. Sobiyea is here presently and he is presently in this gathering.

Who did were you paid?

Primary Witness: We were fortunate to get money we work for some time and there was a fellow that came and they say he was the paymaster and that was only time we got something they called honorarium.

How much was it?

Primary Witness: They give me 1,200 JJ by then I have worked for more then one year.

Commissioner Dolopei: are people still using the soap tree to make soap and the sea water to make salt?

Primary Witness: No not now

Chairman: we have heard your story, is there any thing you have to say to the Commission before you leave?

Primary Witness: it just occurred to me that one fellow worked with Wulu Kahn they called Edward Kahn and the MP commander was called Vleyea Kidi and the NPLF also killed my father elder brother in Grand Bassa he was called Wehgar smith, then for what you have just asked I think for the very first time to sit with people to tell people I have been feeling I wan to tell you people thanks for coming to come and listen to us as we vent out our felling and thanks to the counselor who counseled me of come here and at the same time the war left our communities destroyed all of the community structures are down if the commission can further look ahead to see the need to look at community we would appreciate it. Thank you very much.


Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Dorris Zeo
(Second Primary Witness of day one)

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 welcome to the TRC public hearings and for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: 1981 October 2nd

Primary Witness: During the LPC war that time we were in the hiding bush, Chrispy and his group went there and grab my sister husband and killed him and his blood wasted on of us and they carry me to kill me and they lie me on the body then Chrispy man say let forget about her and they left me and God help me I na die. When I saw the boy the thing can be on my mind and when the TRC come I told them the story that is all I have to say.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: When was it the month?

Primary Witness: July

Was it the time the LPC came?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where were you then?

Primary Witness: I was living across the river

What was the name of your sister husband who was killed?

Primary Witness: Mumkpeh Kunweh

Do you know why they killed him?

Primary Witness: No I don't know

How did they kill him?

Primary Witness: The cut off his head and parts were moved from the body and they brought if and wasted it before us.

What was his tribe?

Primary Witness: Bassa

Did he fight?

Primary Witness: No he was not a fighter

Do you know their names?

Primary Witness: General Crazy was their commander and the boy that carried Crazy there is called Matthew

Commissioner Konneh: Where is Mathew?

Primary Witness: He is living in Monrovia

He the one that killed the boy?

Primary Witness: Yes

And your went in Buchanan?

Primary Witness: Yes, we run to Buchanan

Who did this to your uncle?

Primary Witness: His name Matthew. His other name the called Crazy; he the one
that killed the boy

Commissioner Dolopei: So you and your sister went across the river?

Primary Witness: yes

Who is Matthew?

Primary Witness: They called him crazy, he the one that killed my sister husband, he also come from the same town.

Do you know whether he is working?

Primary Witness: No

When you see him you will know him?

Primary Witness: Yes, when I see him, I will know him.

Where is your sister?

Primary Witness: She is in Monrovia

She got children or child for her husband?

Primary Witness: Yes, we get one boy.

What is the name of the child?

Primary Witness: His name is Ojuku

Is he going to school?

Primary Witness: No, no support, Father and Grand Father lived across.
Where he live?

Commissioner Stewart: How many fighters went to your town?

Primary Witness: They were plenty, about 7;

Your brother-in-law, only person killed?

Primary Witness: Only my brother was killed

Why they killed him?

Primary Witness: I don't know why they decided to killed him.

They take people them with the?

Primary Witness: They took things and carried; all the girls run in away, only my
sister, me and the old people were there.

They take young girls?

Primary Witness: No, they never carry anybody; all the girls run in the bush

They burnt houses?

Primary Witness: No, they did not burn any house.
They carried somebody with them?

Primary Witness: Every body ran in the bush, only my sister, me and other old, old people.

Chairman: we want to tell you thank you for coming to the Commission to tell your experiences, and we also want to say sorry for all you went through. Is there anything last you have to tell the Commission before you leave?


Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Comfort Tete Wreh
(Third Primary Witness of day one)

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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: good afternoon and welcome to the TRC public hearings and for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia. we tell you thank you for coming, this is work that the people of Liberia and the international community told us to do and we are moving around from county to county to do.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Cestos City

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: I am planting cassava

When were you born?

Primary Witness: 1969

Primary Witness: The thing that happened 1994 the beat my pa and they killed him, in February 1994. The same 94 October the beat my husband and they killed him. Killing my husband, the arrested him and they carry him, they arrested me too and they carry me, they tied me and they raped me. (Showed he marks on the hand to the audience) this caused me to have stomach complain.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: up till now your stomach is still hurting?

Primary Witness: Yes

Have you had children since then?

Primary Witness: Yes

Have you gone to any hospital?

Primary Witness: I don't have money so I have not gone to the hospital

Since then have you been tasking country medicine?

Primary Witness: Yes and the pain is still there

What is the name of your husband?

Primary Witness: Savige

Do you know why they killed your father?

Primary Witness: It is because of the fish he had on the dryer, he was a fisherman and he had the fish on the dryer and he said he was not going to gave it to them and they grab him and they beat him until he died, I was there and I saw it.

Are they the same group that killed your husband?

Primary Witness: No it was the jungle 18 that killed my father and the jungle lion killed my husband

Commissioner Konneh: these people that did the killings, do you know where these people are living?

Primary Witness: No, I don't know about them.

Since then have you heard about the other group?

Primary Witness: I na hear anything about them

What is the name of Commander of the group that killed your husband?

Primary Witness: Albert Sumeh?

How many people went there during the killing?

Primary Witness: More then 15 people

Do you know their names?

Primary Witness: They get soldier's name, not their own names. They had cloth devil, different devil and bas soldier.

Who was the commander?

Primary Witness: The commander name was Chief Pump it.

Commissioner Stewart: do you know the commanders of the people that attacked your husband and father?

Primary Witness: They had plenty generals, General Israel, General Gbarnga, General Dragon, General Gballey, and many others.

Where were they?

Primary Witness: They were in Baccusville Sinoe County

Which town are you from?

Primary Witness: Peanday Town Rivercess County

Were they from the town?

Primary Witness: No they can go there all the time

What did they do when they went there?

Primary Witness: They were taking people and burning things and carrying people.

Commissioner Dolopei: We are very sorry for what happened to you and the situation of your father and husband. Can you tell us how your husband was killed?

Primary Witness: They accused of having values, because his brother came from Buchanan

Commissioner Syllah: sorry for what happened to you. What happened to you when your husband got killed?

Primary Witness: Nothing happened to me, after they arrested me and tied me then the raped me and today my four children are alive. The stomach complain is still disturbing me today.

Chairman: we want to tell you thank you for coming to tell us what happened to you in the war and the Commissioners are all sorry for the conditions you underwent went. Is there anything last you have to say to the Commissioners before you leave?

Primary Witness: The place I am, I am a widow and I just want the TRC to help me and my children.


Fourth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Precious Karpenoh
(Fourth Primary Witness of day one)

The Fourth 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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: good afternoon and welcome to the TRC public hearings and for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia,

Primary Witness: 1993 we were here LPC came and me and my sister and my pa we were in the house and the LPC came. I was at the LTI and they came and they burned our house down. Then our father say since they are coming here to fight let us go to Buchanan the last rice your have your should cook it so we can go. While we were cooking the MODEL came and they beat us and they took the food and they left. Then our father say we should pack our things and go and while we were going they caught our pa and they started beating him and they tied him then we beg them for long and they free him.

Then we started to go again and we went to one water where we were for one week because no way to cross so later the canoe came and then my father put me on the canoe and say I should cross, my sister and him will cross later. I almost die because the canoe turned over in the water reaching to the end of the crossing point. My father came and we went to Buchanan, later we went to Rivercess and the solders came again and they started beating people and they took all our things. I don't really know the name of the boy and one boy move from there and he raped me and I was feeling pain in my stomach from the under part of it.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Do you know the name of the boy?

