Buchanan City: Day 1

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The First day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Monday April 7, 2008 at the Buchanan Fare Ground Auditorium, Grand Bassa 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 after which the representative of the Legislative Caucus. 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.


First Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Myer Johnny
(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. He was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: Mr. Witness good morning and welcome to the TRC Public Hearings. 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 Witnesses: Mayer Carmoh Johnny

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witnesses: No I can not remember but when I was a child I saw President Tubman

Where do you live presently?

Primary Witnesses: District #3C Diehda Town

Thank God ever so much, I was in Liberia here when the war came. I say thank God for you mainly for you because during the war people, did a lot to us but today you made me to come out and say it. During the time we were small at that time they had a saying that the hug will come to the town and carry the chicken and it will say carry me to the intersection and this is the saying that the TRC brought. We in the bush we are not sitting down and we are struggling, but the war took everything from us. I was in my own town I did not go anywhere and the soldiers came and took all the things from us. The person that did bad to me I will call their name.

When the war was going on my little cousin came to my town and a soldier in our town called Michael David grab him and said he was a A1 and he grabbed him and said he will carry him to Tapateh and he started whipping him and I went there and begged him and said the boy was not a soldier. I beg him so much but he will not listen to me and he said the boy should carry him to Diso Town and I said we should go together so when he leave him we will come back. While going we met some ants on the way and he said the boy should stand there and if he shakes he will beat him so I started begging him so he said I should pay $25, but I pay $4.50 and he freed the boy and we left.

Later in 1994 when the LPC came we went in the bush and I December when the left from Nimba county they came in my town at which time I was in the bush. They search for him and they found him and they brought him in the town. Michael David boss at the time was Zoga so he said this is the man we arrested from the bush Chief Myer so he said you can take care of him and we are coming back. When the boss left David started beating me and he juke a knife on my side and you can see the mark. So the boss came back and said why are you treating this old man like this, you have grouch for him so since it is like this you should ask him to pay small money so we can leave him. At the time I had small money on my farm so I say lets go there for it. We went on the farm and I gave him $3,000. When we reach he told their boss that it is only $2,000 I gave him but I could not talk because I was afraid.

They took me to the next time and Nathaniel Zoga said I should be with him and we bath together and ate together and even slept together. Then the next day he took me together with him to the next town and he left me with the soldiers that were there and told them I was his oldman so they should protect me. I was there for three days then some soldiers came for me and said they were told to take me to my town. We went and slept in Powere town then the next day to Sadiu town. When we reach there the boy who brought me left me there and went to the next town. When he left three small soldiers came and asked of me and they put the rope on my waist and took me away. While going I wanted to go in the latrine and I told the small soldiers but they said it was late. They brought me in Diso Town at the battle front to Michael David who sent for me. He gave me some rice crust and said this is your last food after eating we will kill you, I was afraid and the food was hard in my mouth. They took off the rope and carried me to my own village, when we got there he said you old man the money you have here that you cant go anywhere you have to gave it to me. So I said the money I had is what I gave you and he said you are lying and so they started beating me and said I should show them the money. I continue to tell them I don't have any money.
At that time my son and I had some money and we hid the money so I did not want to show it to them. There is a scorpion on the soldiers' uniform and he told me I will see why they had the scorpion on that uniform, so he said they should not use gun on me but they should mob me. They said should we kill you since you don't have money I said yes. Then they said where is you steel mail and I showed them and they carry me there and they said if you don't have money we should carry this mail and I said yes. Then he said they should put me in the water and kill me so they will go. They put me in the water and they put stick on my back and press me under the water and when the water went in my nose my eyes was dark. I fought hard and put my nose out of the water and my shoulder was out and my body was in the water. Then they were saying this man will die for money.

So I told them that I had money, then they loosen me and they said I should carry them to where the money is. I carry them in the bush and the money is in a barrel and I gave it to them. Then the David man said we should kill him since we have the money, but the children who were with him said we should not kill him since we have the money. Then they asked if I was going to tell anybody and I said no and they said I am free and I can go. I was afraid as I was going until I enter the bush.

We were on the road and a lot of soldiers pass in our area but the only person who did bad to me is Michael David that is why I am here to tell you the person who did bad to me in the war. After the people came to me and I explain to them how the thing happened to me during the war. I told them that before the war I had my own car and when the war reach here I took the car to Harbel and up till now I don't know who took the car. Presently they burned my own car. That is the statement I gave to the statement takers when they went to my village. Some time when Michael see me he can want for me to suffer but it will not happen and I said do you think suffering is a good thing when I am suffering and you are enjoying. I was looking for the money for my children to go to school but now they are not in school because of Michael David. The total money that they took from me was $60,000 JJ and my steal mail.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we appreciate you coming forward to come and tell your story to the TRC. What they did to you was not fair at all and it was not supposed to be done. It is because of this that we are here to find out what happened so that the government will know what to do. The Commissioners will ask couple of questions.

Can you tell us in what year you first encounter the fighters?

Primary Witnesses: It was in 1994 December

In 1990 was there no experience with the fighters?

Primary Witnesses: No

Was the Michael David that he was using?

Primary Witnesses: The name he was using during the war was Michael David but when they started singing now he is called Dear Boy.

Which group was he fighting for?

Primary Witnesses: He was fighting for Taylor

Do you know some of the soldiers that were with him?

Primary Witnesses: I know them but they did nothing to me

I want to know their name if you know them

Primary Witnesses: There was one Moto, then Klay Nimene, there was one Biliping Konneh because he likes eating well they are many are cant name them.

