Voinjama City: Day 4

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The Fourth Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Thursday April 17th, 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.


Eighteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Klubo Dudu
(First Primary Witness of day Four)

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

Chairman: We want to say thanks for coming to share your story with us. The process is intended to foster the reconciliation process in Liberia.

What is your name again?

Primary Witness: My name Krubo Dudu.

Can you tell us the time you were born, if you can remember?

Primary Witness: I am 60 years.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Famahun.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Primary Witness: The time the Charles Taylor war coming, the soldiers come, they say we must come in the center of the town. They were many, plenty with guns in their hand. I, myself I was afraid because I never see soldiers like that. So they carry us in the center of the town, they say we are here to protect your, nobody should be sacred. So we were in the town all of us, that Sunday, I go in my garden, to look for bitter balls to come make soup. So I was on the farm now, for me to tie the bitter ball bag, I just hear the gun sound.

So I leave the farm, I run to the town, when I reach in the town the only thing I see that two old men them sitting down. I asked them what happen I hear gun sound here. They say just go in the town, they na kill all our children them. Just go in the town you will see, when I go see, here my three children lying down. I was trembling now, I was too confused. I see plenty people lying down on the ground altogether they were 34 people they kill. So I start looking for my ma, I was afraid, I spent one night in the bush. The next day, I saw my ma. She say that it they do to us oh. Where our children them, they na kill them? I say I na get children again. So we were there.

The next day, we see soldiers coming again, they say our boss man say we must come for your. We say aah, but who your boss man? They say that Pepper and Salt he our boss man, he say your should go there so the bring us back to Kolahun. When we reach there, they say we should stay here with them that every thing na finish. So we were there with them, when they started fighting again, I say I na going any where, they finish killing all my children them, I na going any where, if that here I will stay and die, let me die, but I na going any where. So I was there now, when they cook their food, they give me, I will na eat some, that only my children them business I was thinking about. So that it where happen to me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Krubo, we want to say sorry for the death of your children and we say thank you for coming. You see, that the reason they set up this TRC is for us to hear these kind of things because all this is too much for an individual to bear. So we want o say sorry, the whole Lofa County and the whole of Liberia say sorry. As you cry hear today, and you come to talk for those they kill, your children, you give them voice today. So we want to say sorry. That God who kept you to be able to explain this story. Your children that died, what are their names?

Primary Witness: The first one name that David Dudu, Esther Dudu, and Daniel Dudu.

What year was that?

Primary Witness: That was 1993.

Pepper and salt, that the only ULIMO big man name you hear?

Primary Witness: The way the thing happen self, I was not get time to hear their names I was thinking about my children them.

Commissioner Bull: Krubo, I want to join my friends to say sorry for the death of your children them yeah? And we pray that God give you the strength to make it. The things the Chairman say I agree with him.

Commissioner Washington: Krubo, we want to say thank you for coming, and sorry for you children. How is your ma?

Primary Witness: She alright, she in the town there.

The time they enter and did all these things, you know that was ULIMO J and ULIMO K?

Primary Witness: I was not there, I went to my garden to pick bitter balls when they came there and kill the people.

The two men that told you that ULIMO who did it, did they tell you the tribe they were speaking?

Primary Witness: No.

You say after they kill your sons, they carry your daughter?

Primary Witness: Yes, that one man tell me, that day I was in the market, when the man came and say but they kill one girl, she look just like you, but they kill her in the town there, then I say you see her name? he say yes, her name is Esther Dudu.

You know the name of the town they found her in?

Primary Witness: I don't know the name of the town, but it near the border.

So you never heard the name of their commander?

Primary Witness: They say his name is war bus.


You na see them kill any body?

Primary Witness: I was not really to my self, so I can't tell.

Where is your husband?

Primary Witness: I left him in the garden, now, now. But he was in Monrovia when the things happen.

Commissioner Syllah: I want to join my friends to say sorry for the death of your children. Besides the three children that they kill, you get any other children you and your husband?

Primary Witness: No, we na born again.

So how did pepper and salt treat you people?

Primary Witness: I na use to leave my house, some time when they say Algewe, they will not shoot any gun again. But things were not really bad. But if you go out, and they see you, you na lucky, they will kill you for nothing.

Commissioner Washington: Since your children died, has any body come to talk to you, any organization or any thing like that?

Primary Witness: No, that the first time, I talking to people about it.
But if you get the chance, do you mind if you have the opportunity, will you like for people to come to talk to you?

Primary Witness: No, in don't want to talk about it.

Chairman: You remember the name of the big man?

Primary Witness: They say that was pepper and salt, their CO.

But do you know his tribe?

Primary Witness: They say that was Mandingo man.

Ok, thank you, for coming. Is there anything on your mind, any last word on what you
want the TRC to do for you?

Primary Witness: Because now, I na loss all my children, the houses we were having, they burn them. So if your can help me build one two bad room house self, because they burn the houses I was having and nothing there again. I na get anything, I living in people's house.

Nineteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Sekou Jabateh
(Second Primary Witness of day Four)

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

Chairman: Thanks very much for coming to the TRC. Please call your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Dorley Sekou Jabateh

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Barkidu

Please tell your story:

Primary Witness: I have come here to say the same thing I told the Statement Takers. When the Rebels came in Barkidu, we did not know that they had bad intension for us, and as such, we all decided to go and greet them. While we were coming to greet them, they shot one of my friends who was also on his way to greet them; from there, people started running in the bushes. When I turned by back to run, I saw one soldier on the left, one on the right and the commander call me. When I walked to him, he asked me to sit down, but I was not sitting down and the other soldier on the left pointed his gun at me to shot, but the commander told him no, and he again ordered me to sit down and I sat down.

