Saniquellie City: Day 3

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The third Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Thursday May 15, 2008 at the Administrative Building, Saniquellie City Nimba 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.

Thirteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public

Amara Jabateh

(First Primary Witness of day three)

The First 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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: Good morning Sir, we thank God today that all of us are here before the TRC to talk about what happen so that we can find solution to this Liberia problem. To find solution to the problem, you must know the solution of the problems and all of us are citizens, we have small, small idea of what the problem is, and what happen to us, that's what we are here and we tell you thank you for coming.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Arama Jarbateh.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Kahnplay.

Where were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born November 4, 1946.

What are you doing for as living?

Primary Witness: I was running business.

Primary Witness: Okay, yes before and even 1990, December 24, this war in Buutuo, we were in Kahnplay, from Kahnplay way some body run and come tell us say oh they kill the people to the Mosque. I say you yourself see it? He say I able to see that one, the people in action then you say I see it? January 1sth they entered, that was New Year day, we all were sitting down. About 13 of my brothers them and myself we were drinking atayee, sitting by the black smith shop we hear the gun sound. We thought that was the army because army has passed here before to go to Buutuo to drive the rebel, we say this army will protect us. When we hear the gun sound, then we hear the people come one time, but when I see the group of people come down from the car, I see Unekazu, I say oh Unekazu who was in Ivory Coast before they were hulling people in exile 1985, and that Unekazu over there always say he will come, he will come, I say your let go.

We run away we all take cover. They come straight to the house we were in; it was not far away from the black smith shop. He come there and say well, today we are here he break the door and get to the black smith and say that you're here, your Mandingo people your just supporting the government? Today that the ending part of you he kill that one. From there they go to the other people house Marvine, those Kromah people house, when he entered the house he hull the old ma son out and knock him down, then the old lady go there and say your kill me and leave my son and right away they kill the boy and cut the old lady throat. After this, they go in Vaflee Dolley yard, those women were there and only two men were among them when he break the door, he halted Vaflee he hull him out side and he say your bring his brother outside right on the road, they kill those one. Before that, even they catch Bankalee who was the police commander they carry him right in the intersection of Kahnplay sat him down and said today your own finish, his women go there and say if your want goat or money or any other thing we will give it to your, your release my husband, they kill them. And one other Kamara man was there from Lofa police man he did not know Kahnplay bush good he was running; they fire that one and kill him.

From Vaflee them house, they were shooting gun I don't know what happen, one woman name Maramu Kromah gun catch her head she left there and say and you see the people shot me, I gone to report they taught that was the army. When they were going he leave behind his woman when they got there, he go see Unakazu he say oh Kazu that you today you were praying in the mosque all the time you pray for, you will pay for it today all your praying time finish. They killed his wife, they killed the old man from there he went and entered in the house, they brother his other wife out side and rape her and he say if your leave that woman, she will narrate this story to the people. Then he see my brother son Yaya Jabateh he run behind that one in the toilet and he tell that one say your own finish.

Then Musa Jabateh was coming from the farm, why they were doing so because they say that order given to them to kill the Mandingo and the Krahn they made announcement, and I can understand Gio and I can speak Gio more then Gio man self. Then from there right by the other road, they met Kabadee wife, they rape that one right there and tell those boys to use her and say and Mandingo woman your use to say we are kaflee they hit the baby on the wall the children were confuse in the town, when the children come they start putting them in the wall. Right behind my brother house the wall that there they put rock over them. Then they go to my ma house, in the English word they say aunty my mother sister. They killed that one with stick. My brother and myself were running away form them, they short that one in the chest. From there now the announcement was too much, then they go to my house and say oh that Amara house they know I was not in town, from there now, they say your burn the house, they burn the house. After that the army come now then we join in the bush, when we join in the bush, the army came and they call me and ask me to collect the dead body. We go on Buutuo road we see Kromah them body we bring it all the body them we bring it, I get one swam we bring all and put it there and pray and bury them. And we go to the wall same thing we do there. So I join in the bush, people were behind me because I know the bush we go from Cestos River to go to Ivory Coast. Some people fall into the River I don't know where they go where they didn't go. So I entered in Ivory Coast, when I entered, I was in Gbanda.

When I was in Gbanda, Solomon got vex and go Kahnplay when he got in Kahnplay the way how Yanee Kazulu destroyed it. Even when you go with me in Kahnplay I will show you the grave yard all, they burn all the houses Solomon was vex and say Unakazu come in Kahnplay and burn all the houses is that what we come for? He say alright let me help the Mandingo people, he started collecting the Mandingo women and started bringing them to Gbanda. When I got there he say oh Amara when I bring this Mandingo women then they will turn them to you. Actually he did well. So that Solomon save the people here. Then I left from there I was in exile. And when I come to Kahnplay again, I come see the whole place was just like that. But that the one happen before me. All the destruction that in Kahnplay that Yanee kazulu, eventhough the army came and did some but Unakazu did more I can show proof. When you go with me in Kahnplay now I can proof it, even the grave and the wall I show it to TRC. So if even it leave between Unakazu and myself when he see me, he will fall down. Because the thing that He do he will say he do it. Right now in Kahnplay, we were there when he went and sue one of my brother, Layee Konneh, he say Layee see him in the night when he was coming from Gbanda, he say Layee must carry him, Layee say no I scare of you. He bring the complain to me I say well, the man now show his clear heart to you the man reconcile he leave it and go to magistrate and the same thing I tell him. So during 1990, that the one happen they kill my first son, my aunty, my brother first son and my brother wife.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: The man who started all these things is he stay in Kahnplay?