Do you know where Nathaniel Zoga is now?

Primary Witnesses: No. I don't know where he is but he is the one who really rescue me.

Commissioner Konneh: we are sorry for what happened to you and are happy that you are here to testify. Those who came to testify are those who want the wounds to be healed. In your testimony you talked about the boy who came to visit you and was called an A1 what is his name?

Primary Witnesses: He is Papa Biah and he presently live at #3 Compound.

What was you relationship with him?

Primary Witnesses: He was married to my daughter

What was your fear when you followed the boy ton the next time with Michael David?

Primary Witnesses: He beat the boy in my presence so I was afraid for him to be beaten again

Why did he juke knife on you side?

Primary Witnesses: He wanted money from me

What currency was the $3,000 you give him?

Primary Witnesses: It was the Liberian currency

What is the name of the village you called the battlefront?

Primary Witnesses: It is Dieh Gah Town or Meawen

You talked of two boys who decided not to kill you what are their names?

Primary Witnesses: I don't know their manes

Were you to see them including the Michael David will you recognize them?

Primary Witnesses: I can't see good now so when I see them I will not recognize them. When they juke the knife on my side I had problem with my eyes.

Are you trying to say it is that incident that affected your eyes?

Primary Witnesses: Yes, people said the knife they use has some poison on it.

Have you had some medical attention?

Primary Witnesses: No

Will you be willing if you had the opportunity?

Primary Witnesses: I will dance for that opportunity.

How are you living now?

Primary Witnesses: I am suffering to even find food to eat.

Do you have children now?

Primary Witnesses: Yes

If Michael should challenge what you said, are you prepared to challenge him?

Primary Witnesses: Yes I am willing.

Commissioner Bull: thank you for coming to give your story to the Commission. Where did you give you statement?

Primary Witnesses: I gave my statement in Disu town but I don't know the date

You said three small boys put ropes on your waist?

Primary Witnesses: Yes

But the paper here said that Michael David took the rope and tied it on your waist, which one is correct?

Primary Witnesses: Maybe the people who wrote the statement made a mistake, but I said the three boys put the rope on my waist from Sola Town and we went to Michael David.

You said you put the money in Pig foot Barrel, can you tell us the size of the barrel that was filled with the JJ you talked about?

Primary Witnesses: Yes, this is how I can know the differences, the one that can take three tins and so on; it is the one that can take 19 gallons.

You said is Michael David that took the $60.000

Primary Witnesses: Yes

In you written you said he took the generator or the steal mail, which one he took?

Primary Witnesses: The generator of the steal mail

Thank you, so that we can clarify that it was the generator and not the steal mail. When you were asked if you see Michael David will you not be able to recognize him you said your sight was bad and you will not be able to recognize him, so that means you looking at about five men to recognize him you will not do that right?

Primary Witnesses: Yes

Thank you for telling the truth, may God bless you.

Commissioner Dolopei: I want to know if Michael David knew you personally.

Primary Witnesses: I am not in his mind but he use to pass my village everyday.

Is he from around your area?

Primary Witnesses: It is during the war that I use to see him

How long you use to se him?

Primary Witnesses: He use to visit my place for about two years period but he is not stationed there

Since the war ended have you been able to see him?

Primary Witnesses: No

You said the Michael David is Sunny Gay Dear Boy, how do you know that this Michael David is him?

Primary Witnesses: I got to know from the time he started singing, people who knew him told me.

So it is only from the singing you recognize him?

Primary Witnesses: Yes

Have you seen his cassette with his picture on it?

Primary Witnesses: Well I can't see so I have not seen the picture, I can't even see my wife if she turned her back.

You said one Nathaniel David freed you and he asked David to take money from you, and you gave the money to him, after giving the money they did not leave you, they continue to torture you?

Primary Witnesses: After giving the money they left me on the sane and Zoga took me away and later Michael David send for me and torture me and took my money.

So you are saying the Zoga was not aware of the second tome is happened to you and you have not seen him?

Primary Witnesses: Yes

Commissioner Washington: sorry for all that happened to you and for coming to the TRC. During the time you were beaten, what did they use?

Primary Witness: The use the big cutlass

How long did the beating last?

Primary Witnesses: It was almost two hours, they tied me and they will beat me and relax and come back again and beat me.

How long they kept you with them?

Primary Witnesses: The very day they beat me was the very day I gave them the money and the very day I went in the bush.

Was you family affected?

Primary Witnesses: Yes, they beat my oldest son Paul but it was in Bong County

If you had the opportunity to say something to Michael David, what will you say to him?

Primary Witnesses: If Michael should take oath as I have he will identify me and tell you what he did. If he come and say what happened is war but let it pass between you and myself, that kind of money I said he is the one who cause me to lose it, the only thing I suggest is for him to gave me some money so that I can send my children to school then I will not think about it.

Commissioner Stewart: thank you for coming to share your experience with. To the best of your knowledge and recollection, did other factions go to your area or only NPFL?

Primary Witnesses: Yes the LPC came there and we ran in the bush. We don't know the difference between the units, but it was the LPC and the NPFL

How long did you live there with the NPFL?

Primary Witnesses: It was from 1990 up to the time LPC came there.

When did LPC come there?

Primary Witnesses: It was in 1994 when we were about to harvest rice

Can you tell us how was normal day life living with the NPFL?

Primary Witnesses: At that time when the soldiers come they will ask us for food and cattle and we will gave it to them.

Did they pay for it?

Primary Witnesses: No

Can you remember what happened to those who refuse to give food and cattle?