Later on, the commander asked if we could go and call everybody to come to the town hall and I told him yes and he released me and said I go and call everybody to the town hall for meeting with the rebels. I left and started calling everybody to come to the town hall and many of the people came to the town hall but did not enter. They all waited for me and when I came and entered the hall, then they started entering; I left them there and went to call additional people but while calling the other people, the soldiers started shooting and harassing the people by taking money from them and the people. We gave them US$2,000.00 and one cow but they kept harassing the people and they got afraid and started running in the bushes again.

They also killed one of my friends for not giving them money. From this point on, I knew now that the rebels had not come to rescue us but to destroy us, so I started calling people and going towards the bush and when I got near the bush, I ran in the bush, I ran near a river near the town and sat down and started listening back in town. It did not take too long when rain started falling heavily but I left in the bush while the rain was falling. When I listen, I heard sounds of gun and people started crying from town. The shooting continued for almost 15 minutes and people were still crying from the town. While sitting in the bush, I saw a boy who was crying and not knowing where to go and I called him.

After almost 25 minutes, I stopped hearing guns and as well as crying and later, I crept in the town because my mother was in our house. When I got in town, I slowly went to the town hall to see what was happening, when I got there, I saw almost all of the people were killed and some of them were still alive but seriously wounded, and they were asking for water to drink; one of my friends son called Sekou Sirleaf was kill because he wanted to safe his father.

I took my mother and ran with her to our village and came back to town after few days. When I go in town, I saw some men and we went to the hall and saw that most of the people had decayed and there was a man who did not rotten so me and the other men buried the body. Later one of my brothers told me that the bullet hit my son in town and I went straight there and when I got there, I saw my son and the gun had hurt him on his side and he started crying and saying, father just carry me to Guinea so that you can bury me because I am finished". Right away, I contacted a driver to find car so we can carry my son to Guinea fro treatment; in the process, my son shouted with my name; not known, my mother has left the bush and came very closed to the town, and when she heard my name, she ran in town to me and said she thought they were calling me to kill me. So, and I told her can't you see all the dead bodies of our friends and relatives all around and you leaving the bush and coming? I put my son on the car and they carried to Guinea and I put my mother on my back and took her to the village again.

Around 2:00 am, I bath my mother and went to Guinea and when we got there, I found somebody to take care of my mother but unfortunately, my son finally died. While in Guinea, I had almost 86 persons depending on me for daily bread. One day, I was on my way to another town when one of my friends saw me and started to ask me, if so to whether I was a spirit, because everybody had told him that the rebels had killed. And I told him that it was God that saved my life and I am not dead.

Thank god that we are alive and can tell our story today. Everyone must have to praise God for his doing. We in Barkidu had no intension to fight anyone at all. To explain these things after 20 years is just God's gift, I am not sensible more than anyone else. I survived not because I am better than my friends that died but it was the mercies of God. I am crying now because my son who suppose bury me is dead today before me.

Sometimes ago, one came from the TRC to asked me about my experience and I told just what I am telling you people here today. Right now, my father is sick but I have to come because I think that the TRC process important. We were happy to see the TRC people in town. If what I am saying here today is lie, let the Koran catch me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: What year it happened?

Primary Witness: 1990, July 12, on a Thursday.

Commissioner Bull: Thanks for coming. Are you related to the Sekou Jabateh who have the Fishing Company in Monrovia?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Which factions killed all the Mandingo people in Barkidu?

Primary Witness: That Charles Taylor people.

Commissioner Coleman: How was life with you people in Barkidu before the 1990 war?

Primary Witness: Things were fine with us.

How was life after 1990-'93?

Primary Witness: Things begin very bad for us.

The NPFL soldiers did any bad things to other people?

Primary Witness: I was not there, so I do not know.

How was life after the 1997 elections?

Primary Witness: I was in Guinea.

Commissioner Stewart: How many people were killed that time?

Primary Witness: Only God knows, I cannot tell you the actual but they were many.

Have the town people made a list of all the dead people?

Primary Witness: No.

Your buried the dead?

Primary Witness: We buried some in mass-graves, some left in the water, and some got decade.

You remember any one of the fighters name?

Primary Witness: No, I did not ask them.

How long you live in Guinea?
Primary Witness: I think 14 years.

How was life in Guinea as a refugee?

Primary Witness: I was not happy because I was a refugee.

Charles Taylor apologized to you people since the war ended?

Primary Witness: No, that is why we are happy that TRC came to us.

How do the people of Barkidu wish to remember their dead?

Primary Witness: We are happy that your came, that's not the people of Barkidu alone but the whole of Liberia; However, my fathers are in town so I do not want to say anything then they will ask me, but we are always thinking about having feast for our people that died.

Where you bury your son?

Primary Witness: In Guinea because that's the place he died.

Commissioner Syllah: What happened to your daughter that cannot walk?

Primary Witness: She was born crippled, she took sick and when I carried her to the hospital, they gave her injection and she got crippled from there.

What year that happened?

Primary Witness: That happened long time before the war.

What's about the little boy you helped at the river side?

Primary Witness: He has traveled to the United States.

What is his name?

Primary Witness: Saliah Kenneh.

Where is Samuel who had the plenty blood on his body?

Primary Witness: I do not know because he went different direction.

Commissioner Dolopei: What is the name of the Commander of the NPFL soldiers who did the killing?

Primary Witness: I do not know anybody's name because I did not ask anyone.
Chairman: Thank you plenty. You are speaking for all the people that died, you are also speaking against evil, you are a good citizen. Why you think Barkidu was targeted?

