Buchanan City: Day 4

Back to List of Transcripts

The Fourth day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Thursday April 10, 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.

Twenty-Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Kaun Giadyu
(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.

C0-Chairman: We want to thank you for coming to the TRC this morning to share your story with us. And so we are going all around the country to hear all the bad tings that happen during the war. We started from Monrovia, went to other counties and we are here in Bassa. So e say thank you and welcome to the TRC. So we will ask you some questions for clarity.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: Kaun Giadyu.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: During Barclay time

What do you do?

Primary Witness: Farmer

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Number 2.

Primary Witness: I thank the God. The thing that happen to me during the war, things that happen to me they are big. When the war was coming all the chiefs left, and I was the only one who left in the town, so they made me town chief, acting paramount chief. So I was acting in their place. They took all my things .I had, things like power saw and other working materials. And I was left with nothing. So I left and went to Gbarnga from number 2. So I came back because all my children were in number two. At that time that was the county superintendent. He say I should forget it, and I left and went on my farm, I spent one week there. I came back to the town, one night I was in the house, when we heard the noise outside. My brother went and opened the door; there were soldiers all around the house. And we said what happen? They say their commander sent them. So they say all of us should come out side. That we get witch crafts in town that make the rebels to cross and come in number 2. So they went and put us out, and they say we should go to the place, they will go to the other towns and catch the people and bring them.

On our way, they started killing the people. They will take two from this other town, bring them and kill them, take two from here, and kill them, and grab two from the other town and kill them. While we were going, they will go in the towns and take the people and kill them. They went in the other town, they kill two person then they pass. One of my brothers they call Gaye, they beat him until they burst his eyes. The grab Jones, I saw them, they told me I am an observer I should not talk. So I did not say any thing there. So they say the wan to see the general, they want to talk some body, one of your big men. So we went to talk thing with the general. They wrote paper, give it to us. Then they say, that place we going, the things we coming to do, we na want to hear you talk there oh, your only observer.

So when we went, they started killing and beating the people, so I had to talk. I went to the commander and I say, I beg you; we want you to free these people. Because they na stay long here, so please free these people. He say we should sign a paper and we give the paper to the general to sign. So he say what I told that man that he is an observer. So you get ready. So they sent a colonel there, one colonel Nuwyon. And they say I should carry all the people who they say were in witch to their own of town. When we were going, they caught one man there, he was sick, and he couldn't walk, and we carry him there. So we fought until we go there, I told one boy to help. So we went and the general was there, I said I brought the people and I put one on my back and we just reaching. He says that good thing but your find some where to sleep. But your sleep here I went in one old kitchen and I slept.

The next morning, I borrow one pineapple, when I was eating it, my sister children came and said, you eating this pineapple, the people that they carry they na kill all of them oh. I say that true you talking so? They say if you na believe it, lets go so you can see. But let's go that t true you talking? They say let go see. So they say we coming start cooking the food for the witch craft. They cook the food and I ate it. They say sit here, in some time, if nothing happen to you, we will know. I stay there and nothing happen and that how I was free. When I left, I went straight in the bush, until LPC came, from there to Buchanan. All the things that happen to me in that place, all the property that I lost, I na talking about it, but the people that die from me that them I really feeing for. So I thank your for coming to hear our problems, so that all.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-Chairman: we want to t thank you for coming, and we want to say sorry for every thing. Because it was not only the people that they abuse but they also abused the position. But we want to say sorry and thank you for sharing your story.

Commissioner Konneh: thank for coming. Can you tell us when you became chief and when NPFL came to your town?

Primary Witness: Doe time, that time, I spent six months, they took the position and give it to some body. When they war came, they all ran away, and they made me acting.

Why did they run away?

Primary Witness: Because they were looking for government officers.

So who made you paramount chief?

Primary Witness: AFL appointed me chief, but I don't really know the difference.

You talk about general freeman you sure, you sure you don't know?

Primary Witness: It was NPFL, because general freeman came from NPFL.

So when General Freeman appointed you chief?

Primary Witness: I don't know the date.

When he appointed you did you accept?

Primary Witness: Yes, I accepted it.

Did he force you or because you were chief and you wanted the position?

Primary Witness: I accepted under fear.

You discover one night that your house was surrounded by soldiers, who was the commander?

Primary Witness: One Metigar.

This Metigar, do you know him before the war?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What was the crime that they had to catch them?
Primary Witness: They say the persons who in playing witch for LPC in Division 2. come to number two. They went from village to village, catching tow people and say they are the witch.

This person is he alive?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where is he?

Primary Witness: Metigar.

Does he work with internal affairs?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

At certain time they say you should not talk, did you suffer any kind of punishment for talking at a point in time, if so, what was the punishment?

Primary Witness: They never beat any body, but the cook another sasay wood food, to eat and all of our tings were taken away.

You alone or everybody?

Primary Witness: I did not see them taking any body things.

Did you see they take people's wife to be their wife?

Primary Witness: Yes, they took people wife.

Are you still chief?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Bull: thank you for coming to the TRC.

Commissioner Steward: what was it hat they make you take? They cook rice and they put medicine in it and they make you eat it. Do they do sasaywood in the area?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Syllah: I want to say sorry for what happen to you and welcome to the TRC. How did they kill the other people?


Primary Witness: When the carry the people on the compound, they took me away, so I don't know. They kill Sawteah, Bowere and his wife, Boyard, they kill Yekpon, and they kill Gay, and John, and Jones. They carry them in compound and kill them.

Commissioner Dolopei: What is your last word?

Primary Witness: school for the children of the victims. And to sent train teachers to help teach our children.


Twenty-Fourth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Marie Giahyu
(Second Primary Witness of day three)

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.

