Tubmanburg City: Day 1

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The First day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Monday April 28, 2008 at the C.H Dewey Auditorium, Bomi County. The Hearings session started with the Commissioners of the TRC being ushered into their seats followed by the singing of the national anthem by the audience. This was followed by the handing over of the keys of the city after which the traditional council members came fourth to present chicken and kola nuts which are symbols of welcome to the TRC team in the county. The TRC County Coordinator for the county was called upon to introduce members of the TRC and the County Authority present at the occasion. This was followed by a speech from the Superintendent of the county. The Chairman rounded it up with his welcome speech and introduced the Commissioners of the TRC to the audience after which he declared open the Hearings Process.

First Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Moses Bridge

(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.

Chairman: Good morning and welcome top the TRC we are happy to receive you and want to welcome you to the Public Hearings here in the county. This is a national process and your contribution will help in bringing peace and stability to this country.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Vai Town One

What do you do on a daily basis?

Primary Witness: I am doing nothing

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I was born 1931 July 17th

Primary Witness: I will start from 2002, it was on a Thursday when the government troops came3 to attack and my little nephew went on the other side the forced him to take armor and the LURD forces came ands killed four of them men and my nephew came and the NP commander Solo caught him and said he connived with the people. As such my name and some other people names were called and they came and caught us. When they came for me they caught me and carried me and I explained and told them I knew nothing about what was going on and they freed me and they took my nephew and they went and killed him.

The next day when there was no enough amour the retreated and the government troops came in and started firing and there was no answer. The next day on a Saturday the said we the civilians should go to the gas station and hey were dividing many things. Io was the first person who the journalist came to investigate and I told them we were happy with them. The next day they said the commander wanted to see us and at 5:00 o'clock Benjamin Yeaten came and said he had a piece of job for us to do at the Mahir Bridge for 15 minutes and he took a lot of people and carried them to the bridge and they killed them and when the truck came back it was empty and some people spy blood in the truck so my uncle said they na killed my people. The truck carried the second group and it came back empty. They went and killed them and the third round was us and when they carried us I saw the blood at the bridge and I told my wife that something happened here.

When we got there my wife was the first person the called and they said you old man get on this side. Then my wife told me I am going to doe and we promise not to divorce so you should be careful because I am going to die. While she was talking they shot her and she died, then the man asked if he should shot again but they said no so he use the knife to juke her. Then I was called to come down and he said you know how we treated that woman and I said it is my wife you just killed so he said I was good to go. I told him let us pray and he said we are not here for prayer so I was going to die and I had my bible with the picture of my wife and myself inside. The man who was to killed me came close to me but the gun could not shot so they push me in the water and that is how I managed to swim and I went under the water and down to the bridge where I was and hearing them killing a lot of people on the bridge.

Young children, women and older people were all killed there that night. I was there washing all that was going on. I slept there and the next morning one of my friends called Jallaba came and I called him and asked for his tribe and he said he was a Gola and I told him we should cross the road and go to where my sisters had their village at the other side. When we went there we ate pineapple and it was troubling us, we were in the bush for eight days and the ninth day I told him I could no be in the bush so I left and we came to ray hill we slept there and the next day we started moving. On our way God was with us and we could not get hungry, snake bate my friend and nothing happened to him, and when we got on the road the boys caught us and said we were rebels and I told him I was not a rebel I was going to Bomi and he said I must go to Mahir and he started hitting me for eight time. He beat me so much that today I can't stand, my own farm I can't go there because of the way that young man beat me. So I insulted him and said that he should kill me instead of putting pains in me and so his friend said he should leave me and that is how they left me.

While we were going I saw one of my friends and I said what is the situation at the combat gate and he said there was no problem so we went there and when we reach there one boy said papie do you thing you can make it and I said yes. There was one soldier who was Gola who told his wife if she cooks she should leave food for me but I could not eat and the next day I left and I got in the town here at 9 o'clock. When I came here I was at our quarters for three months and they thought I was dead and later one of my daughter came with the soldier car and took me to Monrovia. That is what happened to me in the war, I will not go back to other things, but the killing of my wife is what is the worse problem I have and I am suffering a lot because of her. I am always thinking about and I have no body to help me since she died.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thanks for sharing your testimony with us.