Primary Witness: I do not know anything else besides God.

You people had other tribes in Barkidu at the time of the killings?

Primary Witness: Only Mandingo People.

Anything else on your mind that you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: No, nothing on my mind again; but I want TRC to help us so that we can have the feast for our dead relatives and friends. We are pleaded with the question your asked as regards the feast of our people who died in the war.

Twentieth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Varmuyan Sayon
(Third Primary Witness of day Four)

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.

Chairman: We want to welcome you to the TRC and we say thank for coming to share your experience with us.

What is your again?

Primary Witness: my name is Varmuyan Sayon.

Do you know your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I was born July 5, 1964.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Bakedu.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a missioner.

Primary Witness: during the day 1999 August 16 Thursday, in the morning, my mother told me the way the people plenty in this town, you can't find way and sent us to Guinea? So I told my brother he say ok, then we will find car to sent them. So they left, so my brother say, you wait for me let me go and bring them. I say ok, when I was standing waiting for them, I heard the gun sound everywhere. So I ran I went back to the house. One of my uncles they call his name Blama Kanneh, he was there, he was standing outside, we told him to come inside but he refused. I had his hand up like this, (witness demonstrates action). He was saying, Lahelaha Ilalahu Mohammed Rasuliliah (there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger)

So they catch him, they say where your people and he show us, so they catch all of us. We were 18, that day, me and my mother oh, my sisters them, my brother them, we were all together, and we came out side. So the big man put two soldiers behind us, one of them say they should kill us, they other man say they should leave us. So we went, one man was among us, that man can't talk, when they started asking us for our food them and our properties, we say we na know, he say he wan to talk, they started beating him so they say he should talk. He say your don't kill us, if that any thing, you want we will give it to your. So he say I will give you rice, meat, money and any thing your want.

All the money they brought that day that was $US 3,000, they give it to them. They catch my grand mother and they say they want to kill her. They naked her and we all started crying and begging. So we went and brought money and give it to them. As soon as we bring this money and give to their big man, he was so happy he got in the car and left. When their big man left, they started asking us, you what tribe? If you Lorma, you pass on this side, if you Kpelleh, they will put you on the other side. They say your the Mandingo people, your Doe's people. They bring us out, we were 17 in number. They started shooting, so one of my friends fell down on me, one of the bullets hit my arm, I can still feel pains, after every two years I can feel the pains.

So I stay there, after some time, I was hearing people talking. So I stay there, later I woke up. I see plenty people lying down all over the place. Some of them they burst their head, some people their interest coming outside I wanted to count, but I na able to count. But the blood that was coming, it just like when it rains, the way the water can be running, that how the blood was running down. That the thing that make me afraid. So I lay down there, until I heard the car sound, they were going. I woke up, go look for my ma them. I see them, I carry them to Guinea. I stay two days there and I came back to Liberia, because I na know where my brother them was air. So when I came back, I na see them.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: We want to thank you for coming to the TRC to share your story with us. We want to say sorry for the death of your brothers and all that you went through. So, at this time, Commissioners will ask you few questions.

Commissioner Syllah: Varmuyan, we want to say sorry for the death of your brothers and thank you for coming to the TRC to share you experience. You talked about your uncle, where is he?

Primary Witness: Yes, he is Karma Dolly, he's in Bakedu.

How many fighters were there, you remember the name of the commander?

Primary Witness: No, I can't remember his name.

Which faction was that?

Primary Witness: That was NPFL.

Can you tell us the names of your brothers?

Primary Witness: They are, Jusufu Sayon, Mohammed Sayon and Beyan Sayon.

You said people came and they defile your mosque, what did they do there?

Primary Witness: Yes, they cook rice there, they burst the window and they force their way inside.

You say where did they kill the 18 children, in what town did they kill the 18 children?

Primary Witness: In Bakedu, when you going to Sandu hill way.
Did they burry them?

Primary Witness: Yes, we burry them. Even the people they kill in the town house, they were 326 people, one was there, he na get rotten, for two years he was there.

What was his name?

Primary Witness: Lusana Sheriff.

Commissioner Steward: you don't remember any of them?

Primary Witness: No, because i never stay there.

Then how did you know their names?

Primary Witness: They wrote their names and after writing their names, they burn the town.

How many houses they burn?

Primary Witness: I can't tell, they burn the whole town.

They rape any body?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Did they take any girl with them?

Primary Witness: No, NPFL na carry any girl, but that Lofa Defense Force carry girls.

Can you remember their names?

Primary Witness: Yes, Fatuma Dolly, Jarkai Dukai and Watta Kanneh.

Do you know their ages?

Primary Witness: I don't know their ages, but they were small, small girls but they were about 12 years old.

So, have they seen them since they carry them?

Primary Witness: No.

Did they force anybody to join them?

Primary Witness: No, all the boys them run as soon as they enter the town.

Commissioner Washington: I want to know how long the Lofa Defense force stay in the town.

Primary Witness: When they came first, they spent one day, they pass.

Which fighting group came back?

Primary Witness: That ULIMO came back.

Where they fighting?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you remember their names?

Primary Witness: They use to call them self Jalanma Plantoo.

Can you remember the name of the Plantoo group?

Primary Witness: Yes, that was Amara Kromah and Varle Phaleh.

How long were they there for?

Primary Witness: They were there up to disarmament.

Do you know the tribe of the Lofa Defense Force boys?

Primary Witness: They were Lorma.

Why did they kill the 18 children?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

What was the tribe of the children they kill?