Primary Witness: No

What group was it?

Primary Witness: MODEL

Was it in Buchanan?

Primary Witness: No it was here

Did he carry you?

Primary Witness: No

Is your father and your sister still alive?

Primary Witness: Yes he is living, he went to the hospital.

Commissioner Konneh: Madam Witness, we want to say thank you for coming and we are sorry for everything that happen to you. But I want to ask you question, even though you said you don't know the boys?

Primary Witness: No, that was Krahn boys.

And you said that time you and your husband y'all were together?

Primary Witness: Yes.

And y'all still in good terms, every thing ok?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Bull: At that time, you said you had a little girl, can you tell me her name?

Primary Witness: Her name?

Who?

Primary Witness: Bartee, and she in Monrovia.

Who she staying with in Monrovia?

Primary Witness: Her aunty.

But you know what year this time happen to you?

Primary Witness: No.

Sorry ya?

Commissioner Stewart: Thank you for coming to share your experience with us. Since this thing happened, have you been to the hospital?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You say you don't remember their name?

Primary Witness: Yes.

But can you see any of them?

Primary Witness: No.

That was LPC?

Primary Witness: No, MODEL.

Commissioner Syllah: Madam Witness, we want to say sorry and thank you for coming to the TRC.

Chairman: Your testimony is ended, but do you want to say any thing to us?

Primary Witness: What I have to say is for y'all to help me with money to make my business.

Chairman: Thank you. You are a strong lady, that's why that didn't hold you down. We want to say thank you very much.


Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Samuel B. Toe Sr.
(Fifth Primary Witness of day one)

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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: good afternoon and welcome to the TRC public hearings and for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia.

Do you live in Cestos?

Primary Witness: No I live across Cestos

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer

Your date of birth?

Primary Witness: April 15 1948

Primary Witness: It was on the 19 of July 1999 when Taylor brought the war in Monrovia. I was in my house when the captured red-light, I have my house behind victory chapel and we were told to walk to the University of Liberia. We were there and the Prince Johnson soldiers from Bentol way came and attack Taylor soldiers. Because of the gun sound I took my wife in handing in a town in Ma Baclay, there where I was going I was on my way to Ma Bacaly I met four Geo guys, they all were Taylor soldiers and they asked me where are you going and I told them and they said we are going to firestone but we don't know the bush road and I told them you are welcome we can go. while on the way they ask me what is your name and I said Samuel B. Toe and the second and one of them asked me for my tribe and I said I was a Kru and the other guy said I was not a Kru, there was no tribe in Liberia called Kru but that I was a Krahn and they asked me to identified myself so I showed them my ID cars told them I was working with WAGA and they tied me and took all my money I had $210 which I wanted to use and take my wife to Rivercess and I was left in the bush to die. I was in the bush for three days and three nights and one of my friends called John Kanga came and met me there and freed me. My children it is painful because children who you can born came and treated me like this because people can be laughing at me and it is very painful, this is what happened to me in the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you for sharing your experience with us we want to say sorry for what happened to you. All of what happened to you was wrong because Liberia is a free country and every tribe has the right to go everywhere. The incident you talked about was it 1999 or 1990?

It is 1999.

Was it at the red-light?

Sorry it was July 19, 1990

And you were going to the University Fendell Campus at Ma-Baclay?

Yes

The four soldiers that were asking you to take them to firestone they were all of the NPFL right?

Exactly

Did you finally tale them to firestone?

No we did not reach to the place where I was carrying them it was on the way, half way between the way then they started asking me questions and the tied me and put me in the bush for me to die. And if no body was there I would have died.

Do you know their names?

I do not know their names because they did not call their names.
Commissioner Konneh: You said your leg can be dragging, is it as a result of the war you talked about?