Co- chairman: We want to welcome you and say thanks for coming to TRC. The purpose of TRC is to go around Liberia to make report. So we be going around to listen to all of the bad things that been happening to people. So welcome.

What is your name?

Primary witness: I am Marie Giahyu.

How old are you?

Primary witness: I am 39 years old.

Where do you live?

Primary witness: I live Compound number two Masah's town.

What do you do for a living?

Primary witness: I am a farmer.

Primary witness: During the war what happened to me, is my father business. They beat me for my father house business. Because they said I must give then my father room key and I say no. They beat me until I can't born again. They beat me and sat me down on the grand until I feeling pain in my back. That what happened to me.


Questions from the Commissioners:

Co- chairman: All the places we been going, the thing they did to you is the same thing they have been doing to other people. So we say never mind.

Commission Syllah: Thanks for coming, the person who beat you, you know the person?

Primary witness: NPFL. His name is Young Killer.

Did he give reasons?

Primary witness: Yes, for my father house business.

Where is your father?

Primary witness: My father is the one who just came to testify.

Commissioner Stewart: Can you tell us how it happened?

Primary witness: In the beginning, some civilians came ahead of my father and mother was not present. They asked for my father's key to sleep in his room. I say I don't have my father's key. Then they say if you want see rebel, we will sure you rebel.

How you got free?

Primary witness: Two other Minor boys free me.

Where they soldiers?

Primary witness: No, they were civilians.

Commissioner Washington: What did they use?

Primary witness: They took stick. Then they sat me down on the ground.

Do you have problem now?

Primary witness: Yes.

Which part of your body?

Primary witness: They took off my pain tens.

Do you know how long they beat you for?

Primary witness: For long.

How many persons?

Primary witness: Four persons.

You talked about Mosquito what was his role?

Primary witness: He was the General. He authorized the beating.

He had any other name besides the name Mosques toe?

Primary witness: No.

How long they stayed?

Primary witness: After they beat me they left for the big town.

Have you been to the hospital?

Primary witness: No.

How have you been managing with the problem?

Primary witness: Just taking pain tablets.

You get children?

Primary witness: Yes. Sixteen (16) years a girl.

What did they do to others in the town?

Primary witness: They beat but they did not kill.

Did General Mosquito have any big person over him?

Primary witness: No. he was the commander.

Commissioner Bull: Did you make statement to TRC statement taker?

Primary witness: Yes.

What's the name of your town?

Primary witness: Koh town.

Thank you very much, is just for clarification. So our record can be straight. You say they beat you with stick?

Primary witness: Yes.

So, is not electric wire?

Primary witness: Yes.

Please in the statement electric wire is written so I want you to correct it for the records.

What Mosquito them do, did they beat you? Or wanted to kill you?

Primary witness: Yes they wanted to kill me. Other civilians came and they talked for me but Mosquito give order.

Do you know the name?

Primary witness: Antoe and Jimmie.

Weather any body was killed during that time?

Primary witness: No. I didn't see any killing.

Commissioners please note that the statement says at 6: o'clock every body was out to witness the killing.

Commissioner Konneh: Thanks for your statement refresh and tell us weather you were told to move from your room to go to another room?

Primary witness: Yes. They said they wanted to use my room.

Do you remember one General Stinker?

Primary witness: It did not happen in our town.

Was it not the reason why?

Primary witness: No. in Bong County, in the night one Mandingo man call Skinner mid night he work us up and say there was a witch craft and we should come to see. If we don't come, he will kill us. And that's how they kill the people.

What did they kill them with? Knife or what?

Primary witness: They kill them with Mottle pastel.

Did they die?

Primary witness: Yes.

They were how many?

Primary witness: Seven (7) three men and four women.

How he knew they were watch craft?

Primary witness: They just woke us up. I don't know for what.

What was the commander's name?

Primary witness: Skinner.

Is he still alive?

Primary witness: They kill him.

Who?

Primary witness: They came from Gbarnga

Do you remember any fighting that took place between Ginger Worrier and Marine?

Primary witness: Yes. They chase him.

Did any civilian died?

Primary witness: Yes in the hospital in Fennetodee.

Co-chairman: Thank you for every thing. Every thing you said is confirm in our statement. Any last thing you want to say?

Primary witness: I thank God for what happening here today. What I want to say, I want for TRC to help with the pain in my back. And second, in my village, no school. Our children are not going to school.

How many persons in the town?

Primary witness: Big town

Primary witness: They over one hundred (100)

How many houses?

Primary witness: Ten.

How many children?

Primary witness: I can't answer that.

Thank you for coming.


Twenty-Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Abraham Kraingar
(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.

Co-Chair: Good afternoon, welcome and thanks for coming. You have to tell us all the bad things that happened to you during the war, so as for us all to look for the peace, security and unification. Those who offended others must state it and you who they offended must in good faith forgive them. For record, please state your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Abraham Kraingar

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I was born in 1940.

Where are you staying now?

Primary Witness: I live in Slutu's town, #3 "C" Compound.

Your Occupation:

Primary Witness: I am a Carpenter, Black-Smith and a Farmer.

Now, you can tell your story.

Primary Witness: I thank the Almighty God. Sometimes in 1990 we heard that one Taylor was coming sow all our spoiled cloths and some of us were happy. On May 5, 1990, I was staying in a border town called Slutu's Town between Nimba and Grand Bassa County; that evening, we saw a group of men with arms and cutlasses, but most of the people had cutlasses.

When they got in the village, they asked all the residents to get outside and all of us got outside. When we got out side, one of the armed men got up and said his name is Saye Boayou and he was serving as commander for the rebels that had come and another gentleman got up and said his name was Nenkarnue Gweh and he was also the deputy commander for the group and they had come to fight Doe and to overthrow his government; when we looked, there were soldiers all over the place and were asking for AFL soldiers, Krahn and Mandingo people..

