Tubmanburg City: Day 3

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The Third Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Wednesday April 30th, 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.

Fifteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Baddah Dent

(First Primary Witness of day three)

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

Co-chairman: Good morning Mr. Dent we want to thank you for coming to the TRC. We are going around the country to get the story of people for what happen to them during the war, and that?s why we are here.

What is your name again?

Primary Witness: I am Baddah Dent.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Bassa.

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer and plant rice.

How old are you?

Primary Witness: I am 24years of age.

Primary Witness: Since 2000 I was in Montserrado and my father told me to go and spent time with my aunty in Swan Mecca and we heard of the LURD forces in Bopolu and they came to our area and attacked. When they came I went in the house to rescue my grand father and he felt on the ground so I lie down flat and after the shooting I came to see my grand father and he was lying with blood on him and he was helpless so I yell and I ran in the bush because the were still shooting. When I was running I met with the government forces and they asked me where I was coming from and I told them so they said I was a soldier but I told them the story of how they attacked and killed my grand father and my aunty was also missing so they left me.

I went on the came where my mother was and I told her the story and she was not o her self. The rebels use to come to the camp to look for able body men and my mother told me they were coming so I went in the house and one guy came and said I should not go in the house I should run and she put me in the toilet for three days. Then we started looking for my brother Jussu and when we were looking for him one woman told us he was taken by the rebels and they put him in the car and from that day we have not see him. So our father use to advise us not to be a part of the soldiers and we went to Duala. Later I went to look for my mother in the displace camp and I was with her until the whole thing got over.

After that I decide to go and look for my brother at the Duala area when the UNMIL people were coming at that area and there was no way to go across and so I entered the river and cross. I saw a lot of people in the water who could not come out so I went to the house of my mother and found out that it was burnt and there was nothing left for us. I went to the camp and told my mother and she said my father is dead and my son is missing so there is nothing I can do. So I told my mother I will go and help to start and the GTZ came and assisted us with building and we went and told the Red Cross about our mission brother about him. Since that time we have not seen him, that is what happened to us in the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Bull: Thank you for coming to tell your story to TRC. Thank you

Commissioner Konneh: Mr. Witness, we are prayerful that your brother is still alive.

Can you remember any other factions fighting?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I was small

You said LURD came and started shooting; were there soldiers in the town?

Primary Witness: Yes government troop

Which groups short your grand father?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

What is his name?

Primary Witness: Alieu Dent

What happen after arresting you?

Primary Witness: When I was there, there was a car, and I hid myself behind it then I left.

Where was your mother?

Primary Witness: In Perry displaces camp

You said, at times Sando Johnson use to come and catch people?

Primary Witness: Yes, forcedly.

And since then you have not heard about your brother?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you know Sando Johnson?

Primary Witness: Only by his car.

Is it the same Sando Johnson who is at the house of Representative?

Primary Witness: Yes

You said your mother house was burnt, did GTZ and the Red Cross help?

Primary Witness: Yes, they brother some soap and other things.

Were you going to school before?

Primary Witness: Yes

What was your class?

Primary Witness: 4thgrade

How old are you now?

Primary Witness: 24years old.

Do you still want to go to school?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Besides your father and little brother, have you loose any relative?

Primary Witness: No

What about your missing aunty?

Primary Witness: Yes we saw her.

How many children do you have?

Primary Witness: Two

Are you married?

Primary Witness: No. but girl friend

How old are yours children?

Primary Witness: 5 and 7

Do you want to go and finish your school?

Primary Witness: Yes

You like farming?

Primary Witness: Yes that my profession

Primary Witness: Could you call the name of your grand father and brother?

Primary Witness: Jusu Dent, Mark Kamara

How long you stay in LURD control area?

Primary Witness: 4months

Did you observed them forcing young boys to join?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you know the commander Lapper?

Primary Witness: Yes

Were you recruited?

Primary Witness: No.

Did they ask you to carry arm for them?

Primary Witness: No.

Did you see people carrying arms for them?

Primary Witness: No.

Who was lapper?

Primary Witness: He was a commander for LURD

Where are your parents?

Primary Witness: Bensonville

What is the name of your father and mother?

Primary Witness: Mariama Kamara, Benjamin Dent

Have you ever got hurt before?

Primary Witness: Yes on my hand.

Where were you attending?

Primary Witness: Gbarpolu

Some one told your mother that your brother got killed, are you sure of that?

Primary Witness: I can't tell

Co-chairman: You can tell your brother to get in touch with you if he is alive.

Do you have any thing to say as your last word or recommendation?

Primary Witness: I only have thanks for TRC for sharing what was on my mind. I tell the international world thanks.

Sixteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Mohammed Jalloh

(Second Primary Witness of day three)

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.

