Cestos City: Day 2

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The Second Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Wednesday April 2nd, 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 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.

Tenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Elisha Wrobone
(First Primary Witness of day one)

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: 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.

What is your name again?

Primary witness: Elisha Wrobone

When were you born?

Primary witness: 1981 September 10

What are you doing presently?

Primary witness: Farmer/student

Where do you live?

Primary witness: Brosbos town

Primary witness: During the year 1993 LPC came to our area in Wrobos Town one papay they called Toe they were looking for Jimmy Julu then the papay say I will carry your then Gen. Zoh say ok they were speaking Krahn then they came to our area we all were there then they went to the water side by 2 o'clock they were there then they waited until we went to sleep. When we were sleeping then Gen. Zoh gave orders that they must go for the people for us now and killed all of them they kill my mother called Meleeyan Wrobone, then say but here so they people come and come kill us. Then we ran then the papay was behind us he say we must come back I say no I ran I was in the bush I was scary I say ah god what I will do now I was crying then one fellow came and asked me I called my name to him then he carried me to Wrobones Town then he went. Then Gen. Zoh saw one papay called Isaac Jimmy when we went to check the dead bodies in the town fired him and he died. Then went and told Gen. Debah that oh Gen. Zoh have killed all of your people in the town. Then Gen. Debah put his men together but he never had ammunition so he say your let them go and he let them Gen. Zoh them to go then that how come they went Mohell.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: when all of these happened?

Primary Witness: 1993

Which fiction was that?

Primary Witness: LPC

How did you know it was LPC?

Primary Witness: I know them they were in Yappas Town.

What it means by LPC do you know?

Primary Witness: Liberia Peace Council

How many people they killed in your town?

Primary Witness: 27 persons

How you knew?

Primary Witness: We check it me and brother called Junior Wrobone.

How many of your relatives were among the 27?

Primary Witness: My ma, my pa and sister they were plenty.

Commissioner Konneh: how far is Wrobone from here?

Primary Witness: It is far oh

Why they went there to kill your people?

Primary Witness: They say they go pay debt.

For what?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Who led the people to your town?

Primary Witness: That one man they called Toe

Where is he now?

Primary Witness: He is there he lives in Wrobos Town

Who is Gen. Debah?

Primary Witness: He was fighting for LPC he got in confusion with LPC so they were behind him.

How those people were killed?

Primary Witness: They killed them with cutlass if they going to us gun their mission was going to sabotage.

Who is taking care of you now?

Primary Witness: My brother Amos Deshie Wrobone he is a pastor.

Why you decided not to go school?

Primary Witness: Because there was no money to go to school

What grade you were in when you stop going to school?

Primary Witness: 5th grade

Are you willing to now to go to school?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Bull: what time this thing really happened?

Primary Witness: That 1993 it all happened

What happened to Gen Augustine Zoh?

Primary Witness: I don't know

What is Gen. Debah full name?

Primary Witness: Debah Jimmy

Is he dead or living?

Primary Witness: He is dead.

How he died?

Primary Witness: I don't how he died.

Where was he from?

Primary Witness: He was from our town

Commissioner Dolopei: who Debah was fighting for?

Primary Witness: He was fighting for Charles Taylor

Why Gen. Zoh came to revenge for?

Primary Witness: Nothing, I don't know

Can you remember some of the names of people that were killed?

Primary Witness: Yonley, Wrobone Jimmy, Thomathy Wrobone, Daniel Wrobone, Laweema Wrobone, Sarah Wrobone, Ellen Wrobone, Makonie Davis, Mamie, Isaac, that's all I can name now.

Did you people buried them?

Primary Witness: Yes we only brought my father and mother in the town.

Commissioner Washington: who Gen. Zoh

Primary Witness: He was the big man for LPC

Where he came from?

Primary Witness: In Yappas town

How long they were there?

Primary Witness: They stay long there oh

What are some of things that Gen. Zoe used to do?

Primary Witness: They rape women and burnt house in the town

Have you heard anything about Gen. Zoh?

Primary Witness: They only say the man that Krahn man I have not heard about him

What was his age?

Primary Witness: He was a young man

Can you describe him?

Primary Witness: He was in his 40s

How did you know they were Krahn fighters?

Primary Witness: They were speaking there dialect.

How did Genera Zoh kill old man Isaac Jimmy?

Primary Witness: They were in ambush but we did not know we were checking the bodies and they were firing and that how they killed him we ran away and we ran to Debah and told him they had killed all his family.

The town was your family town?

Primary Witness: Yes it was Wrobones town.

What was his father position in the town?

Primary Witness: He was a pastor a prominent citizens

How many brothers and sisters you have now?

Primary Witness: Only one brother I have now

How old his your brother?

Primary Witness: He is 37 years old

And your still lived in Wrobones town?

Primary Witness: Yes I in the same area.

What is he doing now?

Primary Witness: Yes he is a pastor

Commissioner Stewart: did they LPC go to other town?

Primary Witness: No after Wrobones town they went Mohell.

They carried any women with them?

Primary Witness: No

Any young boys were forced to join them?

Primary Witness: Yes they force some young boys to join them

They carried girls with them when they were retreating?

Primary Witness: Yes

Did the girls come back?

Primary Witness: Some of them came back and some did not come back up to now.

They burnt any houses?

Primary Witness: They burnt the whole town.

How many house in the town?

Primary Witness: They house plenty they in the town I was small in the so I don't know that was big town.

Where were you in when they were killing the people?

Primary Witness: I was in the bush and my brother junior went in the other town to Siayes town to go tell Debah that they had killed his people in Wrobones about 1hr 25 min walk.

