Tubmanburg City: Day 4

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The Second 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.

Twenty-first Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Daniel Jallah

(First Primary Witness of day four)

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

Co-chairman: Mr. Jallah, good morning we want to say thank you for coming and to share your experience with us. We are supposed to go from county to county to document all the bad, bad things that happen to people during the war. And also make recommendations as to how these people can be help.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Daniel Jallah.

Where were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born March 17, 1958.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Via town-one.

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Primary Witness: Okay, I want to say thanks to God first to give me the truth and peace in my heart. In the year 1995, Nigerian ECOMOG and ULIMO-J and K. K and J they came to our town and pass and we were here. The Mandingo after they pass, they went to Lofa Bridge, and ECOMOG base was behind the hospital. They open fighting December 95. They came and start knocking doors, the Nigeria people, and we came out side, we thought they were carrying us Monrovia, we were plenty, and they took us and carry us at Malay gate they lay us down on the ground and they start exchanging fire. One Nigerian soldier short and the dirt and smoke went in my eyes and my eyes just got dark and since then I can't not see. Then they cease fire and when my mother got up and saw me, I told her I can't see and she start crying and she told me for us to go while going, we saw my land law one Isaac and he told me say we should stay but the tension was hot, and the road was close so he said let's go in the bush, so we went in the bush because so many civilians were there, we spent July 26, New year we spent Christmas until every thing cease, then we came in the town, the same Nigeria started lunching all in Bomi, I will not tell you which group but rocket will just come and drop on houses and brake it down. then while there, my mother say, let us go and be in the town since the road is still close and we went St. Domenic because there were many civilians there and we spent three days and the fourth day we went in the bush that what I see.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co- chairman: We want to say thank you again for telling us your story and our commissioners will ask you some questions.

What is the name of your son?

Primary Witness: Tarwor

How old was he?

Primary Witness: Eighteen years old

Commissioner Bull: Thanks for coming

Commissioner Konneh: The son that got missing you called my Peking, what do you mean?

Primary Witness: Sorry, that my son.

Which fighting group was in control?

Primary Witness: It was the Johnson forces, ULIMO -J and the Peace keeping force.

You said it was the ECOMG soldiers that left from house to house to knock your doors, where did they carry your?

Primary Witness: To the check point

When they put you on the ground flat, were they shooting?

Primary Witness: Yes, when they lay us down flat, they start shooting it was between ULIMO and ECOMOG.

What were their reasons?

Primary Witness: Well, I have no idea

The Nigerian soldier was lying besides you and shot the gun, and the dust fall on your eyes, was it done intension ally?

Primary Witness: I did not know his intension.

Since than, have you make any attempt to go to hospital?

Primary Witness: Yes, father carry me to Carrey Street and the Doctor saw me and said that no use for my eyes again.

Commissioner Coleman

Your parents, where are they?

Primary Witness: My mother in the village and father is here.

Where are your brothers?

Primary Witness: Only my one

From your father side?

Primary Witness: Only town sisters

Where are they?

Primary Witness: They don't have time for me, only father Garray

Are you married?

Primary Witness: Yes, I was but she passed away.

You had children by her?

Primary Witness: Yes, my son

Your son name?

Primary Witness: Tarwoe Jallah

How many persons were collected, you think?

Primary Witness: Plenty

More the 100?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was there shooting already when they collected your?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where do you think the bullet came from, Niger soldier or ULIMO?

Primary Witness: I can say yes or what.

Some people die there?

Primary Witness: Well, some people die and wounded

You said the road was closed how long?

Primary Witness: It took long time from December, we were in the bush.

You heard about 90 days war?

Primary Witness: Yes, it happen in 1996 I was not here.

Commissioner Syllah: You said ECOMOG carry you to Malay gate?

Primary Witness: Yes

What was happening there?

Primary Witness: They were carrying people there

Where ECOMOG had their base?

Primary Witness: Behind the hospital

There was a batter between ULIMO-J and ECOMOG?

Primary Witness: Yes

Chairman: You said your son was killed by government malicious?

Primary Witness: Yes

December which year?

Primary Witness: 95, it was ULIMO-J not government troop.

Were you behind ECOMOG or between other fighters?

Primary Witness: Yes, behind ECOMOG

Co-chairman: Thanks for coming. Do you have any thing to tell us?

Primary Witness: Thank to God first and to Father Garray and the various NGOs and if God make your to see that Peking, and if any assistance for me, your can give it to father Garray.

Twenty-Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Musu Johnson

(Second Primary Witness of day four)

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

Chairman: we want to thank you for coming to the TRC and we want to welcome you. The reason why we hear, I know they have told you and explain it to you. But it is good that after the war, for us to come together so there will be no more war. What is your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Musu Johnson.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Kamara town.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: agriculture work.

What do you plant?

Primary Witness: All crops.

What id your birth date?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Do you remember any president?

Primary Witness: Yes, I remember Tolbert.