Primary Witness: Yes and people can be laughing at me because of this.

Where do they laugh at you?

Primary Witness: All over, in Monrovia, in my home town and in Nimba.

Commissioner Bull: you have to ignore them for they do not know what they are doing. It is the grace of God that saved you. Those children who like to mug should go into the bible and read the story of Elijah. We want to tall God thank you for sparing your life from Monrovia and that your name will be written in our history.

Commissioner Dolopei: Sorry for what happened to you, you did not buy the situation. You mentioned that you have the marks on your hands; I want you to show the marks to the psychosocial people around there so that they can capture the marks on the hands.

Hearings Officer describes what he saw: above the both elbows is a round scar which is as a result of the tying.

We want to thank you for coming to say what happened to you. Some people may see you dragging your leg, but today they know what happened to you.

Commissioner Stewart: you said you were tied and they threw you in the bush and left you there to die, how did this person see you?

Primary Witness: He went in the bush to cut palm nets and he saw me and he knows I was working with WADA and know who I was so he freed me.

Were you crying for help while there?

Primary Witness: Yes I was telling people to come to help me and no body could come and help me for three days and three nights and I was not to my self because nobody came to help me.

Did it rain while you were there?

Primary Witness: I could not feel anything.

Did you recognize him when he freed you?

Primary Witness: I did not recognize him until after three and when he was explaining the story before I know how I was freed.

Did they tied you leg?

Primary Witness: They did not tie it directly, they cross ropes over my legs from other directions that were pressing on my legs from other corners that were pressing on my legs and I could not use them.

Have you seek medical attention?

Primary Witness: No I have not but if the TRC can do it I will appreciate it.

Commissioner Syllah: you said you were going to you wife, where is she?

Primary Witness: She died in 2006 at Chalesburg in Buchanan.

How did you receive treatment when you were saved?

Primary Witness: The treatment was taken in the African way. They got the leave and put it in the fire and they mach it smoothly and put it on my let until I was brought to Buchanan.

Chairman: the name of the fellow who rescue you?

Primary Witness: John Kangar

Where is he presently?

Primary Witness: He is now selling in Red-light; I was there with him presently.

Can you tell us a little about yourself prior to the incident?

Primary Witness: I use to brush farm by myself which I can't do now. Some times I use to write my own letter but now it is my son who can do it.

You said they use to dress the devil to meet you can you address that?

Primary Witness: I was a procurement officer for the company I was working for so I use to put my coming on the radio and so they use to bring the devil out to receive me because I had money. But right now I don't have money and all the people have forsaken me.

Is there any last word that you have for the TRC before leaving?

Primary Witness: I want to tell the TRC tank you for making me to tell my feelings to the people. It is said that we should forgive those who offended you. So I want the TRC to help me to fix my leg because it is hurting me, and people are laughing at me.


Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Mamie Kaydeh
(Sixth Primary Witness of day one)

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. She was accompanied by an interpreter. She was accompanied by a translator.

Chairman: good afternoon and welcome to the TRC public hearings and for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Mamie Kaydeh.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Gbarplozon.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer

What do you plant as a farmer?

Primary Witness: Rice and cassava

Can you remember when you were born?

Primary Witness: I don't know exactly when I was born but I know my age

What's you age?

Primary Witness: I am 64.

Primary Witness: What brought me here today when the war came. The soldiers came to us in the town; we escape and ran in the bushes. They burn our houses and took all of our belongings were in the hose. They kill my brother; they kill 6 people, 5 males and 1 female in the town. When we came from the bush we met the dead bodies. For that reason I was traumatized.

They kill my brother for that reason when I saw it, after the worry I develop pressure. I was dry. And after that my husband and I fled to Grand Bassa. Dew to the walking, I got sick and cant make farm so that all happen to me during the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we to say sorry and we say and thank you for coming to sharing your experience with us. We will ask you few question and we hope you bear patient with us. The first question is what time did this happen?

Primary Witness: No, I can remember the time.