Primary Witness: Yes, his town right by Kahnplay, maybe if he not here now he will be in Monrovia he stay in Kahnplay. He can come in Kahnplay there we can see him market day he come.

He was fighting for any of these groups, AFL, or the rebel?

Primary Witness: Yes the first group that come that AFL. He was army before, when he go to exile before he join this group that come.

So he went in exile before he joined?

Primary Witness: Yes, that was 1985 they run away they go to Ivory Coast, they were part of it.

Commissioner Syllah: What's the name of your son that was killed during the war?

Primary Witness: Blama Jabateh

The lot of people that were killed in Kahnplay that day, can you remember the number?

Primary Witness: I think about 38or 48. Because that was not my one was bring the body and also those e children that were put in the wall.

So you bury them together or separately?

Primary Witness: Well, the wall was far away from the town in the swam and the other side was all the way to the market way.

Besides Yanah, do you remember any other person name, people that went to fight that day who was killing the people?

Primary Witness: Actually people that went to fight only Unakazu I know, because all the other one that was so, so small children. The second attack that was Prince Johnson but I know Prince Johnson I was fighting to join in the bush now when I saw him he say oh, you know me, I say yes, he say one time I was sick you carry me.

Do you know how many children they put in the wall?

Primary Witness: Well, actually I can say because it was wall you can be able to count from there. We only see the finger them.

Is the wall stay there in Kahnplay?

Primary Witness: Yes, we cover it.

You know Nanakazu before the war?

Primary Witness: Yes, I say he is my friend we were born in the same area. He was army that Cooper Tear big brother I know him.

Commissioner Washington: Yanee Kazulu, you said he was first AFL?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you know what position he was holding in AFL?

Primary Witness: Some people say he was jail commander in jail compound.

You mean the jail house that you get here?

Primary Witness: No, he used to come in army uniform I don't know weather he was couple I don't know.

So 1990 he was not assigned here, he came from Monrovia to Kahnplay?

Primary Witness: He was not in town now; he was in exile 1980 coupe that he and his brother they run behind them. That his small brother name Cooper Tear they were running behind them that who they went exile.

He joined the first rebel group that came; can you remember the fighting group or they had many group which one?

Primary Witness: All we know that time that was Charles group, until later.

But which fraction you think he came with?

Primary Witness: That was Charles group.

So he came with NPFL, you heard about NPFL before?

Primary Witness: I say all that name came later, we only know Charles Taylor.

And you said he Mr. Kazalu was operating in Kahnplay, how long did he stay for?

Primary Witness: He stays long there because he say your burn all the Mandingo houses.

Besides he, did he have any other commander as a head?

Primary Witness: That day he come he was the commander.

How about the time he came in Kahnplay he was the only big man?

Primary Witness: Only his name was ringing.

I did not get the name of the other commander, what's the name?

Primary Witness: Solomon Weah

And you say since after the war you have seen Yenae Kazulu?

Primary Witness: Yes.

When was the last time you saw him?

Primary Witness: Even last week, in the market

Do you know what he's doing?

Primary Witness: Well, the last time I saw people in Monrovia they say he breaking rock around red light.

You said you hold him responsible for all the houses burn in Kahnplay?

Primary Witness: Yes

The children putting into the wall, how old were they, babies between what age?

Primary Witness: Some were young babies, some were little size boy I don't know their age.

How many children?

Primary Witness: No, I don't know the one that was in the wall.

So you say this wall is behind your house?

Primary Witness: Yes, behind my brother house to the market

Commissioner Stewart: This Solomon Weah was he a soldier?

Primary Witness: Yes before.

And he went to exile?

Primary Witness: Yes

Is he from Kahnplay?

Primary Witness: Yes

Is he Mandingo?

Primary Witness: No, Gio

Where is Solomon?

Primary Witness: In Kahnplay

How long you stay in exile?

Primary Witness: From June 1990

How was live like in exile?

Primary Witness: We were fighting to survival.

The man who did this lives in Kahnplay?

Primary Witness: Yes, he can come to do business

Which fraction?

Primary Witness: AFL, he was in the army 1995

Commissioner Coleman: You said your mother was killed?

Primary Witness: No, my aunty

Is your mother alive?

Primary Witness: No, die before the war.

Your wife is she alive?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you have children?

Primary Witness: Yes, 16

Do you know where the wall is?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where were you during the coup?

Primary Witness: I was in Nimba but it took place in Yekapa

Did any body die that you knew in the coupe?

Primary Witness: The people were dancing and the tension was too hot.

Commissioner Konneh: Is Cooper Tear still alive?

Primary Witness: They say he died.

Commissioner Washington: You said it happen on New Year's Day?

Primary Witness: Yes

You mentioned about Abu, tell us what happen to him?

Primary Witness: He was shot him

Who shot him?

Primary Witness: George Masa

Who was he?

Primary Witness: One of the big commanders for Charles Taylor

The man that they cut his throat, who was he?

Primary Witness: The Emma

The Emma was he beheaded?

Primary Witness: Yes

Old lady Mayadee?

Primary Witness: Yes, she die, she say kill me and leave my son.

