Tubmanburg City: Day 2

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The Second Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Tuesday April 29th, 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 a welcome remarks form the Chairman of the TRC Cllr. Jerome Verdier who then called on the Hearings Officer Pastor John Teayah to invite the first Primary Witness to give her testimony.

Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Maima Boakai

(First Primary Witness of day two)

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 tell you thank you for coming and welcome to the TRC. You have come to help the TRC to do it work. Can you please tell us your name again?

Primary witness: Maima Boakai

Where do you live?

Primary witness: Besao.

What is you age?

Primary witness: 34

What do you do for living?

Primary witness: Farmer.

Primary witness: Firstly, I want to say thank you, for what I saw. I was to my place, a group of soldiers came, and they now call themselves NPFL. But they didn't bother us not neither my friends nor my family. While we were there, they brought 3 Fullah men and their wives. So when we were there, the NPFL took the men and say they want them to go and work for them, they took them to another town call Damah, when they came back, we never saw he people. They kill them and after few days, we burry them.

So after some times, they saw 4 men, they came in the town, and they put them on halt, so they ask them where they were from, and they said they were civilians. So they started asking them for their ID cards, and they give their ID cards, they still say those people came on reconnaissance. So they tie them, and the other boy among them, they call him hunger lion. So they caught those men, they kill the 4 shot the four men, so one of the men was not dead yet, so the other one say oh, this one na die yet oh, so their big man say but you know what to do, so they kill him. So after that, they left them there and those people were laying down there. And they were smelling when we use to be going on our farm, we use to run, or cover our face with clothes and pass. So we decided to burry the people, so the brave men in the town went and dug 2 feet, and they burry the men, but all their feet were out side and they were smelling. So we were there, when they use to do those things, one time ULIMO attack and I ran from here and I went through Kakata and got to Weala and from there, were going to Gbarnga, when we were on the line, I was standing there with the load on my head with my baby things inside, so this boy here, when we reach to the gate, me and husband, the boy say that where thing in the bag on your head, I say that me things them. So he took the load from me. Then the other boy came and said where the money you get? Because that time I was having baby. So I say the money I get, that 100 dollar and it in that load there where you take.

So the other boy just took my hand and started carrying me, so I say where you carrying me air? He say just lets go. So my self too, I started yelling, he was carrying me and hauling me. Then my husband heard me shouting, and he told their big man. So the boy that was carrying me, took me behind one house, I was crying, he took me in the room, my baby on my back oh, he took my baby from my back, he say today I will win this baby here. I was crying and begging him. So he push me in the room, and he started going out with me. He started sleeping with me, so before my husband could tell their big man, they reach there, the boy finish raping me. So that how they came there and take me from that boy, so his big man was vex with him and said if their boss man come, they will talk it to put him in jail, because they were not to rape. so that how they took me from there, but I was still crying, because of the baby, I was afraid that some thing will happen to the little girl, so the boy said, nothing will happen to the child. So my husband took me to one town call Zeanzue, one old man was there, my husband explain what happen to me, then the old ma fix country medicine for the little baby and she give me some of the medicine for me to rob on my breast, so that how nothing happen to the little girl and today my little girl still living, she with me to the house so that all the things that happen to me, doing the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we want to thank you for coming and helping us to do our work. At this time commissioners will ask you questions.

Commissioner bull: we want to thank you for coming, there are so many witnesses that give their statements, but for you to be chosen, so many people are out there, but they don't have the chance to talk, and as you talk today, you are giving vice to those people. So when they ask you, what do you want for the government to do to them?

Primary witness: as for me, I don't want them to do any thing to them, they have already done it let just forgive them and move on and we don't want war again.

Commissioner Konneh: thank you for coming. You said the rebels enter in your town, can you tell us the time this thing happened?

Primary witness: 1990, July 26.

Which faction?

Primary witness: NPFL.

You said they kill 3 Fullah men, what did they do to their wives?

Primary witness: They carry them.

Have you seen them?

Primary witness: No.

You say they kill four police men, were they having guns?

Primary witness: No, only their clothes and their wives and children clothes

You say when you reach Suakoko, who did you see?

Primary witness: NPFL.

Were they raping other women?

Primary witness: I don't know.

Were they forcing people to join them or taking people things?

Primary witness: Yes, they even took my thing.

Commissioner Coleman: thank you for coming, I want to know about your family, where are your parents?

Primary witness: My mother died 1989 march 16 and my father die 1998.

Did you lost any body during the war?

Primary witness: Yes, my step brother Simon Cooper.

Do you have children, you mention one?

Primary witness: Yes, two boys and two girls.

Commissioner Dolopei: you talked about your step brother that die, how did he die?

Primary witness: They say he was going to Caldwell to find food and INPFL caught him and kill him saying he was a ULIMO.

Commissioner Steward: thank you for coming, besides the Fullah men they kill, did you see they kill any other person?

Primary witness: Yes, they kill one police man in the plantation and they put the head on the check point.

Did you see another person it happened to?

