Voinjama City: Day 2

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The Second Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Tuesday April 15th, 2008 at the Voinjama City Hall, Lofa County. The Hearings session started with the Commissioners of the TRC being ushered into their seats, followed by a welcome remarks form the Co-Chairman of the TRC Commissioner Dede Dolopei, who then called on the Hearings Officer Pastor John Teayah to invite the first Primary Witness to give his testimony.

Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Brimah Vanday
(First Primary Witness of day one)

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

Co-Chairman: We want to say thanks for coming to the TRC to tell your story. This process is intended to foster the reconciliation process in Liberia. You have taken the right decision to come and explain your story because you will not only be talking for yourself, but for all those that were affected and do not have the chance to come here.

Primary Witness: I am citizen from Vahun but I was in Monrovia when the war started in 1990 so I pass through Voinjama but when I reach Vahun I did not see my family then my family had crossed to Sierra Leone but the rebels in Vahun use to tell us that they will go Sierra Leone to go fight there anytime. So myself I went across the border on Sierra Leone side to go for my family. When I brought my family one of my aunty used to make her little garden. The commander in the area was one Saa Yayem and then the adjutant was Saye. The adjutant was loving to one girl by the name of Kumba. One day Kumba went on my aunty garden and pick the oldma bitter ball and other small things. When the oldma came and she started talking then Kumba went and told her boyfriends the adjutant that the oldma was swearing her. From one thing to the other after they finish talking to the oldma by that time they tied the oldma and Saye told the oldma to go while she was going Saye told the small soldier by the name of one Alfred Saiway to fire at the oldma and that how they fire the oldma and she died on the spot. So the whole town was concern then we put money together about ten - ten dollars so one of my of brother called Jeremy to go and called one JK who was the commander in Kolahum to explain to him what has gone on in the town then JK came to Vahun and called all the town people in the town to the hall and he went through the case then he remove that group and brought another group to Vahun. But the group they brought was the worse group again they were there until Senegalese ECOMOG came to Vahun.

So one day the Senegalese ECOMOG soldiers went to the market to go buy their foods and vegetables. When some of them left from the car the NPFL rebels got on the ECOMOG them car and say they want to disarm the Senegalese ECOMOG them but the Senegalese were insisting not give their arms to the rebels so they took some of the Senegalese them and carried to them their owner bases by the plane field. So they and the ECOMOG started firing at one another so for us we just pack our markets and went in the village we were there for two days when we came back to the town they told us that some Senegalese soldiers were killed and some cars came from Monrovia for the bodies. Before we could go in the village one Sylvester Stallon just naked himself and they started fighting the ECOMOG and they fire for the whole day and that how we left the town and we in the bush for two days they killed some ECOMOG soldiers. It did not still long when ULIMO came they say we should move from the bush. While we were in group coming from the bush we saw the Duduboye came and started shooting and dropping bomb they taught we were soldiers people and enough o people died then when then the next day we were going to go bury the people that died as a result for bombing then people were going to go buried these people touched a bomb and the bomb blasted and two persons died there again.

We were there again when the election came 1997 then I went to Monrovia that what happen that I know though some things spoil from me this is one things that really hurt me.

Questions from the commissioners

Commissioner Syllah: what was the name of the old lady that they killed?

Primary Witness: Ma Moyatu

What was the name of the adjutant that gave the order to kill the oldma?

Primary Witness: Saye Maiway Peal

What is his girl friend name?

Primary Witness: Kumba

Where is she now?

Primary Witness: I don't know but she is from Foya.

Your buried the old lady?

Primary Witness: Yes then we forward the case to their higher authority.

Commissioner Washington: Was it Commander Saye Meiyeh gave the order to killed the old lady?

Primary Witness: No, that the adjutant who gave the order he was Saye Maiway Peal.

What was his the characteristic of this adjutant?

Primary Witness: He also used to be bad in the town like when strange come in the town they will either say your kill the man or your jail him.

What about the commander?

Primary Witness: He was not educated so that the adjutant was giving all the orders.

What do you mean by small soldiers?

Primary Witness: He was just about 13 - 15 years

Who was Sylvester Stallon?

Primary Witness: He was involved the Senegalese ECOMOG death.

How many NPFL fighters were involved with in the fight of the Senegalese ECOMOG?

Primary Witness: That Jallah, Gebbo and Sylvester Stallon.

They were only people?

Primary Witness: No other soldiers came and join them but I was not there by that time.

Did civilian get hurt in that fight?

Primary Witness: They put them from the car and carried them together owner base.

Where was that?

Primary Witness: That the place the missionaries were living that where they were using as their base right on the plane field.

Who was the new commander that they brought when they took the other commander from there?

Primary Witness: I don't know his name.

How long the firing went on for?

Primary Witness: It was for the whole day whole night.

Why was the firing going on?

Primary Witness: They were fighting with the Senegalese soldiers because they never wanted the ECOMOG there.

Can you remember the commander of the Senegalese contingent in the area at the time?

Primary Witness: No

Who was JK?

Primary Witness: He was the overall commander for the area.

How long he stay there as commander?

Primary Witness: He was there until ULIMO enter.

When ULIMO enter Vahun?

Primary Witness: 1992

How was it for the citizen of Vahun when ULIMO enter?

Primary Witness: We were free they called from the village then we came it never still long UNHCR came and took us to the camp but that the Duduboye was giving us hard time. That one of their commander pepper and salt went and looted the UNHCR and they left and went to Monrovia.

How long they spent there?

Primary Witness: Up to 1993

Who was the commander?

Primary Witness: The first commander was Jr. When they split then one Bility was there as the commander

What is the Duduboye you keep referring to?

Primary Witness: That the ECOMOG war plane

Was the plane launching specific areas or everywhere?