Co-chairman: we want to thank you for coming to the TRC and we want to say welcome. They say we must go to tell all the things where happen to the people. What is your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Mohammed Jalloh.

Where do live?

Primary Witness: I live in Kondeh.

What is you age?

Primary Witness: I was born 1930.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Primary Witness: 1990, when the war came in Bomi, we were here, the people who capture this town they told us they were looking for 3 people. They were looking for the Krahn man, Soldier man and Mandingo. We the Fullah people in the town we were happy. You know I am not living in the center of the town. They came they say we should find some thing for the people for their cold water, so they can protect we the Fullah people. So we give them something for their cold water. So we were here, I think they came here July 31st we stay here, and nothing happen. When we reach to the end of August, Taylor people came and said, all the people them should come, so they called us that were non citizens Guineans, Ghanaians, Nigerians, and other people who were staying here in Liberia.

And Charles Taylor said, all the ECOMOG weep here come here to keep peace, if they kill any Liberian, he will kill 5 of that tribe there. So we were there, one day Taylor soldiers came in the night, they carry all the Sierra Leonean to the Barracks, they took the Ghanaian and carry them to their own of place, they came and carry all the Nigerians to their place, then they left we the Guineans in that big house. We were there, and I spent one month and half in that prison. No food, so one time I got sick, and I say oh, I sick let me go and take treatment. So that how they free me, I went and take our country medicine. But one other Fullah woman who came from Monrovia she and her husband the man die from hungry in the jail. So they say the woman was having money on her. Plenty money, so when NPFL came, they collected the woman, they take her to the center of the town, in front of everybody and they kill that woman. And she had a baby, they kill the baby too, they were using knife to stave the baby, and they burry the woman and her baby together. The thing that happen, it plenty, but that it I see.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-chairman: We want to thank you for coming, the thing where you come talk, it show us that true, we even heard it, happen in Fendell. So right now commissioners will ask you questions for clarity.

Commissioner Bull: Thank you for coming to share your story with the TRC. The story you told us, that they kill the woman with her baby, were you present?

Primary Witness: No, some people came and told me.

The people who told you, who are they?

Primary Witness: Mustapha Jalloh and others.

Where is he now?

Primary Witness: He's in Guinea.

Commissioner Konneh: we want to hank you for coming; I want to know what they did to the other tribes since they say the Fullah people are peaceful people?

Primary Witness: Yes, they were kill soldier people, and Krahn people.

Where you there when they kill them?

Primary Witness: No, I only saw their body.

Did you see guns with them as soldiers?

Primary Witness: No.

You said when they deploy ECOMOG, Taylor said something, what did he say?

Primary Witness: He said, the ECOMOG he brought, if they kill any of his soldiers he will kill 10 of their people.

Did you see it happening?

Primary Witness: Not really, but around the official house they we all there.

Do you know the amount of different nationals?

Primary Witness: Oh, the whole of Tubmanburg was full of different nationals.

Do you know the amount of people that were killed?

Primary Witness: No, I can't remember.

Do you know if they were killed?

Primary Witness: Yes, they kill some of the Fullah people.

Do you remember their names?

Primary Witness: I can't remember some of the Nigerians but n all the Fullah people.

Can you call their names?

Primary Witness: They names were Bakr Bah, Osman Bah, Mutalu Jalloh and Amadu Barry, they were the Guineas, but I can remember Alhaji and Mahlam,they were Nigerians.

What about the Nigerian?

Primary Witness: Alhaji and Marlam

Do you know about any Gahanna, Sierra Leonean?

Primary Witness: I can't remember their names, because they were not too close to me.

When the war started, your children ran away, how many children did you have?

Primary Witness: I had 27 children but most of them die young, and I have 11 children and 3 of them died natural death; the other 8 are alive and some are in Guinea, some are in Liberia here and they don't want to come to where I live.

Where are your wives?

Primary Witness: My first wife died a natural death in October 1989 and the other two are still alive one in government farm, and the other one in Caldwell.

And they get children for you?

Primary Witness: Yes, but they other one children die.

You said you were sick, where did you go for treatment?

Primary Witness: I only use my country herbs.

You only talk about NPFL, what did ULIMO do to you?

Primary Witness: The only thing, they did was to loot all my properties.

Apart from looting, did they do any bad thing to you?

Primary Witness: No, they did not do any thing to me.

What about the others?

Primary Witness: No, I did not see them beat any one.

What about LURD?

Primary Witness: I did not see them do any thing to somebody.

Commissioner Coleman: thank you for coming, were you born here in Liberia?

Primary Witness: No.

Where were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born in Guinea.

When did you come here?

Primary Witness: I came to Liberia when I was Young.

What did you come to do?

Primary Witness: I came to find money to build my country.

And did you find what you came for?

Primary Witness: Yes, because when I came, I was working with Shell Company.

So you stay here all your live?