Primary witness: Yes.

Was it the same head?

Primary witness: No.

Did you see them eating human beings there?

Primary witness: No.

You said you were in Cuttington, did you see any body eating human being there to?

Primary witness: Yes.

Where?

Primary witness: That time, I use to go sell greens in one town call Sinjay, and the rebels use to come and attack us the civilians on the campus. So the commander jack the rebel sent people to put stop to the people that use to come and attack us. So the caught them boiling human part.

Who were boiling the parts?

Primary witness: Martina Johnson and Melvin Sobanie.

If you see her will you know Martina?

Primary witness: Yes, I know Martina.

And do you know Melvin?

Primary witness: Yes I know him unless he changed now.

So Martina was there?

Primary witness: Yes.

What was her rank?

Primary witness: She was a general.

What kind of gun was she using?

Primary witness: She used to use the dragon gun for Taylor.

How does she look?

Primary witness: She's slim, dry girl.

You mention going to Suakoko, how did you get there?

Primary witness: That time, the rebels took over I left Phebe and ran to Suakoko.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming, you talked about the soldier that rape you, do you know his name?

Primary witness: No, only the man that rescues me, i know.

What is his name?

Primary witness: Sando.

Chairman: I want to ask you, you said when you were in Suakoko; you stay there until ULIMO attack?

Primary witness: No, because when they attack, that they soldiers self will be running in front.

So your too will start running?

Primary witness: Yes, you see the soldiers running, and then you will stand?

So while you were going, your saw dead bodies on the road?

Primary witness: Yes, even one woman , her children were carrying her, she old, she told them to put her down, and they did and she died when I was coming back I saw her bones.

How did you know them?

Primary witness: We knew them before.

So that time, you saw them boiling the human being, where was it, was it on Cuttington?

Primary witness: No, it was in one town behind Cuttington, the village name is Sinjay.

Thank you for coming, do you have any thing to say?

Primary witness: Yes, first of all, I want to thank the TRC for coming to listen to our problems. So I want to say I have problem, since the time of the raping, I have been experiencing menstrual problem, so I want you people to help me with medication.

Seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Harlee Gissi

(Second Primary Witness of day two)

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: Thank God that you have managed to come to the TRC to tell your story; the Government of Liberia sent us all over the Country to look into the problems from the war time. Please tell us your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Harlee Gissi.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Cooper Town, Tubmanburg.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I cannot remember my age, no slipper on your foot, how you will know that one.

Which President you saw good? You saw President Tubman?

Primary Witness: Yes, during Tubman time, I was working in Firestone.

What's about President Barclay?

Primary Witness: That time I was mall and did not know myself good.

You can please tell your story.

Primary Witness: Thanks very much, God must bless your, they way your came to talk to us to make heart good.

Primary Witness: In 1990, in Thomas Camp, Cape Mount County, NPFL did not do me bad, but one man Mano man called Zaye made them to treat me bad. I was working for one Mandingo man called Lassana Donzo as Field Manager on the diamond area. This Zaye man went and told the soldiers that I was having machine for one Mandingo man. After he said that, the soldiers came and asked me and I told them that only three shovels, two diggers, and two cutlasses I had and I gave it to them; they kept beating on me and later, the same Zaye said he was lying on me. After he made the pronouncement, the soldiers shut him right there and killed him and they released me. The soldiers started patrolling all the villages and taking the people food and other items.

It was ULIMO that did us bad, especially when they separated and started fighting each other. When I observed that, I decided to go to Monrovia. On my way to Monrovia, I saw one man and he asked me and I said to him that I was on my way to Monrovia; but the said I should say that I was going because he was going to kill me. I beg him and said he will not kill me but I have to follow them because Prince Johnson was on the road. I was forced to join them because I needed my life. We came all the way to Sanoyea, the place was packed with human beings. After a day, we saw several taxis coming and not known, the LURD forces were all under the cars. When the taxis came to the check point, the soldier who was mending the check point there and they shut him and killed him right there; from there, everybody started running away. When the LURD forces entered the Sanyea, they said that they come only for their food items and nobody should do anything to the civilians. As God would have it, they did not do anything to us the civilians that were there at the time.

After few days, we started coming to Gola-Konneh and I met my son and he told me that his rice farm was ripe and I should leave there since I was hungry. While on the farm, it did not take long and we saw the soldiers arrived and they started beating on us. I decided to leave the farm and when I was on way, I was too hungry and I saw a trap that had caught monkey and I just went and sat by the trap and waiting for the owner to come. When the owner came, he said that I have gone to steal his meat from his trap but I told him I was hungry and was in search on my daughter and I call the name of my daughter. When I call the name, he said he knew the girl and took me to her. I was there fine but it did not take long when the soldiers came again and they said that we were supporters of the rebels and they were going to kill us.