Primary Witness: Everywhere it use to launched even one time during food distribution of food they went and launched people also died there too.

How many times did this happen like in Vahun?

Primary Witness: In Vahun it happened two times and the other town one time.

Can you estimate the number of victims?

Primary Witness: I don't know the amount because plenty people died.

What happen to the rest of your family?

Primary Witness: Everybody was saved

Commissioner Coleman: when NPFL was here?

Primary Witness: 1991 - 1992

Who was the commander?

Primary Witness: Jacob Benkor

Did you people belief that your needed to be free, is that why they came?

Primary Witness: No we never have any problem so they never came to free us.

How did they treat the citizens when they came?

Primary Witness: They treated us bad.

Where did the people go for rescue?

Primary Witness: Most of them went in Sierra Leone.

What kind ethnic group is in Vahun?

Primary Witness: Gbandi, Mande and Kissi.

Was there any looting?

Primary Witness: They tell us to leave the town when we leave they took our things from our houses.

Did they form any kinds of defense forces?

Primary Witness: Most of the boys that they trained and they always ran in the bush or in Sierra Leone.

Was their kind of cannibalism?

Primary Witness: When I was there I did not see that

Was there any kind for witchcraft?

Primary Witness: Like Sylvester Stallon some say he had medicine but I did not see him.

What's about raping?

Primary Witness: I did not see it

Did they force any of the local children to fight?

Primary Witness: Yes they recruit some.

What was ULIMO purpose?

Primary Witness: They say they came to free us from NPFL

How did the town people feel them?

Primary Witness: We were happy because they came to free us from NPFL.

Who was the Duduboye come for?

Primary Witness: I can't tell that ULIMO was there and they used to just come and bombing.

How did the ULIMO soldiers feel about the plane?

Primary Witness: They their selves used to run away from the plane

What did ULIMO do in the town?

Primary Witness: That ?Pepper and Salt' came and drove the UNHCR and then the two people started looting us.

Did they burn houses?

Primary Witness: No they only use to take our things

What about cannibalism?

Primary Witness: It never happen in my presence

Commissioner Konneh: what was the reason of the confusion between NPFL and Senegalese ECOMOG?

Primary Witness: NPFL never wanted to see ECOMOG to base in their town.

What was Senegalese treatment in respect to the civilians?

Primary Witness: They were not treating the civilian bad they even use to share their food with the children?

Did you know that Jacob Bankor is alive?

Primary Witness: Yes some one told me that he was in Monrovia?

What was the punishment against Saye?

Primary Witness: JK came for him and carried but I don't know what they did to him. My brother Jeremy say when JK carried them he put them in jail.

When NPFL was there did Duduboye use to go to Vahun?

Primary Witness: No, Duduboye did not go to Vahun when NPFL was there that only doing ULIMO time.

During that attack was it the joint ULIMO or separated one?

Primary Witness: The joint ULIMO

Is Bility still alive?

Primary Witness: No he died

Is ?Pepper and Salt' still alive?

Primary Witness: No

What about ?CO Pollute'?

Primary Witness: He is stay alive

What was the name of the two old solder that was killed by NPFL?

Primary Witness: Papay Gafloh and Pa Pewee.

Did they have gun?

Primary Witness: No they were not soldiers again they were already pensioned.

Which group was controlling the ULC?

Primary Witness: ULC was a logging company around Vahun they cutting logs carrying it to Gbarnga. That NPFL was controlling it.

What was the name of the manager?

Primary Witness: Sockie, he was a Lebanese

Were there any other economic activities in the area?

Primary Witness: No only logging.

Primary Witness: Last word: I want to appeal to the government for good road and communications. There is no communication coverage there. That is our major problem in Vahun.


Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Martha Sackie
(Second Primary Witness of day one)

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

Co-Chairman: We want to say thanks for coming to tell your story to us, every thing you tell us will be used to find to solution to our problem.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: 1972

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: Farming

Where are you living?

Primary Witness: Vaihone

Primary Witness: I was living in Kohei, while we were there some kind of water was there called Duh and LPC was behind it. Then they came and say where your living is not good and the commander there cant play so we leave and go Duewah and one soldier use to come there called Fire and he use to rape people so when he coming we can run. So one day we went on the farm and one baby ma was there and she was washing her baby pupu then fire came and when I saw him I started crying and he say what we do to you then he say the boy should clean under the bush and they catch me and carry me and carry me and they rape me three men.

Then the people went to the town and told my husband and told him then he went and told their commander and they beg fire and he left me. then we left the area we went to the area where LPC was and I was sick and the people started making medicine for me and we left and went back to Konnie and I was still sick and my husband say since I na carry you all over and you cant heal I will leave you, that is how he leave me and I went back to my place in Grand Bassa and the man who take me I followed him on this side.

Questions from the Commissioner:

Co-Chairman: sorry for all that happened to you, the commissioners will ask you some questions.

Commissioner Konneh: sorry for what happened to you. It is God who provides the child and not you or your husband. Which group did the bad things to you?

Primary Witness: Marine

Which group they belong to?

Primary Witness: Charles Taylor group

Was there anybody above fire?

Primary Witness: No

Did they do it to many people in the same area?

Primary Witness: Yes some people say he use to do it all over.

Do you know whether he is still living?

Primary Witness: No

Is there any other name for him?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Do you know the other people that followed him?

Primary Witness: No

Commissioner Bull: thank you for coming, the decision to come and tell your story that the Marine group was doing bad to women. And you are one of the few who came to talk about gang rape and the legislature have made a law where if it is done you either go to life imprisonment or for 20 to 30 years.

Do you know the tribe of fire?

Primary Witness: He is a Gissi man

Is he alive?

Primary Witness: I don't really know

Commissioner Coleman: where were you when this thing happened?