Primary Witness: Yes, I only sent of my children to Guinea.

Which year did ECOMOG come to Liberia can you remember?

Primary Witness: Yes, it was in September 1990.

Was it the same time Taylor came?

Primary Witness: Yes, he came one month before ECOMOGB came.

And you say Guineans were here?

Primary Witness: Yes, but later they went back.

Commissioner Washington: thank you for coming, I want you to tell us briefly how was life before NPFL came?

Primary Witness: Was very good.

And how was live after the NPFL came?

Primary Witness: It was getting worst, because they started talking our thing from us.

So it was when they deploy ECOMOG, that's when your problems started?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where did they take the Sierra Leonean?

Primary Witness: They took them to the Barracks.

Can you tell us why?

Primary Witness: No.

You said they took you to the prison and you stay there for one month and half?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Can you tell us how was life there?

Primary Witness: It was not easy; they were not giving us food.

And you said they use to come and take your and kill your?

Primary Witness: No, that only the woman who had plenty money with her.

Where was she from?

Primary Witness: Guinea.

You said they kill her and they kill her baby?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you know if she had a husband?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What happen to him?

Primary Witness: He got sick and died right there in the prison.

So what happen to the other people?

Primary Witness: For the Nigerians, accept God make some of them escape, but they kill all of them.

You say you don't know the number of people,

Primary Witness: No, I cant remember the number of people.

That were there, or can you estimate, or look at this room and tell us?

Primary Witness: But the prison was bigger than this place.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming, you said you carry your children and your grand children, any thing happen to your grand children?

Primary Witness: Nothing, I made way for them to come out.

You said they kill they kill the Nigerians, what happen to the Gahanna?

Primary Witness: All of them were together, but only God save some of them.

Can you remember the name of the commander that was here?

Primary Witness: Yes, that only Oliver Varney I can remember?

If you see Oliver, will you remember him?

Primary Witness: I hear Taylor kill him before the war finish.

Cochairman: thank you for coming, is there any thing you want to tell us to help us do our work?

Primary Witness: Yes, I want to tell the TRC to help us, all our houses burn, and have a farm, and want for your to help me maintain my farm.

Seventeenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Mustapha Abrahim Nyei

(Third Primary Witness of day three)

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

Co-Chair: Thank God that you were able to come here today; what you have to say will help us with our job. Please tell us your name:

Primary Witness: My name is Mustapha Abrahim Nyei.

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I was born on January 18, 1948.

What are you doing for living?

Primary Witness: Presently I am doing nothing.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Chocolate City, Monrovia but I have a village here and I usually come here.

Primary Witness: I will have to start from 1979, in 1979, I saw Gabriel Baccus Matthews came here and said that he had a political party call the Peoples' Progressive Party (PPP)" and it did not take too long when his party carried on an demonstration but I do not know the reason of the demonstration; later President Tolbert caught them and jailed all of them. We also heard that President had planned a trip abroad few days but unfortunately, we heard on 12th April 1980 in the morning that Samuel K. Doe had killed and overthrew his government.

The next day, we saw many soldiers and we started following and they said that they were going to break down all the Society Buildings in Bomi County. We followed them and we went to the UBF building and we saw skull of human being in their building. They also broke the building of the societies. After that, I decided to join them to Monrovia but they said that before I can join them, I should go and see the dead boy of President Tolbert. We went straight to the JKP hospital and I saw the body of Tolbert with a girl of about 7 years also dead right by him at the hospital. After few days, they said that they were going to kill some government Minister and they were Richard Herries and others. They put them on the poles near the beach at the BTC Barrack in Monrovia and shut them on the poles.

In the 1985 presidential elections, President Doe announced himself as the winner. After few years, we heard in 1989 that a rebel group headed by one Charles Taylor had entered Liberia. Few months later, we saw the NPFL soldiers arrived here and they invited everybody to the town hall, but I was not feeling good to go there that day. But according to those that went there, the rebel soldiers gave them some money with three cows so that they can party together. Later, when the people were happy, the soldiers started shooting into the building and they killed 327 persons in the hall. In 1990, they took us from our village and we went in the bushes. I went to my mother's home in Cape Mount County but the citizens in the village said that my name was not Vai name but Mandingo and so I should find another place to hide myself. I left and came in Bomi Hills, when I got here in 1991, is used to sent some money to my mother in Cape Mount.

One day, Charles Taylor came here with Foday Sankor and as soon as they got here, they invited everybody to the town hall again. When people got there, a woman called Mrs. Hilton a wife of the Late Judge Mr. Hilton came and reported to Taylor that her husband died in the war and that the soldiers had taken her from her house. Taylor immediately gave the woman L$1000.00 and ordered that those in the house quickly leave it and they gave her house back to her.