They took us to the place that they were to kill us but I knew one of the men and he was cousin; he asked me to take out my shirt and I told him no, and he asked me why I am refusing to undress myself and I told him that I was a Mandingo man and according to our relationship, he was my uncle. The soldier asked me to speak Mandingo and I spoke it very well and he was very happy and he left me and he took me to the Town Chief and against, the Town Chief was my brother. When he took me to the Town Chief, the chief was happy and he received me with happiness.

At the time, my eyes started giving me problems but thank God that when the war ceased, Fr. Garry took me to the Merci Ship and they operated one of the eyes and I can see all of you people on the table; only the other one that has not been operated still bad. It was ULIMO that really did bad to us.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: You say only the right eye was operated?

Primary Witness: Yes, they operated this and it is the only one I see with.

Commissioner Syllah: Do you remember the person who was eating human beings heart?

Primary Witness: Yes, it was Senegalese.

Who was cooking the human meat?

Primary Witness: I do not him, only Senegalese.

What was ULIMO doing to the civilians in Lofa?

Primary Witness: We heard that ULIMO was killing people with power saw and that year, I mad rice farm and we started hearing heavy sound of guns and we started running away, but I did not see the power-saw.

Which faction was Bad Wire fighting for?

Primary Witness: He was fighting for ULIMO and he had one bad boy behind him.

You see them use the power-saw on people?

Primary Witness: I only heard it, but I did not see them power saw but only guns and knives.

You eyes were alright when you were working before the war?

Primary Witness: Yes.

When the eyes problem started?

Primary Witness: It was during this war because of dirty water, and we ate toad from and all.

Commissioner Stewart: Any of your people died in the war?

Primary Witness: Yes, one of my aunties died but there was no gun or knife mark on her; I think she died as a result of hunger.

You bury her body?

Primary Witness: No, because people were running behind us, I only took her clothes and ran away.

You say burnt Sanoyea?

Primary Witness: No, I say they burnt Marseten town, a place that was built for all the displaced people; I do not know what got in the boy's heart, we just saw him putting fire on all the houses.

You say who used to carried food for your?

Primary Witness: It was Fr. Garry, the road was blocked but he still used to carry helicopter to bring the food.

When you see him you will know him?

Primary Witness: Yes.

At the time they carried the food in Sanoyea and they killed many people, were you there?

Primary Witness: Yes, they were diving food and LURD forces came and the government troops ran away but when the LURD forces came, they were concerned about salt and magi cubes and after they took them from the distribution site, they went back where they came.

Commissioner Dolopei: Where was your wife?

Primary Witness: At first, she was with me but later, we separated in Sanoyea and since that time, I have not seen her.

Commissioner Coleman: You say you have seen her?

Primary Witness: No.

How many children you and your wife have?

Primary Witness: We have six children and one of them is with me here.

You talked about Zaye

Primary Witness: Yes, he made me to suffer because I was the Field Manager on the diamond and he was just a boy.

Commissioner Konneh: One of the important parts of the body is eye. You were the only person he showed to the soldiers?

Primary Witness: Yes, only I alone he pointed out in that village.

You say you were agent for one Lassana Donzo?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where is the Lassana Donzo?

Primary Witness: Since he went Guinea, I have not seen him.

What are some of the bad things the ULIMO soldier did?

Primary Witness: They say ULIMO was killing people with power saw but I did not see it; most of the time, they assisted me. It was Zaye that made the Mandingo people to do bad to me.

What about other civilians?

Primary Witness: One Gola man was fasting one time when Senegalese came to the man and said that he was going to eat his. While he was trying to kill the man, the man begged him to leave him because he was fasting but Senegalese insisted no and while trying kill him, the finger nails hurt him right on his foot and up to present, the soul is still on the his foot.

Who stopped you from going to Monrovia?

Primary Witness: It was members of the ULIMO-K group, they just detained me and after few days, I escaped.

What LURD did to you?

Primary Witness: I did not see them disturbed any civilians, when they got in Sanoyea, they just shut in to the air and took their salt and other items and went back.

Have you seen Senegalese?

Primary Witness: I have not seen him some people say he is in Monrovia while others say he has died.

What's about Bad Wire?

Primary Witness: I do not know but he is slim, short and black, he was the one who burnt our village.

What's Jarhanama?

Primary Witness: People say when he see you and asked you and any mistake you make, he will kill you.

Have you seen him?

Primary Witness: People say they killed him.

You say what is the name of the boy who burnt your village?

Primary Witness: I say it was Bad Wire, I do not know any other name.

Commissioner Bull: Thank you for coming to the TRC to tell your story; thank you for telling what you see and heard.

Primary Witness: I have one question for your please: The way you people have asked us about the bad things they did to us and we have explained to your, what is it your have for us who were victims?

Commissioner Konneh: I also have two questions for you: When someone dies from you in your community and nobody comes to help you bury the dead and no one also comes to sympathize with you, how will you feel?

Primary Witness: I will feel bad.

If you have a government that you know that it is for you, and this government cannot do anything for you, how will you feel?

Primary Witness: Very bad.

The way we came, we have come to identify with you and all those who suffered during the war, the way you talked, you have talked for all the people who are not able to come here.