Commissioner Bull: Mr. Bridge, we want to say sorry for what happen to you. The same God you call upon that save you is the one who will judge and will come to your call. And hope you will find some solutions to these wrongs, and give some recommendations to the Liberian people. The Mohair River you talk about, you could give recommendations so that the name will change. Thanks for coming

Commissioner Konneh: We join our colleagues in expressing our condolences to you and many others for no reasons but for malaise. It is painful that the one you love dearly should be taken away. From the beginning you said, you wouldn't like to go from 1990 but would you please give us summary of what you witness to include that in our report and record to the Liberian people. My question is what was your experience during the war after or before?

Primary Witness: Taylor came 1990, we were doing things normally. ULIMO came and say they want to free us and then they split and doing damage. I had two machines and six houses and everything was damage. So those are things. Only ULIMO did that by taken property. Taylor people were my best friends we used to do my work cane juice and sometimes I even give them some. ULIMO came people used to eat lazar, frog and some got sick and die from it. Those were things, but blood was not wasted in my town.

Which group split?

Primary Witness: ULIMO K and ULIMO J

When they split, where were they?

Primary Witness: ULIMO J was in Lofa.

When the Mohair issue took place, were you the last group?

Primary Witness: No, the third group.

How many?

Primary Witness: About five

How many in your group?

Primary Witness: Many

Do you know who was the hard doing the killing?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Dolopei: Good morning Mr. Bridge. I join my colleagues in expressing our sympathy also for coming. You took courage just to come and conquer impunity. So we want to encourage you to find faith in God.

Commissioner Washington: Sorry for the lost of your wife and other relatives.

You said you don't know the name of any of those people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You never hard any of their names?

Primary Witness: No

You mentioned Benjamin Yetan?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where was he?

Primary Witness: To a house there

He was there?

Primary Witness: Yes

So he was the head?

Primary Witness: Yes, he gave order.

You said you don't know another person?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You said he use to take his relatives from the group?

Primary Witness: Yes.

The killing was plan and selective?

Primary Witness: Yes, we didn't have any one they kill our people.

After the killing, you run in the bush?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You know what was done with your wife body?

Primary Witness: Yes, they put her in the water, her body was given to fish that?s what hurting me because I was not even able to bury her bones.

Can you estimate the bodies?

Primary Witness: No, when I tell you, I lie.

How long they were carrying people to kill?

Primary Witness: From 6:30 after 12:00 they were killing.

Commissioner Stewart: Can you tell us who some of those were?

Primary Witness: Some are here now, we who survived one Mandingo and one James about five

Is that all?

Primary Witness: Yes, about those that I know. I know about six survivals.

Were you able to get the count about those killed?

Primary Witness: No.

Before your time, how many pick-up they carried?

Primary Witness: I was the third

We just want to have the idea about the amount- Stewart

Did you come back to Trumansburg?

Primary Witness: I came back Bomi, ten days I live here from July to August.

When you got back, did you meet people?

Primary Witness: Yes, they even say I was spirit one Kissi man brought me clothes.

Was there a general state of fear with the people?

Primary Witness: No.

Did they come to take people away?

Primary Witness: No

Who was the commander?

Primary Witness: I don't know their names

Any government authority came to find out the reason why?

Primary Witness: One Kpalla boy came and said it was not good for killing our people.

Has there been any time where they have had ceremonies?

Primary Witness: Yes, one fat woman and we went to father Garray.

Is it 15th of July?

Primary Witness: No, July 20th.

Commissioner Syllah: We say sorry for the death of your wife. What is the name of your wife?

Primary Witness: Tamue Bridge

Were any of your children present?

Primary Witness: No.

Where are they?

Primary Witness: Some are marry

What is the name of your friend that the snake bit?

Primary Witness: Ama Jabbah

What is the name of your Nephew?

Primary Witness: Kolubah Sumo Dakar

How did you get medication for your wound on your back?

Primary Witness: No medicine.

Do you know any body by name at the time they were distributing the food to your?

Primary Witness: No, I don't know but a lady, and they kill her.

Benjamin Yeaten did he kill?

Primary Witness: No, he only gave instruction.

Did Rolland Due give instruction?

Primary Witness: Yes, he knew what was happening.

Commissioner Dolopei: The woman who was sharing the food, where is she?

Primary Witness: Only her sister.

Chairman: Do you have any thing last to say?

Primary Witness: I thank TRC to come. I thank your very, very much. Not only I alone, but other people children are suffering so your help us. Some widows don't have husbands and they are suffering. No medicine, I bed your must help us. Two boys who they kill, there father is living and no body to help him.

Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Watta Kanneh

(Second Primary Witness of day one)

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: Welcome and thanks for coming, we are happy that you came because this is what we are doing all over Liberia; we are doing this so that we will not have war in Liberia again. Please tell us your name.

