Saniquellie City: Day 4

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The Second Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Friday May 16, 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.

Twenty-Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Saniquellie City, Nimba County

Helena Vaye

(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.

Chairman: The TRC is not a bad place, we are going around Liberia to find out what all went wrong so that we cannot do the same wrong thing that brought the war. So, please tell us your name.

Primary Witness: My name is Helena Vaye.

How old are you?

Primary Witness: I am 27 years old.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: Right now, I am not going anything.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Cola Tree, Tapita City.

Please tell us your story.

Primary Witness: During the MODEL war, on June 24, 2003, we went in the bush in a certain village and we used to go to our farm for food. One day, when we went on the far, for food, we did not know that MODEL had come around there and when they saw us, the three boys I went with ran away and while I was about to run, I fell and they captured me. The MODEL soldiers were eight in number and they used to rape each day; every night, I will sleep with different one and they started using me to carry their ammunitions and cooking for them and from that time, I am facing serious problems with my stomach.

My first pregnancy I face serious problems and they were about to operate me but the nurse there at the time did very well for me. the boy I got the child for he na want to come back to me; each time my parents called him, he will say that he has his wife and I am presently suffering with the child. My father died long time and my mother does not have anything and I am just suffering with the child. Now since I delivered on January 18, I menstruated on March 18 but did not receive in the month of April because of the problems with my stomach.

After MODEL soldiers caught us, they asked us to take them to where I came from and when we got there, they looted all the people cattle and rice and they burnt the balance rice that was in the kitchen. I want TRC to help me because I do not have anyone to help me; any man that come to ne will just leave after few days and so I ready want the TRC to help me. At the time most of the MODEL soldiers were using names like Gio killer, Bad Killer, Blood Suckers, etc.

Thanks for your testimony. All that they did to you was very wrong, it is against the laws of the whole world, they are fools and criminals; they will always run away from you because of their bad behavior.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: What year this thing happened to you?

Primary Witness: In 2003 during the MODEL war.

You were the only one they captured?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You people were how many in the group?

Primary Witness: We were four, 3 boys and I alone the girl.

Were the MODEL soldiers smoking and drinking?

Primary Witness: Yes, that was their job.

They used to go on war front?

Primary Witness: We all used to go on the war front and I used to take their ammunitions.

Commissioner Stewart: Sorry for the thing that happened to you. What were the real names of the soldiers?

Primary Witness: They did not show us their real names besides the funny names they had.

Have you seen some of the boys that did that thing to you since the war ended?

Primary Witness: Yes, I can see some of them in the market.

What do they say to you when they see you?

Primary Witness: We can only speak to each other and passed.

How long you stayed with the soldiers?

Primary Witness: From June 23 2003 until the ceased fire.

When was the ceased fire?

Primary Witness: I cannot remember.

Where was MODEL base?

Primary Witness: Their base was in Gblor-Dialah.

Who was in control of Sarclapea when your went there to sell the rubber?

Primary Witness: I heard that it was Peanut Butter - Adolphus Dolo.

The people knew that you were with MODEL?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They had guns when your going to Sarclapea?

Primary Witness: No.

When your sold the rubber, they gave you some of the money?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Syllah: Thanks for speaking out. Where was your mother when you were arrested?

Primary Witness: We left her in the village and went to go look for food.

Your mother got other children?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You disarmed?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How you disarmed?

Primary Witness: We were MODEL Wiles; when the process started, I was asked by the MODEL soldiers to give them something before they can make me to disarm, but I was lucky to have seen one of my brothers and he helped me; but I gave the man who my brother passed through for me to disarmed hundred dollars and I took the fifty dollars.

What is the name of the man you gave the hundred dollars to?

Primary Witness: I do not know his name but he helped me.

You went through any training after you disarmed?

Primary Witness: Yes, my number went the agriculture department and I went through the training.

What is the name of your mother?

Primary Witness: Her name is Martha Vaye.

You people are how many?

Primary Witness: We are 3 boys and 3 girls.

What is the name of your aunty?