Primary Witnesses: Well I did not witness anybody refusing to be treated.

How often they came?

Primary Witnesses: Almost everyday and some times about three times a day

Do you know anybody in Slue town and anybody knew you there?

Primary Witnesses: Presently people know me that are living there, but during that time every body was in the bush.

Where were the other villagers when these things were going on?

Primary Witnesses: They were in the bush and they ran after me in the bush for the second time and they grab me.

How long were you in the bush?

Primary Witnesses: One month two weeks.

When the LPC came where were you?

Primary Witnesses: Before they could come we were in the town but when we heard the firing we ran in the bush

What did they do in your area?

Primary Witnesses: We were in the bush when the come and so I did not see anything so I can not tell you what I did not see.

Where is Papa Biah today?

Primary Witnesses: He is in #3 Compound

Was he there when they took the other money or only the $3,000?

Primary Witnesses: At the time they took the three thousand I was the only person there that is what I am saying.

What happened to the steal mill since they took only the generator?

Primary Witnesses: It is there.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming to share your experience. Was Michael David there when this thing was going on?

Primary Witnesses: Yes he was there.

When did Nathaniel Zoga come when they were beating you?

Primary Witnesses: He neat me and cut me with the bend knife under my chain and my side then Nathaniel Zoga came and said why was he beating me, did he have gush for me? And that is how he took me and carried me.

If Papa Biah sees Michael David will he recognize him?

Primary Witnesses: We he is at the Compound 3 and I cant tell if he can recognize so if he comes you can ask him but he will tell you what happened to me.

Chairman: thank you very much for coming to tell us your story. We want to say sorry for all the things you went through. Is there anything finally you want to say to us the Commissioners or the people of Grand Bassa and the people of Liberia before you leave?

Primary Witnesses: This is what I want to say, this land is in the hands of the people who learn. At the time we were young there were no good learning, this time they are saying everybody should learn. Had it not being my money been taken away by Michael, then some of my children are out of high school. After he tool the money one of my soon I got little money and he completed high school and computer collage and he is now in the university. We were not looking for money to get rich but for our children to be educated. If the TRC can help me to send my children to school I will be very happy. To learn is sweet and we are not part of it.


Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Elizabeth Kpoo
(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. He was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: We want to thank you Madam Witness for coming to the TRC. We appreciate all of our witnesses for taking up their precious time to come to talk to the TRC. This shows that you are a good citizen and that we all want peace and we want to say bye to war and look forward for a better future in Liberia so that our children can have a better future here in Liberia. So we say welcome and feel free and you can start with your story. But before that, we will like to ask you few questions.

What I is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: 1964

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Kpoo town

What district?

Primary Witness: Kpoo town number 3 district

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am a Business woman and farmer.

Primary Witness: We thank the almighty God, 1990, I was having a baby, I was in my home town. During that time there we saw a lot of Liberian Soldiers coming in the village. They were a lot of soldiers wearing uniform. We have lots of Liberian soldier, they were aggressive and they started beating us, we ran in the bush. In that bush there was no food. So they came and took our men from us and took them to a valley. We stay there, no food, we slept on the ground. The children were crying. And our men they say they were going to look for food. They catch all the men, in the evening, we saw the men them coming, they say your come to the bed we get food, we are here to cross your. In the evening that was Tuesday, they put us out, they say your don't be afraid because we are freedom fighter. The next day, we were not satisfied. So we went to bed, in the morning before 5: o clock, they started shooting. My husband was afraid he went to the toilet. But I say they say we must not be afraid because they came to save us. That night I went under the bed, but I couldn't hide there and I came out. My baby was on the ground, and the baby almost died. So the four year old child I was having, they came and throw the baby on the ground and the child die instantly.

The put all of us out side the same night, they told us to take us out side and took all of our cloths from us even my pants and they say we should squat. They started shooting and while they were shooting some people started dying. They next thing I saw I was in the hospital. When we woke up, the soldiers came and said you people are lucky because so many people die in your town. We started crying the big doctor that came, and took care of me, and tell the counselors were there and I spent 6 months in the hospital and the seven one, I hear say they fighting in Buchanan. All our people they died that all I have to say. And these days, we are not fighting war, but people still wear soldier clothes and tie their head, it still makes us scare.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Can you tell us the name of your two children?

Primary Witness: Habakkuk Kpoo only got hurt

How old was he?

Primary Witness: A young baby 2 months.

What about the other child?

Primary Witness: Mondaymar Kpoo 4 years

Your husband is he still alive?

Primary Witness: Yes, Levi Kpoo.

The first people who attacked, did she say it was AFL?

Primary Witness: Yes,

So the second attack was tit AFL?

Primary Witness: Rebel

Do you know the rebels?

Primary Witness: No.

Do you remember the year?

Primary Witness: 1990 April.

Commissioner Bull: thank witness for coming. When you talked first, you talk about the AFL, but I want to tell you when you talk about them they are the ones who swore to take care of us. What you have told us today, you swore to an oath today. Under the Liberian law when you put your hand on the bible and swear and what you say is not true, it is a crime. They talk about you and your step daughter been rape, is that true?

Primary Witness: Yes, it is true. What is her name?

Primary Witness: Mamie Kpoo.

One thing you said, you said although the war is over, your heart is not at peace yet. You say when you see people wearing the soldiers' uniform, and we all want a better or past.
So we will to put it in history

Commissioner Dolopei: Extent sympathy. We know that by coming here, you have started a healing process. A process that will help you so much some where alone I got confused, which group did this to you AFL or NPFL?

Primary Witness: Liberia Soldiers.