Gen Zoh's men were many, how many were they?

Primary Witness: Yes they were plenty

Can you remember any other names?

Primary Witness: Yes ?Gen. Feeling' was there next to Gen. Zoh.

What month did this happened?

Primary Witness: I don't know the month but it was dry season

When they finished burning the town where did you go?

Primary Witness: We went to Gbawens town to your sister

Did you burry the bodies in the town?

Primary Witness: Yes we just put them together

Can we go to the area?

Primary Witness: The place right around our farm

Was there any ceremonies held for those that died?

Primary Witness: No

Is there any plan for that?

Primary Witness: Yes I heard that from some people

Commissioner Syllah: how many wives your father had?

Primary Witness: They seven women

All the women had children?

Primary Witness: Yes ah! We plenty, plenty oh, more than 15 more than that

How many of them living now?

Primary Witness: I say we plenty

Any of your father women living now?

Primary Witness: No, none of them, some died before the they attack the village

Chairman: what did Debah Jimmy do with his force he put together to go fight Gen. Zoh?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Is there any last word that you have to leave with us before you finish you testimony?

Primary Witness: what I want to tell the TRC I want to give thanks to every one in this building now what I want is that I want to go school I am suffering I want to ask the TRC to please help me with education.


Eleventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Edward Zoryeah
(Second Primary Witness of day one)

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

Chairman: 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 and the TRC. What we do and say today will go down in history and generations long after us will get to read about what happened in this county.

Your date of birth?

Primary witness: I was born 1961

Where do you live?

Primary witness: I live in Zoeis Town

What do you do?

Primary witness: I am a farmer

Primary witness: First of all I want to thank you form 1990 through out nothing happened to me, but from 95 Zoh came from up when he came with his group he came into my town at the time they announce the first cease fire and we were all in the town and he met us there. I came to them and said gentlemen where are you going and where are you coming from and they said Roland Duoh in Tapateh sent us here that the LPC is troubling you people. After some time the started sending two two men to the roads and after some time they collected all the men in the town and they started tying all of us. When we asked them what was happening they said the general is coming to tell us what was going on.

At that time they had killed my mother and my small brother. Later Zoh came and sad it is where Roland Duoh was based a so they will kill all the men in the town and they started shooting people. Some people were killed and I was tabied and they collected me and said I should leave and I went in my father cocoa forest and the rope left my hands and I went to where my women and children were and I did not see anybody and I went in the bush and started waling and I saw my mother and little brother bodies and I jumped in the bush ands I started walking and I got to the town and the people there said we have not seen your mother and brother. So I told them I saw their bodies, that is want happened to me, they burnt the whole town and killed 13 persons in the town, that is where I stopped.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: where did this incident take place?

Primary witness: It took place in Joe River District where there is a Clan and they all fall under Rivercess

Do you know the full name of Zoh?

Primary witness: No

Was he with the NPFL General?

Primary witness: He was with the LPC

So he came and lied that he was sent by Roland Duoh?

Primary witness: Yes

Commissioner Konneh: we are sorry for what happened and we are happy that you have come to explain to the TRC. The 12 persons that were killed in your presence do you remember their names?

Primary witness: Some of their names that are can remember are: Rewechue Zoryeah the name of my mother, Mamie Zoryeah, my little brother who wife was killed, Friday Zoryeah my little brother, Aaron Zoryeah my oldest brother, those are the families I lost. The others are, James Gaiyou, Seah a Greebo man, Amos Boe, Isaac Garduah, Oldman Dokie who was burnt in his house, those are the people that were present when I was there, but the others that were killed when I was no there I can not called their names.

Do you know why they selected your town for this?

Primary witness: Zoe said it is because Roland Duoh was using the town as a base.

Is it the NPFL that came to your town or you invited them to come and stay there?

Primary witness: No it is not like that they came there because they had the power.

When the killing was going on where was Roland Duoh and the others?

Primary witness: He was in Tapateh band he left the ground empty

Do you remember anyone called Emmanuel Sekie, Emmanuel David and Emmanuel Gueh who were all NPFL fighters?

Primary witness: I knew one Emmanuel David who came to my village long ago before this happened.

Is it only Roland Duoh who was the highest ranking officer?

Primary witness: He was the chief of Staff and he had generals under him.

What was your position at the time?

Primary witness: I was the town chief

Did the NPFL force you to fight and kill?

Primary witness: From 1990 may 16 when they came and say we should organize single barrel man to guide our own town to guide ourselves and we did that.

Was the town attacked by the NPFL?

Primary witness: No

What did they do there?

Primary witness: When they come they will request for food.

Did they force the children to join?

Primary witness: No, they did not force anyone to join.

Were you a soldier?

Primary witness: No, I was only a single barrel soldier and we use to carry loads.

Did you go to fight?

Primary witness: No we only use to carry load and I left the single barrel job and became the town chief.

When the LPC came did they remain for some time or they went away?

Primary witness: No they burnt the town and they left.

What did you don when you came and discover you brother and mother was killed?

Primary witness: I went to the village and I did not come back to the town.

What happened to the people that were killed in the town?

Primary witness: Those that were not in the town when the thing happened burned the bodies and cast the aches in the toilet hole.

Commissioner Bull: thank for coming to tell you story.

Commissioner Dolopei: thank for coming to the TRC, and our sympathy for the killing of your relatives. You said Roland Duoh was in your town and they use to send people to do their work is it from your town they use to send people from?

Primary witness: Yes our town was their village and the LPC was in the other town so they based in our town.

When did the LPC come to your town?