Primary Witness: Her name was Mary Vaye.

What is the name of your child?

Primary Witness: His name is Abraham Karmah.

What is the name of your son father?

Primary Witness: His name is Nathan Karmah.

Twenty-Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Saniquellie, Nimba County

Oretha Tenneh

(Second Primary Witness of day four)

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

Chairman: we want to thank you for coming and we say welcome. We are here to look at all the bad things that happen in the country during the time of the crisis. So we will ask you your name and other questions for the record. What is your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Oretha Tenneh.

What is you age?

Primary Witness: I am 28 years old.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Tappita.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am in trade school.

What are you learning?

Primary Witness: I am learning Tie and dye.

Primary Witness: The time we were in Tappita selling our plantain and cane I and my friends them. So the soldiers they came, they say we should not move. So the came they say your should not go nowhere, if your go we will kill your. They say your will be cooking for us and your will be our women them. So we say no, we na want your, they sway they will kill us. So we were there, beating their rice, so when they take the rice them, because the soldiers them use to go in the villages them to take the people rice. They call the village com by camp. So when they go, they will tell us t beat the rice, so I was there, I use to beat one bag if rice in two hours if you na do it they will beat you. So that how when we beat the rice, they will take out some and we will go sell the rice and buy their cigarette and their liquor. So one day, we were in Tappita, then we hear say the MODEL was coming, because the government troops were not having enough arms so we started running. So that how we were there until one day they sent us to go sell their rubber in Tappita, that how come we saw the UNMIL them there and that how come we disarm and we came back to our houses.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we want to thank you for coming, and we say sorry for the maltreatment you under went. You see, it was god you came, because now we know all the things that happen to people like you during this war. So at this time, commissioners will ask you some questions. What is the name of the commander?

Primary Witness: His name is Patrick.

How long did you stay there?

Primary Witness: I can't remember.

But did you stay more then 2 months?

Primary Witness: Yes, more then that.

That was only your or they were carry other girls?

Primary Witness: Yes, they were carrying other girls.

Were they wearing uniform?

Primary Witness: No, they were wearing ordinary uniform.

Commissioner Syllah: since that time, what happen to your health? I can feel pains in my body because that time we use to work. Was time for disarmament?

Where are your friends?

Primary Witness: I don't no their where about.

Did you stay with them until disarmament?

Primary Witness: Yes, I disarmed.

When it time for disarmament, did you disarm?

Primary Witness: Yes, I disarm.

Do you have your ID card?

Primary Witness: Yes, I still have my id card.

Thank you for coming to share this with us. It was not your fault and we want to say sorry for the mal treatment.

Commissioner Konneh: you said first you made mistake, what kind of mistake is that?

Primary Witness: Because first said it was MODEL, but it wasn't MODEL but rather NPFL.

Besides, forcing you to sleep with you what else did you do for them?

Primary Witness: Beating their rice and working for them.

Did they ever ask you to be their wife?

Primary Witness: Yes, they said I should be their wife.

Did they force you?

Primary Witness: Yes, they force me.

Have you gone for treatment?

Primary Witness: No, because I don't have money.

Are you willing to go for treatment?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Are you married?

Primary Witness: No, I am not married.

Who are you staying with?

Primary Witness: I am staying with my parents on the farm, but I can be in Tappita to go to school.

Commissioner Steward: thank you very much, before you go, I just want to ask you one question, the DDRR card they give you; you said they did not give you any training?

Primary Witness: Yes, I still have the ID card.

But do they have any office in Tappita?

Primary Witness: Yes, they do.

Is there anything you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: Yes, I want for the TRC to help me, put me in school and I was selling before the war, but now I am not selling so I want for you to help me, and even our house where burn during the war, I want your to help me build it.

Twenty-Fourth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Saniquellie, Nimba County

Gertrude Pajebo

(Third Primary Witness of day four)

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

Chairman: Gertrude how you doing? We welcome you and we thank you for coming just so all the Liberian people can hear your side of the story. Because plenty thing happen during this war. That why the government and the international community put us to together. So before we start, I will ask you few questions for the record.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Gertrude Pajebo.