Primary Witness: I was in Bong County in 1993 war with my family.

Was the NPFL there at the time?

Primary Witness: Yes they were there and the LPC was across the water.

Did they do this to the people where your went?

Primary Witness: Yes the same man use to do it there that is what the people told us.

Did they loot from the people?

Primary Witness: Yes they use to loot food

Were there child soldiers?

Primary Witness: No I did not see small soldiers

Commissioner Syllah: sorry for what happened and thank God for giving you the courage to come and share your experience with us. You are talking for thousands of other women. Did you have a child before the incidence?

Primary Witness: No I was having no child

Co-Chairman: any thing last you have to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: Yes, since that thing happened to me I have not gone to any good hospital so I want your to help me so that I can go to a good hospital so that they can check me so that what made the other man to leave me this other man will not leave me.


Fourth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Martue Sialia
(Third Primary Witness of day one)

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

Co-Chairman: We want to say thanks for coming to tell your story.

Do you know your age?

Primary witness: My age plenty I can't remember it

Primary witness: What happened to me when the war was hot I was sitting down to my house when Zigzag Massa send his soldiers to arrest my son and they carried him and in the morning he came back then they carry Yamma my other son. Then I started crying and after few days my grand children that use to carry water and wood for me they came and arrested them and carry them (witness crying) I am alone there now and there is nobody to help me. Since they carry my grand children I don't know whether they are dead or alive, I can't sleep. That is all.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-Chairman: we the TRC say never mind. The cry you cry, it hurt us too. Is not easy to go with out children but we say thank you because you been brave to come and tell us your story. God will provide. So we say never mind.

Commissioner Syllah: Ma Sailia thank you for coming to share this with us and thank God for spearing your life. Can you call the name of your children?

Primary Witness: Fanta and Lay-sar.

What happen to your children?

Primary Witness: I heard that they kill them up the hill.

Can you call their Names?

Primary Witness: Hama and Zinneh

What's about Hama?

Primary Witness: My son Zinneh that his son with Hama. They decided to come and live with me and my husband.

You remember any other fighter name?

Primary Witness: I don't remember their name.

Any information about the children?

Primary Witness: No. Not from anybody.

Where is your husband?

Primary Witness: He died from frustration but he did not die from gun.

Continue to pray that God will strengthen her and we are happy for her to come so that she could give her story.

Commissioner Washington: sorry yeh, what year it happen?

Primary Witness: six years from that time to this time.

Have you heard anything about the children?

Primary Witness: No

During that time, did the family try to report to any of the NPFL member?

Primary Witness: I don't even know the difference between them. It was the last soldier came.

Did they give reason for arresting those boys?

Primary Witness: No, they just carry them. They used to bring my grand children back to speak to me and carry them back and when I ask them they will not say any thing.

Commissioner Coleman: Is it during Charles Taylor or LURD time?

Primary Witness: It was during LURD's time. They used to killed people during LURD time that it hurt me.

Did they make them Child soldiers?

Primary Witness: No

Do you think they carry them to Guinea?

Primary Witness: I can't tell.

Commissioner Bull: I tell God thank for spearing our life today to take on the mark so that people will hear you. Your voice will be heard in Guinea, in the Newspapers and all over the world. What I want you to do is call your children's name, say where you are, so if they are anywhere, they will hear your name and know that you are stay alive.

Primary Witness: I call my child Fanta and Lay-sah. I Martue Salilia I live in Viahu. I went and came back and your grand father die but I stay here. So if you are anywhere please come if you know I carry you on my back. Thank God.

Commissioner Konneh: Never mind and sorry for your children. It painful you bear pain for nine months and went behind the house in pain and see that your children are killed bitterly. Some one call Tambah Joseph knows the where about of your children. Do you remember that?

Primary Witness: The mother of Tambah Joseph is in Viahum.

Did any one tell you the where about of the children?

Primary Witness: my brother Salai in Viahum told me that Tambah Joseph say that my children in Nimba. He was not in Viahumu when i left from there.

We only want to find them and find out about the children's where about. There is a possibility that we can get your children. Are you sure it was Zee-zah Massah who took the children away?

Primary Witness: Yes. he's the only person I know he use to sent the children to come and see me.

Co-chairman: Thank you so much. We know it was not easy.

Apart from the children, you get any other child?

Primary Witness: I only have one child and he went Sierra Leone. But he is back now in Viahu. He came and say he wants to make farm for me.

Say hello to him. God will be with him to make your farm.

Is there any last word from you before you leave?

Primary Witness: The only thing I don't have strength and no food and only money can do everything.

Co-Chairman: Thank you we hear it.

Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Korpo Mbamba
(Fourth Primary Witness of day one)

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

Co-Chairman: Thank you for coming to the TRC to tell your testimony.

What is your name again for record?

Primary Witness: My name is Korpo Mbanba

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I was born April 10, 1979.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Vahun

What kind of work do you do?

Primary Witness: I do Farming.

Now, please tell us your story.

Primary Witness: Thanks for asking me to tell my story. It was in 1990 when the rebels then attacked Vahun and we ran into exile. We were in Sierra Leone for almost one year and the condition on us there was very hard and so later we came back to Vahun in 1991 and started making farm.

When the war started, I used to be very afraid of the soldiers, most of the times, I used to spend the day under the bed in my father house; one day, many soldiers came around our house and they used to come from a place called Camp Taylor. In our yard, we had one dog and one day, one of the soldiers came in our yard and call the dog but the dog refused to go to him; then the soldier man said if the dog refuse to come to him, he will kill me and the dog so that they will eat us on their base. When I ran in the house, the dog followed me and the soldiers also followed me and the dog and said they were going to kill me. Later, my mother came and asked me to put the dog outside and I put the dog out; when the dog got outside, the soldier fired the dog right in front the house and killed it and he came and pulled me outside to carry me on their base to kill me.