After the two men introduced themselves, we saw all the soldiers moving from one house to another charging all our things. When I looked, I saw my ID card with one of the soldiers and he presented it to the commander. Just in time, they called me and said, I was no more the town chief but they have appointed one of the villagers called Albert Gardea as chief and in fact everything in the village was belonging to Charles Taylor.

Later, the commander called me and his boys started to tie me, they tied me good and I slept in the rope in my own house and was guarded by the soldiers not to run away. When they got in my house, they took my Power-Saw, Generator, Ice-Box and 4 bundles of Zinc away. But I actually knew all the people who were taking these things, some of them from the same community that we live. After day broke, there was an information that one AFL soldier was in the area called Matalda and the commander went in the surrounding village to look for the man. When the commander left, the boys started beating seriously on me. When the commander came from his tour, he asked the town people why they had not apologized for me all that time he was in the bush? Is it that I was a bad man in the village? But the Deputy Commander said that I was a Good man and the commander told the Deputy told the commander that if what he was sayin was not true, he was going to kill him. then he sent for all the town people and asked them but non of them could say a word, in that process, one Loise Dayegar said they were afraid and immediately the commander said, it was a lied because they had in the past bed for 4 persons and why not me? The commander was asking this question because he had seen my coco farm and knew that it was just politics so that I can be killed so they could take care of my properties. From there, the commander said I am free and nobody should do any bad thing to me but he asked me to leave the village because some of the boys had planned to kill me before leaving.

After the beating, I left the village and went to another village where one man who was serving as Combat Medics for NPFL who was also staying with my big sister and started treating the sores. The man used to keep me in the house for fear that if the soldiers sees me, they were going to kill me, so one day, there was liquid in the house I was staying and I took enough of the liquid and drank it and later just walked outside. When the soldiers saw me, they were getting ready to arrest me when my sister Annie came in the town; when we came, she told the Nurse that I was her little brother and I was shown to all the soldiers in the village and from there, nobody harm and the Nurse took good care of me and treated me.


Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Dolopei: What tribe you were among and they did not want to talk for you?

Primary Witness: That the same Bassa people.

Why they did not want to talk for you?

Primary Witness: Because they say I am from the Sea side and they are from the Bush side.

What is the name of the General who asked why the people do not want to talk for you?

Primary Witness: His was General Saye Boayou, when he brought the soldiers, he left and went to look for one AFL soldier called Matalda in the area.

They soldiers cut part of your body?

Primary Witness: Yes, they cut part of my ear.

Commissioner Konneh: You say General Boayou was looking for AFL soldiers?

Primary Witness: Yes, they were mainly looking for AFL Soldiers, Krahn and Mandingo people.

What kind of ID card you had?

Primary Witness: Citizen ID card.

Was it a crime to hold a citizen ID card?

Primary Witness: No, I think that because of my properties they took, so they did not want me to say or do anything.

Why they punished you alone, was it the ID card business?

Primary Witness: I do not know what they were thinking about.

Was it the same General who brought the soldiers to the village and were looting your properties that freed you?

Primary Witness: Yes, I think after the General saw the kind of coco farm I had, he was impressed with my work.

How you got the land to plant your coco?

Primary Witness: It was a law in the village that where ever you make your farm, there you are allow to plant your crops.

Are you a citizen of the village?

Primary Witness: No, I came from Buchanan here and went there to settle.

You got permission from the Chiefs, Elders and citizens of the town before getting the land?

Primary Witness: Yes, it was documented that everybody should plant their crops in the village.

Are you still in possession of the farm?

Primary Witness: No, since I left, the area had turned to bush now.

You still own the land?

Primary Witness: Yes, because no one had done anything there.

How many days you stayed in the rope?

Primary Witness: Two days.

How are your family, were they harassed?

Primary Witness: I do not want to lie, they did not do anything to my family.

Commissioner Bull: Thanks for coming and to tell your story. Have you been to the hospital since 1990 till now?

Primary Witness: No, the problem here is that when you go to the government hospitals, there are no X-rays done.

Did the rebels asked for AFL soldiers?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Which party you were member of before the war?

Primary Witness: LAP

You had ID card for LAP?

Primary Witness: No, it was just my citizen ID Card.

Commissioner Washington: They did anything to you before cutting your ear?

Primary Witness: Yes, they beat me severely.

Which part of your body they beat you?

Primary Witness: On my chest.

Do you know whether they found any AFL soldier, Krahn or Mandingo person and treated them bad?

Primary Witness: Yes, I heard from the Clear's Town that they caught one Krahn man and killed him.

You say again what is the name of the Commander?

Primary Witness: General Saye Boayou.

Where was the commander when they cut your ear?

Primary Witness: He was sitting right behind his desk.

Did he discipline the soldier who did that?

Primary Witness: Yes, in fact he told one Fanta woman who was beating me that he was going to kill her if continues.

Who was Fanta?

Primary Witness: She was one of the woman fighter.

Was Fanta rank higher than Gen. Boayou?

Primary Witness: No, Boayou was the big person.

What happened to your wife?

Primary Witness: Nothing.

They beat other people in the village?

Primary Witness: Yes, they beat one David.

Is he alive and why they beat him?

Primary Witness: No, he has died; one Mandingo man called Sekou used to buy coco from David and when the war was coming, Sekou ran away and left all the coco he bought from David and other people with David. When the soldiers came, they said David was the scale to measure the coco and they put several bags of coco over David and later, he died because of the heavy weight.

You remember the names of the fighters who did that to David?

