Buchanan City: Day 3

Back to List of Transcripts

The Second day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Wednesday April 9, 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 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.

Sixteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Alfred Naleh
(First Primary Witness of day three)

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

Your date of birth?

Primary Witness: February 16 1959

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: #3 District Jaffa Town

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer planting rubber, rice, cassava and pepper

Primary Witness: In 1990 there was no harm to me at all and I was working with Palm bay as a store holder and from there I heard of war coming from Rivercess the LPC and I took my families and carried them to where I am and the war chased me and carried me to my home town. When the LPC entered we ran away and went in the bush where we were until they went to Gbarnga. We were in the bush with out harm because they never saw us.

After that when they were coming back we saw the NPFL in the forest searching fro us and one man said he knew me from Palm Bay and he said I should gave him money and I said I had no money so he started beating me. His friend said he should leave me and they were beating my older brother and the young man said lets go behind the house and he said I should run away then he easily fore in the air so I can escape so I did and I was in the bush I could not run because of my family. I was there and they started beating my families. I left in the bush until they went and I came out and saw my wife and asked and she said they gave them tough time and they beat them. That is all.

Question from the Commissioners:

Chairman: sorry for what happened to you. We who survived during the war are the ones that can tell what happened to our people. These things are not suppose to happen but they did. Commissioner will ask you questions. What year did you encountered the NPFL?

Primary Witness: 1994 and they beat all my families.

Do you know the name of the guy who started beating you?

Primary Witness: I don't know them only the guy who assisted me and he is called Moses.

Commissioner Syllah: where is your wife now?

Primary Witness: She is at Jaffa town now.

Did she tell you what they did to her when you were not present?

Primary Witness: She told me that the young man rapped her

Did she give any statement to the statement taker?

Primary Witness: No

Have she been able to have some children?

Primary Witness: Yes we have some children and nine of them died from sickness in the childhood.

Were you able to take them to the hospital?

Primary Witness: No

Commissioner Stewart: was there any NPFL soldier by the name of CO Devil in that area?

Primary Witness: Yes he was the commander for the Delta Force but I never saw him

Was it only you and your family they took from the bush?

Primary Witness: I only cared for my family so I don't know what happened

Did they burn any house in Beckon?

Primary Witness: Yes the burned 6 houses

You know whether they raped other women in the town besides your wife?

Primary Witness: No

Did they force the young boys in the town to give them arms?

Primary Witness: No

Did they loot the town and carry anybody with them when they were going and forced people to carry loads?

Primary Witness: Yes my wife carry load.

How long were you in the bush?

Primary Witness: For three months

Commissioner Washington: do you know if CO Devil had any other person above him?

Primary Witness: The only person was JY who was the General for the Delta force

Does JY have any other name?

Primary Witness: He was JY Webo that was his name.

The rebels fighters who came and beat you people up, do you think you can remember how many of them did these things to you?

Primary Witness: As I said they came and rush on us and so it is only Moses I can remember, but they were about seven pf them and some were still behind talking.

The soldiers who came and did that were they young or older and did they include women soldiers?

Primary Witness: They were not old people but they were big boys in their 20s.

What happened to you brother?

Primary Witness: They were also beating him.

Where are you five children now?

Primary Witness: They are alive now and in compound today.

Their ages?

Primary Witness: The first one is 21, Teto the second is 19 and the others and kids.

Was there any treatment and counseling done on her?

Primary Witness: Not exactly.

Was the guy who save you a rebel or he was recruited?

Primary Witness: He was with them but I knew him from Gbarnga.

Chairman: thank you very much for sharing your experience with us, you have confirmed what people have been saying to us. Now that we have ended you testimony is there any thing else you have to say to the TRC?

Primary Witness: Thank you very much, I want to tell the TRC to help me build the school building in my town because the children are many in the town and they are not in school.

How many houses are in the town?

Primary Witness: About 15 houses

Can you estimate the population of the town?

Primary Witness: About 65 people, what I want for your to do next is for my health because the beating has affected me and I don't have the money to go to the hospital and I want your to help me with tools to make my farm.

We visited Sinoe county and there was a story of how 700 people were killed and they scattered all around and one man build a house in a place and the people came from where they were and they came to Jackson and ask him to build a town together and they call the town Jacksonville and they are now developing. So what I am saying is for you people to come together and build towns so that we can bring development in the areas. Now that you are 65 how many children are there in the town?

Primary Witness: They are many but we the adults are 65.

Commissioner Dolopei: What is the age range of the children?

Primary Witness: They are small children


Seventeenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Elijah Tarwoe
(Second Primary Witness of day three)

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

Chairman: 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 Witness: I am Elijah Tarwoe.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Coco David Town number four District.

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I m a farmer and a gold miner.

How old are you?

Primary Witness: I am 32 years old.

Primary Witness: Okay, during the war 1994, LPC came to our town. Then they caught my father, my ma and my family. They said we were rebel. My ma said no we are not. They started beating us to confess. They carry us on the estate LAC. My brother and I escaped. They carry my ma for three months on the estate. We decided to come Buchanan, but no money so we decided to cut palm to survive. NPFL came and they say we were hiding LPC. They beat me they knock me with gun butt. My ma say ah, your beating my children too much they are not rebels. They say what your have? We say nothing. They say let' us go. My ma say let us go Buchanan. They said no food in Buchanan and then we went in the bush. Another rebel came and burned our town and we say we will go Buchanan. We all scatter my ma and I went Jarba's Town. Before you come to Buchanan at that time you had to get pass. So we went and cut palm. My ma say we can't leave the pappy behind. One Sunday morning, so we went and saw him. One man they called Jerry Vah, he was soldier he was among the civilian. So we went and cut some plantain down and carry with us. My ma me and two other person we were going to one Thomas village. I ask for my people and one another rebel finish killing my people. We went while standing, I go look I saw group of soldiers and they had cutlasses and start running behind us and the other man say the Peking running and the man was near me and say he want cut me into pieces . We went far so I decided to run in the village and I went in the bush. I saw the group passing. I went to where they run behind us from. And I saw these children that they and myself were together and they ask me weather it was rebel. We went in the village to find out. I told them to wait I went in the town, I saw bodies wasting and I told them all the people die in the village and went in the big town and saw people crying and we hid ourselves and start crying and my friends said we will challenge those people and we said we were going to LPC. We met Jerry and he said they will kill all the people. He said let go in thee town and he went and view the town. We met with one body the man call Gbawon. And some people that not die yet. We took one girl her foot was broken and one other one we brought them in Jarba's town. So we came in Buchanan we came and brought those children to Buchanan.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: What year was that?