We started hearing again that another rebel group was coming; it was not too long when the ULIMO did their first attack. Taylor came here, the second attack on August 16, I told my wife and other family members for us not go anywhere but the rest of the people convinced me and we all left and went to Marlokor. We were there for 21 days and we observed that the soldiers started killing people with cutlasses. They caught one old man called Varney Kanneh and beat him severely and he later died.

On September 16, they asked us to move and while we were going. My mother-in-law was very old so I asked my wife for us to leave her down but she refused and so we started carrying her but got to a point and we had to leave her down. When we reached where we were going, when I came back for her, I saw that they had killed her and cut her hands and legs. We met one of the commanders and he asked us to bury the bodies. When I looked, I saw about 28 dead bodies including my mother-in-law with her hands and legs cutoff and we bury them in shadow grave.

I told my brother for us to come back Bomi, but at the time, ULIMO was in control because they the NPFL soldiers were treating us very bad. We started our joining and came to Managokpai and we came to Bomi and we saw ULIMO here. Among the ULIMO fighters, I saw one of my old friends and we met their commander Siafa Gray and they were very friendly.

March 24th, ULIMO divided, before that they invited us and I told them that Krahn and Mandingo are brothers I said that there were three brothers and some other people. When they divided, my wife left in it, later, ECOMOG came and we went on ECOMOG base; Lutheran world service started feeding. August 94, we went Monrovia; there we left until the war war-1, War war-2 and war war-3 came to your place and we had more displace came, and food business became tough. We were there until UNMIL came.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co-Chairman: The thing you have done, it is a big things the way you talked for plenty people who are unable to talk because they are dead.

Commissioner Syllah: You said that you were at BTC when they killed Henries and others; please tell us what you saw there that day?

Primary Witness: They put them on the poles near the beaches and they shot them, but Henries died before.

They tied their faces?

Primary Witness: No

What they did with the body?

Primary Witness: they buried the bodies in a shallow grave

You saw Tolbert body, what happened to him?

Primary Witness: I saw that his stomach was opened with a child about 7years dead by him too.

You went Lofa?

Primary Witness: Yes

You went Buntor?

Primary Witness: No, I stopped Barkidu

How many persons were killed in Barkindu?

Primary Witness: 337

You remember the soldiers that killed the Ministers?

Primary Witness: Yes, some of them are living

You said they attack your village?

Primary Witness: NPFL went and shot in the air and we ran away and they took all we had including my three cars.

They did anything?

Primary Witness: They looted all our things besides, that when war got to Sierra Leone, they came here and killed 7 persons; the commanders were CO-Kortor, Dixon, ect

When you went to your mother town, what the people say?

Primary Witness: They said the name I was using was not a via name so I should find place to name of your father.

Primary Witness: Abraham Nyei

Whey they treated Mrs. Hilton like that?

Primary Witness: No reason

What happened to her?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Commissioner Washington: Were you member of PPP?

Primary Witness: No, I was here and the demonstration happened in Monrovia.

Where were you doing the demonstration?

Primary Witness: In Monrovia

Where you near the area?

Primary Witness: I saw people passing and looting people things.

What were you doing?

Primary Witness: I was one of Arabic teacher

What was the name of the old man killed?

Primary Witness: Old man Varney Kanneh

Name of your mother in-law?

Primary Witness: Ma Garlee Kamara

How your wife died?

Primary Witness: she died as a result of child birth

What was her name?

Primary Witness: She was Asatta Kromah

Name of brother?

Primary Witness: Mohammed Nyei

You say your aunty was married to Henries, how was Henries death affect her

Primary Witness: She went almost crazy- Ma Zoe

She had children?

Primary Witness: Yes, Omaru and Zoe

Where they used to live in Monrovia and people trouble them?

Primary Witness: Yes, in old road, where Zoe way living?

Henries had two families?

Primary Witness: Yes Ma Kula and Ma Zoe

What happened to your aunty?

Primary Witness: She went off her head and died later.

Can you explain what they did to Mrs. Hilton?

Primary Witness: I did not go there the people who went there said the soldiers nicked her.

Can you explain about what they did to Mrs. Hilton?

Primary Witness: I did not go there, but people that went there said that the soldiers nicked her and took her from the house again.

You know what happen to her 7 children?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

You know anything about one of Mrs. Hilton's son?

Primary Witness: I said that I was not there, I only heard about that.

What was the last name for Ma Zoe?

Primary Witness: Her full name was Ma Zoe Sonnie.

Commissioner Coleman: you say your father was a Mandingo man and your mother a Via woman?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Anyone of your relatives died in the war?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many brothers and sister you have?

Primary Witness: We were 44 brothers and sisters.

You say two of your brothers died in the war when they went to go look for food?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many children do you have?

Primary Witness: I have 16 children.

All the children are from one mother?

Primary Witness: No.