Primary witness: In 1994

So from 1990-1994 no soldiers came to your town?

Primary witness: Soldiers user to come but they pass through

So the NPFL did nothing to your people?

Primary witness: No, they did not kill anybody there.

What was your relationship with Roland Duoh?

Primary witness: When they came I was on the farm and they came there because they knew I was the town chief and they brought me in the town and they wanted to take people farm so I gave them my farm so that they will not take other people farm.

How long did he stay in your town?

Primary witness: They stayed for about a year.

Is it because of this that the LPC came to attack you?

Primary witness: That is what they said.

You said some of the Bassa boys joined them willingly can you tell us some of their names?

Primary witness: I can't remember now

After killing all the people what did they do with the bodies?

Primary witness: They packed them under the palava hut and burned them.

Commissioner Washington: thank you for coming, what was the relationship between the single barrel group and the NPFL?

Primary witness: When the group was formed I selected to be the leader

From your explanation you said they did not do anything bad in your town but the single barrel group we used to carry their loads, is it right to say you were allies to them that is why you were not harm?

Primary witness: No they use to force us to do the work, they did not force us to take guns but they forced us to organize the group.

You talked about when Roland Duoh came to you town he came with some fighters can you called their names and where they are now?

Primary witness: Many of them died but the only person around is General Kanka and I don't know where he is today.

Commissioner Stewart: thanks for coming to the Commission and sorry for the lost of your relatives. You mentioned the names of Roland Duoh and Emmanuel David what was their roles?

Primary witness: Roland Duoh was the chief of staff and Emmanuel David was a general as he said but I heard that he is dead.

Who provided ammunitions for you people as the single barrel group?

Primary witness: There were no ammunition we were only there to carry loads

When Zoh came where were you people?

Primary witness: We were there but we had nothing to do.

Did you put on resistance?

Primary witness: No

How did the Zoh group managed with food and other things?

Primary witness: They took people farm and other things and I told them not to harass my people.

Is it the town people that were providing food them?

Primary witness: I said they were collecting food from other towns, they use to send people around to collect and some time if they want food they use to come to my town and I use to give it to them with willing heart.

What are some of the things the NPFL do before Zoh came?

Primary witness: They were forcing people to carry their loads and to give them food.

Did you ever tell them that there was no food to give them?

Primary witness: Honorable Commissioner if I should do that they will beat me.

When general Zoh came did he burnt the town?

Primary witness: Yes they burned the whole town.

Did they force people to join them?

Primary witness: Yes they carry my daughter and I have not seen her but she sent her daughter to me that she is still alive, I learnt that she is in Grand Gedeh.

How old is the daughter?

Primary witness: She is four years.

How long ago have you not seen her?

Primary witness: From 1995 till date

Where is this Zoh now?

Primary witness: I heard that he is dead.

Who was the second in command to Zoh?

Primary witness: I don't know.

Commissioner Syllah: sorry for the losses of your families and thank you for allowing the people to harvest your crops instead of the others farm. How many women were carried away by the people?

Primary witness: They were three by two are back and my daughter is still there.

Are there any other people that were carried?

Primary witness: They carried others including men but they came back

Have you tried finding your daughter?

Primary witness: I did not go there but I got in contact with the Red Cross to find her

You talked about been tied at one point in time who did that and how you were saved?

Primary witness: It was the same LPC who did that and the generals came and said they kill all of us.

Did they kill anybody when he gave the orders?

Primary witness: They killed 13

Was it on the same day?

Primary witness: Yes the same day, it was on a Sunday.

Can you tell us what the NPFL did to women and children when they first came?

Primary witness: When they came they did not entered in our town but we heard their names but they were having a commander by the name of Amos who came to our town and told people that they did not come to harass peaceful citizens that is how they came to our town.

How about MODEL?

Primary witness: When they came before we heard their news we all scatter and went in the bush and those they met in their towns said they were not bad people that is how we came to the town and they said they were not going to kill soldiers but we should not be soldiers again.

Chairman: Edward there is one issue you mention, what kind of loads were the single barrels groups carrying?

Primary witness: They use to bring their women and the business they will buy we will carry it for them and if you reach the next town and somebody is there they will help you but if not you will continue.

It is goods that they were carrying?

Primary witness: The women will bring food and other food stuff that is what we were carrying.

Did they carry arms?

Primary witness: No, some times we carry car parts and tires. They forced some of our boys to carry 960 tire through the bush fro a long distance.

Thank you a lot for coming to tell us this valuable information. Is there anything else you have to say?

Primary witness: Yes, honorable Commissioners, I thank you all for the work you are doing because it is because of you we are here to tell our stories. My request is that my town and properties have been damaged, so I am looking up to you in the name of Jesus so that is there is anything you have for the town and the people we are looking forward to you to help us.

Commissioner Bull: what is your recommendation to the government of Liberia on what could be done to these groups that attacked your people and burnt your town?

Primary witness: Honorable commissioners, that is left with you people to decide.


Twelfth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Francis King
(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.

So, what is your name?

Primary Witness: My name Francis king

What time you were born?

Primary Witness: Ah, I not know.

That which President?

Primary Witness: That President Tubman, that time I was small

What thing you doing now?

Primary Witness: I selling market, and making farm

What kind of market?

Primary Witness: Small, small thing

What all on the farm?