Primary Witness: I was here in Bomi through out the war, but my father, my uncle, my brother, sister and member of my family, some of them die in the war. They kill some of them with knife, gun, but we were still here. We were here until LURD forces came and attack this place here, but we use to be in the village and they use to come and give us hard time. So we use to be there, to move around self they will give you hard time, so we use to run and go in the bush. That how we start in the bush, then one day we all say let's go back in the town. So we came back to the town, which is in Kamara Town. So when we came back in the town, sometimes they'll give you pass even with that pass, if you going, they see you in the bush, they will catch you, if you na lucky, they will kill you, if they na kill you, if you get some thing with you they will take it from you.

We were here but most of those boys them were very wicked. So we were among them until LURD forces retreated Government forces attack this place. But those LURD forces boys use to catch the people, make them to toot their loads, and their guns them. But they say if we want to go with them, we can go because the group where coming, they na able them. But it was not easy. People started going, but some of us we were scared to go, because some of them were very wicked. So they started putting loads on the people's head and their wounded soldiers them that them we were carrying.

So we were in that town, when the government forces attack our town, that night, because it was in the night, we were plenty in one house, and they started knocking the door. The other one say it look like people here oh. Then they started knocking the door. So we our self, we were scared, we can't open the door. So they burst the door, and they came inside. They started taking our things them, clothes oh, food oh. But that time, I was having a young baby my baby was 3 weeks old. So they took us and put us one place, they say they were looking for soldiers among us. We say we na get soldiers here oh. They say they will take us to the depot. We were there, one of them say, lets leave these people, you know it is in the night. So they introduce their selves, they say they are the government soldiers. So that night, they took all the men from among us, they put them one side. Then we that women, the young girls, they put us on the other side. So while we were there, they took the men them that were among us, and put loads on their head, when they carry the loads, because that night, they wanted to go kill them there, to that Konneh Hill. That that place self my children father was with them. So one of the government soldiers say if you touch one of this people here, they will start crying, and they noise will go. So let's leave them until tomorrow morning. So while we were there, one man was there, they call him Walterson. He was a Grebo man, so he spoke Grebo to his wife, but what they were saying, I could not understand it, because I am not a Greebo woman. So when he spoke the Greebo, one of the soldiers there, he heard what he was saying, so he asked who speaking this Grebo, then he say that me. So he was happy, then he ask where he from, they say they were from the same place. So he was happy. So from there, he say this man here, that my uncle, no body should do any thing to them. So the other man was there, he say he na satisfy, so he want to see us. But the other boy started arguing and said no body should touch us. So they started fighting among their selves. So the other one say he will shoot his friend, then he say, you should kill me, but don't touch this people here. So we were there, the other boy came to me, because it was in the morning now, when they came back, they knock on the door, then I say whose that? As soon as I open the door, he say you, you think I na know you, that you use to cook for the soldiers, and you son is a rebel? I said I na use to cook for rebel, before it could come from my mouth, he was having one pliers in his hand he knock it on my face, the whole place got dark in my eyes. He started beating me. So he say I know you, then I say that not me, oh, he kicked me again, I went up, and fell on the baby I was having, so I started crying, every body started crying and thy started begging for me, they say that new baby ma, we beg don't beat her. Still he say he na satisfy. That he knows me, I use to cook for the people and my son use to fight with the other group. He beat me until my face was swollen. So they say in fact, we are not leaving you people here, so they put all of us out side. But that time, the boy who came that night, he was not there, that was different people. They started going from house to house collecting people and they brought us to the gas station.

They started going to all this Bomi County villages and bringing people. The gas station was pack, we stay there the whole day they brought farina, sugar and hey started dividing it. They started giving salt, they say your suffer for long, but since we on here und na, your feel free. But when they were doing that thing, my children father say they made certain remark, he told me, he say this thing here, where this people giving food and farina, me, I na satisfy oh, because the way they treated us. So, if you be here, you must be on you guard, if you find way to go, leave with these children. But the people na come with good heart, I say for true? He say for true. So that the one leave in my ear, when they call me self I say I na want it. But they were giving rice, me I only take the farina, I na take the rice. So we were there, until it was getting in the night. Then they bring the big car, they say who all want go in town, come and put your name down. Some people started putting their names down they say they want go in town, some people say I na want go. So, they take us to Koneh Hill again, all of us match and go there. We were they, people start getting in the car, but when they put the people in the car, after some times, they will come back, then we started talking, what kind of town is this, this time, Monrovia na far oh. When you go look the pick up come back again I got up, I stood, I was trying to escape, but when I get up they will say sit down. So I started walking around. One girl was there, she was a wise girl, I started begging her. She say you hard head ahn? I thought they told you to sit down? Then I started begging her, and I say look at me, I na well, all my face get sore, you can please help me? That how I left them doing it until she help me, that how I was saved, so that what happen to me during the war. I lost all my people them. (Witness burst in tears)

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Musu, I want to say sorry for the death of your family and thank you for coming. The way you came talk today, you na give voice to them. It is a difficult thing to see your families, love ones and friends disappear in thin air. You don't even know how they were killed, and they don't even have graves. So it is a good thing to come and talk it, because it is a burden by it self. That is why the government organized the TRC. So we say sorry and you are not alone. So we will ask you some questions, how many relatives you had in that group?