Why were you following the demonstrators?

Primary Witness: I did not follow them, I went to the hospital and I saw them passing on the road.

But how did you know that they were going around?

Primary Witness: Because I saw the passing.

You say you saw human skull in the UBF building?

Primary Witness: Yes, when Doe toke over, he decided to break down all the society buildings in Liberia and when they came here, we went to the UBF building and when they broke it, we saw the human skull.

You noticed anything like people losing during the society time?

Primary Witness: Yes, infact, one morning, we saw one of my friends son dead with parts extracted.

Where NPFL gathered all the citizens and gave them three cows and some money and later decided to kill them?

Primary Witness: It was in Barkidu, Voinjama District.

They received the cows and money before they killed them?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You say one of your brothers died in that mascara?

Primary Witness: No, I said that one of my uncle's son called Sekou Nyei.

You say where the 28 persons were killed?

Primary Witness: They were killed in Bandakor.

Which faction did the killings?

Primary Witness: It was the NPFL forces, they killed the people with cutlasses and at the time, they had these gays there as their bosses: Dixon Wollo, Bad Child, Kadafi.

What year was that?

Primary Witness: It happened in August 2002.

You said that ULIMO split?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What caused their separation?

Primary Witness: It was one man called T-Kallar, a Krahn man who used to killed most of the Mandingo boys at most of the check points and the other Mandingo boys started revenging.

You say which faction was forcing your to carry your and you changed direction?

Primary Witness: It was the NPFL

They forced your to follow them?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was Mrs. Hilton killed in that incidence?

Primary Witness: I cannot say anything whether she died or not, I was not there.

Commissioner Konneh: Please accept our sympathy for the deaths of your people. Where was the UBF building that your saw the human skull in?

Primary Witness: Right here in Tubmanburg, Bomi County.

You know the Pearl you talked about?

Primary Witness: I only knew the names of the Ministers but I did not know them personally.

So you mean what you heard from people is what you are telling us?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You say you were not at the Barkidu massacre?

Primary Witness: Yes, it was my uncle who survived told me the story and I know that he will not lie.

Who were the commanders for NPFL when they were in your area?

Primary Witness: The commanders were General Varney, Dixon and One-Man-One.

You say these people with your eyes?

Primary Witness: Yes, we used to meet at Darki's store it was there they used to tell us their stories.

You remember the number of the people they killed?

Primary Witness: Yes, I saw 92 dead bodies of Ghanaians and they forced us to bury them.

You saw Foday Sankor face-to-face?

Primary Witness: Yes, I can be able to draw Sankor, here was his base we used to meet on a daily basis.

What do you mean about base?

Primary Witness: It was here he used to take his men from to go and fight in Sierra Leone. They told us that Liberia was not their only mission and from Liberia, they will go in Sierra Leone, Gambia, Guinea and Ivory Coast.

Where is the Barnakor you are talking about?

Primary Witness: From Fassi, it is about 2 hours walk it is in Bomi County, Mana Clan, Klay district.

Your buried the bodies?

Primary Witness: Yes, we buried them in shadowed grave because we were hungry.

They killed all the people in one place?

Primary Witness: No, they killed them alone the rout.

Do you still remember the spot where they killed all these people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What to your in Nyomon Town?

Primary Witness: When we got in the town, we met Bill Arcar and he took good care of us.

How many times Charles Taylor came here?

Primary Witness: Only one time Taylor came here and he spent 9 days.

How your welcome him?

Primary Witness: They same way you can welcome big person.

What was the complain Mrs. Hilton made to Taylor?

Primary Witness: She said, her husband died in the war and she has 7 children and the his fighters had taken her house from her.

What happened to her when Charles Taylor left?

Primary Witness: The same fighters went back to her and beat her and nicked her and put her outside of the house.

Have you heard about her since that time?

Primary Witness: No.

After elections and Taylor became President, has Mrs. Hilton come here?

Primary Witness: I did not come here so I do not know.

Which fighting group came in your area first?

Primary Witness: It was the NPFL soldiers but later, all the other factions came here.

What they did here?

Primary Witness: They looted all our belongings.

Who did the looting?

Primary Witness: It was ULIMO-J who wrote on the wall of our mosque and said that Mandingo people are dogs; and they took all the zinc from over our houses.

Since you came, where are you living?

Primary Witness: I am presently living in Monrovia.

What is your feeling about war and security?

Primary Witness: I have very bad feelings.

What do you think is the way forward?

Primary Witness: I think we need to educate our children; like in Ivory Coast, they fought war there but the people did not destroy their properties because they are educated and they love their country; it is the ignorance causing all the problems here.

If you were asked as to the cause(s) of the war, what will you say?