Primary Witness: My name is Watta Kpannah.

What are you doing for living?

Primary Witness: Sell small, small things.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Morley Town, Inside New Road.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I do not know but I was born and I saw President Tubman.

You can now tell us your story.

Primary Witness: When the war started, we went in the bushes and the Government Troops came and took us to town. Another time, we heard that LURD was coming. One day LURD and Government troops fought and we went in the bush. But the government troops followed us and said that their big man wants to see us. They brought us in town and put us in one house. Later around 5:00 pm, they said that were carrying us to a camp for us to live there. They separated us, put the men one side, the women one side and the young boys another. They cooked dry rice and they gave us, but me and my children refused to eat.

In the night, they used to come for us, sometimes 5 persons, 10 persons and they say they have finished fixing a camp for us to live; they came again and carried my children. After few minutes in the night, they came for us and we knew now that they were killing the people they were carrying. When we reached, the soldiers said that the tire has spoiled and they started putting people down and killing them one by one.

One of the soldiers came and called, when I got down from the car, I stepped in the blood and it got all on my clothes and the soldier hurt me with the knife and the big man showed the flash light and saw the blood and said that I was finished and he told the boy to leave be because I was finished and the boy pushed me in the river; as god would have it, I managed and left the water. When day broke, I started walking in the bushes and looking for old roads to follow. I went and I got on a farm and saw a new fence and I knew that there were people around the area. I looked and later, I saw two girls washing clothes and when they saw me, they wanted to run away because I had blood all over my body. I told them that all my children were killed and I am running away. They asked me for my tribe and I told them that I was a Kpelleh woman; they took me to one Kpelleh woman in the area and she gave me some clothes and asked that I remain there until the war can finish. I left there until the war went down and later I went on the Camp on Ricks. But the soldier took the small girl to Congo town. When LURD came and the war finished, I went to look for the girl, but when the war finished all together, I went to Monrovia and I brought here. The other boy, they killed his mother and father, he is there, another, they killed his mother, father and brother, someone took him and he is in the camp that what happened to me in the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thanks for coming and telling your story. How many people died from you?

Primary Witness: Nine (9) persons

Can you please call their names to us?

Primary Witness: Sumo Ballah - son, Edward Ballah - son, Mcgill Ballah - grand son, Yassiah - Ballah - son, Ansu Dorley, Junior Ballah - son, Korpo Ballah - daughter, Rebecca Ballah - daughter, Marlon Ballah - daughter.

Your means everybody were killed at the Mahead Bridge?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They carried you and your children on the same car?

Primary Witness: No, they were in the car in front of us and we were behind them.

Who they killed first?

Primary Witness: My children.

How many children you have living and their names?

Primary Witness: I have two children and they are Kpannah and Fatu.

You hear names of any big person that were killing the people?

Primary Witness: Yes, the name I used to hear was Benjamin Yanten.

What's about the man who was driving the car?

Primary Witness: I do not know him.

Commissioner Syllah: Sorry for what happened to you. I have no questions for you.

Commissioner Coleman: You say they killed those people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where were your two daughters that survived?

Primary Witness: They were there, at the time, Fatu was small but very beautiful and the soldiers said they wanted her, so they took her from among us; the other girl was pregnant for 7 months and they gave her to one of the soldiers to carry her and kill her. While they were going, she started crying in Kpelleh and luckily for her, the soldier who was going to kill her was a Kpelleh man; when they got there, the soldier felt sorry for her and told her that she must sit in the water and he will shot three times in the air so that he can tell his bosses that he has killed her. They went through this and he save the girl and later, she went on the camp. When she got in the camp, she started looking for and we met.

What is the name of the soldier man who carried the girl?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

Have you seen the soldiers who save your daughter?

Primary Witness: No.

Some people were still behind when they carried your?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I hear say they fired all the people in the house because they were tired to carry people way to the bridge.

That's in the night they carried your?

Primary Witness: Yes, it was around 5:00 pm, they waited until in the night, then they will come and say, your friends finished reached, so lets go.

Do you know some people who were killed besides your children?

Primary Witness: Yes, they killed plenty but I do not know them; we had some Gbandi people, Lorma people and several others. In fact, we had one Freetown boy as a soldier who was minding us in the house for us not to leave.

Commissioner Dolopei: Thanks for coming; God got his reason why he save you, we say never mind, some of us cannot go through what you went through, God will always be with you.

Commissioner Coleman: I join my friends to say very sorry for all that you went through.