Primary Witness: 1995, in Gbaga town.

Since then, have you seen your parents?

Primary Witness: No.

Did you see your ma and your pa body?

Primary Witness: No.

How many bodies?

Primary Witness: Seventy-five (75) in the small town and two hundred sixty- five in the big town.

What was the town name?

Primary Witness: Yoursee town.

What was the name of your mother and father?

Primary Witness: Wachi Tarwoe and Afred Tarwoe.

Are you sure the killing was done by NPFL?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Any name of the NPFL commander you know?

Primary Witness: No. I only saw them coming.

Did the children survival? The children that you brought?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Syllah: What was your brother age?

Primary Witness: Jackson Tarwoe

How many children your father had?

Primary Witness: We are four.

Did you know the children that were rescue? you knew then before? Have you seen them?

Primary Witness: Only one I have seen.

Do you know their name?

Primary Witness: Only one Gblee

How were they killing?

Primary Witness: They use cutlasses and sticks.

Commissioner Stewart: So where did you bring the children?

Primary Witness: Japer town

Was Jerry your friend a soldier?

Primary Witness: Yes

Did he tell you who he was the commander?

Primary Witness: No he never told me,.

Do you remember the commander's name?

Primary Witness: Emmanuel Seekee

NPFL, who was some of their big man?

Primary Witness: Emmanuel Dixon.

Commissioner Washington: I was confused of the two town's name.

Primary Witness: John Weagba village which is the small town and Yoursee town the big town.

The children rescued at the time. What were their ages?

Primary Witness: The big girl 10years old the other either 6years, the boy either 5years

Commissioner Konneh: 1994, LPC came and accused you for NPFL it means NPFL came first?

Primary Witness: Yes

What was the relationship?

Primary Witness: They did not harass any body.

They never rape, take food?

Primary Witness: They only ask for us to give them food and they only killed one JR.

Was JR a fighter? He had gun?

Primary Witness: Yes he was the commander.

When LPC came what they did to them?

Primary Witness: They kill no body.

Were you people in possession of gun while on your way to Buchanan?

Primary Witness: No

Do you remember any commander's name?

Primary Witness: War bus, Emmanuel Seekee.

Are they still alive?

Primary Witness: No. I have not seen them.

Chairman: Thanks very much and have our sympathy for the lost of your family. Your help in the process of rescuing those that should have died and still alive. What was the name of your friends that rescued those children that were brought to Buchanan?

Primary Witness: Elijah Rogers another one from Gba-go town he was minor he was digging goal.

Any last word?

Primary Witness: I am appealing to TRC to help me for my back and my family that have been bury for remembrance, which is to make a grave for them.

We want to say we are sorry and thanks for coming. Did the people have any general funeral?

Primary Witness: No. only my parents.

You remember the spot?

Primary Witness: Yes behind our house.


Eighteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Alfred Logan
(Third Primary Witness of day three)

The Third 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, welcome to the TRC. We are happy to receive you, this is the place where we all come to explain our testimonies.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Compound 4 District #4

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I use to do farming but since the LPC beat me I am only doing garden

What is you date of birth

Primary Witness: I am 57 years old

Primary Witness: The first war in Compound 4 it was the Kassaca group it was about 17 men the big brother called Kommeh. When they came the collected the citizen and said we should gave them 12 tins of gin 12 tin of palm oil and many other things plus money and they gave us 15 days to provide them. They went and killed 453 human beings and they said we should find a place to pack them then they packed them on the football field like wood. They were beating people and we went to Cucu Dennis and Daniel Chea and complained and they did not believe it. So they followed us and they saw the people so they went and collected the 17 men and they brought them and we the elders went the rand they executed them in the morning that is how the Kassaca move behind us.

Later the LPC came and when they heard what we were doing for the Kassaca group they say we should do the same thing and we use to collect food fro them. In November the LPC hit the compound and they and the rebels fought a lot and I ran with my children in the bush and we build a tent. After four days the NPFL came to my village and my wife was bathing and I was there and one of them went to my wife who was bathing and they kill her. They took a lot of things from me but my wife death hurt me a lot because we ran and I did not burry her. From the bush I came to Buchanan and I left the people there and I don't know what happened again. When I was there they said the war was finish and we should go back home that is how I went back to compound four, that is what I know about the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: what you are telling us today is conforming what we heard before about the killing of more then 400 people by the Kassaca group in the compound 4 we are sorry for all these incidence. The Commissioners will now ask you some questions for clarification

Commissioner Konneh: we are sorry for all that you went through during the war and we also want to thank God that you are here to say all that has happened. As the chairman said all of these will be made a part of our report. This Kassaca group you talked about was it for the NPFL or the LPC or they were by themselves?

Primary Witness: As we heard the group was from the NPFL then we heard that they wanted to overthrow and have their own faction because they were supported by some big people.

Do you know who was the big person for the group?

Primary Witness: His name was Kassaca and Isaac Kumah was with him and another leader

How long did they stay in your area?

Primary Witness: For two months.