Primary Witness: Cassava, plantain, and greens

Primary Witness: After the war they grab my mother in front of me and they cut her head in front of me. (Witness burst in tears). My ma was like me too much, so they call my ma head then I born my baby was in my hand and they took the baby and they throw it away and God push me there and I took the baby and pout it on my chest and I say Ah God my ma die then my baby will die again. Then they finish catching my brother wife then they say she must bring the goods why my brother bring and she say she na get goods and they take the motel pestle and they nock her head and she died. Then the baby that was there they took her and they killed the baby. I slept in the bush with the baby. Then I say ah God what thing I will do, the boy who carry the people there his name Charles, he go to Monrovia. So that Charles Taylor soldiers do me like this. My ma use to like me, then the take the gun and they nock it on my

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. Your story will help us do what we suppose to do to help all of us.


Commissioner Syllah: We are sorry for the death of your people. They throw the baby in the bust, then what happen to the baby?

Primary Witness: The child fainted.

How old was the child?

Primary Witness: Two months

What part of the bush?

Primary Witness: After they killed my ma, they knot my head with gun and he threw the child Way in the bush and kill my brother. wife. Than, I saw some people and I say, my people here me here, they people kill my mother and my bro. wife and they throw my baby away.

You remember how many people they killed?

Primary Witness: They killed sis persons

You know the name of the people they killed?

Primary Witness: That was Keneco, Naweh, Annie, Gbaylo, Merci,

Any baby was there besides your baby?

Primary Witness: Yes, my bro. wife was get baby there too and they killed the baby.

They throw the baby in the bush?

Primary Witness: Yes

They told you why they killed these people?

Primary Witness: No.

You know the name of the Commander?

Primary Witness: That was Charles Taylor soldiers then.

Who was the Commander?

Primary Witness: That Macdonald

You know Charles Mcgill?
Primary Witness: Yes

What is the name of your child?

Primary Witness: Jemama King

Commissioner Stewart: Thank you for telling your story; sorry for all that happened to you and your child. Thank that your baby is alive to give you drinking water. Where is Charles Mcgill?

Primary Witness: He in Monrovia

What is his wife name?

Primary Witness: I not know his wife name.

What month?

Primary Witness: That 1990

You can remember the month?

Primary Witness: I not know the month.

How old is your daughter?

Primary Witness: I not know

What year was your daughter born?

Primary Witness: I not know, I was in the bush.

Is she going to school?

Primary Witness: Yes

What grade?

Primary Witness: Grade two

Why they carried people to red-heal with your?

Primary Witness: He carry one soldier who killed my ma and bro. wife. The soldier people catch Mardonal Tarpeh and Charles who carry the soldier to our place.

Charles did bad things there?
Primary Witness: We were running so I not know if he do bad things there. We came to look for kiss-meat and Charles see us and asked us say what your doing here? And we say we come look for food.

How he looking?

Primary Witness: You and him looking in the same size.

Where you went?

Primary Witness: My brother say let go to Bassa, Buchanan.

Where your moved from?

Primary Witness: Tou Town, that the place we move from.

Tou Town on the Beach?

Primary Witness: No, but small water there

What district is Tou Town?

Primary Witness: Yanni District

The soldiers did any bad things there?

Primary Witness: Yes, they do bad things.

What bad things they do?

Primary Witness: They brunt the houses, they burnt our town, take our cloths and plenty other things than.

They carry young girls?

Primary Witness: Yes, they carry plenty small girls and one of the girls fall down on stick and died again.

What is your sister daughter name?

Primary Witness: That Martha

They rape?

Primary Witness: No, but they burnt the town.

Commissioner Washington: Francis, I do not have questions for you, but I just want to tell you that sorry for all that happened to you and we will always you in prayers and may God continue to bless you and the child. Thank you.

Chairman: We say sorry for the death of your relatives and all what happened to you. That is why we as TRC have come so that we will all find the best way out of this bad things that happened to people in Liberia for the past time so that it can not happen again. You are not just talking for your one, but all the people of your area who could not come here. We say sorry again. Is there anything you want to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: Yes, I tell you thank you, I want so your must help me and my daughter, I don't have anybody.

Can you remember the year these things happened to you?

Primary Witness: That was 1990, the first war.

The very first war?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Is your daughter in school?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Which school?

Primary Witness: Red Cross

You say she in third grade?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Thank you very for coming because we know that during wars, it is the women and children that suffered the most, so that is why we are always talking to women to come and tell their stories. Thank you for coming.


Thirteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Isaac Kennedy
(Fourth Primary Witness of day one)

The Fourth 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.
What is your name?

Primary Witness: Isaac Kennedy

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: May 19, 1971

Primary Witness: Praise the lord in the year 1994 when LPC went in our area. When the salt business was hard in the war we went on the beach to cook salt they went and in our town and killed two men in the town the balance eight they brought in Cestos here. They my father was the town chief he was also among them. So when the news hit us we came to the town and we see that it was true that they kill the town men and brought the two men to Cestos so I told me wife that we should run so we went to my wife sisters' place. We went and built our tent then after two to three weeks the NPFL came and overran the place and they brought all of us together after that they brought us to the control area. Then they went for my wife sister them after some time I saw my wife sister lapper on the soldier boy and I went and told my wife that I see your sister lapper with one soldier and he had blood all on him then I went to one of the soldier and told him that I want to go back to the village that they took us from. Then he carried me to the village when we went there we see my sister husband they tied him on the stick and chop, chop him all over and the little girl the broke her neck and lay her down there and I went to the waterside road they operated her and they took out the baby from her stomach and lay her on her lap. I called the soldiers that went that went with me and show the body to them they and then they say let go we will go and killed him too we only sent him to come for the people but not to killed them so when we went they started shooting among themselves and their chiefs them chief Roland Duo and Sampson stop them and they started looking into the matter.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Where is main town all these happened in?