Chairman: How old was your son?

Primary Witness: 1971 he was born.

Can you list the people who die?

Primary Witness: Mawa Kamara age 46, Masame Jabateh above 20, Yaya Jabateh almost 29, Musa Jabateh above 39, Alema Konneh 60, Emma 60, Mavee Kromah, Laveye 70, Lasana 29-30, Masa Dolley 20-22 , Avala 52, Masah 28, Blakadee 49, Kamara (police man) 41

Chairman: What your last word before you leave?

Primary Witness: We appeal to TRC we don't have hospital in our town, let TRC come and put us together because there is tribalism among us in the county. Those that are responsible for zinc and cement to help us build our house. Radio announcement is very important so when any news is heard let it be verify before airing. Let there be leadership training for all counties authorities.

You said your land was taken from you?

Primary Witness: Yes

Who is holding it now?

Primary Witness: One man name Sonkalay

What is his position?

Primary Witness: He is in Monrovia.

Fourteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Saniquellie, Nimba County

Rufus Woyee

(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.

Chairman: we say welcome and thank for coming to the TRC. We appreciate when citizen come up to share with us, because this has gone on for the past 14 years, so we want to say thank you and can you call your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Rufus Woyee.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Airfield Zone 2 Saniquellie.

What did you do?

Primary Witness: I learn electricity.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I was born 1982.

Primary Witness: It happened in 2003, the same year Willie Togba was the paramount chief. We all were here when the city Mayoress of Saniquellie call us. So, she ask a group of Saniquellie youths, to discuss the Mandingo people business, and that time she ask me to give her 4 bundles of zincs and I only give her 2 because they were the only ones I had. So that how she got annoy and she started looking for me, I was not here, they went to my parents house and arrested them and put them in jail, so that same day, they call me, and when I heard it, I came, when I came, I went there, and they arrested me and put me in jail, they tie me with Electric wire, and they started beating me, and treating me, I can even show the mark, here is the mark on my side. (Witness Shows scar to the Commissioners and the Audience at large)

So in the process, people came, even one man ask her to release me, and she said no, they want to kill me. So people came and started begging them to free me, they said no, so they say if you na free this boy here, we na free this boy here we will all start shooting, so that how they started shooting, and I ran away that all.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we want to say thank you, and sorry for all you when through, that is why the government and the international community to come together to hear all the bad things that happened in the country and that tomorrow after all this, we will have lasting peace in Liberia. So at this time, Commissioners will ask you some questions for clarity. You say this happen in 2003, in what month did it happened?

Primary Witness: It happened in October 4th.

Was there war going on?

Primary Witness: No, there was no war.

Who did it to you?

Primary Witness: The city Mayoress.

City Mayoress for where?

Primary Witness: She is the city Mayoress for Saniquellie.

What is her name?

Primary Witness: Her name is Mary Nyan Gonlepa.

You said she give order for them to destroy Mandingo people properties?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How did she do it?

Primary Witness: She told the people to do it.

But you knew her before?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You said you did electricity?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where?

Primary Witness: With the DDRC.

That means you were part of the war?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where did you get the gun?

Primary Witness: Somebody give me the single barrel for me to carry.

And how much did you give the person?

Primary Witness: I give the person who owns the gun $100 and I take $50.

Is the city Mayoress still around?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Is she the current city Mayoress?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Konneh: Mr. Witness, we want to thank you for coming and we say sorry for all that you went the through. Can you remember who was the senator you talked about?

Primary Witness: I am talking about the present Junior Senator.

Who was the man that rescued you?

Primary Witness: I don't know him.

Commissioner Coleman: Mr. Witness, I will like to know the present status of your family. Your parents are they still alive?

Primary Witness: Yes, they are alive.

What's about your brothers and sisters?

Primary Witness: They are all alive.

Do you have children?

Primary Witness: Yes, I have a child.

Are you married?

Primary Witness: No.

You said the city Mayoress give you orders to break down all the Mandingo people houses?

Primary Witness: Yes, she gave us the mandate to break all their reserve houses down.

And when he ask for your released and the woman refused?

Primary Witness: Yes.

And they started shooting?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Did any body get hurt?

Primary Witness: No.

And who loosen the rope of your hand?

Primary Witness: It is one Saye.

And nobody intimidated you again to come to your house or so?

Primary Witness: No.

So what was the reason of the problem?

Primary Witness: Because she said the zinc I give her were not enough and she said I was doing things on my own.

Commissioner Dolopei: thank you for coming to the TRC. You said they give you the order to go and loot people's properties?

Primary Witness: Yes.

And in your self, do you think it was right?

Primary Witness: No.

Then why did you do it?

Primary Witness: Because there was nothing to do.

Can you tell us some of your friends that were there?

Primary Witness: We were many and I can't remember all.

How long did this go on for?

Primary Witness: It went on for about 2 months.

But can you call the name of some of your friends that were there?

Primary Witness: Yes, there are Andee Zoe, Henry Dahn and Wotoe Whyee.

Where are they now?

Primary Witness: Henry is in Monrovia.

What is he doing there?

Primary Witness: He is attending.

And where is Andee?

Primary Witness: He's in Monrovia selling fuel.

What's about Wotoe?

Primary Witness: He's dead now.

What happened to him?

Primary Witness: He got sick and died.