Primary Witness: That was 4, my uncle they kill him right there, they kill him and his son. They cut their throat.

So more then ten people were killed?

Primary Witness: The people who went and saw them said they were 9 human beings they kill.

What was your uncle's name?

Primary Witness: My uncle's name is Jah Zinnah Lavalah.

Did you have other relative and friends you left behind?

Primary Witness: Yes, after Mahir own took place, I saw one of my friend, they call her KemahSando. They shot her foot and one other one, they call Moses Bridge, but they kill his woman.

So the kill was at Mahir Bridge?

Primary Witness: Some of them were on Mahir, and some were on weayeahkarmah.

So they people who did it that was who?

Primary Witness: They say they were government troop.

But do you know some of them?

Primary Witness: Some of them were speaking creahoo.

You mention some thing like wise girl, have you seen her?

Primary Witness: No, I have not seen her.

How do you call them?

Primary Witness: That how we can call them, but they get their names.

How many trip they carry?

Primary Witness: I stay there they carry 2 trucks, the 3rd one I escape.

So how many people were in the truck?

Primary Witness: I can't tell but they were many.

Commissioner Syllah: I want to thank you for coming, you said four people die from you, but you only call one, what are the names of the others?

Primary Witness: My sister name is Sando Zinnah, Lymah Zinnah and Lavalah Zinnah.

Commissioner Coleman: thank you for coming. Tell us what happen to your family?

Primary Witness: No, my mother die in that war, and my father die in the.

So what is the name of your mother?

Primary Witness: Her name is Zoe.

What is the name of your husband?

Primary Witness: His name is Johnson Cole.

How many children do you have?

Primary Witness: I had 6.

And where are they?

Primary Witness: They six, 2 are women and marry, but the 4 boys are young.

Are you taking care of other children apart from your children?

Primary Witness: No.

Where did this thing happen?

Primary Witness: All these things happen in Kamara town.

Which district is that?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

The rebels that captured your what year did that happen?

Primary Witness: 2001.

And did you get any name of the commanders?

Primary Witness: I heard it was Roland Duo.

Some one accuse you of been a rebel you and your son, who was he?

Primary Witness: Just one of he rebels.

So where was your husband?

Primary Witness: He escaped when they told him to carry loads.

Commissioner Konneh: sorry for what happen and thank you for coming. What are some of the things you experience from NPFL during your stay here?

Primary Witness: Many things happen. So so of them use to come and say your feel free, but still bad things use to happen.

You said at that time, they went and brought your to town, you had a baby, what happen to the baby?

Primary Witness: He's alive.

And you say you can't remember the person, but you say he was a Bassa boy?

Primary Witness: Yes.

This wise girl, why did you people call her wise girl?

Primary Witness: I am not a soldier to know, the society where you in side that the one you know.

But you don't know her name?

Primary Witness: No, I don't know her name.

What was life like during the incident?

Primary Witness: We were just among them, no where to go, but what to do? You can't run away.

Commissioner Bull: Musu, that you for coming. Did you vote for the election?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What is the name on the card?

Primary Witness: That the same Musu Johnson

I want to thank you for coming, and since you said your name on the voter registration card, we will take it. This statement will form part of our work and be documented.

Chairman: you testimony is over, is there any thing else you will like to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: You know, thing hard, the house we were living in got burn down. And no good school, the road is bad, we hardly get car to go there.

Twenty-Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Koneh Devine

(Third Primary Witness of day Four)

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

Chairman: Thanks very much for coming and the floor is all yours to share your experience. Before that, kindly tell us your name.

Primary Witness: My name is Konah Devine.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Kweanah

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I did Masonry.

Please tell us you birth date.

Primary Witness: I was born July 3, 1968.

Primary Witness: In 1994, when ULIMO split, the roads closed and there was no way to go anywhere and we went on the Catholic Compound in Tubmanburg here. As times went on, the hunger started getting so tough that we started looking for palm cabbage and palm kernel to survive on. As we were bringing these things to town, the soldiers will take them from us; children started dying from hunger. As difficult as it was to get these things, when you are lucky to get some, when bringing it to town, the fighters will take it from you.

One morning, we saw a Mandi man with Col. Crab. Col. Crab brought him on the compound and said that the cow that was owned by ECOMOG that lost, he has seen some parts of it with the man and so, he was going to kill him on the compound. Col Crab invited all the displaced people and announced that he was coming to kill the man for having parts of the missing cow. He brought the man in the compound before the eyes of all the people, he tied the man and put his neck on the stick and cut it; after that, he again cut the man in the center and later asked us to go and bury the man. After killing the man, they now started looting all that we had.