Did they bury the people they killed?

Primary Witness: Yes, at that time I was in the hospital

How many of your children died?

Primary Witness: One.

You talk about the mark on your body, who saw it?

Primary Witness: The counselor.

Commissioner Steward: say sorry to witness. Can you remember the month?

Primary Witness: April.

Can you remember the date?

Primary Witness: I can't remember.

How many soldiers went to the village?

Primary Witness: They were many.

Were they over 100 or 50?

Primary Witness: I could not count them. But the time we were to the hospital, the rebel that went there, they told us they were more then 250.

Were they wearing uniform?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was that the first time?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What is the name of this village?

Primary Witness: Kpoo Village.

Commissioner Konneh: War is not good. One of the reason war is not good; it affects not only the targets, but also innocent people. You are neither a politician nor and warring faction. What you have said will be in the inter part of a proposal. And as we read the Holy Koran and the Holy Bible, we read about good and bad people. So this will be a document that will be open to our present and future government. So we say thank you for coming.

Chairman: did your house or properties got burn burning of the by the rebels?

Primary Witness: Liberian soldiers did the burning of the kitchen and every thing.

Is there anything last you have to say to the Commission before you leave?

Primary Witness: Our children that die, all our family die. It even left sickness in my body, because I get constant heart beat.

Tell us what is on your mind. So that when you leave from here, you can be able to say what happened has happened. So tell us what is on your mind. So speak your mind.

Primary Witness: I ask the government, human beings can't come back to live. I am a business woman, and I need place to sleep and secondly, school for my children because presently my children are not in school.

Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Mamie Membah
(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, welcome to the TRC. We are happy to receive you, this is the place where we all come to explain our testimonies.

Please repeat your name

Primary Witness: My name is Mamie Membah

Your Date of Birth?

Primary Witness: 1976

Where are you Living?

Primary Witness: I live in #3 District

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: Farming.

Primary Witness: Many things happened to me during the past war, but the main one that affected me that it I am going to tell you all. The people killed my Sister and Father during the war. She was pregnant for nine months. A man called Peter established his own group and he and his group came and killed my Sister, they opened her stomach and took out the baby. They also killed my father by cutting his head. When I think about these things, it can hurt. After they had killed these people, we asked Peter for permission to bury the bodies and they allowed us and we buried them.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Is he the only one you know?

Primary Witness: He just established his own group called Peter Group in that area.

Peter was fighting for which Group?

Primary Witness: He was fighting for Charles Taylor.

How many persons were in the group?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

Is that the only name you know for Peter/

Primary Witness: He peter is one and another person called Isaac Tayei, James Teatuo, that's all I can remember.

Is Peter still alive?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where does he live?

Primary Witness: He live in #5. Peter live in #5 and James also live in #5 Karn Ton.

What is the name of your sister?

Primary Witness: Sayllah Gbou

What is the name of your father?

Primary Witness: Geawago

Thanks for coming and we say sorry for the death of your sister and father. What happened to you is very wrong; this is why the TRC was formed for all of us to find a good peace.

Commissioner Konneh: Thanks for telling your story. Was it NPFL that arrested your people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Can you tell us why they did that?

Primary Witness: Well, my father and sister went to look for food for us.

Were your father and sister having arms?

Primary Witness: No.

How your father was killed?

Primary Witness: They cut his neck when he went to look for food for us.

Was he alone?

Primary Witness: No, it was he and my sister.

How you got the story?

Primary Witness: We only saw the head first and later, one of the soldiers called Isaac said they killed him.

Were you with them on the road when they killed them?

Primary Witness: No, but the soldiers themselves confessed.

Your sister baby was taken away?

Primary Witness: No, they just killed the baby and left it there.

Did you see your sister's baby?

Primary Witness: Yes, they left the dead body right there.

Who told you about the death of your people when yourself was not there?

Primary Witness: One soldier called Isaac said they killed the people.

How?

Primary Witness: He said, we have killed your father and sister, you go bury them and he show us where they killed the people. When we got there, we saw the bodies and we buried them.

You say what is the name of the man who said he killed your people?

Primary Witness: Isaac

Is he alive?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What's about the other soldiers?

Primary Witness: Yes.

If you were asked to take TRC to the place where these gays are living, will you be able to do that?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Your had any burial ceremony for your dead people?

Primary Witness: No, we just buried them.

Was the baby's dead body intact or was it cut into pieces?

Primary Witness: No, it was intact.

Commissioner Bull: Thanks for telling your story. My colleague Konneh had asked all the questions I had to ask. So, thanks for coming.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live with my husband in #3 Compound.

Have you talked with Peter regarding his doing to your people?

Primary Witness: Nothing, I have not told anybody anything.

What will you tell Peter and James if you were to see them and asked them?

Primary Witness: To my believe, Peter and James, if they can come and confess, they and myself could reconcile and forgive one another.

Commissioner Dolopei: Sorry. Your sister have children?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many?

Primary Witness: One (1)

What is the name of the child?

Primary Witness: Yougonjay.

How old is the child?

Primary Witness: I do not know but the child is big now.

Do you remember Elijah and Decontee?

Primary Witness: No, we do not have any Elijah.

Chairman: Thanks for all that happened to you. Everything has been recorded in history. Even though your people are dead, but their names will not die. Anything else on your mind that you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: Yes, now I have explained all my story, what can TRC do for me? Any help your can give me will be okay.

Do you have children?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many?

Primary Witness: 5

What kind of farm are you making?

Primary Witness: Rice farm.

Are you alone in making this farm?