Commissioner Konneh: I want to join my fellow colleagues to say never mind; people born children so that they will make their parents famous in the community; for you to see the children you born, you went through all the pains to be killed in such a manner, it was very bad. You went through all these things but yet you have the courage to talk to us. Can you identify anyone of the people who did that killing?

Primary Witness: No, the only boy I could remember has died.

Have you been to the hospital for injection?

Primary Witness: Yes, it was my uncle I met in the Camp and he took me to the hospital for treatment.

Now all your children are killed, besides these two, who is taking care of you?

Primary Witness: Sometimes, I can sell my potatoes grains and that Kpannah can help me.

Are the other two children going to school?

Primary Witness: Yes, the other boy is crippled and going to school

What class is he in?

Primary Witness: That only ABC he can write.

Was he crippled before the war?

Primary Witness: Yes, he got sick in our hands and got crippled. When the soldiers carried us to kill us, they just said that there was no use to spoil their shots and they threw him in the bush. it was other people who took him on the camp.

They destroyed your house?

Primary Witness: Yes, they took the roof but some people built one room for me.

Commissioner Bull: I just hope that the TRC will look at your case and recommend because for some one to just come and destroyed one family, our international partners must help us if they want to see us enjoy this peace; these people must be brought to justice before they die. Thank God for those that went to Ghana to put together TRC. I want you to know that your children and husband will be mentioned in the history, and I hope that those who did the acts will come out and state their reasons for doing such.

Chairman: All I can say is that thank you. What you have done today is so great, it will live after you. They killed your children for no reason; their names will be mentioned in history. You have spoken for more than thousand people. Is there anything on your mind that you will want to share with the TRC?

Primary Witness: Yes, I want your to help me because I don't have anyone to help me.

Commissioner Dolopei: Today, you are a HERO, somebody who sometimes do big things that no one can easily do, so I want all of us to stand and clap for you.

Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

John F. Kollie

(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.

Chairman: we want to welcome you to the TRC. We want you to be relax, we al are your brother and sisters in here. The government of Liberia put us together to talk to every one who some things happen to during the war because we need this exercise there to help us forget the ugly past. So that tomorrow, our children's children can read and know what happen and so they can never repeat this ugly act.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: John Kollie, Forkpah Kollie.

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Did you see President Tubman?

Primary Witness: I was working at that time?

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Tubmanburg Via Town one.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I work with the blinds association in Bomi.

What do you do there?

Primary Witness: You know, we who were here, until the LURD force came. When the LURD force, came, it stay, they say food finish and no arms, so we have to go for food. And they say food finish. So times when we be there, Taylor people were coming to our town they can kill us. So I tell my grandson I say look, this one na easy oh, this one that Taylor people coming LURD na go. We were there, that day it was Friday when Taylor people enter there, they were shooting all night, no body answer, we were there.

The next day, that was Sunday, they came, they say all of your come, we coming enjoy. That same day self, they say the big men want to talk to us, so all of us came. And the big man them were Benjamin Yeaten and Roland Duo. So they bring rice, sugar, farina, and cigarette. They say your coming to enjoy today. So they bring the second one. But the second one was sour, then we say, oh, but how this one tasting sour so? So they say time to carry your Monrovia now, they full the first pick up, and they carry it. The person that was among us that was preaching to us, they say you go with your bible. so they carry them, when they came, I saw the blood on the side of the air, but I cant talk, I say when I talk, they will kill me here, so I cant talk, I was just standing there na, I was sacred. So they came again, they were carry people, one man there; I say as soon as they call that man, I will go. So when they call that man, I get up, I go there. They pointed to the other man, then I say me, they say yes, you good to go. So I get in the car, and we went, but that time, I na see the blood, that the place all the fighting coming start now oh. So we get in the car, when we reach to the water, the place where they get the 60 air shooting the people, I na go there oh. So one man was there, he heard me speaking Lorma. So he put me on the arm of the bridge and he threw me in the water. When I want to pass, the rail way was there, so I took the other side, because if they I want come up, I was sacred, so God help me, I was just floating in the water until I get to the end of the bridge now, that time I was tired. I stay there until I get strength, then I get up, I started walking in the bush, I stay in the bush for 3 weeks we were hiding. But the time I was down there, they were killing the people. For the babies, they were not using their guns on them, they were just throwing them in the water, some of them they will hit them on the wall and throw them in the water. For the pregnant women, they na get strength, so they were just kill. Even when I got on the bridge, I saw the blood. So that the thing where happen to me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Mr. Kollie, we want to thank you for sharing your story here today, and we want to say sorry for the bad things they did to you, and all the people who die at the Mahir River. Today you are giving voice to them. So right now, commissioners will ask you few questions. Did you loss any relative at Mahir bridge?