Luckily for me, one of my friends who also had some of her friends among the soldiers started calling some of the soldiers and talking for me, but in that process, the soldiers were seriously beating on me that caused me to lost hearing today. After the girl called the other soldiers, they came and rescued me. Later one of the soldiers called Peter Yartay forced me and said I was his wife. I could not say no, so he took me to Nimba County.

While in Nimba County, the boy used to treat me very bad. Used to make farm for myself and later he and myself had four children but one died and we have three living now. I was suffering so much that I decided to run away. One night around 3:00 am, I took my three children and we started to run away. We went through out the nigh and later landed in Kahnplay; from Kahnplay, we went to Saniquellie, from Saniquellie, we went Ganta and from Ganta, we went to Monrovia.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Konneh: What part of Nimba he carried you?

Primary Witness: In Behplay, Saniquellie District.

Is the man still alive?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

When you came from Nimba County?

Primary Witness: 2002

What was he doing before you left, was he still fighting?

Primary Witness: He was still fighting.

Car can carry people there?

Primary Witness: Yes.

If TRC carry you to Behplay, can you still remember the man?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many children your have?

Primary Witness: Three

How many boys, how many girls?

Primary Witness: 2 girls and 1 boy.

What are the names of the children?

Primary Witness: Morris Mbanba - 13 years, Watta Mbanba - 7 years, Patience Mbanba - 5 years

Are the children in school?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Did you see the soldiers do any bad to other people besides you?

Primary Witness: Plenty.

When LURD came, were you affected?

Primary Witness: They saved me.

When you came back home, you saw your people alive?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How is life with you and the children?

Primary Witness: If I do not do contract for people, we cannot eat, my mother is crazy and so, things are very bad on me and the children.

Are you married?

Primary Witness: No.

What kind of contract do you do for people?

Primary Witness: I clean in their peanut farms as well as rice farms.

How much they can pay you?

Primary Witness: L$100.00 per day.

They can give you food?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you know any skills training?

Primary Witness: I was learning Weaving in the refugees' camp but the people never teach us good so I do not know the weaving very well.

Any skills training in Vahun?

Primary Witness: Yes, they just brought it there recently.

You can pay fees?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What trade you want to learn if someone wants to help you?

Primary Witness: Weaving.

Commissioner Bull: Thanks for coming. God will open the doors of blessing unto you and your children, I have no questions.

Commissioner Coleman: Thanks for your testimony; sorry for the suffering you went through. Where were you when the soldiers saw you?

Primary Witness: In Vahun.

Which group was it?

Primary Witness: Charles Taylor Group.

You ran to Sierra Leone for exile?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How long you stayed in Nimba?

Primary Witness: I stayed there from 1992 to 2004

Any fighting group came in Nimba when you were there?

Primary Witness: One day I did not see any fighting group.

Commissioner Dolopei: Do you have anything you want to tell the TRC before you leave?

Primary Witness: Yes, I am kindly asking the TRC to help me, I cannot hear good as a result of the beating I received during the war, I want your to help me and my children; I am only depending on contracts to help the children. Let me tell you a story, I came in contact with one man and he pregnant me and when I told him, he asked me to abort and I told him no because I did not know what the child was going be in the future and because of that, he left me and I am having my fine baby boy now.

.

Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Ansumana Kanneh
(Fifth Primary Witness of day one)

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

Co-Chairman: Welcome and thank you for coming to the TRC. Because with out you, there will be no TRC. And if there is no TRC, there will not be peace. So we want to say thank you. So before we start, we will like to ask you few questions for the sick of the records.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: Asumana J. Kanneh

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Fodaymah, Vahun, Lofa County

What do you do?

Primary Witness: Farming and teaching

What school you teaching?

Primary Witness: Vahun elementary the war,

What class you teaching?

Primary Witness: Grade 3 and grade 2

Primary Witness: I was in Foya, I went to the bush to fetch food. Because at the time we hear about the war, but, every thing was hard. So one day, I came from the bush to look for food for me and my family, by the time, I take out my bush clothes out, I hear the gun sound. I see plenty people they come to my house, they say where you going? So I was want join the people. That time they use to beat us, they made us with their vehicles; we use to carry all their loads from place tom place. So it take some time and some months I was run in the bush but that time it was late, so it was dark, so I could not see anything well. So I decided to come back to the town. So that time, I don't know the bush, so I enter in my house, my children were there, my woman was there, they were crying and everything was scattered.

I take them to one village call vaimah. When we reach to the village, my wife was still crying, so I ask her what happen and she said, the time I was not there, four soldiers come, they come to the house and they use me, so I asked her, do know them? She say no. so I carry her to Vahun thinking when we reach there, she will be able to go to hospital. When we get there, that time no hospital was there. And me too I not get any thing.

So we were there, every day, she was still crying, no he hospital, so that how she was until she die. When she die, she leave me with the children, because one of them they call Momoh was still sucking breast when his mother die I was confused, I didn't know what to do, so the people come around me to talk to me, they say Asumana, you have to be strong to take care of the children. So one woman was there, she take one of the children. I give the child to her and she took the child to Sierra Leone with her.

So one time, I say I will not stay here till I die. So I go to the bush and later I cross to Sierra Leone. So I was there, it was only in 2001 came back to Vahun. Even the other girl they call Yatta, she big, now, she marry in one town. She born baby now so that what I have to tell the TRC.

Commissioner Dolopei: Mr. Kanneh, we want to thank you for coming again and we say sorry for the death of your wife and your child. This one where you talk, tells us that, true, women were raped and mal treated during the war. And one of the main thing in the TRC, is for us to pay special attention to women and children. So we say sorry for coming yeah? So besides those two children you get another one?