Primary Witness: I will say that it was as a result of the past government behavior; years back, there was no high school from here always the way to Mano River, 9th grade was the highest level of education for the people from the hinter lands and from there, they will go look for small, small work to do.

What is the lesson you have learned from the war?

Primary Witness: What I have learned is that we need not to pay debt with bad, that's what the Koran thought me. We must learn to forgive each other.

Commissioner Bull: Are you an Imam?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you have any relationship with Osman Nyei who toke your statement?

Primary Witness: Yes.

In what language you gave your statement?

Primary Witness: It was in Vai.

When you left Bomi Hills?

Primary Witness: I left in 1994.

When you came back to Bomi Hills?

Primary Witness: I used to come ago starting 2002.

What year Taylor came in Bomi County?

Primary Witness: He came here in 1993.

Where he passed to come here?

Primary Witness: He came by way of Bopolu and Saw Mill to Tubmanburg.

Did he come here with Foday Sankor?

Primary Witness: No, he met Sankor here, Sankor was stationed here.

Was it the same day Taylor ordered his boys to go and attack Bo Water Side?

Primary Witness: No, Taylor spent 9 days here.

How do you know that a total number of 338 people were killed?

Primary Witness: It was my uncle who survived came and told me the story and I trust that he would not lie to me.

Commissioner Coleman: You said the commander at the time during the Barkidu massacre was a female?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What is the name of the girl?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Dolopei: Which of the ULIMO was here in Bomi?

Primary Witness: It was ULIMO-J remained here after they burnt ULIMO-K armor building they escaped and went towards Bopolu.

Do you have any idea about the 90 days war in Bomi?

Primary Witness: Yes, I think it was caused by ECOMOG supporting the ULIMO-J faction.

What happened to the civilians here?

Primary Witness: We heard that they killed most of the people that were here.

Now you have told us your experience, is there anything that you want to tell us?

Primary Witness: Yes, what I know is that we started hating each other before the war; so your try and put us together and when we are together, we will not get in this kind of problems again.


Eighteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Varney Sesay

(Fourth Primary Witness of day three)

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

Co-Chairman: 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?

What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Varney Sesay.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Via Town-two Tubmanburg.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born during Barclay time.

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am not doing any thing now because I am blind but my wife can do everything for me.

Primary Witness: We were here the Charles Taylor people the came and they were shooting gun and I Mandingo so I run away, and here was one Gio man with me. One day we were making argument and the man say he will make they will kill me and I said you been here with me then you say they will kill me. So I ran away I go in the bush I was having plenty money. The Liberian dollar was 25 thousand and the US 15 thousand. So I took a road I was going to Swen Mecca and he told some people he say you go infront of him then when I go look I hear say halt, you are a Mandingo and they took all my things and they put rope in my hands and they bring me to Bomi Hill.

They tell the people say we bring Mandingo Dog, that time we were four and they were saying gave me six feet and they started and I na die, then they say this old man get gun prove, they say you we will Debedie you. Then one man he get white car and they put me inside and one woman was in the car with shining cloth and the woman say where your carrying these people, they say we going Debedie them and she say your put them down, so they put us down and they carry us to the waterside and one other man came in the car and they say we bring Mandingo dogs to kill them and they started shooting then the man say you are you Mandingo man I na talk. Then there was one Gio boy he knew me long time and he carry us and we sleep then in the morning he came to me he say Mr. Varney every body can die the same time, your can go and I say you say I can go and he say yes. When I get up I wanted to go to my house in Via Town #2 but one man say the people that came they plenty so go and find a place to hide, so I left and I went in the bush to hide.

I went to Quinni Town where I was and they say cease fire but I na come in town and I was there and we started making farm and we were there for a long time, we use to go in the bush and find food to eat there. That I where we were when they went and collected we and bring we here to the town, that is what I can explain that what happen.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Syllah: I thank you very much and we say sorry. The friends that were with you, what happen to them?

Primary Witness: When they free us every body went on their own.

Do you know who took your money?

Primary Witness: I don't know them

You use to see before?

Primary Witness: Yes

Can you tell us why you can't see now?

Primary Witness: Breaking heart

Have you been to hospital?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you have any relative?

Primary Witness: Yes, my wife they kill my brother

Why they kill him?

Primary Witness: They say that Mandingo man

What is the name of your wife?

Primary Witness: Masatta Sesay, Mabudu Sesay, Lusue Kanneh

What kill them?

Primary Witness: They say that hunger kill them

What's about your children?

Primary Witness: They scatter because they say I die but they have come back now.

How many came back?

Primary Witness: Two boys and my old lady

What is the name of the old lady?

Primary Witness: Tenneh

Commissioner Coleman: How many children you have all together?

Primary Witness: Six children

Your three wives that die, is it because of the war?

Primary Witness: No.

The old lady, is she your fourth wife?

Primary Witness: Yes

The plenty money you had, what money was it, business or what?