Commissioner Dolopei: Anything happen to you during the Doe's time?

Primary Witness: No, nothing happened to me; that time things used to be alright, we used to buy cup of rice for L$0.25, but right now, it is not easy.

What is the name of your wife?

Primary Witness: Her name is Esther, I cannot remember the last name because that was her father's name she was using.

Chairman: We have heard your testimony and asked all our questions; is there anything else on your mind that you want to tell us?

Primary Witness: Yes, I just want to say thank you plenty, God must be with your, the way your came safely, your should go safely. The way you people have to talk to us so that we must take all the bad feelings from our hearts is good. I want tell Fr. Garry big thank you, the Superintendent, the Pakistan troops here, and may God bless all of you for your good work. My name is Harlee Gissi, I thank you all.

Eighth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Percima Karnley

(Third Primary Witness of day two)

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 say you are welcome. We appreciate it, because it is a contribute to the process.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Precima Karnley.

Where don you live?

Primary Witness: I live Jawajah town Klay District.

How old are you?

Primary Witness: I am 24-25 years old.

What are you doing for a living?

Primary Witness: I help my husband to do palm nut work.

Primary Witness: When the ULIMO war started we were in our area and we went in the bush. While we were on our way through Swen Mecca we came to a gate and they were asking for our tribes and my mother said she was a Krahn and my father said he was a Gola and they asked them to go on different sides and they asked my father to leave and I have never seen my mother since then I am sure she is dead.

While we were moving here and there my sister was killed. For me it was during the LURD war in our town and we went in the bush and certain time the town was free so we came to town and again the LURD reinforced and we went in the bush and they came there and started asking us for food and they said if there is no food they will kill us. They grab one of my uncles and they said if he don't gave them food they will kill him and he was carrying them from one place to the other and they were annoyed and they juke him with a knife.

We managed and went to Ricks Institute and we started looking for food and we came across the ATU who said we were LURD soldiers and we showed them our displaced cards and they tied us together and said if we don't say the truth they will carry us on the came to be recruited and we begged them and they said the only way they will free us is if we can gave them the pepper we had and so we gave it to them. When we went on the camp I saw a Mandingo guy I knew and he said we should go with him and went. We got to a special area and he said I and the other two guys should lie on the ground and I refused but he hit me on the back and ii got on the ground. Then he said he is a government soldier so if we don't say the truth he will kill us but this guy was actually a LURD soldier so we told him we are not fighters and he dealt with us. They then took us to another area and we saw some of their men and these guys also started treating us bad, they asked me to pump my jaw and I said I don't know how to do it and they beat me again then a guy came and said they should leave me, that is how I left.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: What was your mother's name?

Primary Witness: Esther Karnley

Since when did that happened?

Primary Witness: ULIMO war 93-95

Sorry for what happen to you.

Commissioner Syllah: Thanks for coming to share your experience with us.

What is your mother's name?

Primary Witness: Esther

Did you notice any point in time that young boys were recruited?

Primary Witness: Yes by Sando Johnson

What did he do?

Primary Witness: Force people to fight.

Can you remember him?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where is your father?

Primary Witness: Jarbeh town.

The Sando Johnson you talk about, is he the same Sando Johnson that is in the House of Representative?

Primary Witness: Yes

Commissioner Stewart: How many years you have not seen your mother?

Primary Witness: 15years

The man who told you to lay down, can you remember his name?

Primary Witness: Yes Mohammed

Was he a soldier?

Primary Witness: Yes

From which group?

Primary Witness: LURD

Have you seen him?

Primary Witness: Yes

What did he say?

Primary Witness: Nothing.

What was his reaction?

Primary Witness: I only told my friend about it.

What other thing did you see?

Primary Witness: Beating.

How long did you stayed in the displace camp?

Primary Witness: Long

How was life like in the displaced came?

Primary Witness: Difficult

Was it from Jarwajah town?

Primary Witness: Yes

Did he know you before?

Primary Witness: Yes

Was it only young men they grab to go and fight?

Primary Witness: Yes

How about you?

Primary Witness: I escape

Do you know any of them?

Primary Witness: No not by face.

Was it government troop?

Primary Witness: Yes, lead by Sando Johnson

What was your experience with ULIMO?

Primary Witness: They only came to our area, they burn my father house.

How many houses they burn?

Primary Witness: Three houses

How many houses are there in the town?

Primary Witness: Thirty-three

Where did all the people go?

Primary Witness: Some went in the bush.

Commissioner Dolopei: What is the name of your sister?

Primary Witness: Siah

Where did she die?

Primary Witness: Yanwolee

Commissioner Coleman: Thanks for sharing your story with us and sorry for the pain you had to go through in life.

Commissioner Konneh: When your mother was taken away, who was controlling the check point?

Primary Witness: ULIMO

When was it that ULIMO enter?

Primary Witness: I can't tell

Where?

Primary Witness: Maker

How you manage to know his name?

Primary Witness: I know him before

Was he in military uniform?