When they were torturing you, was Mary there?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Steward: thank you very much. This man you call Willie Togba, is he in Saniquellie here?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Who is he?

Primary Witness: I don't now his position now.

But what was his position?

Primary Witness: He was a paramount chief.

You said some of the things you destroy did you take out the doors and window?

Primary Witness: No, we only take out the things and broke down the whole house.

And who was the youth leader?

Primary Witness: That was Henry Dahn.

Where is he now?

Primary Witness: He is in Monrovia.

Who was the head of the police at that time?

Primary Witness: It was Eddie Murphy.

And what did he do?

Primary Witness: He did not do anything.

Was Taylor here or what?

Primary Witness: No, Taylor was not here, it was only the single Barrel Group.

Was Willie Togba ever present when you people were removing the zincs?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was there.

How many times?

Primary Witness: I saw him once.

And you said it happen in 2003, how old were you?

Primary Witness: I was born 1982.

So the group that destroy the houses, how old were they?

Primary Witness: They were all grown up men.

Commissioner Washington: thank you for coming, I have few questions. You said they told you people to destroy the Mandingo people houses, were they also targeted?

Primary Witness: No.

And after that, did you see any of them complaining?

Primary Witness: Yes, I saw one man complaining.

And do you know any thing bout the case?

Primary Witness: No.

So what will you say about the treated of the Mandingo people, were they treated right?

Primary Witness: No, they were not treated right.

You mentioned Adolphus Dolo, was he there?

Primary Witness: Yes he was there.

Did Willie Togba fight for any of the warring faction?

Primary Witness: Yes, I know he fought for the NPFL.

And he organized the single barrel group?

Primary Witness: Yes, he did.

How will you describe the Mandingo peopled here in Nimba, do you think they are in peace now?

Primary Witness: Yes, I think they are in peace now.

That Eddie Murphy, is that his real name?

Primary Witness: Yes that's the name you have been calling him.

But you knew him before the war?

Primary Witness: No, I didn't know him.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming to the TRC. You said they jail your parents, how long did they stay there?

Primary Witness: They stay there for one night.

And when you came, they also jail you, how long did you stay there?

Primary Witness: I stay there for one night.

Did you see other youths there?

Primary Witness: I was the only one there.

Commissioner Coleman: then why did you come to the TRC?

Primary Witness: I came because I want peace, and every time I see the man, I can feel bad.

Is he threatening you?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Dolopei: you said, when ever you see the man that tie you, you feel bad, what's about the people's house you destroy, are you also feeling bad?

Primary Witness: Yes, I can feel bad and I want them to know about it.

Chairman: what do you know about Adolphus Dolo?

Primary Witness: I only use to hear about him.

What did you hear?

Primary Witness: I just use ton hear that he is one of Taylor's good fighters.

We want to say thank you for coming, your testimony just ended, is there any thing you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: Yes, I will like for the TRC to organized a group to council the youths.

Why, didn't the DDRC people council you?

Primary Witness: I was council, but it is not every body they council.

Fifteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Saniquellie, Nimba County

Takpor Wotoe

(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.

Chairman: Good afternoon and welcome to the TRC; we are very happy to receive you; we feel it is the responsibility of every Liberian to participate so that we all can find the way forward. Please tell us your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Tarkpor Wotoe

How old are you?

Primary Witness: I am 42 years.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a Driver.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Sarclapea, on the Air-Field.

You can now tell us your story.

Primary Witness: I am an Ex-Combatant; I fought during the 1990 war. What cause me to join was that, during the 1985 failed Quiwonkpa invasion, lot of the people from Nimba county were killed by the Doe led government. At the time of the 85 invasion, an AFL soldier commander call John Flomo sent a group of soldiers to our house to arrest some people and I had to run away for fear of my life to Sarclapea. One of our friends was arrested and killed. General Smith sent his troops to the Silver Compound and they arrested some people and killed them. As soon as that happened, I ran again to our village.

At my village, the rebels captured the area and they asked us to join and having in mind the constant arrest and subsequent killing of Nimba citizens, I decided to join the NPFL. At the time, it was under the command of General Putu Major that me and some friends joined the NPFL. When I joined, I was assigned at the motor-pool where I used to repair motor bikes and cars. Later, we were asked to give all the bikes to all the Commandos.

After that, we were sent to Green Hill under the command of Mangoe Miller a Special Forces Commando and I was assigned as a mechanic. We were ordered to ask all the people in the community for their single barrel guns and there was one man in the area that was working with LAMCO as Supervisor who had his single- barrel gun but hide it. One man came and told us that the man had single-barrel gun in his house and when he was asked, he denied; and we were ordered to tie him and beat him; when we started beating him, the elders in the town came and apologized to us and the man gave the gun to us. When we took the gun from the man, we were ordered to go and get all the generators and other machines and give it to Prince Bargue for him to take it to Gborplay to provide electricity. At the time, most of the homes we got to was abandoned and as we entered the house, we will take whatever thing we seen in there, be it trousers or sneakers.