What did you do to the 463 people that were killed?

Primary Witness: We could not burry them because they were killing them on a daily basis and they told us not to cover the bodies.

When Kuku Dennis saw the bodies what happened?

Primary Witness: When they saw it and left then we started burying the bodies.

If the TRC come with you will you show them the area?

Primary Witness: Yes the spot is there but the people had made cassava farm there and they burned the area but the spot is there.

Commissioner Coleman: sorry fro what happened, were those who killed all resident of the area?

Primary Witness: No they use to go from village to village and bring people to be killed in the compound.

The Kassaca just came and started killing or something happened?

Primary Witness: One of our elders a citizen lodge one of them who came there before and he went around and knew the area so when he left he came as a soldiers and brought his 17 men power and they organized a government and they started going around killing.

What is the name of the man who lodged him?

Primary Witness: His name is Nue Saywea

Was the Kassaca engaged with fighting other group?

Primary Witness: No they just came and started killing people; they were not fighting other group.

When did this happen?

Primary Witness: It was in 1990

How do you know they were connected with the NPFL?

Primary Witness: When they came some other people give us the information because all the ammunitions they brought was from the NPFL and they formed their own government and started killing.

Were they only 17?

Primary Witness: Well there were other people but they were not stationed in our area, only these 17 guys.

Commissioner Washington: sorry for the horrible experience and thank you for coming, I have no questions.

Commissioner Stewart: sorry for all the happened, you said they beat you and you can farm no more, can you explain that?

Primary Witness: First the people made me to carry pig foot barrel on a one hour distance and I did not go far and I fell down and one of them say oh you want to waist our oil and one of them took the gun and hit my back, but for the fear of death I had to get up. When they saw I could not carry the oil they call four men to carry it. Then they said papie you can go. Where I am now if I lift heavy thing I will feel pain and I can't throw axe or cutlass.

Did they tie you?

Primary Witness: No but the load they put on my head that is what affected me.

Do you remember the LPC commander in you area?

Primary Witness: Yes he was LPC Deaby

Is it the only name you can remember?

Primary Witness: Yes they were on the compound but he is the one I can remember, he use to collect people things and carry them.

Chairman: we say sorry for all that happened to you, is there anything else you want to tell us before you go?

Primary Witness: What is on my mind now is the hard time is not on I alone, but the citizens of our area are suffering. The school and the roads there is bad, it use to be one hour to Buchanan but now it is three, and the school there they are not teaching because the teachers are making farm. They are not paid so they are making farm. So I want the government and the TRC to help us with these and the clinic also because there is medicine but no real doctor there to help. We can not blame the teachers now because they are not been paid, if they are paid and they are not teaching we can complain when they are not teaching.

How many citizens do you have there?

Primary Witness: Well it is about 43 towns and the people are many and some of the children walk about one hour or one and a half to come to school.

Is it possible the people in the town contribute to help the teachers while the government is doing nothing for now?

Primary Witness: Well we have been helping to brush for them but our people are hard to satisfy because if we brush they want for us to mind the birds and to build fence so they are not teaching because they are hard to satisfy.

Nineteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Philip Kanamah
(Fourth Primary Witness of day three)

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: Thanks for coming. We believed that every citizen who come here to TRC do it with more honesty.

Please call your name again for our record

Primary Witness: My name is Philip Kanamah

Please state your Birth date.

Primary Witness: I was born in 1968

Where do you stayed?

Primary Witness: I stayed in Wrankan's Town

What is your occupation?

Primary Witness: A farmer

Do you farm rubber and rice?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Please tell your story.

Primary Witness: I first want to give thanks and praises to the TRC for the Peace and security we are yearning for. I cannot explain from 1990 to now. It was January 1995, we fled from Bong County from the LPC forces but because we were from Grand Bassa County, our lives was not secure because when you go in any town and the rebels sees you and asked the town people, they say they do not know you and as a result you might be kill; they could not recognized citizens from different town or counties that they did not know properly.

Because of our fear and concerns, we came back to a town called Rockest town in the Bassa area and the Chief of the tow was called Chief Fineboy. When we got in the town, Chinese Jarper arrested all of us and said that we were rebels or we have come to carry news for the rebels. When he arrested us, Chief Fineboy came and said we were all member of his town. By then, we were all tied and been beaten severely by his soldiers Finally, Chief Fineboy stood our bond and they told him that if anyone runs away, he the Chief will be responsible and the Old Man agreed and they released us; but we were serving as their slaves in the town. We used to cut palm, break wood, draw water, beat rice and many others for them as their captives. While in the town and doing all these jobs for them, they started raping almost all the women that were there on a daily basis; so one day, they raped my aunty Old Ma Kpan, and she could not withstand the rape and she ran away into the bush. When evening came, Chines Jarper asked for my aunty and they cold not see her; so the soldiers said that we have sent the old ma to call rebels to kill them and so they were going to kill all of us. Later, they call Old Man Fineboy to produce my aunty. We look for the woman the whole day and we could not find her and the next day, Chinese Jarper said since Chief Fineboy could not show my aunty, he was going to kill him and he asked to tell all of us there good-bye. He than took the old man behind the house in the coco farm and the only thing I heard was a sound of the gun and he killed the Chief for our business. After killing the Old man, one of the soldiers called me and said that he was going to kill me since I was a young man and indeed I was with LPC; while in that process, one of my former school mates called Kollie came and said that he knew me and I was not an enemy and so he should release me. Based upon the request of my friend, he finally released me. Why I was there doing all the work for them, they burnt my entire village including the school and the hospital.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Since that time have you heard from your Aunty?

Primary Witness: Yes, she is now in the town but a little older.

What's about your school mate, what is his name?

Primary Witness: His name is John Kollie

There were how many women in your group?

Primary Witness: There were 12 women and 10 men.

There were any children?