Primary Witness: No, God just so fix it, I sent all my children to Monrovia, that only my grandchild was with me, but I sent her back.

But do you know any other person that was kill?

Primary Witness: Yes, one man call Beyan Darkai.

Do they have children?

Primary Witness: Yes, that only one boy, he was here yesterday.

Do you know how many trucks came?

Primary Witness: That was two trucks.

So you were seeing the people?

Primary Witness: Yes, as for the children, no shooting, they can just throw them in the water.

Pregnant women and all?

Primary Witness: Yes, they can't even fight.

So you only know the name of the two people, you na remember any other person's name?

Primary Witness: No, only Benjamin Yeaten and Roland Duo.

How does he look?

Primary Witness: He na taller than me.

Commissioner Bull: We want to say thank you for coming today to share your story with us. Today shows that al the people who die at that bridge did not die in vain.

Commissioner Konneh: thanks for coming. The Lorma soldier that help you do you know his name?

Primary Witness: Gayflor.

Do you know where he is?

Primary Witness: No, because they na staying in Monrovia.

The people that were doing that thing, you don't remember any other person?

Primary Witness: No, but the people that was doing the thing were Sierra Leonean, that only the driver that was a Gio boy.

Commissioner Coleman: can you tell me how you were saved?

Primary Witness: Because the place where they had the 60, they na carry me there, they carry me to the other place, that how I just jump down.

Commissioner Steward: you say when you were on the bridge, you were speaking Lorma, what did you say in Lorma?

Primary Witness: Nothing, that me was speaking Lorma, but he na speak Lorma.

So, the man push you?

Primary Witness: Yes, he put me in the water and he fire up.

So he wants to help you, or he wanted to save you?

Primary Witness: To me, he was helping me.

When you left the water, did you see him?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What did he say?

Primary Witness: When we left the water, then we come to the same Mahare bridge, he say you know me, I say yes. He say what I do to you? I say that you who save me.

The time, you left that water, you see any body who survive?

Primary Witness: Yes, the old lady who just left here, and I were in the same hiding place.

You say, you spent three weeks in the bush, where?

Primary Witness: I the hiding place.

And you came back to Tubmanburg?

Primary Witness: Yes.

That time you came, people were in your house?

Primary Witness: No, nobody was there.

So the people, they kill them or they ran away?

Primary Witness: All of them ran away.

How many people were you that they were guarding at Konneh hill, were you moir? then 100?

Primary Witness: Yes, we were more then 200.

So how many people they carry before you?

Primary Witness: They take the first trip, but that the second trip na I see the blood on the pickup, so I was not to my myself na, because I saw the blood.

So the time, they were carrying your, people knew they were going to kill your?

Primary Witness: That only one Lorma man that was saying it

Commissioner Syllah: thank you very much for coming. Can you remember the ages of the children that were there?

Primary Witness: Some of them were not even up to two months.

That so so old people that was in the car?

Primary Witness: The car, I was in that so, so big people.

Do you know if the people that were in Konneh yard, did you all come from here?

Primary Witness: War brought them here, so they were citizens na.

Did you people list the names of the people that die, the names, the families, is it possible?

Primary Witness: No, I don't know, but the best is for you to ask the people were there for the people who die so you can know.

Chairman: I want you to talk for the people who die. In your car, you saw the blood, you were afraid, were the people afraid, did they know they were going to die?

Primary Witness: That only one man. But the others, I can't tell because I was under the water.

Who did all these killings?

Primary Witness: That the Taylor group, because LURD forces had gone.

What were they wearing?

Primary Witness: The same clothes we can wear, some times they can wear T-shirt.

Thank you very much, we finish asking all our questions, is there any thing you wan t to tell us?

Primary Witness: Yes the one I want to tell your, the war make it, the mate I get here, everything bore, so you should tell the president for building materials.

Fourth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

George T. Sengbe

(Fourth Primary Witness of day one)

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.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Red Head field

What are you doing for a living?

Primary Witness: I am doing farming

Primary Witness: I was in Kakata when the freedom fighter came I was coming from school when they border with me on the high way and they asked my where are you going and I said I was going to my house and they said they wanted me to join them to go to Buutuo and I said I am a student I can't go anywhere and they said they will force me. I directed them my house and we went there and they put my little sister down and they told my mother I would be back another time and they took me to Buutuo in Nimba and that was where I saw Taylor first and he welcomed me.