Primary Witness: Yes, they are: Amos Duogar, Moses Duogar, Peter Faiker and many others that I have forgotten their names.

Are these people alive and where are they?

Primary Witness: Yes, they are all alive and living with us in the same community.

Have they apologized to you people?

Primary Witness: No.

Will you accept an apology from them if they should?

Primary Witness: Yes, I will forgive them because I am a Christian.

Commissioner Syllah: Sorry for all the bad things that happened to you.

Co-Chair: is there anything you want to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: Yes, I have things to tell the TRC. Now I am unable to make farm for myself and unable to do anything as well. When I was well, I used to bring about 750 head of plantain, sometime 50 bags of paper and others marketing goods to Buchanan but now, I am unable to do these things. Therefore, I am kindly asking the TRC and government to help me with money to go to the hospital for good medical checkup and also provide help for my two little to go to school.


Twenty-Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Philip Menyon
(Fourth Primary Witness of day three)

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

Co-Chairman: thank you for coming to the TRC. We have been going around the country to document what all that has been happening in the country during the war. We started with Monrovia and here we are now in Grand Bassa, we have been to the south eastern regions.

Can you tell us your name again for clarity?

Primary Witness: I am Philip Men yon.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Compound town.,

When were you born?

Primary Witness: 1967

What do you do?

Primary Witness: Class room teacher

Which grade do you teach?

Primary Witness: I am a rotational teacher.

Primary Witness: 1992, march 14th when I fled from Buchanan to go to number two district call Gomah. That afternoon, a group of displace came from Margibi and said there were people coming call Konte group. So we say we are not going. So the first group left and went. Before we knew it, the second group left. So the town chief came and said, that all the men in their safe heaven should carry their family in their safe haven. So we all went. Because they told us that the group that was coming, if they tell you to help with their wounded soldiers, and if cant m, u. help them, they will kill you.

So I took my people and we left, coming back in the town, I hear the sound say halt. Not knowing those m town, and them na hide themselves all in the bush, around. So when I heard halt, I stood up, that time, I was having a year old baby. They say they want do their sacrifice. So they took the baby and give the baby to the mother. Then they told me to stand on the other side, and I started laughing, and they say you laughing?

I say but what I will you? I can't fight your. So they took all the clothes from the children including my wife. So I took the other trouser that was on me and I give it to her to wear. They say you, you get money, that what you doing like this. So they went in all the places, they went from swam, to dry land, to the thick forest looking for people things. They took all our things and said we should sing for them. So they took us and carry us some where. We started singing. And they told us to carry their loads, and when we reach, they say we should sing for them. We started singing. So when we were singing, and standing up, I said I was hungry and they brought cane juice for me to dink. They say that the thing they can eat. So I say I na want eat. So one small boy call me to me and said, any thing they give you don't say you na want it, take it if that any thing, you give it to me. So we were still standing there, when they left, we all went to our families, when I came, the little girl my wife was having, I met my wife she say the rebel boys them were shooting all around the baby and he little girl die. We na even burry her good. Ok, that the first thing that happen to me.

1994, the town chief, they can appoint their own town chief. The man they appointed, she read and write, he say I want you to be writing for me, I say ok. One woman in Buchanan here, they call her rose, one soldier they call Ridsaydiesay, I don't know his real name, but that how they can call him. Put the woman in jail in the house, so when I came, she told me, and I gave her one plantain to eat. When he came, he say where you doing with my woman? He say I should take out my clothes, I say why will I take out my clothes? My sister them got scare and they started begging me to lay down. I said I can't lay down. My mother started crying. So I laid down, they put the gun to my head, and he order his small soldiers to give me 25. So when I woke up, I ask him but what did I do to you that they beat me like this for. If it was not for my mother and my sisters them that was begging me, I was really to jump on him to fight because I was too angry.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-Chairman: we want to thank you coming to the TRC. This story confirms that so many innocent children suffer. And we all know how it is to born a child and take care of it until it reach one year old. But I want to thank God you never jump on that man. You get other children?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Syllah: sorry for what happen,

What was the name of the child and her age?

Primary Witness: I gave her the name Mardere and she was one and half year.

When you came, your wife said the girl die what did you do?

Primary Witness: They told her not to cry so they just dug the ground and put the girl there.

Do you remember the faction?

Primary Witness: NPFL.

You say they turn her up side down, what do you mea

Primary Witness: They were charging her for money. While you were there, did you remember them doing any thing to other people?

Primary Witness: No

But the one that ask you to carry the load you know their names?

Primary Witness: His name is JR.

That the same JR that beat you?

Primary Witness: NO, that Ridsaydiesay.

Where is he?

Primary Witness: I have not seen him?

Commissioner Steward: did you notice anything about fighters kill people and eating them?

Primary Witness: I never saw it but people talked about it.

How many fighters went your town?

Primary Witness: But that was whole battalion retreating.

What year was that?

Primary Witness: 1992.

And where were they coming from?

Primary Witness: Monrovia, and Margibi.

Did they burn any house, take any body with them?

Primary Witness: When they retreating, they will take civilian with them.

That soldiers they were carrying, or that civilian?

Primary Witness: Civilian from town, to town.

Commissioner Konneh: you say they ask you to beat rice for them?

Primary Witness: Yes, when they came, that where they say we should beat their rice.
Did they pay you?

Primary Witness: No, we were like slaves.

Did they force you to drink cane juice?

Primary Witness: Yes. They brought opium to smoke and all when I said I don't want it, one boy said take it from them, and later, you gave it to him

You talk about one Sundayar?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was the elder that told us to take our people in the bush.

Were there any human flesh been eaten by them?

Primary Witness: I didn't see it physically but I heard it.