Primary Witness: Yes, several.

All the women were raped?

Primary Witness: Not all but those that they wanted and they left the older ones.

Where were you in 1990?

Primary Witness: I was in Grand Bassa County here.

You had any encounter with the NPFL?

Primary Witness: No, only bombing raid took me from here.

How was the relationship between the rebels and the civilians?

Primary Witness: It was fine with me because I was not harm.

Commissioner Sylla: What happened to the Chief Wife?

Primary Witness: Nothing happen to her at the time but right now, she has taken sick and is presently in the hospital.

How many children they had?

Primary Witness: They had 5 but 2 died.

What is the names of the children that are living?

Primary Witness: We have Joe Fineboy, Kuta Fineboy, and Mamie Fineboy.

What are their ages?

Primary Witness: The last child was Mamie - 12 years.

How old was Kuta?

Primary Witness: Between 18 years.

What's about Joe Fineboy?

Primary Witness: He was 15 years.

Are they going to school now?

Primary Witness: Yes, some are currently in school.

What's about your Aunty?

Primary Witness: She is not well currently, but she is in town now and getting very old.

Commissioner Stewart: Accept our sympathy. You remember any other name of soldiers who was were with Chinese Jarper of the NPFL?

Primary Witness: Yes, I remember one Long Soldier.

What is Chinese Jarper real name?

Primary Witness: I think they used to called him Philip Konmiegar.

You say they burnt your village?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They burnt the school?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was there a clinic in the town?

Primary Witness: No.

How many houses that was in the town?

Primary Witness: 29 houses.

They took your properties?

Primary Witness: Yes, they took all.

Your provided food for them?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They forced young boys and girls to join them?

Primary Witness: Yes, but the boys left when the soldiers left.

They carried young girls as their wives too?

Primary Witness: No, No.

Commissioner Konneh: You said she was forced to escaped from the town, was it one person that raped her or many persons?

Primary Witness: Several persons raped her.

How was she when she went in the bush?

Primary Witness: I cannot tell.

They killed Fineboy because your aunty ran in the bush?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Your buried him?

Primary Witness: No, we could go near the body.

They burnt his house?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How long NPFL stayed in your area?

Primary Witness: They took about 3 months.

Where you physically affected?

Primary Witness: Yes, I have some marks on my back.

Is John Kollie still alive?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

What's about Chinese Jarper?

Primary Witness: My brother said he saw him in Monrovia some times ago.

Chairman: We want to say thank you very much. Your testimony has given memorialized Chief Fineboy. Can you describe Chinese Jarper?

Primary Witness: He was a slim fellow.

Is there anything else you want to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: Yes, I want TRC and the Government to help the Late Fineboy's wife and children he left behind, I also want your to help with our school in the town.

Twentieth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Joseph Kpagbor
(Fifth Primary Witness of day three)

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

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

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am a student of the DDRR program and I am doing Criminal Justice

When were you born?

Primary Witness: March 15 1961

Where do you live presently?

Primary Witness: I live in Monrovia, I live at 22nd


Primary Witness: I want to say thank you to the TRC, more people don't know me, I just came here to clarify this to other people. We all came to reconcile and to talk the truth and nothing but the truth. I am former General Gapou Woe if you hear of former Major General Gapou Wou of the NPFL that was heading all the manpower in Rivercess and Grand Bassa and Sinoe. Nobody carry my complain to the TRC, I can remember one morning I was to my house when Genera Chinese Japer called me and he said chief you will be called at the TRC which they called him Philip Komenga it na stay long and I got a call from Sampson he told me chief they need you to the TRC and I ask him why and he said chief the issue that going on between we and the TRC people they want you to be the light to tell them the truth because you was controlling us so I told him I say my man I don't thing I able to go there, he say chief we got to go there. Surprisingly another call came and I said who is that and he say I am the one chief and I said who is that and he said I am Michael Higray commonly known as Michael David. So I say what are you doing and he said chief I hear my name on radio and I say no that sundayguy dearboy and not you because your own of Michael different from that other Michael so that na you and he say I thought that was me. In the evening time I got a call from the TRC, they invited me into the TRC and I say I was not coming if they want me to come they must bring truck to come and hall me that is the only way I will go, if they na call Taylor from the Hague to appear then why should they carry me there? So after we got through talking he said we really want to see you so my mother came and said I must go there because the people say your must go and reconcile, so I took upon myself and I went to my counselor and he said go there and appear let them see you, what they want your to do for your to talk it.

So I went to the TRC and they say do you know Michael David and I said there are two one Michael S David and Michael M. David and they say we want you to clarify because and they say you know Chinese Japer I said yes I know him commonly known as Philip Komiga, and they hum. They say do you know the other generals that were controlling the place in Buchanan? I said yes, I had Philips Kah Komenga known as Chinese Japer, I had Jeremiah Gbapon who was in #5 he was battalion commander, I knew General Death commonly known as Othello Natty he was in #5, and these boys were all under my jurisdiction and I said anything, they said we want to know about a massacre that happened there in the place you were controlling. So I said that all you call me for and they said yes so I said the thing already happened long ago so I don't think it will be good for us to dig the secret, but the way it reach this far, if you want me to talk I will sit down and talk what you want me to talk. I said in Grand Bassa County I was there in 1993 when LPC took me from LAC and I move to Sian when I was in Sian I can remember there was a force in the NPFL they call it the executive strike force, they came to meet with me because they said they wanted us to face Co-Marshall in Gbarnga. I can still remember I said I am willing to go to Gbarnga and they took me to Gbarnga and face the Co-Marshall. They said people went to your control area and they disturb are you aware of it and I said some of these things I am not aware of it. So I said I will call my BSC them that are under me so we can find out, and I talked to the boys and I told the man that is all I have to say.