Primary Witness: No, that's me and my husband.

Commissioner Dolopei: We asked what you want TRC to do for you and you say anything will be okay, but if TRC give you L$20.00 will it satisfy you?

Primary Witness: No.

If no, then what you want TRC to do for you?

Primary Witness: I want TRC to help sent my children to school.


Fourth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
John Biah
(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.

What is your name again?

Primary Witness: I am John Y. Biah.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born 1946.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live number three Garduo's town.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer, I do rice farm some times cassava farm, peanuts.

Primary Witness: Okay, it was during 1994 September 3rd, It was the time, LPC group, Charles Taylor soldiers came to our area Garduo's town. It was then 1995 December NPFL recaptured our area. It was on December 20th they burned our town. At which time all of us were in the bush. The soldiers went in search for us in the bush and brought us in the town. At the time the unit that came and took us from in the bush, they were then called Gorolar Single five No Bible, when God not bless me let it stay that was their name. The commander that was there at the time is called Mansu Johnson. The General name is called Manso Johnson and his field commander was called Michael David commonly known as Sundaygar Dear-boy. At which time he was he was the town chief and still the town chief today. It was me they use to come use to for food and give. It was some part of January around 10:00 and the soldiers came at my house. it was January, 1995. and the message they brought was our commander Mansu Johnson and Michael said we should carry you. I said what have I done? They say when we get there, you will get to know. In my own house, my wife and my three children i and myself were in the house. One of the child was eight years old and the other one was five. And the other one that was there he was sick epilepsy. When they took me from out off the house, the woman could not jump over the children because all of the other women had run in the bushes. They were 12 soldiers that arrested me out of my house. And they grape my wife and used her. They took me down on the main road and put cutlass on my throat. The woman was crying. They tell me say old man when you shake we going to killed you. And they were there it was more then two hours before they left me. And they said the commander said go back in the house. I saw my wife she was almost like dead. So the woman said after they took you outside, I the one they been on here they were having me. It past two weeks, we were given her medicine after two weeks when I have something to do with my wife, I sustain gonorrhea. There was no medicine {Crying) we suffered for 4th months. As man if you that gonorrhea, when you urinate have you don't have medication you have to squat to urinate. Until my son got the information in Monrovia, so he bought four of Penicillin and that what my wife and myself took. And that's how my wife and I got cure. The war that was in Liberia here is what they did to me. I witness it myself. In my own born town, they took us from in the bush and killed a boy in my present. The man who they killed he had his wife with five years old child and the woman run in the bush with the child. So when they were carrying us on their base now they were evacuating us, they told the woman say come your let's go. Is the man that they said you man let's go. He said that but my wife that was here I can't see my wife. so they told him say go and find your wife. Because of the gun sound the woman couldn't come out of the bush. He said my wife that was here I can't see my wife and my son and they told him to go and find her. And he came back for the second time and the third time, and they told him that they sent your wife to sent enemy on us. And they call the man and told him to take off his trousers and that how they fire him from the back. That how we left the body there and all left the town. When we got to where they were investigation they look for the woman until they found her. The woman was so afraid when she ran in the bush she left the child in the bush. And up to this time they were not able to see the child. So during the war these are thing that I saw.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: We say thank you and we say sorry for all of the terrible things that happen to you. And the one that you even saw that happened to other people. It is wrong and it is against Liberia laws, and against international laws. And civilize people don't do those kind of things. We are sorry and thanks for your courage to come and expose all those bad things So that every body can hear what happen. And we know that the bad people are defected.

Commissioner Syllah: Thank for coming for sharing your story. And we want to say sorry for what happened to you. Can you remember the name of the man killed?

Primary Witness: His name is called Robert.

Do you know why they killed him?

Primary Witness: They said if the woman, his wife goes in the bush and don't come back it means he is the one who sent her to call enemy for them.

What is this woman now?

Primary Witness: I can't tell her where about.. But it was sometimes before I hear she was somewhere around.

You remember the age of the baby?

Primary Witness: Yes five years old.

Can you identify the twelve soldiers who went to arrest you?

Primary Witness: I can identify two. Eric Flomo and another guy name Santa who real name was not given.

Did they tell you why Sundaygar Dear-boy wanted you?

Primary Witness: The soldiers did not tell me until I got outside at which time they put the knife on throat.

Can you explain some of the activities of the commander in that area?

Primary Witness: At that time but they were always telling us that if any soldiers behave bad to you and you went and lurch his complain tomorrow if they chief is not there, they will come right back to you and aid treat you. So we were even afraid to come and lay complain.

Can you remember any of the general's names?

Primary Witness: Yes. It was one Michael Davis and Mansu Johnson and one Chiness japer who were in another area.

Have you seen any of those commanders?

Primary Witness: No I have not seen any of them.

Commissioner Stewart: Sorry for the experience. You said you were the clan chief. Can you tell us how you secure the NPFL soldiers?

Primary Witness: Yes. I can explain some. We were supporting the soldiers. We use to go in the bush. Because at time when the food stayed in the town they will take all so, we use to go to built tank to keep food They will force you to go and show then the food you get. I who was the chief if they come I say no food they will carry me and jail me. In the night, when they come in the town, they will light the fire and if they find women they will start having then and they will tell the men to go under the bed. We use to call the Targba unit. It means the touch soldiers.

Did it happen all of the time?

Primary Witness: No not all of the time. Some times one week after. And they will tie clothes on their faces.

Can you say weather Michael David and Manso Johnson knew the behavior of their
Soldiers?