Primary Witness: Yes, I get diamond creek

The three children how old are they?

Primary Witness: Mamie she born, the two boys now born too

Commissioner Konneh: You said your old lady, what is her name?

Primary Witness: Tenneh

Your three children, what are they doing now?

Primary Witness: I told them to make farm to my village

The David who was working with you, where is he now?

Primary Witness: He die

How he die?

Primary Witness: They say he was sick and they brought he here he die

The Francis who help to free you, where is he?

Primary Witness: He was the commander to new road

Did he know about the money?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Where are your houses?

Primary Witness: They are here but they sweep everything form it.

When ULIMO came, did they kill anyone?

Primary Witness: I will not lie just how you can juke fish in the water,

When they brought your, did they do anything?

Primary Witness: They give us food.

ULIMO did not do any bad thing?

Primary Witness: Yes

Were you here when LURD came?

Primary Witness: We were to the village when we heard the people were coming and we went to Bassa village and heard RPG and they came and told us to go with them.

Did they do any bad thing?

Primary Witness: No

The Doctor who came on the ship, did you go there?

Primary Witness: Yes they give us medicine

Can you see clear?

Primary Witness: No I can't see clear.

Commissioner Bull: Thank you for coming to tell us your story. The thing shack tell you, don't worry things that you can't handle you give it to God, so stop worrying. Tell your old lady thanks and God bless her.

Co-chairman: Before you go, is there anything or advise?

God must bless your. God must give your long life and your children your left behind God must bless them.

Nineteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Oldman Musa Pewee

(Fifth Primary Witness of day three)

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

Co-chairman: Pewee, we want to thank you for coming and welcome. This work here where you see us doing, they say we must go all around the country to take record down. So thank you for helping us do our work.

Can you call your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Old man Musa Pewee.

Can you tell us when you were born?

Primary Witness: I was born 1973.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Besao.

Can you tell us what you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a taper.

Primary Witness: During the war, I was living with my pa in Bong mines. 1990, after the 1990 over, I came to my old ma place in the interior. Dissident war came, dissident war came, me, my old ma and my sister we were walking, dissident arrested my father and they told him to carry they loads. When they carry him with their loads, it say long, I cant see my pa again, so I say let me go look for him, when I went to look for my pa, I saw one of my friends, he was soldier, he say I saw your pa oh, but the kill him. So my self, I was sacred, so I saw one of my friends, he was a soldier. So he told me say, the way the man them kill your father, maybe you will be the next person so come and join, so my self that how come I join and I started fighting.

Commissioner Washington: sorry about the death of your father, I will ask you some question, I want you to relax and feel free. When the war came 1990, you were in Bong Mines, any thing happen to you?

Primary Witness: No.

Which war came that you call dissident war?

Primary Witness: That was LURD forces.

About was 2003, can you remember the time?

Primary Witness: That was the beginning of the year.

Do you have any ideal why they arrested your father?

Primary Witness: Yes, but he did nothing, because they had the gun.

The people that arrested your father, what were they wearing?

Primary Witness: Red t shirt and jeans.

Who arrested your father?

Primary Witness: NPFL.

How do you know they were NPFL?

Primary Witness: Because LURD had not reached that far.

Where did they arrest him?

Primary Witness: St. Paul Bridge.

Do you know the name of their commander?

Primary Witness: Yes, that was Vamuyan Sheriff.

What did he do, or say?

Primary Witness: I did not hear him speak.

But who arrested him?

Primary Witness: One of the soldiers.

And where did you do?

Primary Witness: That time, I was a civilian, so me and my mother just walk.

Where did you go?

Primary Witness: We went to SKD sport complex as displace.

The person who told you they kill your father who was he?

Primary Witness: He was my friend, and he was in the government troop.

Can you tell us his name?

Primary Witness: Yes, his name is Innocent.

He said how did they kill him?

Primary Witness: He said they shoot him, when he was standing there and he even said I know the son of this man.

Did he tell you where exactly they kill him?

Primary Witness: No, I can tell.

Then how are you sure he die?

Primary Witness: Because even when I join the army, I went as far as Vaihun to look for him, but I never saw him.

But has the family ask for more details about how your father died?

Primary Witness: No.

But is he alive?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where is he now?

Primary Witness: He is on the high way around sac' town in one town call Ganganma.

So her is you mother now?

Primary Witness: She is with me.

Which group did you join?

Primary Witness: Government troop.

So why did you join?

Primary Witness: To protect my family.

What are some of your experience?

Primary Witness: Well, I fought, I will not lie, I kill but soldiers.

Where did you fight?

Primary Witness: I fought as far as Vaihun.

So where did you started fighting from?

Primary Witness: I started fighting from Bomi County.

Are you from Bomi?

Primary Witness: Yes.