Primary Witness: They were Mandingo children.

You say they cook in your mosques, can you tell us some thing about it.

Primary Witness: Yes, they cook in the mosques, Bakedu mosques.

Commissioner Coleman: You talk about the people they kill; can you tell us how many people they kill?

Primary Witness: I say 326.

When did ULIMO come to Liberia?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Where were you when they came?

Primary Witness: I was in Guinea.

Who were they defending them selves against?
Primary Witness: The government troop.

Did anybody attack the Lorma people?

Primary Witness: No.

So they were only killing the Mandingo people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

So, for no reason, they started killing Mandingo people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Did you hear about LURD?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I was in Guinea.

Chairman: We want to thank you for coming and sharing your story with us, and we want to say sorry for every thing you went through. What year did Lofa Defense Force hit Bakedu?

Primary Witness: 1992, January 1st that was New Year day.

You say they wrote your, they wrote your in the town?

Primary Witness: Yes, they wrote their names.

Where, on the wall?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Ok, thank you, before you leave, do you have anything to tell the TRC, any last word?

Primary Witness: I want to tell the TRC thank you for coming to ask for our problem. If TRC can help us in our town, I will appreciate it because they burn all our houses.

Twenty-First Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Daoda Dunor
(Fourth Primary Witness of day Four)

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.

Chairman: Thanks for coming to the TRC we use this time to discuss the past. Please call your name again. What you are doing today by coming is a very big thing that will bring peace to our country.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I am 75 years old

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I am from Kpopalahun

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am doing farming

Primary Witness: I want to tell your thank you plenty. I am too happy to be here today. During the days of our fathers we never knew about war, that time it was only peace we were talking about. Since the war came in the country we all scatter until there was an election. And we in our area I am the Clan Chief in Kassala and I call every body together and now the war is over.

One day we were sitting down and there was a heave thunder and people came to call me from Kolahun and they said this is what happened again, we want you to be aware that we should be on our alert of the fighting. Before we knew it there was shooting and it went to many towns and they said the people that coming they call them LURD forces. One day we saw another group of army coming and the head was called Stanley, he said he is bringing his soldiers in our town and that all the people should not go anywhere, anybody who goes out anything that happen they will not be responsible.

While there we heard sound from the next town and by then Stanley carry the soldiers to the border and the war was so heave that the Stanley could not stand and he ran so we had nothing to do. We saw another of our good fighter again lying down on the ground. Later Stanley came back and we told him we were leaving so he said we should wait for him he is going to Kolahun. While he was there one Zigzag Massa came and said he was coming back to us. He went to Gbalahun and he took everybody to Camatahun. He came to me and he told me we should go there and we had to follow him. We slept and the next day we started to go.

There is a water before reaching the town and when we reach there we saw people running coming and they said the man they call Zigzag Massa burned about forty people in the town so I said what can we do so I said lets go to the town. When I got to the house what I saw was not easy, the people that were burning in the house they were crying and moving from one side to the other. When I saw this I almost got pressure and I started to pray. I told my people that the best thing for us to do is to go to Sierra Leone and my people agree. Zigzag Massa left and went to Vaihun and we started to escape. We reached a water and we saw two boys who said Zagzag Massa had eaten two people in the town so we were afraid and we continue our journey.

We went and when we reached I went to the hospital and they said they will keep me for some time before I can go and we were there until the war finally finished and we came back. Those that were there I said we should go to Kamattahun and when we reached there we saw people skeleton on the ground and I gathered all of them and put them somewhere. So the people said we should try and burry them and we dug a mass grave and buried them. This is what happened to me in the war. Even the people came to me in Kpopolahun and I told them. They even burned our towns and there were a lot of bad things that happened to us in the war. So one day my people called me and said since all the people died in the war we should make sacrifice for them and I said it is good but where will we be for us to do that, we don't even have houses to live in and when the rein come we are in trouble. So that is all I know and I stop here.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: sorry for all that happened and we thank you for coming to tell you story. Are you still a chief?

Primary Witness: Yes

Can you remember how many heads you buried?

Primary Witness: When I came where they burnt the people I saw 25 heads and that was what I took and brought to the center of the town.

Commissioner Washington: sorry for what happened to you and your people, I don't have any questions.

Commissioner Coleman: sorry for what happened and for the terrible thing you went through. Is the Stanly a government soldier?

Primary Witness: Yes

Did he treat you people bad?

Primary Witness: When he was with us he used to force us to feed his people, and we could not give them dry rice.

Did they grab the women that carry the food to them?

Primary Witness: I did not see that of them

Did they force children to join them?

Primary Witness: I did not see that

Where was Stanley when the people were been burnt?

Primary Witness: He was not there he went for manpower.

How do you intend to remember these people that were killed?

Primary Witness: This is what I said that when we returned from Sierra Leone the people came to me and said what are we going to do for these people and I said we will do a sacrifice when we are settled.

How long will this be?

Primary Witness: Until we are settle

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming to talk for your town people, they are not here today but you are here. Besides you, the people of Liberia know what happened there today. Who did Zigzag Massa eat?

Primary Witness: He was called Lossini

Who told you this?

Primary Witness: It was his brother called Lassana

Chairman: thank you form coming to give us these valuable information, we are going to make use of them in doing our work. Is there anything on your mind that you want to say to us before you go?

Primary Witness: Too much, the first thing is this, you all have heard our story, we want you to help us to have a sleeping place and it is when we have sleeping place before we will make the sacrifice. Next is that the people that died in the war plenty of their children are there and they are not going to school, so what help can you give them? These are the two most important thins that goes on. Last night when it was raining I was not sleeping because I was thinking about my people.