Primary Witness: Yes, but because of the poverty I sent them to people.

Commissioner Konneh: the children you talking about, how many left?

Primary Witness: The children born by the dead woman, only one living.

Is she the one in Kolahun?

Primary Witness: Yes, her name Yatta.

That Yatta, she born?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You get new woman now?

Primary Witness: Yes, I had new woman but because of the poverty her parents came and carry her.

Do you know the faction that did this to your family?

Primary Witness: That Taylor people.

Do you know if this Miaghan, is he still alive?

Primary Witness: I don't know, because since the thing happen I never see them.

When did it happen?

Primary Witness: 1991.

Where you teaching before the war?

Primary Witness: No.

That government paying you or that private school?

Primary Witness: That government.

Commissioner Bull: thank you for coming. You stand for a husband that stood by his wife. From the behavior of these men, do you think they were under drugs?

Primary Witness: I can't tell.

Commissioner Coleman: from 1990, to the time when LURD came, were you in Lofa?

Primary Witness: As soon as the thing happen to me, my woman die, my son die, I left for Sierra Leone, I could not stand the pain.

So you stay there until when?

Primary Witness: I stay there until 2001.

Co-Chairman: thank you for coming, before you leave, do you have anything you want to tell he TRC, any last word?

Primary Witness: I want to thank the TRC to give me the opportunity to say my story and secondly to the counselors who encourage me to be able to tell my story. Thank you.


Seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Fatu Kanneh
(Sixth Primary Witness of day one)

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

Co-Chairman: We want to say thanks for come the process intended to foster the reconciliation process in Liberia and we see 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.
Where are you living?

Primary Witness: I live in Massamolahun

When were you born?

Primary Witness: Tubman time I was a small girl

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: I am a business woman.

Primary Witness: In the war time in 1990 the time me and my husband go Kakata I had my first child and we were there for 15v years and the war came and my husband say let us go home. The war carry all our things and we say let go home and people sorry for us and give us money to come. I told my husband that they way no small child in that place my daughter will spoil. So I tell my husband to build something in the bush so we can go there with the children, he say no.

When the ULIMO came I was standing in the house and the man entered and collected my daughter and I say what happened and he carry the girl and I told my husband and he say he can't do anything so I ran behind them and they say if I come they will kill me so I came back. After three days I followed them and I met some children to the water side and I they said the man who bring the woman they killed him and they say that that commander get the girl so I reach to the town and they told me the same story. They say the commander who get the child no body can go to the place where he is. I want to my husband and I told him and we were crying.

So I went to somebody in Vaihone and told him and he try for me to see the girl but no way and he said I must go home and come back after one month. I get sick because of my daughter when I think about her my heart can spoil. I was waiting for her and the LORD forces were coming. And my husband say let us go in the bush and we were in the bush and the people came there and they capture us and carry us to Kolahun. While we were there one morning plenty came in the house and we were packing to go and they people throw bomb in the house and particle hit my husband and there was a lot of blood on him so I ran in the bush. Then the people came and said your husband is living he never died but you have to go there. When I went to the town I saw him and I bath him and I went in the bush to find food but before I came back the people capture the town and I never went back to him. He managed and went to the LURD forces side in Guinea and he send for me.

When we went to guinea all the thing what the UN people gave me and my husband we sell it and we went to look for my woman. Then when we see plenty people I will go and look in the group. So I see one soldier boy and I ask him if he na know the girl and he say he went for the girl and after three days he bring the girl and I can't remember her but she was beside me. Then I look at here I don't know her but she look at me and she say mama that na ma cause that the war. So she say mama I will come back anytime, I am working I will come back anytime that how she left. I started to look for her and I can't see her.

So one day I went to look to where the soldier people were and I see the girl there and I started to cry because that the only big child me and my husband get so when the people came to take my story that the little girl told them and when they ask me I can just say yes. So I told her not to talk about soldier business because I don't know what to say. Then one man say the girl na join by herself, they force her to hold the gun and they say if she na hold the gun they will kill her. That is how my daughter spoiled in the war. So I want your to help me so my daughter can come to me so I cant die because my daughter spoil I don't know if she will change again.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-Chairman: we are very sorry for all that happened to you in the war. Commissioners will ask you few questions.

Commissioner Konneh: Which army is your daughter in?

Primary Witness: In Sierra Leone

What she said when you asked her to come home?

Primary Witness: I did not talk to her I just went there

What things you say spoil on her?

Primary Witness: I say the things she doing now she cant do it before, nothing happened to her but the system change.

Which name your daughter using now?

Primary Witness: The name we gave her she na using it now that soldier name she using

Which group she in?

Primary Witness: That the government army

Commissioner Bull: I want to say you are crying like any woman who born the child, and they say you born the child but you don't born the heart. Once there is life there is hope, people changed in the war not because they want to change but because the situation wanted it to happen. People went through different problems in the war which affected them. Your daughter is serving in an army and she knows that you are alive. So we are sorry for what happened to you, we are going to follow up the story.

Commissioner Coleman: we are sorry for all that happened to you in the war. We are happy that the daughter is in a government army. What is your home that you went to?

Primary Witness: We came to Voinjama.

How long were you here?

Primary Witness: When the car put us down we went to Kolahun and we never met anybody there so we pass and we went to Masambalahun.

While you were there when the NPFL came to your town, how the people use to treat your?

Primary Witness: The make boys to join and they treated some people bad and they were looting all of our things and even they were burning all the things in the towns.

When ULIMO came what happened there?

Primary Witness: I can't tell because that time I was sick.

How about the LURD?

Primary Witness: When they came they were looting and there was nothing left in the town.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming to share your story with us. What was the age of your daughter when they took her away?