I was later sent to Monrovia to supply arms and ammunitions to the fighting men at the battle front. Coco-la factory was our base, we were fighting around 72nd barrack and we arrested two Krahn soldiers and we executed one and sent one to Gbarnga. I received another order that the Peace Keepers were coming and that any country that sent Peace Keepers, we should arrest their citizens in Liberia at the time. I arrested 4 Ghanaians and we took them to Kakata; when I came back from the frontline after few days, I was told that they had taken them to Karmoh's town where they had a logging company and the President was also there. When the Peace Keeping Troops came, the war became rough, as they were launching, our men were also launching. I was assigned around the Roberts Field highway but we lost some of our men and we retreated. I took pass and went home to rest and after three weeks, I came back and in the process of fighting, some civilians used to died from strayed bullets.

After the ceased fired, we were disarmed by ECOMOG and I was staying in Gbarnga. After elections, the President said that he wanted to open a farm in Meleke and at the time, they asked us to join the SSU but I said that I needed to rest and I decided to work on the President's farm in Meleke as a Procurement Officer. After that, LURD war started and I went to Ganta; I had my building materials in Ganta. When I came in Kpain, I met General John L. Teah and others and they said oh, you sitting here and the people had attacked our county? They asked me to join them and I was assigned at the training base in Kpain and another base was in CNC under the command of Roland Duo and Benjamin Yeaten. They asked us not to allow anyone to pass that way of Kpain. The order was that before anyone pass there to go Monrovia, they should get pass from the base. A boy called Papay brought some women from Monrovia to buy goods and I arrested him and the General Teah ordered me to beat him and I did.

Another boy called Gola-Ray and Fire-Power were assigned on one of the check points in the area, they were just executing more than 4 persons at their check point; when I got there, I saw bodies of 5 persons and they smelled. People said that it was the operation of our soldiers; when I came there, they had arrested my littler brother and they had wanted to kill him at night. They detained him for the whole day, as God would have it, Benjamin Yeaten came and the boy was released there was constant complaints that our soldiers were harassing people; when the people are selling their goods, the soldiers will just go and start to shoot in the air suppressive and they people will leave their goods down and they will take the items that the people had left down. I was ordered to the market and when I got there, the boys were in the town, and I invited a lady who used to tell the soldiers to go and bring goats so that she can but it from them. I asked her and she said that she was not the one but one of the soldiers told me that she was in the business of buying goats from the soldiers; later she was forced to bring some of the goats she bought from the soldiers and I gave it back to the owners.

After disarmament, I carried my car in Gobarchop market in Paynesville and the same woman met me and she said to me, do you know me? But I said no, and she said I forced her and took her goats from her and beat on her as well. I just told her say, sorry for what happened, it was during the war, I apologized to her and she accepted my apology. Okay, I forgot the other story; when I went home, one boy complained to me that a man in the town was following his wife, when I was ready to take some actions, the elders in the town advice me not to do any thing and I listened to their advice. So that's my story.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Is it true that you were with NPFL from 1990 to 2003?

Primary Witness: No, after elections, I stopped fighting but during LURD attack on Ganta, I joined again to protect my county.

Which year was it that you people were at CNC?

Primary Witness: It happened in 2003 when Ganta war was going on.

Do you have any information on the death of John Yormie and Isaac Vaye?

Primary Witness: It was Gola-Ray who came to me in Kpain one day and said that he saw Yormie and Vaye tied in one white pick-up and it was Peter Sarkpedeh and Targan Wontee who had the men with them in Bahn, but I was not there when they killed them.

How far is Bahn from CNC?

Primary Witness: It is like from Red-Light to Careyburg, that's how it looks.

Was it Targan driving the pick-up?

Primary Witness: He used to drive himself but whether he was driving the pick-up, he did not tell me.

You say what is the name of the boy who saw Yormie and Vaye tied in the pick-up?

Primary Witness: His name is Stanley Wheimee commonly called Ray.

Do you have any idea as to how they were killed?

Primary Witness: After two to three days, I heard the Former President, Taylor announced the death of the two persons, but I do not have any idea about how they were killed.

Where is Stanley Wheimee now?

Primary Witness: He is presently home but he is always going Monrovia for the struggle, his village is Doewee.

Your family was specifically targeted during the 1985 failed invasion?

Primary Witness: Not really, but I felt that the tribe I am from, the top people were been killed; people like J. Exodus Kerdor and others were killed.

Where was Kerdor killed?

Primary Witness: He was killed in Monrovia.

Where were you at the time?

Primary Witness: I was in my home, but other people like Ujean Keedor and D.K. Wonserlea were killed in Yekepa.

What is the name of your friend that was killed by the AFL soldiers?

Primary Witness: His name was Johnson Gonkarnue.

Where was he killed?

Primary Witness: He was killed behind J.W. Pearson School in Ganta.

You say who arrested your friend?

Primary Witness: It was General Smith's men.

Commissioner Konneh: thank for coming to the TRC. Do you have any information regarding the death of Enoch Dogolea?

Primary Witness: I cannot tell you anything that happened to him.

Did you hear from anybody as to how he was killed or died?

Primary Witness: I only heard that Dogolea was sick when he died, that's all I know.

What was number of bodies taken from CNC?

Primary Witness: I saw 13.

Where is Green Hill Forest?

Primary Witness: It is the place where the trains used to past by each other; it is just before reaching Zowenta.

What types of machines your were taking and who was commander?

Primary Witness: We used to take generators and tire-repairing machines and MacDonald and Menlor asked us to give it Prince Bargue to take it to Gborplay.

Who is Michell?

Primary Witness: He was a Supervisor at the Rail road.

Where he is now?

Primary Witness: I cannot tell his where about now.