How many houses are there in your town?

Primary Witness: We had about 270 and it was only two that they did not burn.

Are there schools and clinics?

Primary Witness: Yes there are

Twenty-Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Mbowollie Trawally
(Fifth Primary Witness of day four)

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.

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.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Bolahun, Bolahun District

What are you dong?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I am 50 year old

Primary Witness: I am sorrowful, thank God for you to ask me this question; I am so scare because of the thing that happened to me. In Bolahun in the night when I came from the farm I heard a sound someone was knocking at my door. I opened the door and they started beating me, they took my baby from my back and threw it away and they cut me with cutlass on my shoulder and there was nobody to help me.

They carry my two children and one of them survived and he said where they took them he saw plenty people sleeping. He managed to come to me and said let us go but I was not able to walk and I told him to go call people on the farm. He went on the farm with his friends. The people said day should brake before they can come, so I slept and they came for me when day brake. I told them to go and look for my daughter and they went and said her eyes are bust and her legs are broken and blood is coming from all over her body. The way the people hurt me I am not able to do anything of my own. I am seriously suffering, me and the little girl are together suffering and she is not going to school.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Syllah: sorry for what happened to you and I say tank you for coming to tell your story to the TRC. What is the name of your daughter and what is her age?

Primary Witness: She is Sengay Kenneh and she is 7years and one is Kpadeh Kenneh 9 years

Who did these things to you?

Primary Witness: That the government soldiers

Where is Kpadeh?

Primary Witness: He is living with me

Where is your husband?

Primary Witness: I don't know where he is

Is it because of the beating that you can not walk?

Primary Witness: yes

Which hospital you went to?

Primary Witness: I na go to hospital

Commissioner Bull: we hope that at the end of the day when we make our report you will be able to get some result. Thank you for coming to tell us your story.

Chairman: thank you for coming to tell us your story and sorry for what happened to you. What the doctor say to you?

Primary Witness: They gave me medicine but the pain is still all over my body, I can not lift my hands and my legs, they are all heavy.

Which group did that to you?

Primary Witness: I did not see them, it was dark and it was raining.

You heard anybody name?

Primary Witness: The people had to carry me in the bush for treatment so I did not hear any name.

What year was that?

Primary Witness: The second war, 2003

That the LURD or Government troops?

Primary Witness: That the government troops

Is there anything else you have to say to us before you leave?

Primary Witness: The first thing is that your should please carry me to the hospital and the second is my children is my children school business.

You have your hospital card?

Primary Witness: Yes I have it in Bolahun

Twenty-Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Watta Barwar
(Sixth Primary Witness of day four)

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.

Chairman: We want to say thanks for coming to tell your story to the TRC the process is intended to foster the reconciliation process in Liberia.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Golahun District

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: I am farming with my grand father

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I am 28 years

Primary Witness: When the war come we were in the bush the people came and took us from there and I came to Golahun and the people catch my husband in the bush so I went and tell my ma say I dream about my husband I want go to him, then the old ma say let find solution about. So I say which of the solution we will find and she say I will know what to do. I use to dream that they chasing him so I did not go there until one month and one boy left from there and came and tell us say they finish killing your husband. (Witness Crying) I was there I wanted to go to the place where they kill him and they say I must not go there.

We were in Golahun after one month when LURD got to the village they came and told me say the LURD forces to the place where they killed your husband. Then the people came and told me say your husband na die so you should go to Sierra Leone your husband there. So they find money for me to go there. I went and slept to Gagadu then the next day I was about to go to where they say he was and I see my small sister and she say they lying to me. she say go to Golahun where the LURD forces are on the village and you will find your husband body there so I did not go again, so I went back to Golahun. Then the mother in-law asked me if I want to go there and I say yes, so when I went there I find my husband is dead. (Witness still crying). When I went there I see the head and I bury the head and the people say o should sleep and I say no I want to go back.

While we were going we heard gun sound and we started hiding ourselves and the people finish capturing the town. Then three boys came and put us under gunpoint and one of them say let us kill the girl, then the other one say let us use her before we kill her and the three of them use me and when they finish I can't even walk. I was having pain on my stomach and I can not reach in the town and for the whole month I was receiving my period, the problem still suffering me now. So I went and told my father and he say I should stay there nothing will happen to me. I was just there I can't do anything because I was sick.

The last attack they burned the houses in Golahun and he papie ran away from the town, somebody help him and he went in the bush. We look for him for two days before we find him, he was sick and we carry him in the bush and he was getting sick everyday. So he say there is nothing I can do for you now so that God will help you. He say I should go and find medicine foe him and I say I don't have money and he say God will provide so while I was going somebody came and told me he was dead. So we now decided to go to Sierra Leone and my in-law them the go Sierra Leone and one of their sister was sick so while they were carrying her the Government troops came and kill the four people. There was nothing for us to do now and we went and bury them.

When we came from burying them I say I can't stay here so I cross and went to Sierra Leone that is what happened to me in the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Syllah: sorry for all that happened to you. We are also happy that you are able to say it out. What is the name of your husband?

Primary Witness: Mohammed Turey

What is the name of your mother-in-law?

Primary Witness: Jenebu Sheriff

Who killed your mother and the other people?

Primary Witness: That the government troops

What are the names of your two brothers?

Primary Witness: Lassana and Bawa

Since they raped you have you gone to the hospital?

Primary Witness: There was no hospital, when I went to the Sierra Leone hospital and they say no medicine.

Have you had a child since then?

Primary Witness: No I never born

Do you have a problem?