Primary Witness: She was 12 years.

How many times you went to get her?

Primary Witness: 2 times and I could not get her.

What is her name?

Primary Witness: Mameh Kanneh

What happened to your other daughter?

Primary Witness: Her eyes spoiled one of her eyes can not see.

Where is she?

Primary Witness: She is in Guinea and she is going to school.

Where is she living with?

Primary Witness: She is with her sister in Kenameh and people supporting her in school. Anytime I want to see her I can see her.

How is your husband?

Primary Witness: He is alright, this few days they operate on her eyes.

Co-Chairman: if you want us to help you to get your daughter we need information on her to be able to help you.

Primary Witness: Anytime you want to find her I can give you the information

Sorry for what happened to you, is there anything last you have to say to us before you leave.


Eighth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Morris Fayah
(Seventh Primary Witness of day one)

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

Co-Chairman: This place is call TRC Hearings. They give us the work to go from place to place and take down record to foster security, Justice and peace so that we can live together with other people. So thank you for agreeing to come.

Primary Witness: It was the war. We go to pick pepper my father and my sister. So my sister saw group of people coming so she tell my father. My father say they will not do nothing to us. When they came they ask us we say we picking pepper. So my father had one single barrier and when they saw the single barrel, they say, that soldier so they took the single barrel and kill my father. They rape my sister right before me she took sick and die. Then we went in the town to tell the people that were there the Charles Taylor soldiers and those in the town. When I told them, they started going for the body but they didn't reached because the other group from the other side stat firing. So we go Sierra Leone. One village they call Mog-bah they fire my mother. I had bullets in my foot, then they captured us and they beat us I used to pepe with blood. I can't pepe with blood again this time. That's my story.

Questions fro the Commissioner:

Co-chairman: sorry for your mother, father and the rape of your sister. How your mother was killed, which group?

Primary Witness: I don't know all the group was firing. They were beating rice for Government soldiers.

Did you have the time to bury your mother?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you remember the group?

Primary Witness: Commander Kolleh

Is Kolleh the one who committed the act?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Which group of fighter was in control of the place?

Primary Witness: Government group. The old ma did not die on the spot.

You did bury your father?

Primary Witness: No.

What is your sister's name?

Primary Witness: Siah Morris.

How old was she?

Primary Witness: eleven years.

Your were how many person that went to pick the papper?

Primary Witness: five persons; Me, Fayah Morris, Joseph Morris, Nyumah and Siah Morris

Where is Joseph?

Primary Witness: Joseph is in the town.

Who is the first child?

Primary Witness: Siah.

Among the five who are those living?

Primary Witness: Me, Fayah Morris, Joseph Morris and Nyumah

You said flying bullet hit you how is it now?

Primary Witness: Alright now, they took it off.

Any fighters live in your town?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Bull: Thanks for coming.

Commissioner Coleman: According to you, 1990 you were in Foyah, you stayed there up to the war?

Primary Witness: I can remember 1993 ULIMO came there when they came I went Sierra Leone.

How long did you stayed in Sierra Leone?

Primary Witness: Three years.

Any thing happened during NPFL time?

Primary Witness: They burn houses, they rape and looted.

You saw any killing while in the bush?

Primary Witness: No.

1996-97 any thing happened while LEAD was in Foyah?

Primary Witness: No. Just for people to carry their load.

What camp?

Primary Witness: Jenneh camp

How is your sister stomach?

Primary Witness: She died.

Where?

Primary Witness: Monrovia.

Are you married?

Primary Witness: yes.

How many children?

Primary Witness: one.

Commissioner Syllah: Thanks for coming and we say sorry for the death of your family. Can you give the name of your family who died?

Primary Witness: Siah Morris, Morris Zubanna and Fayah Zubanna

Where are your brothers?

Primary Witness: The other small, small one die. But we are three now. They are at the house.

Co-chairman: Thanks for coming and pray that God will give you strength is there any last word you have to tell us before you leave?

Primary Witness: Because now no body to help me only coal I can burn and my brother to in the bush to get something to eat. So I happy to come any help your can help us.

While in Sierra Leone you learn Carpentry work?

Primary Witness: Yes. I leave it now because of pains.

What grade are your brothers in?

Primary Witness: They are in six grade they are twine.

How old are they?

Primary Witness: 15years.Joseph Morris and Nyumah

Ninth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Blama Boakia
(Eighth Primary Witness of day one)

The Eighth 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.

Co-Chairman: We want to say thanks for come the process intended to foster the reconciliation process in Liberia and we see 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.

Co-Chair: Thank you for coming. We are doing this so that when UNMIL go, then we will not fight again. Please call your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is: Blama Boakai

When you were born?

Primary Witness: 45 years old.

Where are you living?

Primary Witness: Vahun

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: Farmer

Please tell your story:

Primary Witness: It was on one Sunday morning around 8:00 am. I left my Mother and wife to the village and went in the bush. In my absence, one man came and asked my mother for me and my mother said that she did not know where I was gone. While they were on the argument, I came and asked the man and he said my mother lied to him that she did not where I went; so I told the man say I did not tell my mother where I was going so please leave her alone; right away, the man said he was going to kill my mother in my presence and pulled my mother outside and shot her right in front of me. Later, he said why my wife also had to leave the village and followed me in the bush and he was going to kill her; when he made this remark, he shot my wife before me and killed her.

When he killed my mother and wife, I was afraid and I went in the house and he asked why I had to go in the house to take cutlass to fight him and I said no, I was going inside because I was afraid. He said he was not going to kill me but he was going to punish me. He took soldier knife and plucked my left leg deep and left me alone. After he left, I managed to tie my leg and ran in to the bush. I spent three days in the bush. Before the war, nothing was wrong with my foot, but right now, I am unable to do anything for myself because of the foot.