Where are you from?

Primary Witness: I am from Sinoe.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I was born January 1st 1976.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I living Tappita.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I don't anything.

So how do you survive?

Primary Witness: I can work for people.

Primary Witness: During the war, I came in Tappita. The 1990 war kill my father, so my, mother was with me. So when the war was coming, my mother say, this thing here, it is good to be on the main road. So we say yes, let go. So my brother too left behind. So when we were going, then we miss the road, so when we miss the road, one small boy came and slap my ma, because she had food in her hand and he want it. So my self too I stated crying, so I tell the old ma, I say oldma, this thing here, it na good oh, I will join, tat every war na they will be beating us, she say I should not join. So when we got to Tappita, that how I join them, I use to be with those boys them crying their loads and being with them. So my brother too, he was on the other side, he and his friend were eating, and the commander say why your will be eating and I na eating, and he say no now, shot him in his stomach, he leave on the same side spot and die. So since that time, my ma too she na to her self, so when some time my heart cut, I call my brother name, my ma can jump up and say that thing there na good oh. So that only me and my ma, because my other sister she sick, she get chain on her foot on the farm, she crazy. So that time na, the war was getting shit, I tell my ma say let me carry your from among the soldier them ask I alone can be among them. But that time there na, they took us and carry us to Monrovia on the mansion ground. We were there, when the president came and they say all of us should do line formation. So when we got on the line. All my life that my first time, but he for me to smoke, then Benjamin Yeaten came with the president in the mansion yard, when they give you the grass you have to smoke it. When you na smoke it they get one small soldier there, he will shoot you. So me and my sister was there, that the same thing make her she crazy now, she on the farm there in Tappita. So that how we were there, one day I things where getting shit, when I and my sister we ran away, I say Monrovia big. So when we ran away, we went to red-light, we were there, things were not easy, we left from there we came to ELWA and later we went to the barracks. But still no where to stay that ho come one woman saw us, she ask us we say we were from Nimba, we are the same people. That how she took us in, we were in the barrack, when we see any of the big man them, we will hide ourselves. So that how come we came to this place here, ELWA, I saw some boys them we use to know, they use to help us, we were there, with the boys them, that time there, I see dead body, that was Benjamin Yeaten came and kill the boys them. So that how come we stay there until the war finish now and we came back.

Question from the Commissioners:

Chairman: you say the boy met your ma and slap here and took out her tooth, was it 2003?

Primary Witness: Yes, this same MODEL war.

How big was the boy?

Primary Witness: He is around 20 years.

So which of the forces you join?

Primary Witness: I join the ATU.

Because MODEL was embarrassing your then you retreated?

Primary Witness: Yes, and we went to the mansion ground.

You talk about the president was coming?

Primary Witness: Yes he was coming to the mansion ground.

How many girls?

Primary Witness: We were many from Nimba, from the different villages, and when the president comes, that Benjamin Yeaten can talk for him, but he can be there.

You know the president?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How does he look?

Primary Witness: He is fat, with red head and he is fine.

So he was there when he give the grass?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Konneh: where is your baby pa?

Primary Witness: Since he abandoned me, I can't see him.

What is his name?

Primary Witness: His name is Alex Cooper.

What work does he do?

Primary Witness: He is a missioner.

Do you know his family?

Primary Witness: Yes, but they are not in Tappita.

How did you join?

Primary Witness: When they capture us, I saw the other girls them cooking, and I join them and we started cooking, so they say but this other girl here that soldier now oh,

Primary Witness: I say yes.

Did the sent you on the farm?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I did not fire the gun.

Where is your sister?

Primary Witness: He is in Tappita on the farm.

Where is your ma?

Primary Witness: She is in Tappita.

Where is your father?

Primary Witness: He died during the war.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming, when you were fighting, did you have a baby?

Primary Witness: Yes, he use to be with me, when the war shit, I can hold me on my arm and start running.

So where is the child now?

Primary Witness: He is home he is a big boy now.

How old is he?