So what was you position in Bomi here?

Primary Witness: I was their commander.

What was your responsibility?

Primary Witness: I was responsible for the soldiers because no civilian was here.

How did you mother feel when you join the war?

Primary Witness: She was feeling bad, but I went and explain to her.

Commissioner Coleman: thank you for coming to the TRC. What happen to your brothers and sister?

Primary Witness: They are ok, and we are 10.

Are you married?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You got children?

Primary Witness: Yes, I have 2 children.

Did you marry after the war or before the war?

Primary Witness: I got marry after the war.

They arrested your father, was he supporting any warring faction?

Primary Witness: No, I never knew anything about gun.

But why did they arrest him?

Primary Witness: Some things, if you are bad lucky, they will stop you and kill him.

When did you join?

Primary Witness: I join 2003.

Did you decide to join or some body force you?

Primary Witness: My friend encouraged me to join and he said after this one, maybe they will harm you.

So how did you get there?

Primary Witness: I follow the man, when their pick came I got in it to Congo town.

How did you go through there war, did you go through a form of training?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Who was your trainer?

Primary Witness: That was Turtle bone.

Where did you train?

Primary Witness: I train right in Congo town behind turtle bone's house.

Did you get to k now the name of the man that killed your father?

Primary Witness: No, because if was going to see him, surely I was going to kill him.

So did you people do any thing to civilian?

Primary Witness: No, civilians were never there.

What was the name of your group?

Primary Witness: Na?ve division.

How many men were under you?

Primary Witness: 11 men making one squad.

Who was your immediate boss?

Primary Witness: My boss was Roland duo.

And who was his boss?

Primary Witness: He use to report to Charles Taylor.

Did you people have communication?

Primary Witness: Yes, we had hand set and base phone.

What was you code?

Primary Witness: Our code was Tango one

And who was tango 2?

Primary Witness: That was Vamuyan Sheriff.

Was his rank equal to Roland Duo?

Primary Witness: No, Roland Duo was over hi.

Commissioner Konneh: thank you for coming, and sorry for the death of your father. You said it was the government troops that kill your father in other to protect your father?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How long did you stay here?

Primary Witness: I stay here for 4 months.

What do you know about Mahir?

Primary Witness: No, that time I was not here.

Where were you?

Primary Witness: I was in Monrovia.

What was the month you stay here?

Primary Witness: I can't tell you the month.

How far is Gaite's town to Mahir?

Primary Witness: It is about one hour walk.

Then how come you don't know about Mahir?

Primary Witness: Because when I came and spent4 months here, they assign me to Viahun and then I went to Monrovia to take pay.

Did you come back?

Primary Witness: Yes, I came back.

What was you mission in Gaites town?

Primary Witness: I was assign there to block the road, because it was a by pass to go to Gbarpolu.

What rank did they give you from Gaites town?

Primary Witness: I was a captain.

What was your position before you came to Gaites town?

Primary Witness: I was a private.

When you went to Lofa, what did you do?

Primary Witness: I fought.

What was your mission?

Primary Witness: My mission was to set arm bush for one week.

Who sent you?

Primary Witness: Roland Duo sent me.

Do you know that Roland was involved in the Mahir?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Did you come in contact with civilians?

Primary Witness: No, I only arrested civilian if they did some thing wrong.

And who was your boss man?

Primary Witness: My boss man is Roland Duo.

What were some of the wrongs that were done to you that you had to take to a 5 star general?

Primary Witness: Sometimes, they will look at you, and insult you, and you don't discipline, it is not common.

Commissioner Bull: I will ask from the questions of my colleagues. You said, you join to kill the man that kill your father, even if you see him, will you kill him?

Primary Witness: Yes, if I had seen him, we were going to fight.

You said you kill soldiers, and those soldiers are people's father, incase they see you should they kill you?

Primary Witness: That was war, and we were fighting.

So what do you want those people to do to you?

Primary Witness: That was war, and every thing is over, we have to forget about everything.

Are you sorry for killing the lives you took away?

Primary Witness: I was not feeling good, but that was war, and I felt sorry.

How old were you when you were fighting?

Primary Witness: I was28 years old.

You came today to testify, first you were a victim, and secondly, you join the same group that kill your father and they say we should bring victims and perpetrators to bring one understanding. And at the end of the day, we are suppose to give recommendations, so you suffer from the war, you also participated in the war. What recommendation will you give to me, to do my work?

Primary Witness: Since the war is over, we will talk to all the people that they did bad to and move on.

If war should come again, will you fight?

Primary Witness: No.

So from the depth of your heart, you are sorry?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Didn't you get in the car when they were going?

Primary Witness: No, when they going, they will not stop.

But you said, you use to report, how did you report?

Primary Witness: I use to come to Bomi to tell the boss.

Commissioner Washington: you
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