You say the machines were given to Prince Bargue?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What they did with the machines?

Primary Witness: There was no light in Gborplay, so it was used to provide electricity.

You said that you were ordered to arrest all citizens of the Peace Keepers, how many persons you arrested in all?

Primary Witness: Mangoe Miller and Me arrested 4 Ghanaians and brought them to Kakata.

What happened to them when ECOMOG came?

Primary Witness: They were later taken to Karmoh's town, but I was at the battle front.

Do you have any knowledge as to whether they were released?

Primary Witness: That is not to my knowledge because I was always at the frontline.

Who the Moses man that was assigned in Karmoh's town?

Primary Witness: It was the Former President, Moses Z. Blah, at the time he was a Special Forces Commando.

Where is Karmoh's town located?

Primary Witness: It is in Grand Bassa County.

Do you have any idea about Jackson F. Doe's death?

Primary Witness: I saw Jackson Doe in our control area but I did not see Stephen Daniels and others; I cannot tell you because I did not see them.

Was there any reaction from the people of Nimba when they heard about the deaths of these people?

Primary Witness: Yes, many people were not in favored of it but they had no means of demonstrating because of the arms they soldiers were holding.

Since you felt discouraged, why you did not escape?

Primary Witness: It was a risk for my life.

Who the Adolphus Dolo you are referring to?

Primary Witness: It is the Jr. Senator of Nimba County, Adolphus S. Dolo.

Did you hear about the death of Sam Bukari and his family, John Yormie and Isaac Vaye in CNC?

Primary Witness: Well, I have no information about these people death, CNC was actually secured and before anyone go there, you have to get pass before entering.

Anything happened to the boy and the woman who went to but their goods?

Primary Witness: No, they were never harassed.

Who were the people Gola-Ray and Fire Power killed, were they civilians?

Primary Witness: Yes, they were civilians and I saw their bodies.

Where is Gola-Ray and Fire-Power?

Primary Witness: I learned that they are in Monrovia.

Can you identify them when you see them?

Primary Witness: Very well.

What was the end with the woman who met you in Gobarchop and said that you offended her during the war?

Primary Witness: This why I have come to the TRC so that anyone I offended during the war so that they can forgive me; I apologized to the woman in Paynesville when we met there and she accepted my apology.

You said that Targan Wontee was assigned at CNC base?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was there as advisor to Benjamin Yeaten.

Did you disarmed and demobilized?

Primary Witness: Yes, I disarmed, but my demo ID card lost so I was denied.

Commissioner Coleman: Is your father and mother alive?

Primary Witness: No, my father died before the war but my mother is there.

What caused the death of your father, was it the war?

Primary Witness: No, he died a natural death before the war.

Have you got any sisters and brothers?

Primary Witness: Yes, I have three sisters.

Which group attacked your mother's home town?

Primary Witness: It was the AFL soldiers, people said it was the Krahn people doing bad things but there was one man from Lofa called Gabriel in the army that so many bad things in Nimba County.

Do you have children?

Primary Witness: Yes, I have six children.

Are you married?

Primary Witness: Yes, I am married.

How NPFL was prosecuting the Krahn and Mandingo people?

Primary Witness: Yes, people were killed as a result of tribalism.

Did you personally execute anyone of them?

Primary Witness: No, I personally assisted most of them and they went to Ivory Coast, and they had some Krahn people with the NPFL.

What are the names of the Krahn people that were with Taylor?

Primary Witness: We had one Peter Sayee and one Gaybedee.

What was the key command of the NPFL?

Primary Witness: Our key command was to move against the Government Troops of Samuel Doe and get raid of him.

Any idea as to how NPFL got money from any company?

Primary Witness: After NPFL captured LAMCO, it started functioning again but if it was for arms, I do not know.

What are goods of the war that you can reflect?

Primary Witness: The past government that we were fighting was very partial and so we wanted to bring it down.

But why NPFL continued to fight when Doe was killed?

Primary Witness: I think it was for power-greed.

What can you do to get raid of this tribalism?

Primary Witness: If I come to your as a Gola man and I passed the test and interview, I should be given the job instead of giving it to your brother who did not pass the test and interview.

Name three persons in high command of the NPFL besides Benjamin Yenten, Charles Taylor.

Primary Witness: Isaac Musa, John T. Richardson who was a friend to Taylor.

Where is Peter Sarkpender and Targan Wontee?

Primary Witness: They are both in Monrovia.

Why have you come forward to testify?

Primary Witness: I want to reconcile with people I did wrong things to.

You do not feel threatened?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Stewart: Do you believe that lots of people were killed at the CNC base?

Primary Witness: I do not know, only five dead bodies I saw at the junction.

Was Targan driving the pick-up that was carrying Yormie and Vaye?

Primary Witness: He only told me that he saw them tied in the pick-up in Bahn.

What year was it?

Primary Witness: I think when Taylor went Ghana, other people were arrested in Monrovia, it was during that time.

Commissioner Washington: Do you know anything about those foreigners that were arrested?

Primary Witness: I was at the frontline; all I know was that Anthony Cumahun was in control at the time.

Did you hear anything about the deaths of journalists?

Primary Witness: No, I cannot remember anything about journalists.

Do you have any information about the group that raided the embassies in Monrovia?

Primary Witness: I cannot remember anything like that; I did know any embassy in Monrovia when we entered.