During the NPFL time, we used to go on the campus but when the Sisters left, the NPFL fighters started looting all the cars and other things they left there. However, I remained there until the whole war ceased. That was my experience during the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: You spoke of the 9 months war and when it took place?

Primary Witness: Yes, there was war fought here for nine months and it took place in 1994.

Which fighting group Col. Crab was from?

Primary Witness: He was with the ULIMO-J faction.

You say you did not go anywhere during the whole war, did you see war in 1990, 1992 and 1993?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What's about 1995?

Primary Witness: I was in Monrovia that year.

Commissioner Bull: Thanks for making us aware of the 9 months war here in Bomi, by you calling General Crab, people will get to know him. Is he still alive?

Primary Witness: For long time I stopped seeing him.

Commissioner Konneh: How was the Government or Doe soldiers treating your before the NPFL rebels came?

Primary Witness: At that time, there was no war here; to me, they did not do any bad things to me or my family.

What's about the NPFL fighters?

Primary Witness: They were forcing us to join them and they also were looting all of our materials.

They took the women by force as their wives?

Primary Witness: Yes, sometimes, they used to rape women and young girls.

What's about ULIMO?

Primary Witness: I was not here from the beginning when they came.

You say what happened to the 300 hundred children?

Primary Witness: They died as a result of severe hunger.

What you people did with the dead bodies of the children that died?

Primary Witness: As they died, we will bury them very closed to one another on the Catholic Compound.

Can you show us the place where you used to bury the children?

Primary Witness: Yes.

But where was ULIMO-J?

Primary Witness: They were right in town here.

You say what happened to the Mandi man?

Primary Witness: Col. Crab killed him on the catholic compound for having piece of the missing cow.

You say what happened between the Nigerian ECOMOG and ULIMO-J?

Primary Witness: It was these two groups that brought about the 9 months war in Bomi. ECOMOG said that ULIMO-J took three of their heavy weapons and they wanted to retrieve it, that's what I think brought the war. At the time, ULIMO-J was seated in the barracks and ECOMOG was in the center of town.

Some civilians took refuge on in the barracks?

Primary Witness: Yes, several displaced people were there.

Commissioner Coleman: What was the impact of the war on your family?

Primary Witness: My mother died as a result of lack of food and later, my father died in the VOA Displaced Camp.

What is the name of your father and mother?

Primary Witness: My father's name was Mr. Edward Devine and my mother name was Mrs. Musu Devine.

Are you married?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many children do you have?

Primary Witness: I have four children.

You say the war actually lasted for nine months?

Primary Witness: Yes, when ECOMOG left Bomi, we were here with ULIMO-J but ULIMO-K used to come and attacked and go back; they used to be doing that.

You say how the Mandi man was killed?

Primary Witness: Col. Crab tied his hands, cut his neck, and again cut him in the middle.

What is the full name of Col. Crab?

Primary Witness: No, I do not know.

Commissioner Washington: Was ECOMOG and ULIMO-J still friendly?

Primary Witness: No, problem came between them, and that's what brought the war.

Was it the same time that the ECOMOG cow lost?

Primary Witness: No, it was the time ECOMOG left Bomi.

Besides Col. Crab, who else was here as commander?

Primary Witness: The over-all Commander was Kwame Taytay, a Krahn man.

You say he was the over-all commander?

Primary Witness: Yes.

But you people used to take complains to him?

Primary Witness: Yes, but his boys were uncontrollable.

Who passed the order for the people not to eat the cow?

Primary Witness: I think it was Kwame Taytay of the ULIMO-J.

You say where they killed the man?

Primary Witness: He was killed on the Catholic Compound here in Tubmanburg in the presence of all the Displaced People.

Do you know how many ULIMO-J fighters that was here?

Primary Witness: They were plenty.

Did the over-all commander say anything about the man's killing?

Primary Witness: We did not hear anything from him.

You say the 300 children were all buried in the Catholic Compound?

Primary Witness: Yes.

All the 300 children died the same time?

Primary Witness: No, but sometimes 2, 3, or 4 a day.

So it means that we have mass graves on the Catholic Compound?

Primary Witness: Yes, because we buried the children very closed to each other because of lack of space.

What was the condition of the women?

Primary Witness: Some of the women used to get swallowed up; the same thing happened to my wife and I got so dried that I was using rope to hold my trouser.

Armed men used to come and harassed your on the compound?

Primary Witness: Yes, sometimes when you are cooking your food, they will come and just take the whole pot and carried.

How long you stayed on the Catholic Compound?

Primary Witness: 9 months.

ECOMOG came back?

Primary Witness: Later, they came and got their guns from ULIMO-J and went back to Monrovia.

Which fighting group was at the Sierra Leone border?

Primary Witness: I cannot tell you because I did not go there.

Since the war ended, have you seen Kwame Taytay?

Primary Witness: I heard that he has died.

Besides him, have you seen anyone of the fighters or heard about them?

Primary Witness: No.

Did you do a listing of the children that died on the Catholic Compound?

Primary Witness: Yes, one of my friends called Varney used to help me do it.