Then the man say we still have small little thing, the issue here we just want you to tell us the fact if you knew the group that did the act and I told them it was a time when, before the Kassaca could come to Grand Bassa County, the executive strike force came and they left from there we had another group the call the Red Scorpion who were the alien force they were directly assigned in Gbarnga they came in Grand Bassa County that was the time my second return to the town they name me after they call Garpou town #3 so I can remember when the came they were headed by certain group of men and these men are still living and they did some things and they were handle because they call it military Co-Marshall. They said we still get small more questions for you to answer. Then I told them I am willing to answer, they said we want to for you to really tell us again how this Kassaca went to Grand Bassa and how they function?

I said Kassaca entering Grand Bassa County they were headed by General Joe Towen. They entered Grand Bassa in the evening time and things were well when the entered. They said they were heading for Rivercess to get Bob Koffi because he was trying to betray the organization and I allowed them to pass through, but when Kassaca pass there was report that came to me say there was a destruction that went on the compound that led people to death so I said your let get in communication with the people and let them tell us where they are. Then a woman that was there by the name of Annie a civilian woman she said but chief there was a boy here with you called Michael Higray he is with Kassaca that they the one all pass in this town. So I said but Michael Hargray committed a crime here and I am looking for him then how the executive group can send him back here to Grand Bassa County. This caused a clash between me and the ECOMOG and they brought all their weapons fro me to leave. A man that was controlling the fare ground a captain came and told me to leave and I said I can not move because you are a captain and I am a Major General so you cant just come and tell me I must leave it is like you are playing on my intelligence. But the problem there I can handle it in a way so I want you to gave me three hours so I say if your will do it that way I will not accept it and I will not move. So we were there until the three hours pass and after the three hours they started to launch so myself I started to reply them, I said we have to go into it.

From there Chinese Japer called me and said but chief what happen and I said the ECOMOG break ceasefire because they said I should leave Grand Bassa County and I said I was not leaving so they break ceasefire. So anything your can do for us to attack them let us do it and attack them. While we were there the LPC was advancing and they push us as far as St. John. When we go to St. John I left because there was an order that came from Gbarnga that they wanted to see me effective immediately so when I was leaving I left General Devil in charge of Rivercess and I left the late Siki, Emmanuel Siki and I gave him the executive order and I said he should take car until I can come back. When I go there the president asked me and I said they said I should leave and we started fighting, and he said you took arms from them and I said no we have not gotten any arms from them yet while we were talking I got a call from here that they capture one barrel missal from ECOMOG so I said I going there quick papie then let me go and come.

While the Kassaca was returning from Rivercess they said they were looking for Jerry Vai they started to beat on people, the first thing I met a girl who was really butcher from the back and I ask her what happened and she said your NPFL group coming again so I say let me go there. So when I got thee I saw Kassaca commander so I say but my man how can you perform this way? Because you see the attack we are under then you too performing this way then how the citizens will protect us because these citizens if the show the ECOMOG the road they will come on us more and they will catch us because they are bringing the LPC so you have to be more technical how you doing things and he and I clash and I was wounded on my back that is how they took me and they carry me to Gbarnga again for another treatment. From that time I left I was in Gbarnga and the three counties were still under the Jurisdiction of my administration. Then I told the papie if I remain here the thing that happened will happen more. So he said you will be here. So I went to the Papie and said I want my name to be change from that particular list so that if anything go on then I will not be part of it. So Tom Woyou went and changed my name from the list and give me another assignment which was in Cocopa in Nimba County. When I was in Nimba County I had my man Leo San, the red Scorpion, I had Sansor Douso they were all with me there surprisingly ULIMO business started coming up. You know other Generals refuse to come to the TRC and I relies that they will come and we have to pave the road fro the TRC work to go and we will have to come because Rivercess, Sinoe and Grand Bassa are our home and we have to come home so if you sit there and say we will not reconcile it is like you are playing fun.

This rebel thing something make people to join, maybe they killed your people or you don't want to carry load for other people. You know the NPFL thing there are few people that committed crime and they base in Monrovia, they base in Grand Bassa but you will not be able to talk to them because of the present movement, we have gone certain stage. If I go and pass to some of the areas I pass I know the people there will throw rocks on me. So on my behalf and my under men behalf I want to say sorry for what we did and for the people of Grand Bassa to forgive us. The second issue here is I na come here to say John Brown do this and he do that. John brown have his commander and his commander was under me so if he do bad, John Brown Commander must answer the question. The issue because I know other people will say they man say he was commanding general and he talked this and that why he na talk about this person or that person? The Michael Hagray his own of David that is my own of Michael that was my bodyguard under me, then we had Michael Sunniguy Davies that man was directly assigned to Chinese Japer and he was the radio man, the first time he was a radio man when we were changing the radio man them around we made him to deputy MP commander to write pass. Maybe if he go through his commander, I hope the TRC will go through his commander so he can come and explain. My own of Michael in the presence of the people of Gaye Sawer Town in #3 he and the boy they called Tossue Nission and the boy called Dirty Prick then we had Cross Falling and we had devil-walking god-walking, these three guys that I named faced Co-Marshall because of what they did. This young men they did certain in Gay peter town in #3 and they were facing execution and it was only Michael Hagray that escape the execution.