Primary Witness: No

Was he with civilians?

Primary Witness: No military

When?

Primary Witness: 2002

The guy call Mohammed, did you know him

Primary Witness: Yes

In Jabada?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was he a student or what?

Primary Witness: No a business man

How was the contribution from all the warring factions? Was LURD present?

Primary Witness: Yes LURD

Where?

Primary Witness: In the town call Luyah

Did they take you as war prisoner?

Primary Witness: No I stay two weeks with them.

What your use to do?

Primary Witness: Toot load to Kakata

How old were you when NPFL came to Liberia?

Primary Witness: I was small

What is your father name?

Primary Witness: Henry Karnley

Chairman: We want to say thank you. Do you have any on mind?

I want to give thanks to the counselors.

Ninth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Kpawnah Kanneh

(Fourth Primary Witness of day two)

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

Chairman: we say welcome and thanks for coming to the TRC. we happy that you came, because we are all here to find out all that has happen in the past, so in that way we will find peace for us Liberians and al our children in the future. What is your full name?

Primary witness: My name is Kpawnah Kanneh Morris.

What is your date of birth?

Primary witness: I am 25 years old.

Where do you live?

Primary witness: Molley town.

What do you do for living?

Primary witness: I am a Farmer.

Primary witness: The time I was here during the war time, we were in the town, the LURD forces come they say your come in the town. So when we come in the town, they say our big man want see your so your should leave all your things them to Mahir. So we were there, they started carrying the people them to Mahir, we just sitting down, they were killing the people them, so we were in the big house, they were carrying the people them. So our time, we were the last, so when they put us in the car, they carry us to the bridge, when we reach to where they were killing the people them, they say we should get down that their air tire spoil. So when we got down, they started killing the people them, so I was the last on the line. So one boy was there, that him say let me carry this girl and kill her. So when he carry me, he asked me, you what tribe? I told him my tribe then he said ok, bent down so I will shoot 3 times then I will say I kill you. So I bent down the boy shoot two times and then he go say I na kill her. So that just how I was save.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we want to thank you for coming today. What you are doing today, is not a mistake, all the thing you come talk here, today you giving voice to the people who na get mouth to talk. So we are happy you came today. What happened to you, it never happened because you wanted it, or you bought it, but it was war and the people that suppose to be guiding us, they were doing those bad things to us. So we say sorry for all you went through and the sufferings. Can you remember the name of the guy who saved you?

Primary witness: Yes, his name is Daniel.

Which group were they fighting for?

Primary witness: That was NPFL.

He asked you for your tribe, what was your tribe?

Primary witness: I Kpelleh.

Was he a Kpelleh boy?

Primary witness: Yes.

Commissioner Konneh: the time, they were carrying your, they say the car tire spoil, can you remember some of the people name?

Primary witness: Yes, Sumo Ballah, Korpo Ballah, and Lorpu and Rebecca Ballah.

Were there all the people you knew?

Primary witness: Yes, but they were 15 people in the car.

So do you know some of the people that were doing that thing?

Primary witness: Yes, Benjamin Yeaten and Roland Duo.

Commissioner Coleman: I want to know about your family, where are your parents?

Primary witness: They took my mother at the bridge they staved her with the bent knife.

So what's about your father?

Primary witness: He died ever since.

Did you have brother and sisters?

Primary witness: Yes, I was having, 2 brothers and 1 sister.

What is your mother's name?

Primary witness: My mother's name is Yatta Kanneh.

What is the name of your brother that died?

Primary witness: His name is Sumo Ballah.

And what is the name of your sister that died?

Primary witness: Rebecca Ballah.

Do you have children?

Primary witness: Yes, two children.

Do you remember how many trips the truck made?

Primary witness: More then 10 times the pick up came back.

Commissioner Dolopei: Kpawnah, sorry you hear, for the death of your relatives.

Commissioner Steward: Sorry for what happened, did you go for Konneh hill?

Primary witness: Yes, that was from Konneh hill they took us.

So you left people to the Konneh Hill?

Primary witness: Yes.

How many of them?

Primary witness: They were many, I did not count them.

Did you ride the back of the front?

Primary witness: We were riding the back of the car.

When you reach, what happen?

Primary witness: When we reach, they say, the car tire spoil, so we should get down, that how they started shooting the people. So I started hiding, they were having two wise girls, when I go there, begging them, they will say, you move from here. So I was doing it until I was the last person, then the boy carry me and save me.

So when he saved you, where did you go?

Primary witness: He took me to Careysburg.

How long did you stay there?

Primary witness: I stay 5 months.

With who?

Primary witness: With the boy that save me.

Besides your people them, they kill, you knew some other people from Molly town?

Primary witness: No.

All the people that came from Molly town were how many?

Primary witness: We were 15 persons in the car.

That was who?

Primary witness: My ma, my husband, my brother, and one other man.

Your husband was there?

Primary witness: Yes

How did he get save?

Primary witness: He sat on the bridge and hall the shirt of his friend and they fell in the water.