Primary Witness: My mistrial cycle in incorrect

Commissioner Stewart: do you know the name of the big man?

Primary Witness: It is only the man who killed my husband and they say his name Zigzag Massa

Which year it happened?

Primary Witness: It was 2001

You know why they killed him?

Primary Witness: No

Was he a fighter?

Primary Witness: No he was not a fighter

Beside you did they rape women in the town?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Did they force the town boys to join them?

Primary Witness: Yes they use to do it when were there, they use to force people to carry loads and they gave some of them loads.

They looted from your?

Primary Witness: Yes

How many were the government troops that went to your area?

Primary Witness: I don't know

They burned hoses and hospitals?

Primary Witness: Yes they burned plenty

How was live for you in Sierra Leone?

Primary Witness: It was so bad for me because we did not go in the camp soon.

Have you seen some of your families?

Primary Witness: Yes we are together in Yomatahun

Did you go to the hospital in Sierra Leone?

Primary Witness: Yes but they na treat me

Chairman: sorry for what happened to you and we say thank you for coming to the TRC. Sometimes you may want to blame yourself but you don't have to do that because you were not the cause. You are a very strong person and you are talking for the many women who these things happened to and they are not able to come before us today. We hope you will be in contact with us. Did you see the body of your husband?

Primary Witness: No only the head was there.

Were there people around there?

Primary Witness: It was only the soldiers

You know how long he LURD was in your area?

Primary Witness: No

Is there anything on your mind you want to tell us?

Primary Witness: I will tell the TRC thank you because they are the ones who came to look at me since it happened and I want them to help me with my problem.

If we want to find you can we use the information on your paper?

Primary Witness: Yes

Can telephone reach your home?

Primary Witness: No


Twenty-Fourth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Korpo Tainnie
(Seventh Primary Witness of day four)

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.

Chairman: We want to thank you for coming to the TRC to share your problems. We all here sitting down here, we are Liberians, and the Government put us together and the International Community say we must do this thing. So we can go in the bush and ask all the Liberian people where bad things happen to them. When you do this, then you helping to bring peace to Liberia, so that all our innocent people who die their blood will not be in vain. Can you call your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Korpo Tainnie.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Kenebo, Voinjama District.

Do you know their age?

Primary Witness: Yes, I was born 1964.

Primary Witness: I want to thank you for coming to ask us. What happen in my Life I can not forget about it. I was in my husband husband's home. My mother sent me for her medicine because she was sick that day, and was pregnant, I was 9 months pregnant, and I delivered there.

Around 3pm, I saw one old man coming from Bakedu and asked for one man, and he say people attack us. That just how the man say they catch him and put in jail and they say he was lying. So they put the man in jail. But it just stay few hours there, then they free him. That day I cook rice and we ate. Because some body die in the town we were having the wake, so when we came back, we were laying down. Around 5 to 6am, I heard the gun sound and I told my mother, and she said that what they can do. So, it stay small again, we heard the RPG sound, and I told them me, I na staying here, lets go. So we started fighting to open the door. But the old ma locked the door. So when the people were running, I tried to open the door, before we look, they were already to our door. They open the door, they came inside, they put all of us, out side. They say your get any Mandingo people and soldiers among your? I say we na know any thing about soldier business here, we can only go on the farm here and to our garden.

That night, they put us outside, we were many persons that night. so they carry us, they carry us. Before they could carry us that about 70 persons there and they killed all of them. One boy was there, he was pointing at the people, he say he know them. So I ask him, you can please help us talk to these people? He say he can't help us, he say this place your air now, that only God ooh. So they place the carry us, they were having people on the other side. They kill all those people them. Then they carry us, they say, this one them, we will not spoil our shoots on them, we will use cutlass and stick on them.

So they started beating us the baby I was having, they took the baby from me and throw the baby away. They chop my other daughter, and her intestine came out; they also chop me with knife and my intestines also came out. When they were doing that to us, their chief started calling them that they must leave now and go Voinjama for attack; so they left us and went. After they left, I laid down for a while and got up and went where they threw by daughter and when I got there, I observed that she was still alive and I took her in the bush, I came back saw my son also in a living condition and I carried him where I carried the girl, when I came back to my mother, she was very helpless and when I asked her for us to go, she said she could not make it and so, I should try my best and carry the children. I did whatever I could but she could not make it; just in time, I saw three boys and asked them to help me with my mother, they refused and so, with heavy heart, I was forced to leave her there and carried my children. My mother died and she does not have a grave.

I managed and went where my husband was and he took me and the children to the hospital. He talked to one Doctor to help me but it was not easy so we had to go to Guinea for more treatment; but right now because of not sufficient and good treatment, I am unable to do anything for myself, in fact, as I speak, sometimes blood can come from my ears; that's that things that happened to me during the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Syllah: Sorry for what happened to you. You say how you were taking treatment?

Primary Witness: My husband talked to one Doctor and he was helping me.

What is the name of your sister in Monrovia?

Primary Witness: Her name is Gbassay Mulbah

You say what make your daughter crippled?

Primary Witness: That the war, the soldiers wounded her with their knife.

What part of Monrovia they living?

Primary Witness: In Jacob's Town, St. Francis itself.

How old is the girl?

Primary Witness: 15 years.

What wrong with the baby that you were having and what is his name?

Primary Witness: His name is Gayflor Zor and he is at the house.

What is your husband's name?

Primary Witness: Tarnue

What is your mother's name?

Primary Witness: Kebbeh Gbailay.

You have gone to hospital?

Primary Witness: Yes, I have gone all over and to JFK as well.