The next day they took me to the training field and there was a lady who asked me whether I knew the place and I said n and she said I was in uniform as such she will find a way for me to go away. The next day she told the watch commander that I would go and help her in her house and the next day she put me in the car and I went to Ganta and from there I came to Monrovia to my sister. She asked me and in explained the story to her. The next day I went to Firestone and I met my mother and she was on her war to Kakata that is how I came to cape Mount. I was in cape mount and in 1991 the caught me and said what are you doing here and I said I am a stranger I don't know anywhere. Then Mana Zayke told them to tie me that I was a rebel, I was there until in the evening and they cut me with the knife. They told the small soldier to give me Gebbeh Kutu, that is tying a stick on your foot and I was there until in the night. After that one of their bosses came and told them to leave me that I how I was left because I had my student ID card.

When they left me I went to my mother area and she was sick I had to take care of her. While there I border with the Taylor men and asked me to go with them and I said I was taking care of my mother. The brought a box of armor for me to carry which three men could not carry and I told them to kill me. They tied me from the morning hours to 3 o'clock and then they remove the rope and give me food to eat. When I left there I went to Kakata and I met my father was already to be killed and I told them that they will kill me with my father. Right in my front they collected my father and slaughter him in my front and one Gbandi woman came and collected me from there.

During the war I lose my mother and my father and that is how I left the area and came to Bomi where I am today trying to survive on my own, that is what I experience in the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: We want to say thanks for coming and all of what happen to you are wrong.

What is the name of your parents?

Primary witness: Willie Gbad, and Jarpue Nkpor

Do you remember the part of Nimba you met Charles Taylor?

Primary witness: Yes, in Buutuo

There were how many persons on the base?

Primary witness: More then 100

Is it less then 150?

Primary witness: Yes

How long did you stayed on the base?

Primary witness: Four days

Who were some of those you saw?

Primary witness: General Tarnue Special Forces Zogar, Isaac Musa Peter Duo, William Duo big brother.

How do you know that he is his brother?

Primary witness: I saw two of them.

The junior commanders, how old were they?

Primary witness: 25-25 years

What kind of training they use to give?

Primary witness: Invent tray

What is inventory training?

Primary witness: We use to craw under water.

They use to cut your hair?

Primary witness: Yes.

They used to give your money?

Primary witness: Yes.

How much?

Primary witness: Fifty United States dollars.

What is the name of the woman who help you?

Primary witness: Ma Kuo

Commissioner Syllah: How long did you stay with NPFL?

Primary witness: 4days

How long with ULIMO?

Primary witness: I week.

Did you fight alone side with any of those rebels?

Primary witness: No.

How old were you?

Primary witness: 28years old.

Did you loose any relatives?

Primary witness: Yes, my brother they cut his foot chopper.

What is your brother's name?

Primary witness: Kamara Samgbe

Commissioner Stewart: Was there any time that you were sent to the front line?

Primary witness: Yes, but I escaped.

Where?

Primary witness: Mano River

How long?

Primary witness: 1year 7months.

What were you doing?

Primary witness: Selling fish

When LURD was coming, where were you?

Primary witness: In Monrovia.

How many times did the government troop grab you?

Primary witness: One time.

When?

Primary witness: 2001

Where?

Primary witness: Monrovia, 24th street

Where did they carry you?

Primary witness: Viahum, with the chopper.

How many of you?

Primary witness: 150persons

Which airfield?

Primary witness: James Sprain airfield.

What were you doing?

Primary witness: Selling biscuits.

What they do?

Primary witness: I escaped and entered Lofa Bridge and came to Bannaka market ground.

How long before you escaped?

Primary witness: I week.

Who was the commander?

Primary witness: Rolland Duo.

What kind of gun?

Primary witness: AK

Where did you pass?

Primary witness: Viahumu

What were you eating?

Primary witness: Plantains

Where you alone?

Primary witness: Yes, because I was born there.

Why did you pass through the bushes?

Primary witness: Zig-zah Massah was on the road, so I pass through the bush.

When you came back, how far the rebel had reach

Primary witness: In Viahumu and Kolahum and I went Sierra Leone.

Who was in control?

Primary witness: AFL

What year?

Primary witness: 2002

What month?

Primary witness: August 2002

What camp?

Primary witness: In Kama camp

How long in Kama camp?

Primary witness: 2year 7months.

What were you doing there?

Primary witness: Carpentry

Commissioner Dolopei: How you got to Lofa?