Primary Witness: He is about 5years old now.

Chairman: you did bad things during the war?

Primary Witness: Yes, the only bad thing I use to do I use to take the people food them from them.

So you use to loot?

Primary Witness: No, I did not loot, because I had baby, that only my baby I use to look for food for.
So Monrovia war, you looted?

Primary Witness: No, Monrovia war was shit, I was running, when we reach some where, I can sit down and start crying, they say where you crying for, I say you na see this kind of war.

They give you liquor?

Primary Witness: No, I get ulcer so I can't drink liquor.

They na force you?

Primary Witness: No.

You get any other brother?

Primary Witness: No, my only brother, left in the war.

The children father you talking about, he the one you get the 5 children for?

Primary Witness: Yes, after we born the first baby, when we make palava, I go to my parents he can come and beg ad when I come back then we born the other baby again.

But now I learn sense now oh.

How about the new man?

Primary Witness: I na get new man oh, because of my children no man want come to me.

Has any of the children gone to school?

Primary Witness: No.

What are their ages?

Primary Witness: The 1st one was born 1991 and the last one is 3 yrs old.
I want to say thank you for coming, that why the government say we should pay special attention to women and children. So we happy you come because that na your one it happen to. So we thank you here.

Twenty-Fifth Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Saniquellie, Nimba County

Junior Duo

(Fourth Primary Witness of day four)

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: Thanks for the patience; what we are doing now is to understand what went wrong that brought the war so that we cannot have any war again. Please tell us your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Junior Duo.

How old are you?

Primary Witness: I am 35 years old.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a Farmer and also doing small job with the UNDP cleaning the side of the roads.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Zuolay, Tapita.

Please tell us your testimony.

Primary Witness: Thanks to the TRC for coming; some of us did not know about this war but that something that put us inside it. I remember when I was small and me and my father were coming from Monrovia in 1992 when the war started, they grabbed my father and killed him at the Fendell Campus; it was just some people that helped to bring me to Nimba to my mother. I ran in the bush when they killed my father and it was some people who caught me and brought me to my mother in Graid, Nimba County. While we were in Graid again, one man called John Workai, a Special Forces came and grabbed my mother and said that she was married to Mandingo man. He tied my mother in my presence and beat her but people later talked to him and released her. After my mother was released, we went into the village but as time went by, they used to come and catch some boys and my mother will asked me to run away and I will run.

We were doing that for a while and one day when the people came, I decided not to run away and I told my mother that I was tired running away and that I wanted to join to avoid the disadvantage; I went to the people and they caught me and put in the truck and took us to Naimah base where I took training for 7 months. After the training, my first assignment was at the Roberts International Air Port where I was been used as security on the port. After sometimes, I saw them brought one big truck and they put us inside and took us to Sewn-Mecca in Bomi County; that was the first place where I actually learned to use the arms that was given me. After few months again, they took me from there and sent me to Buchanan, Grand Bassa County where I left until the first disarmament. I left and came home to my mother and after few years, they came for me again and took me to Lofa County when the LURD war started. We were in Lofa and one day I was sleeping and LURD captured me and took me to their base and asked me to fight against the government troops and I refused. Later, I managed to escaped and went back to Gbarnga and at the time, I had a girl friend who was pregnant for nine months and since that time, I have not seen her; I have been looking for in Monrovia and other places and I have not been able to see her.

When we were in Lofa County, Benjamin Yeaten was our commander and one day, he asked me to check 25 men to go to Gbarpolu and after I checked us, they put us in the helicopter and took us to Gbarpolu County and later we were taken to Swen-Mecca this time under Roland Duo as our commander. After certain time, they took us again to Monrovia. I was in Monrovia until the last war came in Monrovia and I fought the war. Not too long, some people came and said that we go and train to fight and I said no because my mother nobody to help her, I was her husband because my father had been killed.

Another thing that happened again that made surprised is that people said that as soon as I come to the TRC, I will be taken to The Hague and I am actually surprised to see myself moving around freely. So these are my experience during the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: What was the name of your father?