From that place we left all these issues so you know as a commander to control eight to nine hundred men in an area is not easy and maybe other men went and cause trouble but you can not know so on behalf of my unit the pass unit in the pass revolution I want to appeal to the grand Bassa people for forgiveness. I want to say sorry for all that my unit did to my people in the county. If I did not want to come here nobody can force me to come. But I know some people have burning issue and when they see us their temper rise. A common example I was on campus in Monrovia and somebody attack me and said the TRC suppose to put your in one whole and deal with your and I said in the name of God nobody can do that. Even in the bible there was war and later the people will go for reconciliation and then start developing. So if you see my sister or my daughter in Grand Bassa county and your beat them you will just go to jail for nothing. So if the Grand Bassa people want me to kneel down to them I will kneel down to them for them to forgive me. I want you to forgive me so that we can live good life in this county. I know your heat is burning, if I explain about the Kassaca and other things your heart will burn so I want you people to forgive and let us go on, I beg your, thank you.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: We want to thank you for coming and coming in the true face of reconciliation and for coming to say sorry to your people. I say this not because you are form Grand Bassa County, but because that you are a Liberian. We at the TRC want to discuss the past so that we can move forward. So we thank you for coming so the commissioners will asked you some questions, I know you don't expect to inflame the emotions of he people but we at the TRC want to know the truth and so that you have asked for forgiveness they will consider you, so the commissioner will take you back to things you did not want to say by asking you some questions and I want you to answer faithfully and truthfully.

Was there a particular name for the group you commanded?

Primary Witness: The group was NPFL Navy battalion division

And you men were up to 1500?

Primary Witness: Yes they were exact 1500

You said the Kassaca was headed by Joe Towah?

Primary Witness: Yes the first man we said he was in group was Joe Towah heading for Koffi and the T-shirt they were wearing had Kassaca Scorpion force on it.

Do you know of Isaac Gumah

Primary Witness: Yes he came with the Kassaca and he was controlling a group in Kassaca?

When did you join the NPFL?

Primary Witness: I join the NPFL in 1989 when I left the Boys mission, we were the people that burst the mission and left and the first training commander was Zac B Momba and second under Bob Marley the Malian forces.

Commissioner Konneh: the concept of TRC did not come from the breeze; it came from men and women with foresight. People who understand how dangerous is war and people who understand how difficult is to reconcile and heal the wound and prepare the society for reconciliation. Are you sincere of what you have demonstrated here today?

Primary Witness: Yes

If you are and you vow never to harm any body but to tell us all you did are you prepare to appear in in-camera?

Primary Witness: Yes I am ready to go anywhere the TRC want me to go because some of us never wanted to fight this war but we wanted to protect the people so anywhere you want me to go I will go there because I am tired and we want peace.

At the time you join the forces to fight what was you inspiration that motivated you to join?

Primary Witness: I have three reasons for joining, the first reason is I hate advantage for what another man can do another man can do and I cant look at you treating my mother and sisters, two I lost my father because of Charles Taylor, three when I was coming up I promise my people that I was going to be the tree of the family who they will depend that I why I joined and I went to the highest so that I will not be pulled around.

Can you elaborate on how your father was killed for Charles Taylor?

Primary Witness: My farther was one of the man who paved the road for the late Quonkpa because he was one of the men who gave road for him when he came here, and he was part of the national patriotic party in America so when the people in the government knew that he was conniving they sent the SATU to our house and he was taken and he don't have a grave today I don't know what they did to him. My mother told me the story and I said if the war come I will revenge for my father.

In revenging for your father many innocent children, women, older people died and some were mimed and some were permanently incapacitated, so you thing that was the rightful way of revenge?

Primary Witness: I came up to say that the step I took was not right that is why I went on my knees for, I did not go on my knees for only Grand Bassa County, but for all the counties I went through. Most of the open forums my name was not mentioned but I use to sent people so all they did was from me so I have to come and say sorry for all that happened.

Commissioner Coleman: I felt warm in my heart that you had the option of keeping quite but came up before you were called. You talked about when you joined the war was it 1989?

Primary Witness: Yes

When did you leave the war and how?

Primary Witness: I stayed with the revolution and it ended and there was election and I was still there.

What capacity you served in?

Primary Witness: I served with the ATU and before going there I was with the SSUB at Camp Surflin and I was trained there to defend my country. In the SSU area they said we had disrespect for authority and they decided to change us and they put us in the SSS ands I was with them when Chulky formed the group called Scwazerigar the son of the wicked. When he was starting it the presided called a general meeting with the ex-generals and he said the group he is forming we have to hold it up and we went there and we arranged the group and we wanted them only for the presidency and it did not sound well so we had a seven days meeting and we came up with a solution but it should be Anti Terrorist Unity which means the Cobra on the back if it see a man it warn him not to go where the military is and we went in the meeting and we put it into vote and we won. So we went to the president and told him. Later he called us and asked if we could train the children and we said we could do it but he said he will send for people so he sent for General Shain Kaba from Cuba, Nathaniel Biccam from Burkina Fatso, George Blay from Rwanda and we had another Tanzanian officer then we brought ten South Africans for discipline and we ask them which of the discipline you can gave our force to make them strong and they and they said army man if you graduate you don't talk to people so we make sure that every army man must be straight, so we say papie I thing this group will do something. And that is why the ATU don't talk to people and when the president is passing they turned their back with their arms which is from Cuba because if the see the face of the president they will overthrow. Then there was also the dress code for Rwanda, which of the uniform we will us and they describe the uniforms and I think I went to the TRC and show them my uniform and some of the list some of the ex-Generals and I show him the photos and I said I did not want to participate in the war anymore. I show him the lining and the rooster for the ATU and he said when you leave from the hearing we will have to sit down and put it into the computer. The list of the Generals who controlled the ATU the and where the arms came from I knew all. The OTC supplied us with arms and uniforms and we had another group after the decedent attack us a group called the Trick in Battle because the ATU are uniform soldiers and the training they took is not fit for the battlefront so we are going to draw them from the front and we will sent another group there. I was assigned to the OTC and we had a rule that if you went to be paid you have to go to the battle front and fight and when you come you will get $150.00 and two begs of rice. So we came here and we mobilize and we went to Lofa County and we set up the team and that is how Chinese Japer was retreated from the port. His original name was Philip Kar Komamgar and he and other was at the port, we drew him from the port and assigned him to Lofa and we sent Small General to Sinoe County and we order him to recruit and even women were joining because some girls said they wanted to prove their talents.