Where did it happen?

Primary Witness: In Gbarplozon.

You remember any body that die from you?

Primary Witness: only my sister, but the others are my husband relatives.

We wan to say sorry for the death of you relatives and you house that got burn.

Commissioner Konneh: We say thank you for coming to the TRC today. What are the names of the people that died? Can you remember their names?

Primary Witness: James Suckor, Stephen Gaykon Glebo, Blonidod

Is that all?

Primary Witness: Yes, that all I can remember.

Then you said they burn your town?

Primary Witness: Yes, they burn our town and our house.

You said that was two rebels that came there were Taylor rebel and Boiley rebel, so which of the rebels burn your town?

Primary Witness: She say that the rebels but usually when they talk about rebel they are referring to NPFL.

Did they take some of the properties?

Primary Witness: yes, they took our thing, like clothes, money and all our belongings. They looted all our things.

Did they temper with the women and children?

Witness: No, because of fear, we did not stay in the town.

Thank you, first for coming to share your experience with us.

Commissioner Steward: Can you tell us how many times the rebel when to your town?

Primary Witness: First it was LPC, then when LPC left NPFL came later.

So they went there two times?

Primary Witness: The LPC rebels, LPC go there every time. That because of that time NPFL people wrecked our town.

What kind of behavior they carry they carry there?

Primary Witness: They came they say they want to stay in our town, we say no, and they say if we say no, there will kill us. So we say y'all can stay in our town.

What kind of bad things they did there?

Primary Witness: They will take our rice and chicken them and eat it.

Steward: Did they force any body to sleep with them or any thing like that?

Primary Witness: When the thing happen, we all ran in the village, when we came back most of the boys join them.

Did LPC force any girl to be their woman?

Primary Witness: When they came from Grand Bassa, they brought their own women with them.

Can you remember their names?

Primary Witness: It na stay long I can remember but their boss man name is, still go. Because of fright we ran in the bush.

The LPC, how long they stay in the town,

Primary Witness: I can't remember.

They were forcing people to join them; they were forcing people to work for them?

Primary Witness: When ever they came did force the boys to carry their things on the road.

NPFL didn't force any body to be their women?

Primary Witness: I didn't see any body take any body by force, but because of the fear we ran it the bush.

Can you describe this Fred Bernard?

Primary Witness: I didn't see him with my eyes?

SO, the house s that they burn did they kill any body in the house?

Primary Witness: No, MODEl rebel never did any thing bad to us.

Chairman: thanks for coming. All these information you give us will help us the international community to do our work. I want to know all these people that die in the

Primary Witness: Yes, they buried them, the man buried them

You get any thing to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: I want to tell the TRC, since that thing happen, dew to the walking, I can not make farms, and I want some help for my grand children's school fees. I need money to start something in front of my house.

We say thank you, our duty is to listen to what you want, and we will write to the government to help you. So we say thank you, Mr. Interpreter we want to say thank you.


Seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Joseph G. Toe
(Seventh Primary Witness of day one)

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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: good afternoon and welcome to the TRC public hearings and for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia. I will ask you some preliminary questions before you tell us your story.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Bokor Point, across Cestos River

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am a fisherman

When were you born?

Primary Witness: June 23 1968

Primary Witness: It was 1993 December 18 when NPFL came across the water and burnt a village here called Nimgba. When LPC was control Cestos and NPFL was controlling Gballay. They took us across the Cestos River on Friday and we appeal to them that we want to go across back and they let us go on Monday. Then they went for us again they say there looking soldier that LPC now one lady name Nyah was controlling them. So they took my brother Paul and one Mathew Johnson and they brought them down to Cestos. January 1 1994 the carried them behind the store say they will going to killed them because they were soldiers I went to talk to them but still they didn't listen to me it was their boss, called thick go they killed them right behind this tall building here and they went and cut their throat and put their blood in cup and they carried up stairs.