After three days in the bush, I managed to run in Sierra Leone where I stayed for some times and went to the hospital and I was lucky for them to give treatment. After the treatment, I stayed there until all the wars finished. I left in Sierra Leone until one of my brothers came and told me that there was no more war and as such, we should come for the elections. That all happened to me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Dolopei: Since 1990, this your foot been hurting as a result of the thing the man did to you?

Primary Witness: Yes, my foot was not hurting me before.

Commissioner Syllah: what is the name of your mother and wife?

Primary Witness: My mother name is Fatumata Blama and my wife name is Weiatta Blama

Your have any children?

Primary Witness: Yes, we have four children.

Where are the children?

Primary Witness: All the children are in Sierra Leone with my wife because I am unable now to take care of them.

Commissioner Coleman: When you left Vahun and why?

Primary Witness: I left Vahun because there no hospital to take treatment.

When you left Vahun?

Primary Witness: On March 15, 1990

When they killed your mother and wife?

Primary Witness: On March 15, 1990.

Who did the killing of your mother and wife?

Primary Witness: NPFL Soldiers.

They gave any reason for killing them?

Primary Witness: No.

Your mother and wife were killed the same day?

Primary Witness: Yes, the same day.

How long you stayed in Sierra Leone?

Primary Witness: 14 years.

Your wife from Sierra Leone?

Primary Witness: Yes.

All your children going to school?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What is the name of the children and how old are they?

Primary Witness: Nancy Blama - 30 years, Mula Blama - 20 years and Sao Blama - 14 years.

What about your brothers and sisters?

Primary Witness: They are all in Sierra Leone.

Commissioner Bull: What is the name of the NPFL fighter who killed your mother and wife?

Primary Witness: His name is Nyan Woser

What tribe was he?

Primary Witness: Gio man.

Is he alive?

Primary Witness: Well, I do not know.

Have your taken test on your foot in the hospital to see whether that other sickness?

Primary Witness: Yes, they treated me here in Voinjama and said there was no other sickness.

Was it that Nyan Woser was under the influence of alcohol?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

How long Nyan Woser stayed in your area and did he do the same thing to other people?

Primary Witness: Well, I do not know because when he hurt me, I managed to run away so I cannot tell what he did there later.

Commissioner Konneh: Very sorry for all that happened to you.

Commissioner Dolopei: You gone to the hospital to do sugar test?

Primary Witness: Yes, I went for test and they told me that I do not have no other sickness.

The same place still hurting you?

Primary Witness: Yes,

Is there anything else you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: Yes, I thank all the people very much. I want your to please help me because nothing I have as a result of this foot; right now, only people who feel sorry for me can help me with small money to eat. I really want your to help me with this my foot.

Tenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Moses Kanneh
(Ninth Primary Witness of day one)

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

Co-Chairman: We want to say thanks for come the process intended to foster the reconciliation process in Liberia and we see 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.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born during Tubman time

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: I am farming

Primary Witness: This last war that fought I was at Fulliman, the rebel came there and captured us me and my father and my families. We were and brought to Zigzag Massa then one of my brother who was the chief for another town the caught all of us and brought us to ULC. When we reach there they collected my wife and my children and carry them and one of my brothers had US dollars and they collected it from him then they told us to carry their loads. We wanted to go to where my woman and children were and Zigzag said if we go on that said we will be in problem with him so we did not go there. However we escape and went there but we did not meet any of them there. The children were dead and the woman they took her and carried her to Sierra Leone. When this happened I turned around and came to Fulliman and when I reached there I did not go anywhere again, this is what happened.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-Chairman: The children are they a boy and a girl?

Primary Witness: No it is two girls

Where is you brother now?

Primary Witness: He is the section chief of our area

What happened to his wife and children?

Primary Witness: He was under ground and when they came to attack they wanted to carry him but his big brother Alfred Momoh carry him and it is only the children they managed to carry.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming and sorry for what happened to you. You children what are their name?

Primary Witness: Boygray Kanneh and famata

What are their ages?

Primary Witness: Boygray was born in 1987 and Famata I don't know

Were you there when they carry the children?

Primary Witness: Yes I was there

Do you know the Zigzag

Primary Witness: Yes I know him very well

Was he the only one there?

Primary Witness: They were many

You said they give the old people cane juice?

Primary Witness: They people were Muslim and they can't drink but they forced them to drink the rum.

So where are they now?

Primary Witness: They don't die

Was it in the war?

Primary Witness: Yes

What is the name of your uncle?

Primary Witness: He is called Briama

Commissioner Coleman: what district were you living in when the war came?

Primary Witness: I was in Vaihun District

Then you left and went to Sierra Leone?

Primary Witness: When it happened then I left and went to Sierra Leone.

Are you a Sierra Leonean?

Primary Witness: I was born in Liberia and I grew up in Sierra Leone and got marry there to a Sierra Leonean.

When did you settle in Liberia with your woman?

Primary Witness: We came here form 1987 until the war came

When did you leave Liberia and what group allowed you to go?

Primary Witness: It was in 1994 and it was because of the ULIMBO

What was your experience with the RUF fighters?

Primary Witness: Noting

Where you were in Sierra Leone you witness no fighting?

Primary Witness: No

Commissioner Bull: are you a Muslim?

Primary Witness: I am a Christian

Commissioner Konneh: you were here when the NPFL came?

Primary Witness: I was not here when they came but I came when they talked of peace

Which of the fighting forces allowed you to leave Liberia?

Primary Witness: It was the first fighters that came to Liberia made us to leave and go back to Sierra Leone

Who made you father to drink liquor?