Where is your friend Varney?

Primary Witness: He is here in Bomi.

Commissioner Dolopei: Thanks for coming. You say how many children used to die per day?

Primary Witness: I say sometimes, 2, 3, or 4 a day.

You say about how many children died?

Primary Witness: The number was about 300.

Where was the position of ECOMOG?

Primary Witness: They went to Monrovia.

Where they closed the road?

Primary Witness: All we could see was that no car used to come from Monrovia and no car used to go to Monrovia.

Who was in control of the straight road?

Primary Witness: Sometimes ULIMO-K used to attacked and go back; and sometimes ULIMO-J also used to go and attacked and come back.

Commissioner Coleman: How many ULIMO-J soldiers were here?

Primary Witness: They were plenty.

How the soldiers were eating?

Primary Witness: They used to harass us and take our food and other items.

Chairman: Who was the leader on the Catholic Compound for the Displaced People?

Primary Witness: I was the Leader.

You think how many people were at the compound as displace?

Primary Witness: We were more than 3000.

You think how many persons died in all?

Primary Witness: We were not able to take the actual number.

What's about the elderly?

Primary Witness: I think about 250 old people died.

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

Primary Witness: Yes, I want to say thanks very much for coming to listen to our stories; I am asking TRC and the Government to help us because there is no job for us to do.

Twenty-Fourth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

John K. Kpawin

(Fourth Primary Witness of day four)

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: Thank God that you were able to come here today and for waiting for so long to tell your story. What you have to say will help us with our job. Please tell us your name:

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I am 59

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live at the valley centre

What do you do there?

Primary Witness: I am burning coal to help the home

I am happy to be here today to give my testimony. What I explained to the people is that one time me and my son went in the bush to look for food and after we got palmnuts then we can look for cabbage. When we look for the palmnut it was after three and it was on Saturday and I wanted to look for enough for the next day. I then decided to cut cabbage and it was late while coming to town it was approaching seven and when we got to the gate that commander there I knew him, and the other fellow there was my first time seeing him, so when we got there he said he needed something from me and I took palmnut and cabbage and gave it to him.

We passed on and while we were coming he and the young fellow got on the back and crossed infront of us and they were waiting for me. it was dark then when I got to them he asked me and said where are you coming from and I said I know you he said he don't know me. then the fellow that was there said what do you want from the old man he started speaking in Gio and the young man was translating he said he don't want to see what I had and that he wanted to kill because he had not killed. Then the young man was my angle and my guardian and he said you can't kill the old man I will not be a part of it and he said I should gave him palmnut and I gave him palmnut and cabbage and I wanted to gave him enough and the boy said it is okay. When we got home it was dark that was the first one.

The second one my mother-in-law made a farm in October and asked me to help her cut the rice and in November me and my brother went there to help and when we cut the rice while coming home in Gabageh, we arrived at the gate and we had the seed rice over and the fanner rice under. He put has hands under the rice and saw the fanner rice and he said I lied to him so I should go and clean the place he was going to kill me, so I lose control and my wife started asking him to forgive and he said I lied to him so he will not leave me because they the NPFL dint like lying. While God was speaking to his heart my wife took one dollar and fifty cent and he left me and that one pass.

Then ULIMO came in 1992 we all fled from here and went to Monrovia and while we were there they started calling people to come back and we came back. In the year 1993 it was a good year but in 1994 the ULIMO J and K split and the ULIMO K was in control of the whole town and they were the head before then and so the collected the arms and some escaped with the arms. After they stayed for a month they collected some of their members and jailed them and they decided to come for their members to carry and that morning to our surprise they came and attacked and carried their people. The ULIMO K now started looking for the Krahn people and said if they find them anywhere they will kill them.

They came to my house that morning and called us outside, they asked me for my tribe and I said I was a Greebo and they said all of you and Greebo now son pass infront of me and they said they are carrying us to Sibebo and we took the bypass to go there, and my wife and the neighbors started begging them to release me and they said no. while they were carrying us when we got to the house at the end of the town their commander and the people complained to him that they were not satisfied with what was happening. Before then my brother wanted to beg them and they fired between our legs. When the commander asked we told him we were not Krahn and they are accusing us to be Krahn we were two Greebo and on Kpelleh, and that is how god help us and we were freed and before that my wife gave them two dollars and fifty cent.

The last one was I went in the bush I alone and a fellow and I met in the bush he was a arm man and he asked me to gave him my cutlass and I started begging him and he advance his gun and said if I don't gave it ton him he will do bad to me and his friends begged him and he gave the cutlass to me and when I cut the cabbage I gave him some.

The very first thing that happened to me that I did not tell the statement takers is the very day the NPFL got here in July I was sick and I had a sore on his butt and when we were standing up later we will sit down so later I was the only one standing and one guy was coming and so I sat dawn and he called me and said why I sat down when I saw him and I told him I was sick so I sat down and then he told me to go back. That is how God safe me in the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: you have told us about four different problems and your testimony has informed us about the suffering you people went under in the county. The commissioner will ask you some questions. Where I Sibebo?