Primary Witness: It was Michael who I told about the behavior of the soldiers and he said he was not Kpelleh but another tribe. And it was our own people doing that to us. My daughter lapper was thrown on the grand with the baby on her back. I explain to him

Was Sundaygar Dear- boy aware of these acts?

Primary Witness: Michael Davis was the battle field commander

What was some of the terrible things done?

Primary Witness: Well, the terrible thing is, dead bodies were found on the ground after the commander has pass. If they come and pass and you are not kill is by God grace.

Did they rape women?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was it their usual habit?

Primary Witness: One time they came to the village, when I cook the lady carry the food they commander jump on her.

Did they take people personal belongings by force?

Primary Witness: Yes they took every thing. I had some money they took all.

Beside the house they burned they did burn other houses?

Primary Witness: Yes they burn 18 houses in my own town

As town chief of Glawo town you remember any girl that was rape and died?

Primary Witness: I did not know until TRC went there.

Primary Witness: The first town was called G-ville town

Who were they fighting against?
Primary Witness: At time, in my town there was no fighter there

Who was some of the mean, mean people that were there

Chinese Japers, Gaysaway,

Commissioner Washington: Thank very much for coming to share your experiences with us. I don't have any question.

Commissioner Dolopei: I want say sorry for all the bad experience you had, and to say thank you for coming to share those experiences with us. I want to know is your wife still alive?

Primary Witness: She's is alive I left at home while coming.

Do you know Michael David?

Primary Witness: During the war like 94, I know him but because of my site I don't know him.

Since the incident have you seen him?

Primary Witness: Since he left from my home area, I have not seen him.

How do you know that Michael David is Sundaygar Dear- boy?

Primary Witness: Because of his singing that I head about his Sunday gar Dear-boy name. But during the war he was Michael David.

You said that he was in your area. The night that the incident, you said the soldiers came to your and said that he sent for you. Did they tell you that he sent to rape your wife?

Primary Witness: No they did not tell me. But they only carry me and I thought that we were going to Michael David.

The two commanders you say one is Michael David and Manso Johnson and the killing they did have you seen them do any wickedness to any body?

Primary Witness: I said Manso Johnson is the one that use to come and we will sit and talked to see his soldiers doing bad it was hard. but for this for Michael David I said he was always at head.

You never experience him personally?

Primary Witness: Well, for Michael David I did not really witness him to do harm to anybody. Except that he killed a boy from my home. The boy's mother is one of the witnesses she's here.

You talked about burning houses. Who burned those houses?

Primary Witness: Charles Taylor soldiers. After they burned the 18 houses the one remain standing, they wrote on it single five No Bible. My wife is not afraid she even gives statement but I don't know why she's not here.

Did you ever hear the fighting name of Michaeal David and Manso Johnson?

Primary Witness: They did not have fighting names it was their real name Micheal David and Manso Johnson.

Commissioner Konneh: Mr. witness, I want to join other commissioners to say sorry Thanks for coming to testify Were your area ever visited by AFL?

Primary Witness: They came to some part of my clan and they sent for me and told me to go there. When I was in root going there, which time NPFL was coming near so they move again I did see them but I heard about them.

Did AFL do any thing that you don't know about?

Primary Witness: No.

From 1990- 94 what was your experience with NPFL?

Primary Witness: From 1990 up to 94 it was only Mandingo people the NPFL was in search for soldiers and Krahn. But besides that when they see cattle they will kill it and any soldiers' rape they will kill that soldier.

So these things that happened to you did not occurred in between 1990 and 1994?

Primary Witness: In my area of control I did not experience any thing like that.

You said in 1994 LPC drove NPFL what was the treatment of LPC?

Primary Witness: The only people they were in search of that were soldiers. When LPC got in our area, they came they told us to come out off the bushes and go in town and go by your normal business. And at which time it was harvest time they organized coop and was on their farm. So during the time when LPC was there, we did not experience much trouble. When NPFL came from Nimba County and recapture this area that was the tuff time. And the soldiers will come and say we supported LPC soldiers and we use to feed them. While you people did not go with us while we were retreating. Your were in support of LPC. So 94 and 95 we were in real hell.

During the recapture of LPC by NPFL who was the commander during the Charles Taylor time?

Primary Witness: Plenty commanders and general they came they pass, because they were not assigned in my area but those in my area was, Michael David and Manso Johnson and Chinese Japer they were the one with him at the head quarters.

You mentioned about Michel David as first battle field commander and also about one Thomspom.

Primary Witness: No. I said one Aloysius Gutor.

What was the position of Manso Johnson?

Primary Witness: He was a Brigadier General

You said Michael sent 12 men to have you arrested, rape your wife. What is your health condition now?

Primary Witness: When I want to urinate I can feel some pain in my pennies.

Is your wife also cured?

Primary Witness: since that time my wife has not complain to me that her stomach hurting. One of my daughters is a doctor she can take care of the mother.

Was your wife at the time at the age of given birth?

Primary Witness: No at which time our last born was five years old.

And since then have you getting a new wife?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Is the relationship cordial?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You talked about who was killed, but you did not give the name of the boy.

Primary Witness: They told me his name was Daniel Nanoo. I was not on the sense.

Is he the same person who wife joined in the bush is he the same boy that was killed?

Primary Witness: That two different persons.

And the one that the wife joined in the bush and left the baby you don't know the name?

Primary Witness: This man he and myself not from the same town but if my memory can serve me right his name is Robert

You said you people used to feed the soldiers. How were you supporting the soldiers? Either you member of the fighting group or volunteers, or you were force to do it.