Primary witness: By chopper

How many of you?

Primary witness: Two

What happen in Lofa?

Primary witness: They carry us to Rolland Duo and we were deployed

How many days or months

Primary witness: I week

Did you see killing?

Primary witness: Yes, many

Where?

Primary witness: In Fayah

You had arm?

Primary witness: Yes, we entered in arm bush and God help me I came back.

How many days?

Primary witness: I week 7days

You met enemies?

Primary witness: No.

You were never part of the six battler?

Primary witness: Yes, I was never

Commissioner Coleman: The skill that you have did they notice any thing of it?

Primary witness: No, I did not tell them

Commissioner Konneh: Did your mother die a nature death?

Primary witness: Yes.

Was there any ceremony?

Primary witness: No.

Did you see prisoner of war and civilians on the base?

Primary witness: No, I can't tell.

How was the training?

Primary witness: It use to run from 5-12 your eat and they lecture your.

What was the age of young people on the base?

Primary witness: Age 25-28

What was your reaction when your father died?

Primary witness: I did not react because one man can't take arm

What are you doing now?

Primary witness: Farming and carpentry

What class you stop in?

Primary witness: 7thgrade

How many children?

Primary witness: Six and three die

Commissioner Dolopei: Did they die during the war?

Primary witness: They die from sickness

Chairman: Who was one man one?

Primary witness: General Zabon, Old pa Bennie

Any body else?

Primary witness: That's all I can remember

What's about Oliver Varney?

Primary witness: I use to hear about him.

How was civilian treated?

Primary witness: They put arms on old people head to carry

Which group?

Primary witness: Both factions

Where were they operating?

Primary witness: In Lofa

When did you join NPFL?

Primary witness: 98

Do you remember the name of your commander?

Primary witness: S-1 Major Passion, Bobby Dickson, Alex Duwon

Besides the tooting of the arms anything else?

Primary witness: Yes if you say no, then they will kill you.

Who was those doing that?

Primary witness: Rolland Duo

How was he killing people?

Primary witness: When he says execute that person

What did you do?

Primary witness: I was fighting for the States

You did not rape?

Primary witness: No

Loot?

Primary witness: No.

Did you get marry before the war?

Primary witness: Yes

Commissioner Dolopei: How long you fought for your country?

Primary witness: 92-2002

Where were you assigned?

Primary witness: Boa water side

Was there prisoner of war?

Primary witness: Yes

Who did they turn over to?

Primary witness: ULIMO

Chairman: From which group?

Primary witness: From LURD they said they were hunger

Commissioner Dolopei: You stay from 98-2002, did you disarm?

Primary witness: Yes.

Which gun?

Primary witness: AK

Commissioner Coleman: Did you join voluntarily?

Primary witness: Yes.

When did you go to Lofa?

Primary witness: I can't remember

Was it a battler with LURD or ULIMO?

Primary witness: LURD

You join the army 98?

Primary witness: Yes

What was your reason?

Primary witness: Because no job.

Commissioner Dolopei: Where did you join?

Primary witness: Monrovia

Commissioner Syllah: How long did you stay long in the AFL?

Primary witness: 3months

Who was the commander?

Primary witness: General Lackay

Where was your assignment?

Primary witness: Kpupor

Your last assignment?

Primary witness: Boa water side

Commissioner Konneh: Did you fight?

Primary witness: I never went under attack

Which unit?

Primary witness: First platoon

Chairman: Can you tell us any thing about Mark Guannu?

Primary witness: No I can't remember.

What is your last word?

Primary witness: I want to thank the TRC. I want the TRC to help my family and my children to put them in school. Most of them are not going to school

Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Kemmeh Sando

(Fifth Primary Witness of day one)

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

Chairman: Welcome to the TRC. This is a process we are engaged in to allow Liberians share their experience of the past war. Please tell us your name.

Primary Witness: My name is Kemah Sando.

How old are you?

Primary Witness: I am 37 years of age.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Joseph Town.

You can now please tell your story.

Primary Witness: It was during the LURD war time when the Government troops attacked the LURD and they started retreating from Bomi Hills here. When the Government troops took over, they told everyone to go Konneh yard and they started diving salt, make-it-thick, and other things on us. After they divided the items, they started asking where we were when LURD came. But most of us did not have answer.