What is the name of the friend?

Primary witness: Tope.

Where is this Topoe?

Primary witness: They kill him.

How?

Primary witness: He was not too sound, so when he came from the water, he went and showed him self to the people so they kill him.

You were the only woman in the car?

Primary witness: No, we were so, so woman, and plenty children.

So you were standing is there when they kill all those children?

Primary witness: No, the children them they w ere throwing them in the water.

Commissioner Syllah: we want to thank you for coming to tell us you story.

Chairman: can you tell us your husband's name?

Primary witness: My husband name is Morris Konneh.

Today, we want to thank you for coming to the TRC. Is there any thing, you will like to tell the TRC?

Primary witness: I am just asking them to help me with school in our village, because there is no school there.

How many house in Molley town?

Primary witness: The houses are many, more then 15 houses.

You got any other school there?

Primary witness: No.

What's about water?

Primary witness: Water there, but the pump spoilt.

Is there a clinic there?

Primary witness: No.

You can walk from there here?

Primary witness: Yes, 15 minutes walk.

Tenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Anthony Boakai

(Fifth Primary Witness of day two)

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: Thanks for coming to the TRC; we have been given the responsibility to investigate all the wrong things that went on during the civil war. Please tell us your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Anthony Boakai.

How old are you?

Primary Witness: I am 45 years old.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Vorkor Town, Klay District.

You now please tell us your story.

Primary Witness: It was in 1992 when ULIMO captured Bomi and we were in Theo's Village and we came to Vorkor town. When we got in town, my Uncle and brother were going to our house when the NPFL soldiers saw them and called them. When they got to them, they asked them as to where they were coming from and they said they were coming from the house. One of the soldiers said that they were ULIMO soldiers and they carried them down the hill. At the time, Plan International was building a school in our town and the zinc and planks were in one of our uncle's house and they tied the planks and put it on their head. When they reached with the items to where they wanted, one of the soldiers said that they are ULIMO soldiers and so they must kill them. Later, they took them to an intersection and killed them.

Few days after they killed them, around 6:00 am, ULIMO entered and woke another brother up and said they wanted to see everybody in the town in the center of the town and in no time, everybody gathered at the center of the town. After we got there, one of the soldiers said that one Government troop soldier ran and came in our town and so they wanted to look for him. Another uncle of mine was the Town Chief and he gave them the go ahead to search the entire town. After they looked and did not find anyone, my aunty cooked for them and brought it. After they ate the food, they arrested me and another brother and said that their commander called Opassium wants to see us. One of the soldiers called Abu got rope and tied the two of us; the entire town talked to them but he refused and started taking us to the direction of his boss. When we took off and got in the other town, he call for cutlass and we thought that he was going to kill us. They brought the cutlass and he took us behind the house and cut the ropes from our hands and started apologizing to us that he has wrong us. We accepted his apology and went back home to our people.

When we got in our town, we saw all the people crying thinking that they have killed us; as God would have it, we arrived in the town. This is what happened to us during the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: What is the name of your uncle and brother that were killed?

Primary Witness: My uncle name was Sando Leesar and my brother name was Lassana Boakai and he was 22 years old.

Commissioner Konneh: Sorry for the death of your uncle and brother. What was your uncle's age?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

Which group killed these people?

Primary Witness: It was the NPFL soldiers.

They told your the reasons why they killed these people?

Primary Witness: No.

What else you remember the NPFL soldiers did to the civilians?

Primary Witness: The tension was very high.

Is your mother still alive?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What other experience you witnesses from ULIMO?

Primary Witness: They did not tie anyone in the village.

What's about MODEL?

Primary Witness: I did not see MODEL; they were in Grand Bassa County.

What's about LURD?

Primary Witness: I did not see LURD, it was here in Vorkor that some of our brothers sent for me for us to clean our town; after clearing the area, we left.

Your Uncle and brother left children behind?

Primary Witness: Yes, they left children behind.

Commissioner Coleman: what's about your father?

Primary Witness: My father died in December 1999 as a result of sickness.

Anyone from your family died besides your uncle and brother in the war?

Primary Witness: Yes, two of my nephews were killed.

Are you married?

Primary Witness: Yes, I am married with 5 children including my Late brother's own.

You say which group killed your uncle and brother?

Primary Witness: It was the NPFL soldiers.

What is the name of your original village?

Primary Witness: It is called Tino's Village.

Who was Abu's commander?

Primary Witness: His name was Opposium.

What was your general experience with the NPFL soldiers?

Primary Witness: They killed some people and put some people in the well in a town called Dormagbarma in the year 1992.

Commissioner Dolopei: you say that two brothers they killed?

Primary Witness: No, only one of my brothers that was killed.

Commissioner Stewart: Where is Dormagbarma village located?

Primary Witness: Right after Vorkor, the next town is Dormagbarma village.

You remember any of the NPFL commanders at the time?

Primary Witness: Yes, it was Rambo and Roland Anderson.

You can identify these people when you see them?