Primary Witness: In Puest town the first time. The second killing was in Zebozon, Yalli District

Commissioner Syllah: how old was the child that they killed?

Primary Witness: She was about three years old.

What happened to her mother?

Primary Witness: Her mother was pregnant and they operated on her and put the baby on her lap.

How many people were killed in that place?

Primary Witness: 4 persons.

What are some of their names?

Primary Witness: John Gbah, Anna Gbah, Sarah Gabpuo and Babygirl Bah, they were killed my NPFL.

Do you remember any Myers Kennedy?

Primary Witness: He was the man was killed in Puest town he was my father. He was killed with four others Sherman Jackson, Moses Jackson, Gamodeh, Sam Walder, Goffrey Walker.

Who was the commander?

Primary Witness: James Sampson and Gadafin.

Is there any other name for Gadafin?

Primary Witness: No only his chief Gadafin name I know.

Commissioner Stewart: what was your location when all of these were going on?

Primary Witness: We were in the center LPC was here in Cestos and NPFL was in the upper part on this side.

Who was the NPFL commander in the area?

Primary Witness: There were Sampson, Gadafin, and Roland Duo

What's about LPC?

Primary Witness: That ?Thick Go' was here

Who were the commanders of LPC in the area?

Primary Witness: One Gen. Crazy he went with four other guys, Lawrence Palay, Joseph, Jos? and Mantuo.

Was it their first time going to the town?

Primary Witness: Yes

What else did they do there?

Primary Witness: Only the killing

Did you understand why they were killing?

Primary Witness: No

Were there fighting between LPC and NPFL in the area at the time the came and attack your?

Primary Witness: No not at the time

Did they loot?

Primary Witness: No

Did they burn houses?

Primary Witness: No but they killed all the men.

What they did to the women?

Primary Witness: They brought them here to live here and be with them that Crazy and his group brought them here and they killed all the men.

Did they marry them?

Primary Witness: No they were just working for them

How long did the women were under this condition?

Primary Witness: More than a month

How they got freed?

Primary Witness: When NPFL capture the place most of them escaped and went Buchanan.

Was there any looting by either faction?

Primary Witness: NPFL looted when they were retreating

Commissioner Syllah: which member for you town was fighting with NPFL that caused the LPC to come to your?

Primary Witness: The pastor son went to join the NPFL

What the pastor name?

Primary Witness: Moses Jackson

Did his son died?

Primary Witness: I don't if he died or he still living

Commissioner Konneh: did you know the generals of the factions in person that came to your area in different points in time?

Primary Witness: No I myself never lay eye on them any of them but I saw the general of the NPFL when they brought us to them in the town.

Why did they do al other these?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Don't you think they used disguised tactics and committed massacres and made it appear that they other did it?

Primary Witness: It could be because we don't know them in person.

You said you were not there how did you got the information?

Primary Witness: That my grand ma explained them to me I was in the bush when I came I met her crying and explained to me.

Where were you up to end of the war?

Primary Witness: I went in the bush to get canoe and go to Buchanan and we went Buchanan.

Commissioner Dolopei: which group RPG was in, you said RPG went and killed your father and four other people?

Commissioner Syllah: In LPC he did the killing of my father.

Chairman: we want to tell you thanks for coming to tell your story to the Commission and say sorry for the sufferings that you underwent. Is there anything last you have to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: I want to thank you people for bring up this day for to express what had pass when we express this it can hurt our feelings I was small when my mother died and the father we were depending on he too is gone. Me and sisters are just fighting life all kinds of way. I want the TRC to help us any help they feel is better for us to help us.

What are the names of your sisters?

Primary Witness: Marie Kennedy, Theresa, Sarah and Anna

Are you the oldest?

Primary Witness: No that Theresa I next to her and they all have children and married


Fourteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Martha Toe
(Fifth Primary Witness of day one)

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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: Welcome and thank the witness for coming to the TRC. And introduces follow commissioners.

Where do you stay?

Primary Witness: I live across the Cestos Rivers

What is the name of the town?

Primary Witness: Toe town

What do you do?

Primary Witness: Farmer.


Do you know the time you were born?

Primary Witness: No.

I am about to explain, when the war happen in our town, the soldiers came and burn our town and we fled in the bush. While we were in the bush the soldier came their commander name was Tyson. The kill one of my sisters and they kill my sister seven children. They torture us. We ran in the bushes, and we manage to burry the dead, all the people that they kill.

Question from the Commissioner:

Chairman: We say sorry for the death of you sister and the property you loss. All of us say sorry yeah?

Can you give the name of your sister that was kill by thousand?

Primary Witness: Annie.

Annie what?

Primary Witness: Annie Toe.

Can you help us give the time this thing happen?

Primary Witness: I can't remember its been a while now.

This Tyson, is he from Sinoe, or he from Maryland?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Can you give us the name of children yours sister born?

Primary Witness: Three boy's two girls.

Please give the names of them

Primary Witness: One name was prince Nico.

Can he sing?

Primary Witness: No.

The other one name?


Primary Witness: I can't remember. I only remember prince Nico because he was big.

Thank you.

Commissioner Konneh: sorry for the death of your and we are happy you are alive to tell the story. You town is across the Cestos river, who show the rebels your town.

Primary Witness: Nobody.

Nobody from your town?

Primary Witness: Nobody.

Do you remember giving statement to a statement taker?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Bull: Thanks fro coming to tell your story and for telling the truth on the witness stand. I have no more questions to ask.

Commissioner Dolopei: Thank you for coming to the TRC. You say they kill you sister and hr children that the only people they kill in the town?