Were you told, that when they ask the village for meat, and you don't get it they will take one person?

Primary Witness: Yes, they ask all the elders to take meat for them, and if you cant do it, the will take one person for among the people.

Commissioner Dolopei: thank you for your patience and for coming to tell your story. The baby ma, your still together?

Primary Witness: No.

But you can see her?

Primary Witness: Yes.

When you see her, tell her sorry for every thing that happened. Do you have any last word to say?

Primary Witness: want to say thank you for this group. But I want to ask some question, the TRC is it only for the bush man or it for every body?

Twenty-Seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
John Vorgar
(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.

Co-Chairman: Good after noon. How are you? We just want to say thank you form coming and to share your experience with us. The TRC is such that we are in search for all the bad, bad things that happen to people during the war. They say we must go around and listen to it and write them when we write them down we will have to make recommendation to be able to have lasting peace. Security, unity, and reconciliation because weather we like it or not we have to live with the same people who did bad things to us.

What is your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is John M. Vorger.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Government Town number two district.

Where were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born March 6, 1952.

What are you doing for a living?

Primary Witness: I was Secretary for the clan Chief before. I am now a farmer.

Primary Witness: I tell almighty God thank you. During the year 1990, I saw group of Gio guys. They called themselves freedom fighters. When they got in our town what they were searching for LNP soldiers, which is the former soldiers. When they came there, they ask at time I was acting as acting clan chief. Then they ask, your have any soldiers here? Then we said no, so they left they visited around us and never found any soldiers then they left. It passed over two weeks then I saw then coming back in a car. When they came what they asked for was meat. They told us that they had enough food but there was no meat. So we should support them with either goat, cow or sheep. And myself I was having some so we decide. We sent them with those animals. we continued still until during the period of another week they came back, they went and settled up some group called single barrier and it was headed by one fellow they called Saye one Gio boy. So what he use to do was he use to go in the villages and collect animals like goat or sheep and bring it on the compound sometimes one or five and they will just pick it and bring it to town for eating.

This continually until the single barrel group went to work and said they collected two individuals as rogues. One stole the presidential bed and one another one they called Samuel he sole goods. So they went and had them tied. They kept them for those Gio guys. So the next morning they sent for us to go on the compound. And we were group that went, when we went we saw those guys on the ground so we got up and say, we just call your to execute you guys. But because the way they were treating them, some people got afraid. People begin to scatter. I wanted to know the fact so I sat down there until almost we were about hundred of persons. So we walked with them they just had them on their nick. They were just flogging them they had rope on the nick so some of us just became to feel hurt. As soon they carry them down into the corn farm, the first thing we heard was gun sounds. They fired them when we went there we saw the bodies lying down. So when we saw the body we wanted to run away. They say no body must run away your supposed to bury the body here so we were afraid. Not to go anywhere we came back on the compound. The only advise they give was, your advise your children not to steal any thing in this town. With in two hours time they say your go bury those bodies. So for me I to them say my children I came from operation and couldn't do no work, they consider me after wards, they buried that bodies the only thing they used to was to come and get meat, come and get meat. With in the whole year of period we used to support them. After that 1990, 92, then another group came. We saw them coming for Gar-ya town way. They came with the country road they became to walk. They passed through "Kar-ya town and came to our town, they ragged hell there. They collected people arms, single barrier so we became to feed them again. They spent about two weeks on this side, then later on, one other fellow they called Tokpah he was a general. He ragged hell he pass. General Freeman, he came in and he called everybody and say Charles Taylor sent me here to take care of your. So you people can carry on your farming activities. Okay, so nothing we could do. They couldn't find districts commissioners, clan chief, they couldn't find any body. So we accepted and we were just there. While we were there, we make a farm. Thou, he took care of us but he was doing so many things. We make farm for 92, we make farm for 93. 94, we became another farming. And this farm that we made was for them of course, we use to eat some but they were eating highest because everyday we used to feed them. They were almost thousand of soldiers. So we were supporting until 1994, it was the time we became our brushing at which time we were just about to finished falling.