Primary Witness: Yes, I know Roland Anderson personally.

Where is Roland Anderson?

Primary Witness: He is in a village called Gogan.

Can you please describe Rambo?

Primary Witness: He is bright and huge looking.

They buried the people they killed?

Primary Witness: No, they just put some of them in the well and left some just on the ground.

How many persons they put in the well?

Primary Witness: Two persons.

Where were you when ULIMO came?

Primary Witness: I was in my village Tino's Village.

Was some killed in your town?

Primary Witness: No.

They looted from your?

Primary Witness: No.

Where they killed your brother and uncle?

Primary Witness: They killed them in a town called Jarbajeh.

When ULIMO took control of your area?

Primary Witness: October 1992.

What ULIMO did in that area?

Primary Witness: I did not see them killing anyone.

How long ULIMO stayed in your area?

Primary Witness: They stayed there for almost a year.

How they used to eat?

Primary Witness: I do not know because they were in different clan while we were in different clan.

Commissioner Syllah: do you know the names of the soldiers who killed your brother and uncle?

Primary Witness: No, I was not to myself.

Chairman: Very sorry, we hope that you can tell your family sorry for the death of your people. Is there anything else on your mind that you will like to share with the TRC before you go?

Primary Witness: Yes, I want to tell TRC thanks for bringing me here. I also want your to help carry development to our town, we do not have pump water and so, we are appealing to your for assistance.

In which town you want the development in particular?

Primary Witness: In Vorkor Town.

How many people live in Vorkor town?

Primary Witness: Many people live there, more than 1000 persons.

Eleventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Boima Gibson

(Sixth Primary Witness of day two)

The Sixth 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 thank you for coming to the TRC, and welcome to the public hearings of the TRC. We are happy that you took up your precious time to share your experience with us. So we say thank you for coming. For the sake of the record can you repeat your name?

Primary witness: My name is Boima Gibson.

Where do you live?

Primary witness: Damah, Sinje district.

What do you do?

Primary witness: Presently, I am the development Chairman for Damah.

What is your birth date?

Primary witness: I am 39 years old.

Primary witness: In the year 1990, the group called NPFL captured our town. On that day, some of them were calling themselves freedom fighters. But they told us that day, that we were no more under the government order but we are under their order. So they told all of us to gather in the center of the town, and they told us to report every government soldier we have in the town. But if you don't it, they will kill you and burn down your house. So they went in the town. They never saw any soldier. So one day we were in the town, we heard a gun sound on July 26th at the Guthrie plantation area way, were we normally go for market. We heard that one man, who was and every one of us got afraid, and when we came to know, it was one man call, he was a chief security. So we got afraid and we knew there was war. And later, we were in the town with them, they took away all of our food, our banana them, they use us as slaves; they use us to carry their loads any thing they wanted. Anything they decide to do to us they will do. So we were there this same 1990 war, people were coming from Monrovia to the Interior. But each time they go there, we will take them, and show them their family. We will tell the other person take care of this and the other toke care of this. So, one evening, I saw 4 gentlemen, they say they were coming from Monrovia. I was trying to stop them, but they say they were passing through Damah, to go Besao to go to Bomi. It was almost 6:30, so I say your go, I can't do otherwise, that our town this, if your want go, your can go. So when they reach Besao, they slept there, the next day we heard a serious gun firing, and we heard that 4men who pass here were killed by one hungry Lion, he call his self, the patrol commander he kill them. Then we got afraid, but we knew now that they came to kill and destroy us. So we were getting sacred.