Primary Witness: When you are going to Minor River there is a place there and they are the one that gave it that name.

Do you know why?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Commissioner Bull: thank you for the report it will be used in our report. Thank for your contribution.

Commissioner Konneh: thank for the contribution and thank God for your survival. What happened to the boy that was with you?

Primary Witness: Nothing happened to him he is still alive

Which of the forces was that?

Primary Witness: It was the NPFL

Which forces saw the rice with you?

Primary Witness: It was the NPFL

When the ULIMO came and they were one what was their treatment towards the civilian?

Primary Witness: When they got here that year was fine but when they split then we had the problem.

When they split which group took over the place?

Primary Witness: It was the ULIMO K

At the time ULIMO K was in control how they treated the civilians?

Primary Witness: As for me they were not bad but there was no food and we could not go out.

When the LUIMO J took over how was it?

Primary Witness: When they took over things were fine and we use to go in the bush, but the ULIMO K use to come to fight them and gave us trouble.

What happened when you alone went in the bush?

Primary Witness: I was not alone but I was far from my friends and this fighter saw me and said I should gave him my cutlass and he wanted to kill me and his friends stopped him

Commissioner Coleman: thank you, what was the impact of the war on your family?

Primary Witness: My mother and my father are not living here, my father died before the war and my mother is in Cape Palmas

How did you move here?

Primary Witness: When I finish from Zawzaw I was assigned here

What happened to your brothers and sisters?

Primary Witness: Some died and some are alive but they are all in Cape Palmas. We are eleven and one died in the war.

Are you married and have children?

Primary Witness: Yes I am married and I have five children and it is only the older one who is not in school, she is 32 years old.

Do you know the leader of the ULIMO?

Primary Witness: He was Kromah

Why did they split?

Primary Witness: Because of leadership crisis

Who was the head of the group that split?

Primary Witness: It was Johnson

Do you know some of the people that were in prison?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Who was the commander of Cybibo

Primary Witness: I can not record because I was afraid to go anywhere.

Commissioner Washington: describe for me Cybibo, was it a base?

Primary Witness: Yes it was part of their base and it was the main place where they were.

Can you describe the place?

Primary Witness: It is the old barracks that was built by Doe

What use to happen there?

Primary Witness: I can't tell because I never went out

What did you hear about the place?

Primary Witness: They say if they carry you there you can't come back.

Do you know the name of fighters you use to see?

Primary Witness: I know one colonel Solo, Colonel Sallay, one Alfred and the commander for ULIMO J here was Kwamie Tatie

This Colonel Solo, where was he assigned?

Primary Witness: He was assigned here

What about colonel Sallay?

Primary Witness: They were in the same area.

Since the war have you seen them?

Primary Witness: Sallah died and they Alfred is in Monrovia and the Solo I don't know.

What about Kwami Totie?

Primary Witness: I heard that he is dead

Commissioner Syllah: what is the name of you brother and what caused his death?

Primary Witness: That is from hunger and it happened in Nimba he is called David Kpawin

How did your children survive throughout the crisis?

Primary Witness: I use to go and find food for them all the time and nothing happen to them. Other people children died from hunger but not mine.

Do you know some children that died?

Primary Witness: One is Amos Johnson about 8 years, Abraham Johnson about 10 years, Bendu Johnson, Konah, Kanley,

You mentioned three Johnson, were they one family?

Primary Witness: Yes they were in the orphanage home and they left and went to Monrovia and they took them to the parents who could not give them food so they died.

Chairman: I want to know whether there were insistences where civilians were suspected to be on reconnaissance.

Primary Witness: Yes it happened on many occasion in this place.

Was there anyone closed who was accused?

Primary Witness: No

Do you have brothers?

Primary Witness: Yes, but they are not here and one die

Commissioner Coleman: where were you living when the ULIMO split and there was trouble?

Primary Witness: It is called John Town

Did they tell you why they were taking you to Cybibo?

Primary Witness: You could not ask them questions

What is the name of the commander who saved you?

Primary Witness: His name was Flomo

We have completed your testimony, is there anything last you have to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: What I have to say is I want the international community to assist we the Liberians more especially we who are on this side that are in need, like the schools and the church building, and we have a lot of disable people here that need help and even our dwelling places are not in good condition. And we need companies so that our children can work.

The disable people, is it as a result of the war?

Primary Witness: I am talking about the blind people.

Do you have a blind community here?

Primary Witness: We have about ten of them here.

Twenty-Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Tubmanburg, Bomi County

Felex Washington

(Fifth Primary Witness of day four)

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: we want to thank you for coming to the TRC and we want to welcome you. The people of Bomi as well as the people of Liberia, we are al here to listen to your problems. Once you come to the TRC that means you want peace.