March 6, when I left from service, I went to have service with my people church, right away, I just saw group up the land running with their load. They say enemy attack us in this place here but LPC just pass and they just kill in one town here. And people were just rushing. From the place to my house was just closer. In the town, we had the church and in my town was government town. Before I could come to my town, people were preparing to take their load in the bushes, so my brother went and took one of my machines and carry it and when he came back for the other one then I saw him and he told me say brother I finish hiding every thing I say oh. Then right away we became to make it fast, fast. Before we were getting ready to enter in to the bush, we met up with one soldier boy came to the compound straight to us. And say General Freeman say we should go to the compound so he can transfer us so that we can go to Buchanan to be saved. So we accepted and we went with the soldiers. So we went and we got to Daniel Lewis town, one soldiers there he said no General Freeman said they going to set arm bush so no body must go again. So those who were suppose to go to Buchanan already gone. So your go back to your villages. No body will embarrass your. Soon we got right in my town, we saw LPC and this fishing net was their soldier's uniform I couldn't make them up because it was my first time. Okay, I stood. The only word they told us was, nobody move, your must not run. So they stop their car on the road. When we look, some came from behind us and all over. So those two soldiers' boys that went with us, they just run to one of them and collected the AK that was in their hand. Right away, they fire between my brother I don't know weather he died I don't know. Myself my attention was not there. When I go look again the man who chase another fellow who came back he went to the boss man who wear the finishing net he say what's about the soldiers? He say zero the man. Right away they just shot the man right before me. My wife, my children them they and myself them when they shot the man they went and had the other man tied up, they came down straight and took off the man trouser and cut off his private part. They brought one ladder and they cut off his hand, they cut off his two feet they just put him down. He remain tide they put him down. so right away they went to the other Jack man when they shot him straight, I say no, what took me from there I don't know. I just escaped from there. What I saw before me was one long tree that was before me was, the gun just cut it straight down and it drop. And I just came and creep until I enter the bush I didn't come back in the town for four good days. When I came back my wife my children, and all of my relatives they were all gone. I did not know where they went so I became to search around the town and all over. I search, and search until I saw four of my town people. Including two other fellows that I met, so I pick up them and we went to four of my town people and we were living there. Later on, a soldiers came to search for us and told us to go and bury the bodies in town because it had been here for too long. So Freeman say that if we don't come, to bury the body, he will come and put the whole town on fire. Okay, after was we came. What we did was we just play the man part and just bury the body. We try by all means we bury them. They were two persons. After that my uncle say well, your let us search the town because the shot here too much maybe they might kill some body in the bush. So we became to search and found my brother's body. When we found it, I did not make him up because it was too late. And I couldn't recognize his wearing. So after that we bury all the people together. So we enter the bush and we stayed there and within a week time, we came back in town. After two weeks, the second message was Freeman say that the people who carry your group and killed all of them, they are on their way back. So every body should go Kar-wood. So I decided not to go to Kar-wood but to just enter the bush. So the few handful of people that remain, we just go in the bush. We stayed there until from March, April, May, June, July 16, before Marine came. When Marine came they became to search in all the to find out weather human beings were there. They search and found twenty villagers and I make them twenty-one. And months we were in the bush. Every body took my name Vorgar. I was the commander there. , I brought all of them in their home of Kpelleh town. I never resided in my town, but we went Kpelleh town, and there where they had one Tokpah as B-company commander, then the General there was one Farsue who control the group. But the group name was Marine. Two days after, they call us and say we should go for meeting. Then before we could go my commander called me that evening Tokpah, he say my pappy, since we came here, you have been given us meat to eat. But where you going tomorrow, when they give you meat to eat don't eat it because the people who they kill in Masah town, they cook all the interest and they eating it. So let them give you meat there to eat. Then I say okay. We were standing in line more then hundred. As soon as we got there, they had one big drum standing and one boy they called Black Diamond was standing there with fork and serving. So the group of people that were before me, I don't know weather they took some. Two persons were before me when you get there they served you, they will serve you. When I got there, he took one big piece just like raccoon. And he took one piece of it and gave it to me. I told him say no. I can't eat meat because I went under operation and the Doctor told me not to eat meat. He said but then you can pass. After that people eat it like no body business. After wards I came back and became slave to serve them. With in less then a month time, LPC came back to fight them again. Right away my son and my little daughter that they and myself came to town together, my daughter was born 1980, December 16. She was there with me but then my aunty that was in Masah Town with one soldier boy took her with them. When I go look, we all run, I don't know they did not take the girl with them. Those soldiers' boys went and jump on her and make used of her. Until today, today, when they drove LPC away, when she came she did not stay any second then 1994, December she die. My dead brother son is with me presently. So that's the story I know. So we were just living in Kar-town's and suffering until the disarmament.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-chairman: We want to say have our sympathy for the death of your brother and also your daughter. We know that people decided to fight the war to come and get particular people out of the war. But in the end, sample, sample who were living their live were affected not only by the gun, but affected by people coming to get their food, by people coming to killed their relatives, people beating them, making them their slaves. All of these things we heard but today you clarify it. So we want to say never mind.

Did you find your wife and children besides your daughter who died?

Primary Witness: I have seen them but they are married. All my children are with me.

So you had two wives?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many children you had?

Primary Witness: Eleven plus my brother's own equals twelve.

Commissioner Konneh: When NPFL came to Government farm, who was the commander?

Primary Witness: One C-O Vase.

What was the treatment of his people?

Primary Witness: He did not stayed long with us after he left before General Freeman came.

The formal Generals, General Gbason, General Prince, Devine and later on General Freeman came. You said so many Generals came there. Some came they ragged hell. Who was the first General that came?

Primary Witness: Mosquito came and pass.

That was the first General?

Primary Witness: Yes. Tokpah came and passed but they were just sleeking on the compound to get their food.

Tokpah was the second?

Primary Witness: Yes. Then Freeman was the last.

It was Freeman who said that president had sent him to protect you people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Did he protect you people?

Primary Witness: It was not too well what you don't have they will take it from you that was the protection he was given.

But did they temper with your wife, children?

Primary Witness: Yes. They killed people but not in my present. He killed some people I head it.

You said there was fighting between NPFL and LPC?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Who conquered their friend?

Primary Witness: LPC just fought them and brought every body down here.

How was the treatment from LPC?

Primary Witness: LPC, it worst then NPFL.

Can you show an example?

Primary Witness: Yes, they killed innocent, and then carry away all your belongings you had.

Do you remember some of the people that were killed?

Primary Witness: The soldier boy Othello, the other boy including my brother they call James Soegar, one Nathaniel Baryougar these are the people that I knew of.

All these people were civilians?

Primary Witness: No, the Jeff and the Othello were NPFL soldiers and the three persons were civilians.

Did they grape them and killed them or they die in battle front?

Primary Witness: For the two NPFL soldiers, they met them with AK and just grape them and shoot them in their chest. But for my brother they did not ask him they just saw he running and shoot him.

Commissioner Coleman: Where did you find the children?

Primary Witness: They came with my wife in Buchanan City here. And from 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 before I was able to come and get thro to get them. But when I came those women were already obligated that how I took my children from them.

They were obligated because they wanted to or forced to be their wives?

Primary Witness: Yes. Those women are not married to soldiers but civilians. But because we stayed longer time from one another before they got married.