They called me to put my people together they wan to see us in the evening so we put the people together and we went to them they were living to where they have guest house now.

They collected me and brother and 46 other persons they say we were soldiers and they carried us to the old administrative building and they free the 46 others and only me and my brother. So one of my friends went and freed us it was raining and that how we took the bushes and to Miyan beach and got one old canoe and go to Buchanan.

But in Buchanan things were hard so we came across the line to look for food and they killed one of my friends right in front of us.

But right now as I am saying this thing is like you can scar on you foot and you peeling it again right now that's how I am feeling because this was something that I forget about long time but now my mind is fresh on it.

Questions from the commissioners:

Commissioner Syllah: how you brother was killed?

Primary Witness: When the caught they carried him behind this tall building you took at and they tied him and they cut his neck the next morning we saw his body on the beach and that's how buried him.

What was his age?

Primary Witness: He was 15

Do you know why?

Primary Witness: They say he was a rebel

Did he have children?

Primary Witness: No

Who was the lady who was pointing people out?

Primary Witness: She is here in Rivercess

Was she in the fighting force?

Primary Witness: No, she and my brother were in the fighting force.

Was there any problem between she and your brother?

Primary Witness: Yes, I never heard of any problem

Did she come to say I am sorry afterwards?

Primary Witness: I can go to their home in Monrovia and even here in Rivercess, we left because we say it was war.

Can you remember those that did this to you?

Primary Witness: Edward and ?Thick Go' we graduated together in the AFL.

So you yourself are a soldier?

Primary Witness: Yes I was AFL soldier.

Commissioner Stewart: they people that drank your brother blood were they the top commanders?

Primary Witness: Edward was the commander here that day the commander was not here he was in Jappas town.

When did this happen?

Primary Witness: Jan. 1 1994 Friday morning, LPC killed my brothers and Mathews Johnson, and then NPFL killed my friend.

Commissioner Dolopei: how old was Nyah?

Primary Witness: I don't know

She was older than you brother?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I think she did it under tension.

You don't think it was a mistake since you were an old AFL soldier, they may have taken your brother for you?

Primary Witness: No I don't think so they were not looking for AFL soldiers.

Do you know the people who did this?

Primary Witness: Yes they were in schefflin I went to them and they apologize to me but since they took the soldiers from schefflin I don't know where they are now, one Edward and one Saydee.

Commissioner Bull: Between 1989 and 1993 please reflect our memory did you join or identify yourself with any fighting force?

Primary Witness: July 1998 when I graduated I didn't join any fighting force when I left BTC and I came to Rivercess I did not join any fighting.

Where were you 1996?

Primary Witness: I was in BTC.

Who were you living with in BTC?

Primary Witness: Benson Gaye he is in Ivory Coast

When did you leave for Ivory Coast?

Primary Witness: 1997

What was he doing in the BTC?

Primary Witness: He was soldier

Commissioner Konneh: where is Nyah from?

Primary Witness: From here in Rivercess

Was she in town when they put everyone outside?

Primary Witness: They were in different houses when we were sleeping we saw the people come they say they were looking for rebel or soldiers people.

Was your brother an NPFL soldier?

Primary Witness: No

What else did LPC do here in this town?

Primary Witness: I was not in town here LPC brought us here and later we went back and they brought us again and later I escape to Buchanan.

When did you resign?

Primary Witness: After 1990 war

Commissioner Dolopei: how many people died from you?

Did you go on any front and if so how many?

Primary Witness: I was assigned in 72nd firstly and this day they NPFL attack us and they push us to the field.

Who was the commander?

Primary Witness: Col. Jadee

Commissioner Stewart: which field did the NPFL force you out of?

Primary Witness: To 72nd there was a football field in 72nd

Chairman: is there any last word that you have to leave with the Commission before you leave?

Primary Witness: thank you thanks to the counselor who talked to me and I thank you for coming


Eighth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Samuel Outland
(Eighth Primary Witness of day one)

The Eighth 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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: good afternoon and welcome to the TRC public hearings and for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia.