Primary Witness: No. after they kill them, they burn the town.

So is there any body here that can remember their names?

Primary Witness: Yes. Frances Toe.

The people that die, the people they kill did you burry them, did you give them any proper form of burial?

Primary Witness: yes, while we were in haste, to go, so we burry them near the river.

You know the place they burry hem?

Primary Witness: We burry them near the water.

Do you remember the place?

Primary Witness: No, we tried looking for the place, but we couldn't find the place.

Commissioner Washington: we say hank you for coming and we say sorry for the death of you sister. You said that was some body that show the people place; can you tell us a little more?

Primary Witness: that Charles who carry the people in the town.

The person who brought people was he fighting?

Primary Witness: Yes he was with the thousand fighting?

But they were also LPC fighters?

Primary Witness: no.

So, where are these people now?

Primary Witness: They are in their home.

You know their hone?

Primary Witness: Yes.

And you please show mw their home?

Primary Witness: Zaywee town

Thank you.

Commissioner Steward: we just want to make some thing clear. This thou sue is it R Rivercess or grand kru.

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Were they speaking Bassa or kru?

Primary Witness: When they come. They were not taking? They even cover their face with some of our cloths

These people were they from Rivercess from Sinoe?

Primary Witness: They were from Sinoe.

Beside these people can you remember any other person?

Primary Witness: No, I don't know Sinoe people.

These groups, how long did they stay there?

Primary Witness: As soon as they kill the people they left.

That was the only time they came?

Primary Witness: No, hey came again? He other time they came they place, because that as my brother daughter birthday, they platy.

So that was the second time they came there?

Primary Witness: Yes.

The second time they came there, did they do any bad thing?

Primary Witness: no, hey did take our things, all of our things left there and they burn the town.

Was it a big town?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many houses?

Primary Witness: 7 houses.

The time you ran in the bush, how was it like? How long you stayed?

Primary Witness: 2 months.

Where did they stay?

Primary Witness: In tents we build tents.

How long did they stay there?

Primary Witness: 2months.

So, they were chasing your all in the bushes?

Primary Witness: Yes.

So, all the time y'all stay there, any body got sick?

Primary Witness: No.


So y'all went to Buchanan safely. What year was it?

Primary Witness: I can't tell the year.

Which group was in control in Rivercess?

Primary Witness: LPC.

So is that the reason why your did come to Cestos your went to Buchanan.

Commissioner Syllah: can you tell us what happen to her husband, the children father?

The husband you left behind?

Primary Witness: He in Monrovia now.

Beside the children that dir, your sister still got other children?

Primary Witness: Yes, one girl and one boy.

How old are the children?

Primary Witness: I don't even remember he name, they were small when they took them to Monrovia.

You say you sister daughter husband invite d the Tyson and his people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where s she and her husband?

Primary Witness: They he in Nawey.

Was it your sister daughter that they kill?

Primary Witness: I say my sister that die, her husband use to work in Buchanan, when he came back, he call the Tyson people so that they will have a party, when they were having the party they manage it see all the place the people them were hiding their things, so after the party that the next day they came back and kill he people.

So you sister husband had friends in the Tyson group?

Primary Witness: Yes, he had a girlfriend in their area.

Your sister and her husband had problem with the Tyson people?

Primary Witness: NO,

But can you tell us where they use to get their supply from.

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Can you please explain how they kill your sister?

Primary Witness: Yes. During that time, my brother was going to Buchanan, so we went to find a canoe to go with. My daughter was beating dumboy, Annie look on the road, she say I see people creeping coming. Annie had plenty children, and she also had a baby. So she couldn't run away. So they grab the she and my daughter. One of Annie's sons ran away, when he hear the sound of his mother crying, he came back. They put him up in the air and they kill him with gun. The started beating Annie, they sat she should show the property of her husband. When I came from the creek, I couldn't see, any body, but on the way to the place we can fetch drinking water, I kick Annie's body because it was dark. The only person that can explain it is, Francis TOE. So my daughter managed to drag in the bush.

Commissioners Syllah: So, who was McDonald?

Primary Witness: He just came from this side.

Chairman: I just want to ask you how many children you have.

Primary Witness: I have two children.

Do you have a husband?

Primary Witness: I had a husband before the war, but he was sick, and we like him across the water and as God to have it, when the rebels came, they did not do any thing to him.

Ok, we want to say thank you for coming to the TRC and we say sorry yeah for the death of your sister and all her children. Today the thing you come talk here, you come talk for you sister and her children them were die. And we all pray that after the TRC, there will be no war in Liberia again and our children them will have peace and be able to go to school and be good children in the future. So we say thank you for coming and we say sorry for every thing. Before we close his section of the hearings, is there any thing you have to say, for a last words for TRC to do for you.

Primary Witness: I want to thank you're for bring TRC here to Rivercess. I want for TRC to help me sent my children them to school. And also I want to go to hospital.

Fifteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Henry Toyehn Sr.
(Sixth Primary Witness of day one)

The Sixth 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. 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.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Across the river, Yallid District Puest town

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: 1943 December 11

Primary Witness: I thank God to bring me here to talk to you. In 1990 I was in Monrovia when the war was coming I walk by line to come Rivercess. In 1995 LPC when war came, NPFL took me to ITI. They say I LPC man they beat and tied my foot and my hands behind they pushed me then I fall on my mouth and my mouth hit the ground and all my teeth move from my mouth. That all I experience in this war.

Questions from the commissioners:

Chairman: What year this happened to you?

Primary Witness: 1995

When did you reach here?