When your entered Paynesville in Monrovia?

Primary Witness: I cannot remember the month now because the things we were doing, we were between death and life, so I cannot remember.

Who was your commander when your entered Monrovia?

Primary Witness: He was Mangoe Miller.

Do you have any idea about the deaths that occurred in the Soul Clinic devil bush?

Primary Witness: No, no idea.

Was the Soul Clinic Mission still opened?

Primary Witness: We were not base inside the Mission; we were ahead of the Mission.

Any idea about the civilians that was caught-up between fire in the TB annex area between AFL and NPFL?

Primary Witness: I have no idea, except the journalists can make it clear.

Commissioner Syllah: What happened to the civilians did you at anytime take any of them?

Primary Witness: Sometimes, civilians died from strayed bullets, but I did not at anytime take any civilian with me.

Chairman: Was Mangoe Miller your commander from 1990 to 1998?

Primary Witness: No, when ECOMOG came, they changed my assignment.

While Mangoe Miller was commander, how many children he took with him?

Primary Witness: I cannot tell.

NPFL recruited young girls?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You were trained?

Primary Witness: No, you just have pay attention to your commanders.

Do you have any idea about the arms and arm munitions NPFL used to use?

Primary Witness: We used to just go for ammunition in Gbarnga.

Do you have any idea about Albert Paye - Zoegwiah?

Primary Witness: Yes, I saw him this few day in Ganta going to his home.

Do you have any idea about the death of the Catholic Norms in Gardnerville?

Primary Witness: I was not assigned in Gardnerville area.

Now that you have completed your testimony, is there anything last you want to say?

Primary Witness: Yes, thanks to the TRC; I want TRC to recommend that those I wronged during the war should please forgive; There should be job opportunity, when you are jobless, poverty rate can be high; TRC should help my mother rebuilt her two houses that were burnt; and that everybody should forget the past, if Grebo man knows how to repair the rail-road, he should be given the job, this will stop the tribalism. Thanks.

Sixteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Saniquellie, Nimba County

Newah Voir

(Fourth Primary Witness of day three)

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

Chairman: we want to welcome you to the TRC and we say welcome. This is a forum where we come to talk about the things that happen during the war and by doing so, we are going to move this country forward. Can you please tell us your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Newah Voir.

Can you kindly tell us your age?

Primary Witness: I am a native man, but I should be around 75 years old.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Nimba County, Guwengee lower Nimba.

Which district is that?

Primary Witness: Yawen-monslon District.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer but. I am unable to make farm now.

Primary Witness: One day 1990, we were on the farm, surprisingly, we were in May, I saw a group of boys came around me, they say you are needed, they say we want you. I say for what so? They say you better don't argue. Then I follow them, because they was get gun ands I can't argue with them. So I just got in front of them. So when we got in town, They say they were taking me to Tappita. So from Guwendee to Tappita that na no distance, it is about one hour walk. So we walk from Guwengee to Tappita. When we got there, they say you, we heard that you can drive truck, the yellow ones, you can operate. So I say yes I can operate thrillers, Trucks and shovels, but I am old now that why the Mano River closed now, that why I come sit down. So they say now you are going to drive a truck now. So they had guns behind me, what can I say. So they give me the truck, the first time, I went to try it, they get a driver there that will test me to say oh, the Oldman qualify to drive. He said, oh, even the papi can drive it more then me. So they told me carry some boys to Gborplai, I think they were about 90 or more, so when I took those boys, they told me you have to take some boys to Buchanan. So I did. Those boys were having gun behind me, one there was Philip Sai.

When we were there, when I want go toilet self, they will say no, they will put some body behind me. And you have to ask for permission before you run away. We ask you, you say you old, so you na want drive this truck, so any where you go we will be behind you. So I say ok. They say before I run away. So we were in Buchanan, we were there, until when they say go so, I there, when they say go that way I there until when we got through Buchanan, we got to Harbel and then we came back to Gbarnga. When we got to Gbarnga, then they say we will assign you to Bopolu; they say I should be carrying the rice to the hospital for their wounded soldiers, their unable bodies, the sick people and the children who lost their mothers and fathers, so I use to take the food there. So I use to carry the rice. So after that I tell the oldlady say I na able to work in the night, if that in the day, it is alright. When I do that for about two days I will rest because I old. So that time now, my wife, because she make farm, and she was old, I na know if the farm it burn good, I don't know, she made me go there. She say carry the truck when I got there with the truck, I saw this man they call James Dahn, he say I should take the truck to Guinea. So I say no, they na tell me to go to Guinea. They the boy said that what I tell you to do, not what you will tell me to do. He said it is what I tell you to do, so I say alright. He said, be here I am going to another town, when I come back, then tomorrow morning we will go to Ivory Coast. I say ok. So as soon as the man went, I ask they say he gone, I ran away, I took the truck and came to Gbarnga. When I came to Gbarnga, one man was there they call him James Dahn, he force me to carry the Truck to Ivory Coast, while your na tell me to carry this truck to Ivory Coast. You know if you driving for somebody, you have to take instructions, even if he says go this way, you have to go there. But the man forced me to carry the truck to Ivory Coast, but I ran away. He say anyway, thank you. So I say my wife na feeling well, so I have to go there. So he say I should carry the truck, so I said no.