Later on in the night, they brought one big car and started taking people and each time they carry the people, only the empty car will come again for another people. So when they came for our group, we asked them saying, where are you people carrying us? And they said they were taking us to Mahir to fix place there for their commander or big people to live there. That night, they put us in the car and took us to Coleman Hill. When we got there, it was late and so they put all of us in one room and they started tying everybody. A girl whom I think was one of the soldiers took my baby and I told her say we heard that they are going to kill us so please my baby so that we all can die together. But the lady refused and they just pushed us in the house and started shooting in the room. As they were shooting, we were just crying and as we were crying, they kept shooting more and so, I decided to keep quiet. After they shut enough in the room and could not hear anyone crying again, they said that we have killed those people and so let us go and they left.

After they left, I heard a sound of a girl trying to get up and I asked if nothing happen to her and she said no; so I asked her to come and help me because the bullet hit my legs. The girl came and pulled me from under the dead bodies and we got outside and went in the bush. We were in the bush until day broke. When day broke, we started traveling in the bushes for the whole day and that day, it was raining on us. Later on, the girl went different direction and I took different way. While I was going, I saw one old man around the Harmon Village and he started running away from me. I called him and told him that I want to tell him a story that if I die, then he can tell my people. When the old man came, I told him that they shut me in Coleman Hill and killed all the people that were there. From there, the old man took me on his back until we got to village and they started treating me. After few days, they brought me in town; but one of the bullets left in my leg. Someone went and told my husband and came for me. After some times, I went to the Father here in the Catholic Mission and he sent me to the hospital but right now, I still have the bullet in my leg and certain time, it hurts me so much.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: You say the bullet is in your leg?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Why they did not take the bullet from your leg when you went to the hospital?

Primary Witness: They just took my x-ray and I gave the result to the White Woman who sent me to the hospital.

You say your mother died in that shooting?

Primary Witness: Yes, they shut her and she dropped right on my legs in the same room.

You saw your mother dead body?

Primary Witness: No, it was in the night but when she dropped on my legs, I just pulled her from over me and me and the girl left and went in the bush.

What was the name of your mother?

Primary Witness: Her name was Bindu Gballey.

You people were how many in the room when they started shooting in it?

Primary Witness: We were plenty, I cannot remember the number.

You people were more than 10?

Primary Witness: Yes, we were plenty.

Commissioner Konneh: Very sorry for the death of your mother. Where is your son the woman took from you at the time?

Primary Witness: I do not know; the woman took the baby from me and she refused to give him to me until they pushed us in the room. Since that time, I have not seen my son.

When these people were doing these things to your, you heard names of anyone of their commanders?

Primary Witness: I only used to hear the names Roland Duo and Benjamin Yeaten but I did not see them with my eyes to know them.

If you see the woman who took your son from you, you can remember her?

Primary Witness: No, it was in the night; I did see her face good to remember her.

Commissioner Coleman: Please help us; we are striving to understand what went on. Besides your mother, anyone else died from you in that incidence?

Primary Witness: Yes, my sister son called Sando Allen was killed.

What's about your father?

Primary Witness: My father died when I was a small girl.

What is the name of your son that the woman took from you?

Primary Witness: His name is Myers Sando, but his play name that all the children in the area know is Papay.

Do you have picture for your son when he was born?

Primary Witness: No.

Have contacted the Red Cross?

Primary Witness: Yes, I checked the posters with the photos but I did not see him on it.

Was the woman who took your son holding arm?

Primary Witness: I do not know because it was in the night.

Why do you think the woman took the child from you?

Primary Witness: Maybe they knew that they were going to kill us.

Have you made any announcement?

Primary Witness: No, I am afraid, because the bad people are just passing around here.

Besides Benjamin Yeaten and Roland Duo, what other names you heard?

Primary Witness: No, that so, so Gio people, I did not know anyone of them.

You remember how many people survived from the room?

Primary Witness: Yes, we were two; me and the girl that helped me to get up from under the dead bodies.

What is the name of the girl that you and her survived?

Primary Witness: No, but she was a Grebo girl.

Commissioner Syllah: When the bullet hit you, did it break your bones?

Primary Witness: No, I thank God that it did not break by bones.

You people were the last people the soldiers took from Konneh's yard?

Primary Witness: No, we left some people there, the place was packed, and they took people three times before carrying us.

Chairman: You can describe the car that was used to carry you people?

Primary Witness: That was one white pick-up with gun that had three mouths in it.

Was there any drawing on the car?

Primary Witness: It was in the night so I cannot remember.

Now that you have told us your story and we have asked you all our questions, is there anything else on your mind that you will like to share with us?

Primary Witness: No.

End of day One of the TRC Public Hearings Bomi County


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