Primary Witness: 1991 I came before Doe died

You did not see anything happen again?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where were you?

Primary Witness: In the bush

What they do to you again?

Primary Witness: They did not do anything to me.

What you saw them doing?

Primary Witness: Nothing

You know the LPC people that did this to you?

Primary Witness: That NPFL did it

You did anything to them?

Primary Witness: No they say I am LPC

That your one they accused?

Primary Witness: Plenty people

What happened to the other people, they killed them?

Primary Witness: No they did not killed any one

Commissioner Konneh: do you the commander at the time of war when they came to your town?

Primary Witness: That Roland Duo and chief Sampson

Where these commanders present when your teeth were taken from your mouth?

Primary Witness: No that one col. Gadafin was present

Did you give complain to Duo and Sampson to explain your problem?

Primary Witness: Yes

What did they say?

Primary Witness: They say sorry

Were you a LPC fighter?

Primary Witness: No

Why they accused you now?

Primary Witness: They just lie on me

Where they arrested you?

Primary Witness: In the Gonya in Yallid and they carried me to ITI

Commissioner Washington: what were you doing in Monrovia?

Primary Witness: From 1961 I was working, selling market and washing clothes for one man.

Commissioner Stewart: how many days it took you to walk from Monrovia to Rivercess here?

Primary Witness: I walk from July 26 to august 11.

Which road you took?

Primary Witness: The strict road

You passed plenty check points?

Primary Witness: Yes I was bye passing them

So no one stop you?

Primary Witness: Some of it charge us and took money from us.

You saw died bodies on the road?

Primary Witness: Yes

Which area on the road?

Primary Witness: Mount Barclay

How many?

Primary Witness: Only one

What time this happened to you?

Primary Witness: That 1995 March

When you came were you here?

Primary Witness: In Puest town village

Did the government soldier reach there?

Primary Witness: No

Do you remember the name of the solider?

Primary Witness: One soldier name Mathew he accused me and say I LPC man he beat me.

Where did this happen?

Primary Witness: In the Gonya

After they treated you where you went?

Primary Witness: The same place they though I was dead so they left me there.

How long you spent in Gonya?

Primary Witness: I still long there

How long you spent in the bush?

Primary Witness: I stay long there

Commissioner Washington: what is Gonya?

Primary Witness: It means in the bush where you have the tent.

Chairman: is there any last word you have to leave with us before you leave?

Primary Witness: the only thing I want you people to help me for my children to go to school...

How many children do you have?

Primary Witness: Three boys and one girl

What is the age of the eldest?

Primary Witness: 25 and last one is 20.

Where are they?

Primary Witness: Two in town here one in the village

Where is their mother?

Primary Witness: She past away

Sixteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Annie Cooper
(Seventh Primary Witness of day one)

The Seventh 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: This is where all of us who survive the war meet to discuss, when we do this, we realize that we are not alone so that all of our brothers and sisters will know, and in that way we can overcome our past experience; that's why we tell everybody to come and tell their experience.

You say your name is Anne Cooper?

Primary Witness: Yes, my name is Annie Cooper

Can you ell us your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

You know the President in power that time?

Primary Witness: Yes, that was when President Tubman died

How small you were, you knew life?

Primary Witness: Though I was small, but I could remember.

You used to work for your parents?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Morweh, Jorwin, Sorpo Clan.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I plant cassava and benecee.

You brought some?

Primary Witness: No.

Primary Witness: The thing that happened since the war, when I heard about soldiers, I can run away in the bush. One Sunday, one man came to our town. He say all of you, the soldiers are torturing people. So when he said that, it was already in the evening, just then we saw the soldiers coming, it was almost dark so we ran in a building. But when they entered the town, we heard gun shooting.

The soldier said so they ran into the bush but they were shooting over our head but it never hit us. We stayed in the bush until the next day. They continue shooting throughout the night. We heard Junior crying all the time in the nigh, later, we stop hearing the crying. So when my friend went to the town, she came and said they have burnt the town. Again we ran more into the bush for life. When we went far in the bush, we met a farm deep in the bush; they told us that they kill David Ben, but your uncle house was set ablaze.

During that time they kill John David, Othello, and I am forgetting the other person name. The last person name slip from my mind. So we did not go to the town, so we were not there when they buried the bodies.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you very much for telling your story. Did you say this thing happened in Morweh?

Primary Witness: Yes, but in Goodwin Town.

In Morweh District?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What year?

Primary Witness: No, I do not know, only other people know.

You know the faction?

Primary Witness: My friend told me that was LPC.

You know the name of the people that came to the town?

Primary Witness: No, I do not know.

You know their tribe?

Primary Witness: I did not come in contact with the soldiers, so I don't know the people tribe.

She said they killed her father?

Primary Witness: No, she say they burn my father house.

They kill your husband?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Stewart: Thank you very much for telling us your story. Which group did all these things?

Primary Witness: LPC

Name of the commanders:

Primary Witness: They told me it was General Zoh, but myself, I do not know.

How many soldiers entered the town?

Primary Witness: They were many but some passed on the football field side.

What were you doing at the time?

Primary Witness: After my friend told me, we were about to run in the bush when the soldiers entered the town in the evening.

What's the name of the town?

Primary Witness: Zoryea Town.

What the soldiers do?

Primary Witness: When he was pointing the gun at us, he started shooting but the gun did not hit us.

Was it the first time LPC entered the village?

Primary Witness: We were in the bush, but people say it was not their first time.

When you went in the bush?

Primary Witness: The first time, we were in the bush, we were not in town but they carried some young girls.

Have the young girls come back?