Primary Witness: His name was Duo Suomie.

When your father was killed and where?

Primary Witness: He was killed in 1992 on the Fendell campus.

Was your brother fighting when he was killed?

Primary Witness: Yes, but he was killed by one Special Forces; he was in the Marine group and I was in the Navy group.

Who was the head of the Navy Group?

Primary Witness: It was General Gondah.

What was the name of your brother?

Primary Witness: Torpeamie Lormie.

Who was the commander for the Marine?

Primary Witness: General Nelson Gaye.

What is the name of your mother?

Primary Witness: Her name is Edith Duo.

Commissioner Konneh: do you have any idea about the Casaka group?

Primary Witness: Yes, but these gays were very bad, they were doing too many bad things, they used to just killed people any time.

What bad things the Casaka used to do?

Primary Witness: They used to opened pregnant women stomach and take out the baby and kill it and it was one Isaac G. Gomah, a Gbandi boy who was the commander.

Who killed the Casaka group?

Primary Witness: It was ordered from the Chief of Staff.

Who was the Chief of Staff?

Primary Witness: He was Major General Gondah.

What was your rank in the force?

Primary Witness: I was a Major in the Unit, but a Battle Group Commander; I used to take men to the battle front to make them brave.

Where all you fought?

Primary Witness: I fought in Bomi County, Grand Bassa County, Lofa County, Gbarpolu County and Monrovia.

Were you closer to Benjamin Yeaten?

Primary Witness: No, I was not near him, he was next to Taylor and we used to be very afraid to go closer to him because he used to be very bad.

Did you see Benjamin Yeaten dealing with Government officials?

Primary Witness: That one used to happened between so, so of them; he killed my brother Isaac Vaye who used to help us in our town and so I was against him totally; some of us were nobody in the government. In fact, Benjamin Yeaten beat Moses Z. Blah in my presence; they put his head in the beg and whipped him on his legs at his house in White Flower; at the time when Benjamin Yeaten talked, nobody can talk including the Taylor man himself.

Commissioner Stewart: Was your father from Nimba County?

Primary Witness: Yes, a born citizen of Nimba.

The fighters did not know that he was from Nimba?

Primary Witness: They took him to be Mandingo man and after they shut him and he shouted in Gio, they started taking him to the hospital but it was very late and he died.

You used to come in Gbarnga when you were on he training base?

Primary Witness: No, you couldn't even come to Narmah town itself; if you are caught, you are either killed or beaten severely.

Who were training commanders?

Primary Witness: They were many but the ones I can remember are: Peter Duo commonly called Gio Devil, Bullet Patrol, Otello Kruah, Tarkpor Gweah, Joe Tuah, Joe Maimen and Oscar Woyee.

Did you see Foday Sankor in your control area at the time you were with the NPFL?

Primary Witness: I did not see him I only used to hear the name.

Did you go to Sierra Leone to fight?

Primary Witness: No, only in Liberia here I did my fighting.

What was your war name?

Primary Witness: My war name was J born J.

What is the meaning of J born J?

Primary Witness: It means, Junior born Junior.

Do you have any idea about the civilians that were killed in Lofa?

Primary Witness: We were many in Lofa and Lofa is a big County and so I cannot talk about that other one and the first thing is that I was just an under man.

You say where you had your first experience of fighting?

Primary Witness: It was in Bomi Hills.

Where was your first assignment?

Primary Witness: My first assignment was at the Roberts International Airport.

Passenger Air planes used to come at the port when you were there?

Primary Witness: No, only ammunitions they used to bring to the port, but there was no passenger planes used to come there.

How many time they brought arm munitions when you were there?

Primary Witness: Three times.

You say you and the Late Isaac Vaye from the same town?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You say where they beat Moses Blah?

Primary Witness: On the Executive Ground - White Flower at Benjamin Yeaten's house in 2002.

Where you on the Executive Ground when the President announced the death of John Yormie and Isaac Vaye?

Primary Witness: No, I was at my house; I was not on assignment that dy.

How you know that it was Benjamin Yeaten that killed these people?