Primary Witness: It was force. if they come and say we want four bags of clear rice you will be compared to do it.

The soldiers who took your daughter lapper down and also cause the child to fall and was naked and you said you took this complain to the commander. You also explain some of the raping case of your wife and how you were lay on the ground.

Primary Witness: They naked my daughter it was after the soldiers came for me at the house.

You mention some of the soldiers call Japer unit. Can you identify any one of them by name?

Primary Witness: They used to come at night but I remember two names. One is called general Flemmah and the other man who used to carry the Jarper unit around is Call Aloysius Gbajur that Kpelleh boy.

Are these two people still living?

Primary Witness: I once saw Flammeh 2005 during the election time. He got of his car and he was shame and that's how he left.

Do you remember the name of the girl who was rape and died?

Primary Witness: I can't remember the girl's name. How I got to know was just during the TRC process I got to know.

Did you get the information as town chief or how?

Primary Witness: they did not tell me as clan chief but it was the time they came for a boy in my town to go and get his story for the TRC in Monrovia that how I ask while they came for this boy to carry him. And this boy give his story that 25 soldiers rape a girl and she died. That's when I got to know that happened in my clan.

And the boy that went to Monrovia to give his story, did he ever tell you that he was forced?

Primary Witness: The boy did not come to give me such information. When he came to me I told him thanks for been brave to go and give his story to Monrovia because they were very afraid.

Has any member of the TRC ever force any one to testify?

Primary Witness: They have not force any body before. If you wish you can go there to give your statement. They will tell you if you have some thing to say come and say it or if you did some thing before come and say it.

Chairman: Thank you for coming to tell us your story. For unity and reconciliation, we are happy that you answer our entire question according to your knowledge. Please describe the clothes that Michael David and Manso Johnson used to wear in your area.

Primary Witness: At that time they were not unified sometimes among the 30 persons only the general will be unified some times they will just take the lapper and cross it over their showers. They just used to wear any thing any kind of way.

Is there any thing that you want to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: We that came to testify we live far off. So we can get network there so if we are been harassed can the commissioners give us their phone numbers? We have one of our teachers there who has a phone one Emmanuel Jonah but to put money in the phone is not easy so if your can help us to put money in the Phone. So that any time we have problem we will be able to call you quickly. Another one is that what you people asking us to explain we don't just want you to go with it and just put it down but to put them into a very big book so that tomorrow our children will be able to read it. So if tomorrow chairman Jerome Verdier say he wants to be president or wants to create a tension so that our children will say that our people suffer this war before then our children will be award that our father them suffer and will not allow the second one to happen. So that's my recommendation I am given to you people. All that we are explain we can't say do this for us for me, I built my nine room beds houses for now I am not abele to built any house because I am old. Only my children are helping me now to sustain me. i left with you people to do any thing you want to do for us. So the phone business is very serious and we want to be in connection with you. So thank you very much for listening to me.

Chairman: Chief we want to say thank you very much. You understand the TRC process very well. And your recommendations are very important, because at the end the TRC will write a book. Even all the thing we talking here today will be inside. It will talk about the conflict how the conflict came about and it will have solution in side so that we can fight war again. And just as you said our children coming after us, will read it and know what happen and know how to prevent war from coming to Liberia. So the TRC is also about the future. Security is also our concern in keeping in touch with some of your recommendation. When we get your testimony we will get Mr. Johnny number and see which one of the networks is working in your area. The TRC is a free process to all Liberians. So that while we are concern that people went to your town and also told you to come to Monrovia to give your statement.

You happen to know any of the people who went there to take citizens to come to Monrovia?

Primary Witness: Yes I know some of them. When they went there they said that those people who they put in newspaper what they stated they did not expect that of them.

Okay, we tell you thank you very much.


Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Tohn Suah
(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: we want to welcome you madam witness for coming to the TRC.
The TRC is the place that will ensure or, that is suppose to have lasting peace so that the things that happen in the past, will not happen again, so that our children can live in peace and have a better future. And that Liberia can be a place we can call our own place.

What is your Name?

Primary Witness: Tohn Suah

Your date of Birth?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Can you remember the name of president when you were a child?

Primary Witness: yes, Tubman

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Garduah town

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Chairman: thank you for coming to the TRC today. That shows that you are a good citizen and you want Liberia to be a better place and a war free country. So we want to say thank you for coming once more, and that we appreciate all of our witnesses. And we respect you as well. So may go ahead and give your story.

Primary Witness: I say thank God for those of you that welcome me, I say thank you. This is what that really touch my heart. What I am about to explain, it is some thing that I am not happy about.

When this war occurred, we ran we when in the bush we were there for tow week. We came back in the town. When we came back in the town, people say the heat that in this town is not easy. I wanted to deny it. While we were sitting, people came and they said, they were from another town, and they say they have burn our town. Then we ran in the bush again for another one month. We were there, people came again, and they say we should join them in the town, they came to rescue us. So we say I hope you na come fool us, oh. They say we na come fool your. So while on the way, it got dark. So we decided to sleep there. They took the m men from us they put them in the attic and they put fire under it with pepper. Hen they started sleeping with our daughter them. I had one of my daughters with me, who was sick and they wanted to sleep with her, I say she is sick oh.

So they took us to one town call Sagbah town. They took us from there again and took us to another town. When we got there, they started sing one song that means, that place is hot doing put your self there. They had their commander call Michael, he say they should tie my son. When they tie him, I started crying, even his father wanted to talk, they started putting fire on him.