Primary Witness: The first girls they carried managed to escape and came back.

Was NPFL also there?

Primary Witness: They were in Morloweah.

Who was in Zorweah town?

Primary Witness: I don't know, I was living in the bush at the time.

Did they loot, burn the town?

Primary Witness: They burnt the whole town down.

How many houses?

Primary Witness: More than 10 houses with two centers.

So they burnt the whole town?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They looted?

Primary Witness: I cannot say, I was in the bus.

They carried young girls?

Primary Witness: No.

What's about young boys?

Primary Witness: Yes

They were many?

Primary Witness: Yes, they were in good number.

Chairman: Thank you very much for coming. You have given us good information in relation to what others told us. When we put these small, small pieces together, it will give us a big picture. Anything else you have to tell us before you leave?

Primary Witness: What I have to say is that I want TRC, I don't know the names, but I want to say thank you very much that God bring you here so we can tell our story. The problem people are still in the bushes, the town is not the same like before so we want you people to pray with us so our people can come back to town for us to live together for good life.

How many people back in the town?

Primary Witness: 22 persons have built villages in the bushes and refusing to come to the town.

Commissioner Dolopei: Why they don't want to come to the town

Primary Witness: We are still talking to them to come.


Seventeenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Cestos City Rivercess County
Ezekiel Woryonwon
(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.

Your date of birth?

Primary Witness: March 4, 1972

Where do you live currently?

Primary Witness: Across the Cestos in Wehblo Town

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am a pastor and a volunteer teacher

Primary Witness: On March 10 1995 the NPFL catch me and they took a dead body from Rockcell and said we should carry the body to ITI and on our way going we saw the same group and they said we should burry the body and we did and they gave us their gun shots to carry it to where they were fighting and we did.

When we got there we were behind them and when we reach to Blos town those that in the front started killing some of the civilians there and their General Lawrence Gwanu gave orders for them to kill. When I got there and saw the people on the ground I was afraid and wanted to run and somebody advise me not to do so. After that they soldiers started quarreling among themselves and they shot one of their men and we had to carry him to ITI. While on our way going I managed to escape from them. While escaping from them I had a cut on my hands and the mark is here.

While running one of them said when they see me they will kill me and I started hiding from them and I managed to go to Buchanan. While in hiding my grand father was killed. This is what happened to me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: who did you say was killed?

Primary Witness: My grand father Karma Waryonwon and my aunty Salleh

The body you were carrying was it a male or female?

Primary Witness: It was a male

Was it a punishment?

Primary Witness: I really do not know

The wounded soldier you carry, did he die?

Primary Witness: No he survived

So did you throw him down before escaping?

Primary Witness: We were exchanging him so when I exchange him then I ran.

Do you have the marks on you from the wound while running?

Primary Witness: Yes you can come and see it. (The camera men went there to take photos of the mark)

Which school do you teach?

Primary Witness: Gorr public school

Which level are you teaching?

Primary Witness: Elementary section

Commissioner Konneh: we are sorry for what happened to you. This Laurence Gwanu was he the over all commander of the NPFL troops at the time?

Primary Witness: No Roland Duoh and Lawrence and T Sampson were all leaders

Was this Gwanu a field commander?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you know the type of ammunitions you people were carrying?

Primary Witness: That was small gun shots and we were carrying it for them.

How were the civilians killed?

Primary Witness: They use cutlass on them.

How many were they?

Primary Witness: They were 106 but they killed 105 and the Lawrence took one little girl from there and told her he was her God she will never die again.

How do you know the number of people?

Primary Witness: Lawrence counted them that is how we knew.

Do you know where to find this Gwanu man today?

Primary Witness: I don't know but he is here in the county

Do you know whether any of his relatives stay here?

Primary Witness: The man is a Geo so his people are not here.

Is he the same man called one eye dead?

Primary Witness: Yes but he said no one should called him that name again.

Did Nido and Gbosa take part in the killings?

Primary Witness: Yes they took part in the killings and this Gbossa man is still around and I have even seen him during a game that was been played, he took part in the game.

Where was the killings done?

Primary Witness: Between Tarris Town area.

When did you become a pastor?

Primary Witness: That was when I escape in 1997

What was your experience when the LPC came?

Primary Witness: They were only use to run behind us and they burned one town called Pois Town and they killed one of my Uncles.

What about MODEL?

Primary Witness: When they came I was in the forest

Commissioner Bull: do they call you ravened in you area?

Primary Witness: No I am not yet ordained

Thank you for coming to tell your story.

Commissioner Dolopei: where was the gunshots that they asked your to carry?

Primary Witness: It was in the form of a box in the form of a sardine

So it was only these two men that killed al those people?

Primary Witness: Yes it was the two of them, they put the people in line and they started killing them.

They had them under gun point?

Primary Witness: Yes they were all under gun point.

You said they came back?

Primary Witness: Yes after escape they came back and that is when they killed my grand father.

Was it the same group?

Primary Witness: No it was another guy called Junior Sabi and one Matthew, the Matthew guy was a Greebo.

How did you know they were the one who killed your people?

Primary Witness: I was in hiding and the other families were there, when they came they shot the papie and people started crying and they escape and the Kadaffi group came again and killed my aunty.

Commissioner Washington: are you testifying as an eye witness to that massacre?

Primary Witness: Exactly so

You mentioned Roland Duoh and Sampson before who you said were part of a fighting group and were leaders, were they involved in the massacre?

Primary Witness: No they were in ITI

So they had them at gun point and a group were there chopping them up?

Primary Witness: Yes there were many people there and they had them at gun
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