Primary Witness: It was Zigzag Massa

Which group was he fighting for?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Was he the one that made you to leave the country?

Primary Witness: Well I don't really know.

How did you managed to know him?

Primary Witness: He was the one who allow me to carry load and he killed my wife and took my children

What were the loads that you carried?

Primary Witness: I was carrying generator and Sedeki was carrying cocoa

Was there arms and ammunitions?

Primary Witness: Yes but we did not carry it.

Where did you carry the loads?

Primary Witness: I carry it to ULC

When the TRC came to you to take your story did you tell them of RUF?

Primary Witness: No

You did not tell them at a point in time the RUF came and attacked Vaihun?

Primary Witness: Yes they came and attacked and Zigzag people ran away.

Co-Chairman: thank you for coming. Before you go is there anything to tell us?

Primary Witness: Yes I only want for peace to be here so that you people can make the road. We the young people should get work. In Viahun Government job is creating problems for us so the TRC should help us.

How is the government job creating problem for you?

Primary Witness: We can leave from our village and go to another village to work and we are not paid and no food to eat.

Eleventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Milton Ballah
(Tenth Primary Witness of day one)

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

Co-Chairman: Welcome and thank you for coming to the TRC the TRC public hearings. What is your name?

Primary Witness: Milton Ballah.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: In voinjama, few miles from the town.

What's your age?

Primary Witness: I was born 1948

What do you do?

Primary Witness: Part time job.

What kind of job?

Primary Witness: With the Union, transport union and Farming.

Primary Witness: The civil war fought in Liberia, my experience started when ULIMO capture Voinjama in 1993. When ULIMO came, there I lost this my arm, my right arm. From there, they talk about black Monday, I was part of it. Black Monday we were there, surprisingly, they said they were taking the sheep from among the goat. As for me, a very good friend of mine, because he was playing for lone star, and I was playing for Voinjama he came for me, he said do you know me, I said no because we were all useless, because imagine all you sitting down, they taking some of you and going to kill your? I was not to my self. He came, he said let me carry your some where safe to hide. Because this thing this man them on, when they see your, it will not be easy today. So get all your family them that just how I was saved from that black Monday thing. But it was not easy.

So august 11, that tome, my father die, we were going to burry my father. That time, they were sitting in the house, when the soldiers came, they say your get soldiers here, my father said, we are not soldiers your look at our age, he say if your not get soldier here your will see, that how they carry them and put them on their fathers and grandfathers grave and cut their neck.

This thing here we come talk here, it really hunting me, but I have to say it. One boy call papa Boakai, that he the one mal treated me like this and he still living, he in Monrovia. He did this because of my wife sister. He saw the girl, he wanted the girl, he ask the girl who your husband? She say that Milton. He came to me and ask me, this girl here that your woman here? I say yes, because that my wife sister. So he say but your own finish. That how he started beating me and took me and put me in prison in a container for 3 months. And in that container, he will gave me food when he wants and he will be beating me every day. Even that night, he arrested me, he carry me to his house beating me and wasting caner juice on my head and if I left up my hand to wipe my face, he will slap me and beat me. You see this hand here, when it got broken, they put it back, but that it why it looking this bad. Even this eye, I can't even see with this eye, that from the beating. One time he even take me, carry me someway, when I was standing, he came and chocked me from the back. He said he will not kill me with gun, but when he finish with me; I will not live to tell the story. So he continue and all these things he was doing to me, that in the night oh. That how one day I was in the container, one boy they call Amara, I use to know him, he came he said but what I you doing here? When he tried to help me, they started fighting among themselves that day there, two of their men die self. So this papa Boakai man said I should leave the town. This thing I telling you I never this came to this place until recent time. And I na use this straight road, I had to pass through the bush, to get to Gbarpolu. It was recently that I even went to Gbarnga.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-Chairman: Mr. Witness, we want to say sorry for all that you went through. For your own woman they treated you like that. We want to say sorry for the death of your brothers and your father yeah? You say they kill them on their grand mother gave?

Primary Witness: Yes, they kill them on their mother and grandmother grave, because it was my father and my big brother.

Commissioner Syllah: we want to thank you for coming to the TRC today. You said saying these things is painful, but it is good you came to say it because it too much for one person to carry. So I thank God for spearing your life to see this day.

Commissioner Coleman: thank you for coming. You talk about 5 major incidents; I want you to please explain the 1st one. First experience this war, was the Black Monday, then the killing of your father and your brothers, then you talk about the incident where this Papa Boakai wanted to kill you because he wanted your wife, can you please tell us about the 1st one, your 1st experience? Where were you when you experience this?

Primary Witness: I was in my village

Where is that village?

Primary Witness: Whobado

Where you in that village through out?

Primary Witness: Yes.

During that time, when you were here when NPFL came, were they raping?

Primary Witness: There were so many massacres that went on. In Barclay hill, I can remember when the NPFL came and went in the mosque and kill every body there.

That massacre, can you tell me how many people were there?

Primary Witness: Numerous.

Were they more than hundred?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I can't give you the exact number.

You talk about the black Monday, where did they come from?

Primary Witness: We were all here.

What was the cause of the massacre?

Primary Witness: Because the force that was here, maybe they could stand it.

Why did they call it black Monday?

Primary Witness: Because that was the day, the Monday, they decided to kill the people, they say they wanted to pick the sheep from among the goats.

Primary Witness: No, they were just killing any body they see.

What year did this august 11 take place?

Primary Witness: 2000.

These force that came from Kolahun, do you know their names?

Primary Witness: Yes, I know them.

So who were they?

Primary Witness: That was the LURD forces.

Do you know if they kill other old people?

Primary Witness: Yes, along the way they kill other people.

Can you tell me the situation of this guy that maltreated you?

Primary Witness: He wa
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