So they carry my son. We were sitting down; one boy came and ask old ma how many children you get? I say I get three children. Then the boy said your son they carry, they na finish killing him. I say that true you talking so? He said here his blood here on the cutlass. So I wanted to cry, the soldiers say if I cry they will kill me. So after Marcus let, one boy call Jerome took over that the time I was able to cry.

And the last thing that happen to me, one of my husband niece was staying with me, when the rebels came to our town for the second time, they rape her, she was bleeding, she got sick until she die.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: even though those things happen during the war time, we were all innocent. Soldiers are supposed to guard us, but in stead they harm us. As you say it can hurt, but that burden is too heavy for you to carry. That is why the government to come and talk to you.
Can you tell us your son's name?

Primary Witness: Daniel Nanol.

Was he part of the soldiers?

Primary Witness: No, he was a student.

What's about the other girl that they rape?

Primary Witness: Marquee James.

They same people who kill her son are they the same people was rape her?

Primary Witness: No, that different group.

Commissioner Konneh: Madam Witness, we are very sorry, for what happen to you. In your testimony, you said you people were in the bush hiding, from whom were you hiding?

Primary Witness: It was LPC, they say they were in the bush.

Before LPC took over, what was the treatment of the other soldiers?

Primary Witness: I am thinking that NPFL came first.

Was LPC treating you people bad?

Primary Witness: For me, I didn't lay eye on LPC but they use to say they are wicked.

When NPFL went in the bush to collect your, what was the impression they put your under?

Primary Witness: For me, before they brought me home, they had many people already in the town and that the time they kill my son.

The people that kill your son, do you know them.

Primary Witness: Yes, but because they na living around I have forgotten.

Do you know their names?

Primary Witness: Yes I know his name is Marcus Davies.

That only Marcus Davies you know?

Primary Witness: Yes, they were many.

What was your son doing?

Primary Witness: My son was going to school, but one company came, and he started driving for them.

When your son was killed, did any one tell you why he was killed, and who order the killing?

Primary Witness: After they grab my son, the person who was the commander there, I was on the scene, when the commander gave order. That the time my husband wanted to talk, he say my son is a student. They say r, take the food from the fire and waste it on him. And they tie him and carry him.

And who was the commander?

Primary Witness: Marcus Davies.

Do you know who executed the command?

Primary Witness: After they tie my son they carry him on the road, I was not there. Only the firing sound I heard. After the fire him, they say he did not doe, they use the cutlass to kill him.

Who did that it?

Primary Witness: What I am saying, I don't want to tell lie. The time they carry him I was not there. Who kill him, who did the act I can tell. As I am saying it, I want to cry to show you how much I miss my son. He use to like me, he was doing everything for me.

Don't cry. You know as a mother you took the pregnancy for 9 months. It was your duty to take care of that child. It was also your responsibility to take care of that child, and when that child is been brutally killed, and you are strong in mind, and you are given have the opportunity to explained, that's the only way that child will rest and say yes, I have a mother. So it is the time, you should take the courage and explain. There is no reason for us to say you are lying, but what you have explained, not only we the commissioners will read it. It is generations, to generations will read it.
After your son had being killed, no body came to say I kill your son?

Primary Witness: It was the time one of the soldiers said the commander told us kill your son, so we kill him

You told us at the time your son die, his wife had a baby, how old was the child?

Primary Witness: 2months old.

And you said the soldiers saw the mother with the child and they wanted to have something to do wit her?

Primary Witness: Yes, one of the boys were marry to her.

Where is the girl now?

Primary Witness: She at her house and marry to some one else.
Commissioner Dolopei: thank witness for coming and express sympathy to the witness. Today is the day you have to mourn your son. So if you are telling your story, want to cry, cry. Because when your son died you didn't have the chance to cry. And I know God will continue to give you the give the strength to survivor e.

Commissioner Washington: I want to join my friends to say sorry tom you for your son. Today as you are crying and remembering your son, the whole Liberia is crying along.

Commissioner Steward: Says sorry to witness.

Was your son a footballer?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was he well known?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Did the soldiers know he was not a fighter he was a footballer?

Primary Witness: When the soldier succeeded Marcus, Jerome, knew he was a footballer. He said I should cry because he knew my son was a foot baler. What did Jerome say to Marcus for giving that kind of order?

Primary Witness: When I was giving my testimony, I said, the very day Marcus kill my son, that was the same time they change he post.

Is it the marcs Davies the same as Sunnygar Dearboy?

Primary Witness: Yes.

If you see him today, will you know him?

Primary Witness: What kind of question you asking me so, I took oath, I use bible to swear, then while should I lie. At the time Marcus was given the order, it was not hurrily done. And I was standing to see what he was going to do?

If you had the opportunity to see him, what will you do?

Primary Witness: If I see him, I don't have any thing to tell him. But if I had some thing to tell him, I will not say any thing. Even now I can't say I am going to look for Sunnygar Dearboy. Anything that hurt me, I don't like to play around it.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming to the TRC. Know that when you say these things, you are relieving something. Because it is too much for an individual. Besides you and your husband know what happened to your son and he other girl, the whole word know it. What was the age of the girl the rape.

Primary Witness: She was about 17.
Was she still a child?

Primary Witness: Yes, she was not even having men when it happened.

Where is your husband? He is in Garduah town.
Please extend my sympathy to your husband.

Chairman: please say what on your mind to the TRC.

Primary Witness: At the time the war reach my place, even my house was burn. The wearing I have, soldiers carry all. If I didn't know how to talk to people, I would have been here. When we were coming, it was my friends that give me clothes to come here.

End of day One of the TRC Public Hearings Grand Bassa County



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