Primary Witness: I gave God the glory to be before the TRC and give my experience. I was living in the area called Smile Town where I was a teacher. 1990 in the month of June while we were in the town a car came from Buchanan with a lot of soldiers and the commander in the car was General Noriega. While going they told some people that they were coming to Cestos to capture the town and I thought I had my family there and if they hurt them who will I blame. So I decided to go after the car and find out what they were going to do there. I went behind the car to see what was happening and there was no one on the road. I met a man at Chalie town and he said there was something going on and he said you can go you will see, and I went and saw a man on the road in Chalie town who was cut up and was on the road. The people were told not to burry him. As I went behind them between Tahun and Gashua Town the car and myself bother and I had to run for my life and while the car was passing they started shooting behind be and as I was running I fell down and a stick juke in my right eye and I was unconscious and after two hours I got up and my eye could not see and I did not know what happened to me. Later I started see little by little and tears and blood was coming from my eyes.

I managed and went to Cestos and I managed to enter my house and saw my wife and explained what happened to me. after that there was no hospital for me to go and seek medical treatment so the only remedy was the African herb and in the process my eye sight started to drop and in 1994 when the LPC entered here I had no option but to flee this place and I walked 2 days from here to Bassa. In 2004 my eyes sight gave up and I could not see. I went to Monrovia and to the cooper clinic and the people said nothing happened to my eye and I told them that from the examination I was told that I can not see with the eyes due to what happened to me. This is what happened to me and the experiences I had during the war. There are many things but this is what happened to me.

Chairman: if there is anything else you have not said or written in the statement, you can feel free and tell us.

In their second coming they said they will

There was a man by the name of Samuel Jacobs I had a girl in Fanti town and while we were sleeping he brought a plastic bag and said the people should put money in the bag and if anybody come out he will fire them. Then there was a girl called Ajuah who made him up and when he came the next day he came to the town and the girl told her father that he was the one who did it so they tied him. Then we in the town felt bad and said they should release the man and they refuse and keep him until the soldier people came before he told them that he was the one who did it. So they people said their law is that they should steel and we should not steel so they fire and killed.

The second one was that they were looking for government workers and the collected five of them and they killed them right in front of the store. When it happened we said if these people are freedom fighters and they are doing theses things we have to go against them secretly. That is the third experience I saw and witness here in Cestos.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Can you remember the name of the five government officials?

Primary Witness: Nelson, Smith, Bestman and another two.

You did not tell us which faction operated in this area you talked about?

Primary Witness: It was the NPFL

Can you tell us which town Thomas Cooker was killed in?

Primary Witness: Chalie Town

Commissioner Syllah: what is the name of your wife?

Primary Witness: Martha Gray Upland

Where is she now

Primary Witness: We are divorce

Where are the children now and what are they doing?

Primary Witness: It is a piety because of the problem four of the children are with the mother and one of them is here with me.

Did this happen after the war?

Primary Witness: Yes

What is the age of the one with you?

Primary Witness: 27

How have life been like?

Primary Witness: I gave God the glory because we the disable people only depend on other people to make life easy for ourselves.

Commissioner Stewart: have the doctors ruled out possibilities for you to regain your sight?

Primary Witness: Surely indeed

Have you tried going to the Mercy Ship to help?

Primary Witness: I have gone there three times and they told me there was no way. My eyes were tested and nothing can happen.

So it was only the NPFL that carry on all the stories you narrated?

Primary Witness: You see what happened, what is written is what you should talk, I only spoke on the NPFL, but the LPC came here and they killed some people.

Can you say what the experience was with the LPC?