What is your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Flex Washington.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Gbar.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Primary Witness: During 1990, we were in Gbar, we were hearing about war. They say freedom fighter coming in Gbar. So they came, the first thing they did they caught my father they say he was a Doe soldier because he was having mark. So we started crying. He stayed there that whole day on woman was there, they call her Musu, but she die na. she went to go beg for my pa, but they said no, so my sister was there, her name Musu, she went to see One man One, he approach her and she agree and they started loving, so they free my pa.

So we were there, we were in Gbar, every day they use to kill people them in Gbar, they use to bring them from Cape mount. So my old ma say lets leave this place and go to Monrovia because the dead body scent was in our house because that in front of our house they use to kill the people them. So I took my old ma them and went to my pa town. But still, I could not leave my sister there because she was loving to one man one and she was my big sister.

So that how we were there, until ULIMO came, they catch me, they say I should join them, so I say 1990, war came, I na join rebel that ULIMO I will join, I na joining. But still, they force me, so my self too I join the rebel. So I started fighting for ULIMO. We were there now again when we started hearing about LURD coming so we started fighting LURD. So that how, when UNMIL came I hear about disarmament, I was the first to disarm, because I was scared. So when the disarm me, they say you want go to Monrovia or you want go to Sierra Leone, so I say I want go to Sierra Leon. But before that, we were having one man they call him Varney Goyeah. He say I should go fight war, I say I na want fight war, the first time ULIMO war came, I fought I never got anything from there, so I na want to fight war. So this man here, tie me and say I having single barrel gun so I should gave it to him, but I told him I don't have but he said if I don't gave it to him he will kill me so my mother said I should gave it to him so that he will not kill me. so I told him I had a gun and he told me to go for it and I went for it and gave it to him. I was having, 4000 dollars so I went to him and I say Varney, you my own brother, take this money and give me my single barrel, he say ok. So I go to my aunty, I say give me the money I give you to keep. So she give it to me, and I went and give it to him, when he took, it, he say that FOC, in fact he na giving me my gun. So they tie me, they say they were going to kill me. So one of the other man say this man here, we should not kill him, we get for this man, he can be with us, still I say I na want join rebel. So he tie me, he say you former rebel, you were fighting for ULIMO so you will join. So my self too, I say ok, I will join, that how I join LURD and we started fighting. Then my pa, when I came back, I heard that government troop kill him, so that what happen to me during the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you, but we will ask you some questions. After the world war one, did you disarm?

Primary Witness: No, because my commander took my gun from me.

What was his name?

Primary Witness: His name was JR.

Is that the only name?

Primary Witness: They call him Iron jacket.

Commissioner Bull: thank you for coming how old were you when you join?

Primary Witness: I was 18 years old.

Did you go on school campus or any other campus?

Primary Witness: Yes, I went on Lot Carey.

Where is Lot Carey?

Primary Witness: After you pass VOA junctions.

Did you go trainings like war laws?

Primary Witness: Yes, and some of the laws were do not rape.

In the group, were you taking liquor or people were taking it?

Primary Witness: Yes, some people were smoking grass, cane juice but I smoke cigarette.

How did you get it?

Primary Witness: They use to bring our supply.

How do you feel, when you saw a lot, like people begging for their lives?

Primary Witness: I feel bad. When I think about things we did during the war.

If you had the opportunity, what do you want to say to them?

Primary Witness: I just want to say sorry because that was war.

Commissioner Konneh: Mr. Witness, we want to thank you for coming. what did they do to other civilians?

Primary Witness: They kill them, every day they will kill them.

Even if they were not Fullah and Mandingo?

Primary Witness: Yes, Gbar ray use to kill them.

Did some of your people join him?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Are they alive?

Primary Witness: Yes, some of them are in town.

You said, thy came as a football team?

Primary Witness: Yes.

So, what did they do?

Primary Witness: They brought football with them and they say they want to play a game, so we should put together.

Where did you start fighting?

Primary Witness: I started from Gbar, Poe River and Gbarpolu.

Did you go to Lofa?

Primary Witness: No, I never went that far.

So how did you treat civilian?

Primary Witness: We treated them good.

So when you split, you mal treated them?

Primary Witness: Yes, because they use to tot our loads.

You say you join LURD?

Primary Witness: Yes, because of this mark on me, they tie me.

You say you were 30 men in the bush?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Why were you there?

Primary Witness: We were sacred.

Did you have guns?

Primary Witness: No, only single barrel I was get.

Were you training them?

Primary Witness: No, we were hiding from them.

This Varney Goayeah?

Primary Witness: Yes, he's from Gonezipoe.

What did he do?

Primary Witness: He brought these Belleh boys to find us in the bush to join them.

You talked about a ship, where was it from?

Primary Witness: From Guinea.

How did it come?

Primary Witness: It use to come with the Fanti Canoes, then we will go and collect it from the ship.

Who use to be your commander?

Primary Witness: JR.

What was his real name?

Primary Witness: Iron Jacket.

Who is this person you wanted to attack at that time?

Primary Witness: His name is Varney Goayeah.


Is he different from the man that caught you?