In doing it the OTC things were guided by us and to show we were tired, we had communication with MODEL, because Billbord was my friend and there were others with them, but John Garran and others we were in communication and we were telling them to come fast and take over Buchanan and we did n twat to go in the bush because the president say if the war gets hot we will go in the bush. There was a ship coming to land in Grand Bassa and if that ship was going to land in Grand Bassa, the TRC was not going to come again and the president was going to resign and we were going to go back in the bush. So we told them to be on their alert and so that the ship will not land for if it does our people will all die. So we drew all the soldiers from there and the group that were coming will not be able to do anything because we had short time for the ship to land and for the plan to land in Monrovia which was bringing some arms.

Chucky went to Cuba to negotiate for arms so if we gave him chance to land it was not going to be easy, so we use to play trick so if they sent you on the front you will play trick so that we can delay them and God help the MODEL came and they caught the ship and the international community arrested the ship. The arms that were coming were from Cuba, it was not from no other country. There were there AK here one from Malaysia, one from Israel and they use to buy it and carry it to Cuba and they will transport it to Bassa Port and they said it was cement but that is how we wanted it to happen so we have to tell the Liberian people sorry.

Did you go through disarmament?

Primary Witness: We were the first group in the DDRR program because our people can make us to fall in trouble and can make us to get in trouble. They told us that if we face the DDRR we will not travel so we had to go to them again and they said you're the formal general your force to come and we went and they send us to school and presently we are with them going to school.

Why do you thing the war in this country was against the innocent people?

Primary Witness: The issue is that you know it was not we were looking for the people when we come to GB we will say your boring some of your children to help to protect your and when the people give us people that their own people will start chasing them. They will come and say chief if you go behind there on that farm it lack, the people carry plenty things in that bush then the commander heart will cut then they will go there and take the people things and they will take their own and bring their commander own and that is how they use to do. There was something we use to do if we take the knife and put it in the ground and it there are human beings there the knife will make some sounds. Then the Bassa people ha a saying again that a road can not go in a stick so where there is a road you will find people. That is how they use to catch their own people. But we had a rule in the NPFL that if we enter any town the people there have to feed us but not for us to go on their farms they will bring their food, nut their own children knew them and that is how they use to show their own people that is what suffer the civilians. The military man will not sit dawn and hear another group coning for him not to take action. In the military there is the saying that the wrong that man does in the weight to the commander, but it came a time that the civilians use to charge the military man FFI which is fail to follow instruction.

Could you comment on why the NPFL did cannibalism and witchcraft?

Primary Witness: You people talk about the witch craft activities in the NPFL, we just have to say sorry, but it is the same people in the village that use to gave us the medicine. The people in the village wanted to come close to you so they will say we have medicine and they will gave it to you.

What is the importance of eating human flesh?

Primary Witness: That other part is for certain group in the NPFL, it was introduced by the late Cashus Jacobs but it was not all the soldiers that did it. That is why if the marine pass somewhere you will know because if they pass somewhere you will know because if the flies. But if it is the army division you will not find anything in the people houses. They can't kill but they will loot all the people things. The Navy division was to protect the sea side but they had another force what they like is money and car so if they pass somewhere you will not find car or money. So the Marine in the whole NPFL was afraid of them, even the Charles Taylor was afraid of them, all of the disparate men came from the Marine, the SBU was use to guide the President. The Marine was the ones that brought the wickedness to the people and this was because of the fall of Gbarnga and that time the said Cashus Jacob was the leader and he connive and so Jack was made the leader and he wanted to shoe him that he was more then him, so that is how all the group use to behave wicked.

In your mind why did the revolution not work for peace after the death of Doe?

Primary Witness: You know what that is the same problem we are facing with the TRC, because you calling some generals and they refuse to come. Some of us were not wearing $75 jeans and the war came and you are now enjoying, so in that case that kind of man will not want for his grease to leave his mouth. John and I were in the bush tapping and he john is now a deputy minister so I want to be a deputy minister too so such a people like that will not easily gave themselves up easily. Example somebody like Jerry Vah he has a house in Monrovia so you think he will come here to tell the people sorry, he will not come we have to use a specific means of calling him. When you call his name he will call the other people and say look at the people they calling my name because I riding my car then they will say you na know what to do to them that is why they are calling you. These are all the things that went on in the war, things that you never had you have them son if they say come down you will not come and you will want to defend it until you doe, so that is why the war was hard.

Can you tell us where the money used to come from to support the revolution?

Primary Witness: The finance of the NPFL lies in the hands of the head. The only order I got from the president is that every month the OTC should give us %50

How NPFL got her finances?

Primary Witness: I do not know where the head was getting the money. All they used to do is to call the various several and gave them US $2, 000, 00 to US $3, 000, and 00 to take care of the boys. I do not know where they used to get the money.

So your used to get pay?

Primary Witness: No, It was not a regular pay. but when the boys captured certain areas, he gave them that as motivation.

Co-Chairman: Thanks for coming and for the insights you have given us.

Can you specify which of the David was with you?

Primary Witness: We have two Marcus David, which Sundaygar Dear-boy then we have Marcus Higray. My Marcus Higray became power drink so I changed him and sent him to battle group. Then Marcus David, which is Sundaygar Dear-boy, he was a Gio boy because he does know about Gio boy, I sent for Chinese Japer; we were using him to write pass. This Marcus Higray that was assigned with me was very troublesome.

Which Marcus David from Chinese Japer side?

Primary Witness: I can not record if something happen with their area.

How many men were under the MP Commander?

Primary Witness: About one hundred fifty men.

What the name you were using?

Primary Witness: Gayduho- means if you want suffering, you will get it, if you want good, you will get good. Then the Bassa meaning: Sorgarjegar- you beg for suffering, you get it.