Commissioner Stewart: Can you thrown light on soldiers killing and eating human beings?

Primary Witness: Yes, in my present the people were cooking and eating human
being intestine I saw it even drink the blood from them.

Did you eat some?

Primary Witness: No. since I show my law to them and my B-comapay commander advice me not to eat some, they never play around me again

So the whole while you were cooking and working for them?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many occasions you saw them cooking human beings and eating them?

Primary Witness: Actually, that very first meeting I attended and killing that number of people and the other they used to do it on their own. And some other ones, I heard about it. And some people will run away and come and tell us from the area they killed.

How many persons that you saw been killed?

Primary Witness: After wards when they saw me, they say the General say you must go and bring wood. When I went around the foot ball field behind Masah town I saw completely twelve persons line up and they bent them down and they open their chest up men and women.

Where is that town?

Primary Witness: Behind my town.

Can you remember the name of any commander that was in that area?

Primary Witness: Yes the battle commander who control over 450 soldiers. One was Tokpah. One they call Jerry Deamee and his other name was Col. Death. And they had one they call Col. Reed, then they had one Junior Ye-tail-yen. Ah old man, those guys.

The Marine, who was there commander?

Primary Witness: In our area it general Fatsue.

Do you know where General Fatsue is today?

Primary Witness: If I get good eye site. If I see him I will know him. no.

Beside the killing they did, did they raped any woman in the town?

Primary Witness: Yes. They did I heard about it. Even my daughter she got raped and died.

What was the name of your daughter?

Primary Witness: Her name was Nancy Vorgar.

How many years old?

Primary Witness: 14years old.

They burned any houses in your area?

Primary Witness: Plenty. They burned houses.

In my own home town?

Primary Witness: No, they only take off zinc from two houses. And then in the Kpelleh houses, they burned houses.

Did they take small boys in town to make soldiers?

Primary Witness: Yes. They recruited women and all.

So they had women soldiers?

Primary Witness: yes

They looted any thing from your town?

Primary Witness: Yes they did.

Commissioner Dolopei: You said that you have problem with your eyes now?

Primary Witness: Yes

What happen to your eyes?

Primary Witness: I was told to do black smith job to make cutlass so that's how I was affected.

Have you visited the hospital?

Primary Witness: I visited there but they say I must buy medicine.

So sorry for what happen to you and the lost of your daughter. Your brother who died, they killed him by gun?

Primary Witness: They killed him with cutlass. They run behind him. Alright, we want to say thank you for the courage that you have to come and share your experience.

Please give us your last word if any or recommendation.

Primary Witness: Thank you to TRC, the commissioners, and also TRC Board and also the consoler I say thank you. My appeal to TRC since my brother died no memorial service for him. No drinking water in our area. No good road, no school and also to assist me for my brother son to go to school.

Co-chairman: Alright thank you.


Twenty-Eighth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Irene Smith
(Sixth Primary Witness of day three)

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

Co-Chairman: thank you for coming to the TRC. This shows that you are a good citizen and as a good citizen you have come to share your experience with us. So we say thank you for coming, and we will like to ask you some questions for the records. Thanks for coming to testify. Please call your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Irene Smith.

When you were born?

Primary Witness: 1982

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Gorzon, Buchanan

What are you doing for living?

Primary Witness: Learning to be a tailor.

Now tell us your story.

Primary Witness: It was during the MODEL when me and my friends were coming from Bassa High school way, we heard shooting sound of guns and we all started running in different directions. When I went to go look, I felt the sharp pains and later went unconscious. Later people said that I was hit by bullets. My people took me to the house and waited for almost 3 hours for the soldiers to stop shooting. After that, they took me to the Catholic Clinic where I spent almost two months and the nurses at the clinic said my condition was not improving so they must transfer me to JFK hospital in Monrovia. At JFK again, I spent three months and the Doctors said they could not help me because of lack of medicine and so my people brought me back in Buchanan.

While going through this pains, not knowing that I was pregnant for one month and after few months, at the eighth month of the pregnancy, I stated experiencing serious pains and they took me again to the hospital but the child did not survival and from that time, I cannot walk as a result of those kind of things that happened to me and I am finding it very difficult to survive because of lack of support and presently I have one son.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-Chairman: Is your son in school?

Primary Witness: No.

How old is he?

Primary Witness: 7 years.

Commissioner Konneh: Never mind, once there is life, there is hope. You know the name of the commander of the group?

Primary Witness: No.

Is it lack of money or you do not want to sent your son to school?

Primary Witness: Because of lack of money.

Where is the father of the boy?

Primary Witness: He is in Monrovia.

Is he aware that the child is for him?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What is his name?

Primary Witness: His name is Oldpa Zeo

What work is he doing?

Primary Witness: For long I have not seen him so I do not know what he is doing

You know where he lives in Monrovia?

Primary Witness: Yes, he lives ELWA junction.

Is he a Bassa boy?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where you and him met?

Primary Witness: In Monrovia.

You know any of his relatives?

Primary Witness: Yes, his mother is alive and living in Monrovia.

Do the parents know that you have child for their son

Primary Witness: Yes.

Yourself can sow cloths?

Primary Witness: Yes.

If you were given a machine, can you sow for yourself?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Bull: Thank God for your life and may he continue to guide and protect you.

Commissioner Dolopei: How much for a machine here in Buchanan?

Primary Witness: One girl said it is US$200.00

Who are you living with?

My elder sister Primary Witness:

Your sister get children?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Her children going to school?

Primary Witness: Yes. Since this thing happened to me I have not gone to good hospital so that I will be able to help myself.

What do you mean about good hospital?

Primary Witness: Sometime in the night, my two legs can be burning me seriously and when I go to the hospital, no X-ray to see the main place that hurting me.