Primary Witness: When they entered here, the came from Buchanan and there was NPFL based at Jakpatown and it was on a Sunday and we got the news that they were coming to capture the town and they were in Buchanan and we went to sleep overlooking and before we know it they had entered the town and they opened fire. They killed one of the NPFL soldiers and one Navy papie with one other man. They said they were going to Sinoe so the Fanti people should cross them and they told them not to live here because if they find out that they were cross by them they will kill them and so they left and we also left to go and find a safe place. They came and stated taking all they see. So the LPC said while we are going they will follow us but our other group will follow us and attack them. So the LPC came again from behind and attack the NPFL where they killed on Coco.

Can you say the LPC did not stay here long?

Primary Witness: When they came here first they just pass through, it was the second group that establish.

Were you here when the second group establish?

Primary Witness: Yes

What did they do when they came?

Primary Witness: When they started to show us their true color we started running and people were using the canoe and on many occasions the canoe will capsize and people will die.

Can you remember some of the name of the commanders here?

Primary Witness: There was on General Richard and General Saydee

Did you experience the MODEL here?

Primary Witness: Well I was not here because of the experience and I ran to Buchanan where I was when they capture Buchanan.

Commissioner Dolopei: was the boy who harassed the Fanti people a soldier or a civilian?

Primary Witness: He was not a soldier but he brought something in the form of a militia gun and he put a knife in the front which he use to fool the people.

What was his name?

Primary Witness: Samuel Jacobs

Commissioners Bull: where is this Samuel Jacob now?

Primary Witness: According to what I said in my statement when he was arrested they carry him on the beach and killed him.

Commissioners Konneh: is it you one eye that was damaged or both?

Primary Witness: Before the TRC I had two lives, I was partially blind and the NPFL made me physically blind, what I mean is that my left eye had problem from my child hood. But it is my right eye that I was depending on and it is the one that got destroy from the war.

I thought it was one and it could be improved upon because my scriptures tells me that it is not the eyes that get blind, but the mind and so I will encourage you to praise God. My scriptures also tell me that the eyes are very important to the body and so if it is taken you have a problem.

Chairman: we have come to the end of you testimony, is there anything lastly you want to tell us before you leave?

Primary Witness: First of all media some times destroy and sometimes they fix things, so we are so impressed that sometime you talk of press freedom but it should have a limitation. What I am saying is that if we follow what the media continued to say we will go back into problem. I say this to say if the media tell you of the TRC you will feel discourage. I was depressed about the process when I heard it on the radio, but today I am a part of the process and if there is anything on our mind we should say it so that everybody will hear. I want to say thank you for the work that you are doing for going through out the nation to male peace come to our country. I thank you all.

We also want to say thank you and to appreciate the fact that Liberians are beginning to see the importance of the TRC


Ninth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Daniel Smith
(Ninth Primary Witness of day one)

The Ninth 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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: good afternoon and welcome to the TRC public hearings and for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia.

Primary Witness: During 1994 I was living in Doning District and a group came and took us to Gbolu between Sinoe and Rivercess and they treated me bad but I did not die, I almost died and God so help me and I got free from there and I came back to Cestos again and I went to Buchanan where I was resting. I was there for a lot of years and I came back here in 2004 and MODEL came and we went in the bush. Their commander told us that we did not come to kill your but we came to take all your property, and they took all of our properties. They took everything and they said it was the law of their medicine.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: The MODEL came and took all of your things?

Primary Witness: They looted everything besides the trousers I was wearing

Did they kill?

Primary Witness: No they only looted

What was the name of their commander?

Primary Witness: Dragon

In 1994 which group maltreated you?

Primary Witness: The NPFL

Can you remember their names?

Primary Witness: Captain Dolo Nagbe, the Dolo man was the one taking us all around and burning all the towns around here.


Commissioner Syllah: Can you tell us what happened to the other people in the town, your family?

Primary Witness: One of my friends was killed.

What is his name?

Primary Witness: they called him Dixon Friday.

Besides your friend, did you observe that they captured other people?

Primary Witness: yes, they captured women, they raped them and they carried them to ITF

They carried them away?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you remember some of the women they carried?

Primary Witn
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