Primary Witness: No.

What was the government troop man name?

Primary Witness: Samuel Kollie.

Do you remember anytime your battalion houses or town?

Primary Witness: No, I didn't burn house.

Did they do it deliberately?

Primary Witness: Yes, when they go loot the rice the balance one, they will burn it.

What is the name of you father?

Primary Witness: James Washington.

Which group kill your father?

Primary Witness: Malicious.

Where was he?

Primary Witness: In Bowen

Who was the boss that disarmed you?

Primary Witness: That the same Iron Jack.

So you did not take any benefit?

Primary Witness: No.

So you never went to NDDR training?

Primary Witness: No.

What are you doing now?

Primary Witness: I burn coal.

Did you go to school before the war?

Primary Witness: No.

What is your role in the peace process in you town?

Primary Witness: Nothing.

Commissioner Coleman: Thank you, I will like to ask you some questions. I want to k now about your family. What year did your father die?

Primary Witness: ULIMO time.

What happen to your ma?

Primary Witness: They only burn her house.

What happen to your brothers and sisters?

Primary Witness: I have 4 brothers and 4 sisters.

Are you married?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many children do you have?

Primary Witness: I have one.

You said your sister Musu marry One man One?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They get children?

Primary Witness: No.

What is the name of the town your move to?

Primary Witness: In Bowen.

How many people you estimated they kill?

Primary Witness: First time, they brought one truck, they kill them and the second town, the people ran away.

But were they kill them one by one?

Primary Witness: Every day they use to kill ten.

So there is a mass grave in Gbar?

Primary Witness: Yes, even now Lone star build their tower there.

Why did you join ULIMO?

Primary Witness: They force me.

Did they carry you to do any training?

Primary Witness: No, they only show me to shoot.

What was your position?

Primary Witness: I was a private.

What were you doing there?

Primary Witness: I was a guard there.

And after the split, you stay on the K side?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Any reason why?

Primary Witness: Yes, because my boss told me to say there.

What was the name of your commander in ULIMO K?

Primary Witness: B3 Thomas.

Who was he reporting to?

Primary Witness: He was the battle front commander reporting directly to Alhaji Kromah.

Did you stay here until disarmaments?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What was your main base?

Primary Witness: We were basing in Mecca.

Here is it?

Primary Witness: I think it is in Gbarpolu.

What did they give you for disarmaments?

Primary Witness: They just disarm us, and give us Burger wheat and red Shoe.

The 30 people you had with you how many were men and how many were women?

Primary Witness: Let say half, and half.

How many of you family members were they?

Primary Witness: My aunt was there, and my uncle was there.


That 4,000 dollars you give, was it Liberian dollars or US dollars?

Primary Witness: No, Liberians dollars.

Why do you think the soldiers were going against those codes they give your?

Primary Witness: People use to do it, but when they catch them, they will kill them.

Commissioner Washington: thank you for coming the Fanti people were been killed in large numbers, was it by NPFL?

Primary Witness: Yes.

When was that?

Primary Witness: 1990.

Where did they bring them from?

Primary Witness: From Robertsport.

Where exactly in Robertsport?

Primary Witness: From Fanti town

Who use to kill them?

Primary Witness: Gbar ray.

Besides, Gbar ray, who use to kill them again?

Primary Witness: I never see any body again.

How were they killed?

Primary Witness: He will tie them and shoot them with gun.

So what happen to their bodies?

Primary Witness: It use to be there, and get rotten.

Can you tell the number of Fanti people?

Primary Witness: I can't tell.

How long did it go on?

Primary Witness: They did it for one week and Oliver Varney say it should stop.

Were they killing children?

Primary Witness: Yes, one day I saw them killing one man and his son.

Who give the orders for the people to be killed?

Primary Witness: Gbar ray was doing his own things.

Who did you fight for?

Primary Witness: I fought for NPFL.

Were these 30 people you had in the bush, were they civilians?

Primary Witness: Yes, they never knew about arm.

Why did you join LURD?

Primary Witness: Because Varney Goayeah caught me and forced me.

Did you fight with the one ULIMO or the split?

Primary Witness: I fought for them and when they split, I join ULIMO K.

Tell us about Samuel Kollie?

Primary Witness: Samuel Kollie was living with us, he use to tell the people we were soldiers and they use to hide on his farm to attack.

Do you know any thing about Swen Mecca massacre?

Primary Witness: Yes, it was our men.

Were you there?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I didn't kill any body.

Do you know how many people die?

Primary Witness: No, I can't tell.

How did it happen?

Primary Witness: It was a fight between ULIMO K and ULIMO J.

Then how did civilians die?

Primary Witness: Some times they were running away and bullets kill them.

How did you feel after that massacre?

Primary Witness: I felt bad.

Do you k now any body there?

Primary Witness: Yes, one of my friends they call Thomas.

Was Thomas the only person you can remember?

Primary Witness: Varney Goayeah was there, Senegalese were there.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming your sister that was going out with

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