Commissioner Stewart: Where you were living?

Primary Witness: In Kenebu.

Which rebel group was in control of Kenebu?

Primary Witness: ULIMO

Your had problems when ULIMO was with your?

Primary Witness: No.

Who attached ULIMO and this bad thing happened?

Primary Witness: They say that Defense Force.

They attacked too?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What time it happened?

Primary Witness: I think it was around 2003 to 2004

How many soldiers came to attack your that day?

Primary Witness: They were plenty, I think they were more than 100 soldiers and only few had guns and the rest had sticks, knives, etc.

Some of the people of the Defense Force stayed in your area?

Primary Witness: No, I do not know.

You know the month it happened?

Primary Witness: It was during the dry season.

They burnt houses?

Primary Witness: Yes, they burnt my father's two houses and other people houses too.

They carried people with them?

Primary Witness: No.

They looted your things?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They raped women?

Primary Witness: No.

You remember some people who survived that massacre?

Primary Witness: Only my people I know about.

You know the number of people that died that day?

Primary Witness: Yes, I think they were about 70 persons.

What is the name of the Town Chief?

Primary Witness: Jessie Wanlie

They get grave?

Primary Witness: Yes, sometimes, we can clean the spot.

You people have had feast?

Primary Witness: No.

You think the people in the town want to have feast?

Primary Witness: Yes, sometimes, we can carry food and living white chicken to make sacrifice.

Commissioner Coleman: Who pushed Defense Force from Voinjama?

Primary Witness: ULIMO

Where is Kenebo?

Primary Witness: In Voinjama District.

You say about 70 different tribes died in that war?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Chairman: Thanks for coming to talk to us. Sorry for the lost of your mother and other family members. Eventhough you are sick, but you have come to give voice to all your people that died. Do you know anything about the Defense Force?

Primary Witness: No.

Anything else on your mind to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: Yes, I tell your thanks very much for coming. I want for your to help me and my children because I am half-human being, I have four children; your please help me with their schooling.

Are the children in school?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you have your sister in Monrovia Cell number?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I cannot remember but the woman who brought me has the number.

Commissioner Syllah: report as regards the physical examinations on the witness: She has a surgical mark above the naval and she said it was during the war the soldiers wounded her with knife and her intestines came out; she also has several scars all on her body and she said it was as a result of knives the soldiers used to wound her.


Twenty-Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Jenneh Kamara
(Eighth Primary Witness of day four)

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.

Chairman: We want to thank you for coming to the TRC to share your story with us, and thank you for the patience, for waiting all this long. The thing where you na do today, it shows that you are a good citizen and you want peace. And that that why the Liberian Government and the International community put together to come and ask all the people them that suffer so we say thank you. What is your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Jenneh Kamara.

Do you know your date of birth, the time you were born?

Primary Witness: I don't know the time I was born, but I 20 years old.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I living Kematahun.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Are you in school?

Primary Witness: No, I am not in school.

But are you marry?

Primary Witness: Yes, I am married.

Primary Witness: The time we were to our home, they government forces them come, they attack the place. NPFL came, they ask my father for the road, he showed them the road. They went and they came back, they say if the papai lie to them, they will kill him and all of us. They went again, and they came back. They ask the papai for the road, he show the road again and the papai run away. So the next time we all run away we come to Popalahun, we spent 2 months there. Government troop attack again we ran in the bush, we stay 3 months there again. When we came back to the town, they attack again, then we came to Kolahun. That there, there kill my mother, father, and my brother them. (Witness Breaks down In Tears.)

Then the time they kill my ma, we leave running. So we go in one town, one man see me he say he want me, so my self too, I agree, because they kill all my people them. I was not get any body to take care of me, to help me. So me and this man here, we were together, that how we were there now, I get pregnant. That time I deliver the man get sick, the man die. (Witness starts crying again)

So we leave that place and ran to one village. That there we leave the war finish. So, after the war everything, I left and went back to my town. The house my father build, they spoil everything in the house. They burn the house my father build. So, right now I na get no where to stay. My Grand ma living with me, and I in my uncle house and my uncle is very old. So, I come for TRC to help me, because even my Sister them, staying with me, and all the children them on me. Before we even eat self, we get to go cut contract for people before we eat. Some times self, that bugger wheat we use to eat. To even buy cup of rice, it na easy, we na even get food. So, I want TRC to help me, because I suffering.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Syllah: Jenneh, we want to say thank you for coming to share your story with us, and we want to say sorry for the death of your parents. We know it na easy for only you but this tells us that you are a survival. So we say thank you and hope you will take courage and continue to survive. Your ma and your pa, what were their names?

Primary Witness: My ma name is Miatta Kamara and my pa name is Muanma Kamara.

Your ma and pa get other children?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What are their names?

Primary Witness: Bendu and Hawa Kamara.

So they living with you?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you have brothers?

Primary Witness: Yes, I get one brother but I don't know his where about. Since this war, we never hear from him.

Did that happen during the war?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You say you marry, the man you marry, that two of your get the children?

Primary Witness: No.

What the children's name?

Primary Witness: Their names are Ansu and Miatta.

You know the name of the people who kill your parents?

Primary Witness: No.

Which faction was that?

Primary Witness: That NPFL.

Commissioner Steward: We want to say sorry for all that happen to your parents.

That NPFL kill your people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What about your husband?

Primary Witness: My husband was sick, and he died.

The troop that catch in the bush, that who?

Primary Witness: That was NPFL.

You know any of them names?

Primary Witness: That only one of them name I hear, his name is Zigzag Massa.

Did you see him, this Zigzag Massa you saw him?