I went there, he saw me, he said Newah Voir here, he told the town people he say that honorable Dokie coming. It was May 17 1990. So every body should not go on the farm, we should stay in the town. So before then, one Zanzan, he is a sand cutter, he came with the single barrel gun he say James Dahn say he should collect all the witch craft them for him, so everybody should fall on the ground. So all of us fall on the ground we were there, he came. So one day we were there, one boy came, he say one James Dahn sent me, he say I should collect all the witchcraft for him, whether you did it or not, what will you say the people get gun over us, we can't say anything. So we fell down, he call us, we were over 30, they collected us. For me, he say that you be the number one witch craft, because I tell you to go Ivory Coast, you say no. one of the other boys, they call him Jerry Quai, because it was on May 29th, he give order for him to kill me. So he shot my foot with 3 rounds, I dropped. So the sand cutter, everything scatter, so one man was there, they call him Manblow. He was there; he put some boys together to take me to the hospital. So when they take me, they carry me to the hospital, he follow me to the hospital, he say he want to kill me. So, Manblow say no, this hospital here, keep your gun outside, if you come out, you will take the gun.

He slapped the medical man. So they took me and carry me behind the house, and they were holding him not to kill me. Right away, his big of sister came, she said, ahn James Dahn, you were born here, we all are the citizens here, these people, you want tell me you will be treating this old, old people them who saw you when you were a little boy, you walking on them and beating them, even you burn their hair? Because that one of my friends, he cant see he lying down there. He na die yet, he die, because his eyes, the cell all burn there. They carry me to Tappita. So he say that man where your carry down there his blood in my car, so your had to pay $200, so they pay it. I went to the house, still he say he can't leave me, so one Sunday, he cook the rice, he put the glass bottle in it, and he say I should eat it, so I ate it. That day, that Father Gerry and Father John carry me to the hospital, and then they do the operation on me. So one man say, that this old man you doing this kind of thing to? So the boy self that was there, the boy where wanted to fire me, that in my daughter them house self he living. So that hoe it happen till one day, they say they get something they cal the TRC. So I was going to Monrovia. When you be going, they get someplace they call the SOS. So I was still in the hospital, TRC. When I walk from here, when my foot, when I walk small, I fall down, that what happen to me during this war. The old man where I talking about, the children sacred to come before the TRC. . His name is Oldman Keemaigee, that old man. The man who shot my foot, he still living.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we want to thank you for coming to the TRC and we want to say we are sorry for all the things you went through. That is why it is good to come to the TRC to say some of these things. So at this time, commissioners will ask some questions.

Commissioner Konneh: thank you for coming the TRC, but we are sorry for what happen to you. This James Dahn man, where is he?

Primary Witness: Well, some body told me, he is not alive, but since that time, I can see him again.

What's about Philip Quai?

Primary Witness: That Philip Sanguy, he living.

That he say he wanted to kill you?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was one of the forces.

Is your daughter still with this man, despite the fact that he shot you?

Primary Witness: Yes, she is still with him.

And because you refuse to take the cassava from that people, that's why he did it to you?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Were you the only person?

Primary Witness: Yes, operating the truck, because I can operate shovel and truck.

What I mean, were you the only person they were beating?

Primary Witness: They were beating plenty people, even one there, they were beating him, till the broke his ribs.

Did any body died from that Caffu?

Primary Witness: Yes, plenty people died.

Do you remember the names of those who die?

Primary Witness: Yes, Oldman Nyan Gwsay, Nagai Toewehere and one other man call.

And the person who give you the caffu, what is his name?

Primary Witness: His name is Zanza from Bassa.

When you see him, can you recognize him?

Primary Witness: Yes, but long time, I never see him.

How many were you?

Primary Witness: I told you we were over 30.

Perhaps, you think this Zanza will still be alive?

Primary Witness: I think so.

What did this man use to burn this man?

Primary Witness: He use torch to burn the man's bear and all his head.

It was my son in-law.

Commissioner Coleman: sorry for all you went through during the war. Did she forcibly be his wife, or, they fell in love?

Primary Witness: He did not force her, but if you see a man do his to your father, and you stay with that man, I leave them with God.

Perhaps she was doing that to save you, did she tell you that?

Primary Witness: No, I have no idea about that.

Commissioner Steward: thank you for coming, and sorry for the mal treatment. What year did that happen?

Primary Witness: It happened 1990 may 20th.

When they shot you, have you already eaten the food?

Primary Witness: Yes, that time, I was in Tappita.

Was it you and the others that ate the food?

Primary Witness: That's what I said, I was not there again after they shot me, so I na want lie.

But the people your ate the food, are they still alive?

Primary Witness: Many of them died.

How long did it take for them to die?

Primary Witness: Some of them, it never took long.

This Jerry man, how long did he fight?

Primary Witness: I think up to 2003.

Do you know if the went for the DDR program?

Primary Witness: I can tell, because my daughter, she na get time.

So how old were you?

Primary Witness: I don't know, but that time, I was little bit strong.

Did they do any thing to Jerry?


Primary Witness:
Nothing, they did not do anything to him, he's there.

Has he come to say sorry?

Primary Witness: No, he has not even come to say let me tie this Kola to please my father in law.

What's about your daughter is there good relationship?

Primary Witness: Yes, when she come sometimes we can eat together.

So are you still afraid of him?

Primary Witness: Yes.

So jerry father is a Zoe chief?

Primar
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