That the only hospital here?

Primary Witness: Yes.

When you went to JFK, what the Doctors told you?

Primary Witness: I was during the war time so I cannot remember.

Who gave you the wheel-chair?

Primary Witness: That one NGO here in Buchanan.

Who carried you to the hospital?

Primary Witness: My sister.

Is she here now?

Primary Witness: Yes, but she just went to Monrovia this morning.

Do you have phone?

Primary Witness: Yes, 06-461-106

When you went to JFK?

Primary Witness: Sometimes in 2003.

What part of your body the bullets hi?

Primary Witness: On my wrist.

What is your sister's name?

Primary Witness: Margaret Bolah

You know sister Margaret Karngar?

Primary Witness: Yes, she is my uncle's wife.

Twenty-Ninth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
James Kutuahn
(Seventh Primary Witness of day one)

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

Chairman: Good afternoon; we are happy to see you at the TRC, we are all here because we all are interested in what you experience and or what you have to say. Could you please repeat you name for the sake?

Co-Chairman: thanks for coming to TRC to tell your story. What is your name again?

Primary Witness: James Kutuahn

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: #2 Compound

How old are you?

Primary Witness: 43 years.

What are you doing for living?

Primary Witness: Farming.

Tell your story.

Primary Witness: In 1990, I went to my village and later we heard that a group called Marine was coming; so we ran away and went in the bust. In less than one day, we saw a group of fighters coming to the area where we were hiding. When they came, they encouraged us to go to town and we were forced to follow them.

In the group, one man called himself Col. Anthony Tomah otherwise known as Col. Death, a Bassa boy arrested me and said that I was a member of ULIMO and so they asked the Town Chief to take care of me until the next day. Before day could break, we heard that they have killed two persons in the next village. When day broke, they again arrested one man of being witchcraft and since they carried him, we have not seen him as I speak to you. They later took me to a man called Isaac Gbar who was the argentine for the group and he said I was lucky because if it had been the Gio boys, they would have lied on me and kill me. In that process, Isaac Gbar interviewed and wrote his findings that I was not a rebel and sent me to the commander. When he sent me to Arthur Tomah, the commander, he sent me again to jail and they said they were going to test my blood; they took one old knife and cut me on my back and I started bleeding and they took piece of glass bottle and started cutting my hair. While in that process in jail, one of my friends came to greet me and they arrested him and put in jail with me.

One day, one of the soldier who was a Gio man came to the commander and said is not obeying him and as such, they should deal with. They later free the boy they put in jail with me. In the night, I knew they were going to kill me so I decided to run away in the night. When night came, I managed and passed through the ceiling and got outside and ran to my town. When I got in my town, I knock at my parents house and they were afraid because they think that I was a spirit; so I told them that I am not a spirit and in fact, the soldiers are after and so they must also try and run away. I ran in the bush and just within less than 10 minutes, I heard people crying in the town and I ran farther into the bush

After two days in the bush, I started going to Old man Zanzanco's village. When I reached there, the Oldman had already sent letter to the Commander to stop harassing the citizens and luckily, I saw the rest of my people coming to the same village with the soldiers. We were all there together and my brother son took sick and they had to send me and my small brother. While we were going, we saw the same group that arrested me sometimes ago, and the same boy who arrested me and he started apologizing to me for arresting me and I told him that if I had died, he would have been responsible and the too of us joked about that and they released me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Syllah: Sorry for all that happened to you. Anything happened to your people?

Primary Witness: Yes, when they got in town, they burnt their houses and burn my uncle with hot cutlass.

How he got treatment?

Primary Witness: We carried him to Margibi County for treatment.

What's about your mother?

Primary Witness: She got sick and later died.

They killed other people?

Primary Witness: I used to run away so I do not know about that.

They killed the man they accused him of been a witchcraft?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What is his name?

Primary Witness: Glorway from Charlie's Mangee' town.

Commissioner Konneh: the boy who arrested you was also a Bassa boy?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They used to eat people?

Primary Witness: I heard that, but myself did not see them do it.

They took somebody from the jail and killed them?

Primary Witness: No.

Why they killed the man?

Primary Witness: They say he was a witchcraft.

Your buried him?

Primary Witness: No, we did not see the body.


Thirtieth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Elizabeth Bacon
(Eighth Primary Witness of day one)

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

Co-Chairman: Good afternoon; we are happy to see you at the TRC, we are all here because we all are interested in what you experience and or what you have to say. Could you please repeat you name for the sake?

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Tarbar in Buchanan

Your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I born Tubman Time

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: I am a business woman

Primary Witness: What happened to me, my husband and I came form Buchanan and went in the bush and they killed my husband, they were 25. When he left the farm and went in the town then they killed him. They bore his tight and before they could kill him the tied him and carried him in the empty building they were two there and they remove my husband and killed him. When he was tied one of them said if I untie you can you jump and run way he said yes so he cut the tope and when he was about to go he fell and he drop into the bush and when the soldiers heard the noise they came and they did not see him and they started shooting in the bush and they say well he will surely die from the shooting.

He went far and he slept in the bush until the next morning. He was running in the bush until he came to where I was and his legs were swollen. He said I am not a human being I am about to die and me and my children started crying. His foot was hurting and there was no food and no salt when we gave him food he can't eat. With in the course of three days he died. We carried the body behind the farms and put leaves over the body and we started running. After that my mother in Boto town the LPC came and she was staying with my bigger sister and when they were running she could not run and when she went to put the load down to come for her they could not see her and the LPC carry her and killed her.

The LPC again caught my two brothers in Gbowos town and when they told them to come to the town they were running and they shot them and killed them and they burned the whole t
Back to List of Transcripts