Primary Witness: No, I only heard it

Did they burn any house there?

Primary Witness: Yes, they burn the whole town.

They force any girl to be their wife?

Primary Witness: No, I can't tell you.

They force any boy to join them?

Primary Witness: Yes.

The boys that they force, did they come back?

Primary Witness: No, after they carry them to fight for them, they kill them.

The boys they carry, do you know their names?

Primary Witness: Yes, I can only remember one person name, Lasana Sheriff.

Did LURD kill anybody?

Primary Witness: Yes, they kill plenty people.

Apart from burning the houses, what else did they do?

Primary Witness: They looted the town.

Commissioner Coleman: I want to join my friends to say sorry for the death of your parents. What time did this happen?

Primary Witness: I can't remember I was small.

So you can remember the people that kill the people?

Primary Witness: No, I can't remember.

Chairman: The time they were killing them, your parents, you saw it?

Primary Witness: No, when we came from the town, I saw them laying down on the ground already dead.

How did you meet the body, did they cut their head, or what?

Primary Witness: They shot my mother.

What about your father?

Primary Witness: They cut his throat.

Were they burry?

Primary Witness: No, when I saw it, my self I was afraid and I ran in the bush.

The time you were running, that the time you saw the soldiers?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What were they wearing?

Primary Witness: They were wearing soldier uniform.

Did you see any other fighter?

Primary Witness: Yes, LURD force, I saw LURD.

Commissioner Dolopei: How you know the difference between government troop and the LURD forces?

Primary Witness: Because government troop had on uniform.

So that government troops kill your parents?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Chairman: So we want to thank you for sharing your story. This one you na do, it will help us to do our work so we saw thank you. Do you have any last word to tell the TRC, any thing you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: I want the TRC to help me and send my two sisters to school. And I want your to help me build my father's house. I na get place to stay, and I get my grandma living with me. We in my uncle's house, and he is very old. So that it and I thank God for the TRC.

Twenty-Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Boakai Dunor
(Ninth Primary Witness of day four)

The Ninth 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.

Co-Chairman: We want to say thanks for coming to tell your story to the TRC the process intended to foster the reconciliation process in Liberia.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I am from Kobalahun

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I am 55 years old

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer

Primary Witness: I want to say thank you plenty to you people for coming to us. The thing that happened in this war is plenty, if we want to say all we will not finish, but what happened to me is what I am going to talk. In our town the soldier people that came in our town we were afraid and we went in the bushes and I told my family that the way the war looking we will go to Sierra Leone. While we were going one of them left behind and I will go for them so while I was going the smallest of women say I will not go alone so she followed me. We came back to Liberia and we went in the hiding bush. I told her to go back and be with the other people because they can hunt for women and she said she will not leave me to be alone. So I say since this place is near the road we will go far in the bush.

I went to fix the place for us to be so while coming back I saw people going to the town and a girl who saw them first started throwing sign to me not to come and they saw us and we started running and while running we fell and an army man came and caught us and carried us to the kitchen. The tied me and the out me in the kitchen and the took the tarpaulin and out me inside and the started having my wife before me and the rope they tied me with was gong in my flesh. One of my sons was there and I did not know. After this thing happened to me I had a friend who use to come to my rescue and he had my son with him so he was coming to tell me and when they saw him they said he was as enemy and they caught him and they split his head.

What can I don now after rapping my wife and I am in tabbie. I told them to loosen me because I was powerless. By then I took my woman and we were helplessly coming to town and by then the LURD forces had cleared all the things in the town and no medicine and my wife was sick. While we were there some people were in the next town planning to attack our town. They came and attack our town and we could not move and they came and burned our town while we were there and my wife died in the fire. So I could not make it and I had to leave and go to Sierra Leone and I sad as long as the government remain in power I will never go back to Liberia again, that is what happened to me in the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-Chairman: sorry for what happened to you and we say thank you for coming to tell us this story, it will contribute to our work. The Commissioners will now ask you some questions for clarity.

Commissioner Coleman: thank you for telling us your story, I could feel the heart of a woman willing to give her life for what she loves, for that is very rare in this time. What is the name of your wife?

Primary Witness: Jennet Bawoh

What year did this happened?

Primary Witness: The time the LURD forces came to our area and there was a fighting between them and the NPFL. It should be around 2000.

Which forces did this to you wife?

Primary Witness: At the time we were under the Government troops and there was no LURD forces business and so it is the Government forces, it was a group lead by one Stanley.

Commissioner Stewart: thank you and sorry for what happened to you. Was there any other person you know?

Primary Witness: There was one Sivilee

How many were the forces that went on you village?

Primary Witness: They were about sex

Were they all carrying arms?

Primary Witness: No not all of them

Do you know the kind of arms?

Primary Witness: They were having AK

Were they having on uniforms?

Primary Witness: Yes but it was mixed up

Did they burn any houses?

Primary Witness: At the time they did the thing to us we were in the bush until the LURD forces came and drove them.

Did you have bad experience with the LURD forces?

Primary Witness: When they came we never had any problem with them until they were attacked and they came back before they started acting bad to us.

What did they do to you people?

Primary Witness: When you are going on the battle front and you say you are tire they will kill you, they were catching the girls to carry their loads for them and they burned some areas.

Can you tell us when was ULIMO in you area?

Primary Witness: This is what I am saying if we go into this war we will not go from here today so I don't want to talk about the ULIMO because they did all the bad things to us anything you have they will take it from you. They gave us hard tome to the extent that one Alhaji Koroma came to our area and we told him to stop them and he said they were fighting for us an
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