Did you reached all the goals you set as a fighter, did you get those who killed your father.
Primary Witness: No, I said I did not set those who killed my father and I think join the revolution was a big blow.

You gave ordered at any point in time when you gave ordered to killed people, burnt the town?

Primary Witness: No, the issue here is that I never gave order to anyone to do such. Since TRC started their hearings, no one had said Gayduho killed this person. In NPFL, we had chain of command. Kassaca said no one should anybody to cross St. John bridge and five opened between my group and Kassaca and when I got there, I saw 10 dear bodies, later we went to a certain village and we met one elderly man and he said one group just

You did not have control over the other groups?

Primary Witness: They have joint chief of staff- controls all the group - Nelson Gaye as commander followed buy Cacious Jacobs. They have Navy Chief of staff and they have Marine chief of staff they were the highest group- NPFL.

Who was that person?

Primary Witness: Jack the Rebel took over after Nelson Gaye died.

What?s about Marine chief of staff?

Primary Witness: Militia chief of staff Roland Duo.

Navy chief of staff?

Primary Witness: Momo Jerbah

General chief of staff

Primary Witness: General Benjamin Yanten.

Primary Witness: I went to Cuba and to Burkina Faso and to Taiwan for body guard training and we went Libya for another training, we were many. Those are the counties of traveled after war, MODEL captured and wanted to kill in Sinoe and Bloboe Sand no. They asked how many persons we need to captured Grand Bassa. I said (150 men and when we got here, I escaped and went to Monrovia. Then I was sent back to attack Gbarnga and I got injured at God Blessing Gate. Taylor took me to Calabah and I got my treatment and when I got well, my mother sent for me and I came back to Monrovia.

You were in Calabah when they caught Taylor?

Primary Witness: No, I left before.

What will be your position if Taylor came back with fighting?

Primary Witness: I do not think Taylor can escape.

Commissioner Washington: Was there anytime your men did some wrong and you investigated, if they were found guilty, what you used to do?

Primary Witness: If you assigned a soldier in a certain village and something happened and you asked the soldier and he says nothing happened, you leave it. For instance, one of our soldiers called Dirty Prick raped a woman and I took my gun to kill him, the same woman said the boy was her boy-friend, so you see? He repeated the same and I executed him for that in the presence of the town chief and other citizens.

What if the people refused to feed your?

Primary Witness: Liberians never one day refused to serve us. It is just that it is difficult to control people. The soldiers used to miss used the food and give the citizens hard time. Any time you talked ton pappy, he will say your pray, most time he is like crying on the phone. I will not have any solution to that. Let me say something, if Taylor is free today, every body will welcome him.

Is your apology real?

Primary Witness: Yes. I just want to give my strong support to the TRC; if any one comes here behind me and say General Gaydulo killed my people, burnt my house, let TRC call me back, I will come back and appeal, your should not hide the person.

Chairman: Are you challenging or actually saying you did nothing at all?

Primary Witness: In this Grand Bassa County if anybody come and I did something, I am challenging and the same time appealing.

You had small boys fighting with you?

Primary Witness: Yes, I had 300 child soldiers and 400 women who decided to join.

You had Roster for them?

Primary Witness: Yes.

And you are willing to share with the TRC?

Primary Witness: Did the small soldiers go through formal training?

Primary Witness: No, they could go through any formal training, they are join soldiers. The one who took try Samuel Parwon, he was strong and he went with us to Cuba so we promoted to the Rank of small General.

Where is him now?

Primary Witness: He won David has gone USA, only his wife and children here.

What year he joined?

Primary Witness: General condition with child soldiers?

Primary Witness: One the battle front, the small soldier feed the soldier with Magazine, he continue till the magazine, we used them for recognize.

The child soldier used to take drugs too?

Primary Witness: Yes, if you not smoker, you will be drinker, but there are some who could fight without these things. Like for me, I used to drink

What about the women and who was their commander?

Primary Witness: Martina Johnson- chief of staff

Where all you trained?

Primary Witness: I took my training in Taiwan, in the year 1997, another in Cuba which was basically in Infantry, another in Body Guarding for eight (8) months, another in Taiwan in the city. 1997 was done in Ivory Coast. Infantry was in Cuba how and was on how to read map, how to capture. Fifty (50) men were trained for six (6) months after the 1997 election; it was like 5hours, 45minites from the city. Libya- Military hard ware training 50men. And in Burkina Faso- it was the same 50 men.

How many different countries? South Africa, Cuba, Rwanda, Charles Breeze and Libya

You had any foreign soldiers?

Primary Witness: Yes, NPFL came with different Special Forces from different countries.

What's about Dr. Manneh?

Primary Witness: All these guys some of then died and some left.

Any idea about NPFL going to Congo?

Primary Witness: I can not tell you anything.

What kind of Arms you received?

Primary Witness: Light arms AK47, G-3, etc.

Where the arms used to come from?

Primary Witness: We only used to see the arm come but we do not know where it came from.

Have you heard about captain Marble?

Primary Witness: Yes, Oscar Cooper, he was a business man not a fighter, he had company.

You have any idea about Thomas Sankara's death?

Primary Witness: No, I have no idea; the only thing I know was the agreement between government and Libya to go there for training.

Commissioner Syllah Why Casaka was after Kofi?

Bob Kofi was funny; he was fighting both LPC and NPFL. So we decided to arrest him that how strike force, jungle Lion decided to arrest him.

Why Bob Kofi disarmed NPFL?

Primary Witness: We used to hate one another. It was difficult to understand one another.

How you got your General Rank?

Primary Witness: General Bob Malay a Malian, chief of staff of Navy division before going he recommend me to succeed him. One morning I saw a convoy and they took me to Cari and Taylor asked me to quote my General order, and I quot
Back to List of Transcripts