So from there, we were there, a group called ULIMO came and capture our town, it was in 1991, the came in our area, the Guthrie plantation area in 1990. But I will admit, they did not do anything to me and my family. So we stay there, and later we had an attack that brought me to the displace camp in Monrovia until the octopus war started which was between the ECOMOG, ULIMO and the Prince Johnson's group which was not easy. So later on I came back to my town area. There where I settle me and my family. So while we were there, before in the evening time, we heard the sound of gun and we saw people running coming and some of them were running naked. We were able to ask them because they were our brothers; we use to share with them. They said one papai they call Boima, they said he was crossing, they will come and tell us to cross them and they will take our things and started beating us. So we decided leaving the town. So he decided to help us, so he went and put the man in the canoe. And when he cross the man, so they tell the papai say, cross our friends and after he cross them, they say that you the bad man here, so they took the papai cutlass from him, and cut his head and they their selves they started running. So with in that moment, we too we ran in the bush, we stay with us for 3 months and ULIMO J came and said if we don't come from the bush, when they come for us, they will kill us. Then we came back in the town. So while we were there, then we saw the people coming they say their name is ULIMO K. so they erase the name on the wall and put their name there. So they sent for us, when we came, they say we are ULIMO K, your man Manah Zeakay went and kill our men and burn or armor doom. But all that time, we heard news that ULIMO were taking people from the other towns like Fortal, and other places, took them from Beh town to Sac's town. So we were the last group, all the civilians that were around, so they put us down and say we should sit there and wait for them. There were I saw a young man, he was lying down, with his head cut off and his stomach open. My cousin was there, and I ask my sister what is happening here? He say this man, he call himself ULIMO J man, but he was forcibly recruited, so after ULIMO K caught him, they were three, the others surrender but he refuse to surrender. So, they kill him. So from there, they were carrying us to Sacs town, we saw a group of soldiers running coming, because they wanted to carry us to Sawmill. They say gentlemen, Manah Zeakay na capture Sac's town oh. So we managed to come back to where we were and we saw the man they kill laying there. We managed that day and we ran in the bush. The only group that helped us that day was the Congo defense Force, that them help us to show us the other road by the sea side. So they said your should leave because if they meet you're here, they will kill your. So we use the back route to go through Karmu town area. So the Congo defense forces took us and carry us to the other side. While we were there, then ULIMO J soldiers them came again and took over, and they burn down the whole town, they chop one of my friends on his head, and they thought he was dead, I think when they retreated, ECOMOG came and took him to the hospital and he spent 4 months in the hospital. Then after that, his family was thinking he left in the war, and then they brought him and said here the man. So they found his family, when I went to see him, I could not recognized him. Then later, we left, I went back to my same home, you know the LURD war we ran again, I was there with my family. So we were there, and they came with their war, war one, two and three. So they na do any thing to me and my family, until everything was over then I went back home, I think that what happen during the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you very much for coming to tell us all this. So we appreciate it and so we will ask you some questions to provide the clarity to help us do our work, did any of your relatives die during the war?

Primary witness: Yes, they kill my father ion law, the man that gave my wife out to me.

What is his name?

Primary witness: Siakai Keazulu.

You said they beheaded him in the public?

Primary witness: Yes.

And who else?

Primary witness: My two brothers who die, but from lack of medications.

What are they names?

Primary witness: Siafa and Lasana Gibson.

Can you remember any names of the soldiers?

Primary witness: Yes, only hungry lion I can remember.

Do you know the names of the 4 men they kil?

Primary witness: No, they were just passing through Bomi.

What did you experience with ULIMO?

Primary witness: when they were together, I never experience any thing from them.

But who kill your Father in law?

Primary witness: That was ULIMO J.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming to the TRC, the 4 men that you say they kill, where you there?

Primary witness: No.

What happen to you sister's son?

Primary witness: He die too of lack of medicine.

Let go back to Manah Zeakay, and the ULIMO J.

Primary witness: I never said Manah Zeakay, but when ULIMO J caught us, they say, that Manah burn their armor.

So while you were there, did you see them eating human beings?

Primary witness: Actually, to be frank, no. I only saw dead body that they cut his head.

Where is you brother?

Primary witness: I can't tell.

You talk about the Congo defense force?

Primary witness: The Congo Defense force, were the people actually that help show us the road.

Besides that area, were they any where else?

Primary witness: No, only in poe river.

Commissioner Coleman: thank you for coming, I want to know about your family, where are you parents?

Primary witness: They are alive.

What about your children?

Primary witness: They are al fine.

How many children do you have?

Primary witness: I have 5 children.

Are they all ok?

Primary witness: Yes.

Commissioner Konneh: thanks for coming, you said when NPFL captured your town, what is the name of your town?

Primary witness: Damah.

Who was their leader?

Primary witness: Hungry lion.

What are some of things ULIMO did to you?

Primary witness: I just talk about the old man the cut his head that cross them.

You talked about the octopus, what did you see?

Primary witness: I was in town and I saw the rebels killing and bursting into home and taking people's properties.

Commissioner Bull: you said that ULIMO J did bad and they ask you what did LURD do? The question is not only for your family, but also the things that happen to the others. Can you say what LURD to any one else?

Primary witness: No.

Was there no shooting, no, harassments, and no killing?

Primary witness: No, I am not saying they did not shoot, but I say ty didn't do any thing to me.

Commissioner Dolopei: Mr. Gibson, I got ne questions, do you know any thing about Sando who use to dance in your town?

Primary witness: No.

And the security man they kill, who killed him?

Primary witness: That time it was NPFL.

Where was he working?

Primary witness: Guthrie.

You talked about the man they open his stomach, did they talk any thing from his stomach?

Primary witness: No.

Was he citizen of the town?

Primary witness: Yes, but I don't know his name

Chairman: you talk about One man One, did you have any experience with him?

Primary witness: No.

What made you to go to the displace camp?

Primary witness: Because they were fighting in the bush, ULIMO J and not Manah Zeakay.

But do you know if Manah is still alive?

Primary witness: No, I don't know.

Is there any thing, you want to tell us?

Primary witness: Everything that has happen, has happened, but if the government can help to build schools for our children and help for good roads. And lastly for them to help us build our houses because the war destroy all our houses.

Twelfth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Zoe Gbaina

(Seventh Primary Witness of day two)

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

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.

Where are you living?

Primary witness: Gbaseme

What are you doing?

Primary witness: I am farming

What is your age?
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