Primary Witness: You know in Liberia here, news cannot hide; the news was all over the place.

Was Charles Taylor present when Benjamin Yeaten whipped Moses Z. Blah?

Primary Witness: Yes, Benjamin Yeaten told Taylor that Moses Z. Blah wanted to over throw when he was in Ghana.

Taylor actually heard about the treatment of these big people?

Primary Witness: I cannot tell, but anything Benjamin Yeaten told Charles Taylor was the final.

Commissioner Syllah: When you got the girl you talked about?

Primary Witness: I was already in the force before I got this girl but it was not by force, I help almost all of her people to come Monrovia; it was just that she was jealous that's why she left there and I cannot see her today.

Where you met the girl?

Primary Witness: In Lofa County.

Was Navy battalion involved in taking young girls?

Primary Witness: Yes, some of the girls are the some of the boys and they are enjoying life today.

How your division treated civilians?

Primary Witness: In my division, we treated civilians well and nice, I put most of them in helicopter and were brought to Monrovia.

You know about the Cobra?

Primary Witness: Yes, these people were closer to the President and they were enjoying and we were in the bush suffering.

Do you have any idea about eating human beings?

Primary Witness: I did not do that; if I had eaten human beings, I would have not been like this; most of our friends that ate human beings are presently crazy.

What do you know about Enoch Dologea's death?

Primary Witness: I only heard that he was sick and died; I was not near the big people.

Do you have any regrets?

Primary Witness: Yes, I am not big to tell all those I wrong sorry; that's why I have come to the TRC to talk for me and let Bye-gone be Bye-gone and look forward for peace.

Did you hear about Francial Massaquoi?

Primary Witness: I was in Bomi County at the time; I only heard that the helicopter that was carrying him was shut down.

What the names of some of the people that in High command in the NPFL?

Primary Witness: It was Benjamin Yeaten, he had all the final saying; what he says was the final.

How long you stayed in Lofa County?

Primary Witness: I stayed there for 2 years.

Did you hear about Zig Zag Mazza?

Primary Witness: Yes, I heard the name but I did not him face to face.

Your group captured some prisoners?

Primary Witness: Yes, but for each time caught the prisoners, Benjamin Yeaten had gas and he used to burn the people to ashes.

Was Benjamin Yeaten your boss at the SSS?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was almost the President in Liberia here.

Any idea about the Small Boys Unit?

Primary Witness: Yes, but we all grew big and started fighting.

Any idea about the Gbartala base?

Primary Witness: I only took my training at the Narmah training base and not Gbartala base.

Do you have any idea about the April 6 war?

Primary Witness: Yes, I fought in the April 6 war against the Black-Baret.

Why your fought the April 6 war?

Primary Witness: That other question there is not for me, you're the big people knew what happened at that time.

Tell us about the Marine Group?

Primary Witness: They killed my brother.

Who was the head of the people that judged the Casaka group?

Primary Witness: Cucu Dennis was the head of the group and he ordered the execution of the gays.

Your buried them?

Primary Witness: Yes, we buried them in Estate 1 in LAC.

What is your last word?

Primary Witness: Yes, your please look at my condition, I want your to please help me with money to do business to be able to help my mother..

You got any training from the DDRR program?

Primary Witness: Yes, I did driving.

Twenty-Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Saniquellie, Nimba County

Morris Conneh

(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: Good evening Mr. Conneh, we want to say welcome and thanks for your patience. What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Morris Conneh.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live LAMCO Yekepa.

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I was born 1950; I am 58 years old now.

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am not doing anything now from the beating I am helpless.

Primary Witness: It all started in the year 2003 during Ganta fall. I was coming form Sanniquellie to LAMCO and the taxi I was in stop Zoukowoe and there was some arm men and they got from out of their car and came down and somebody call my name and they said I was arrested. I had some money with me 6000 and 200 Liberia dollars they took the money and took me to the train trick here in Sanniquellie undress me and started beating me and say I should tell them about the gun that I have. I told them that I did not know about any gun. They beat me and the commander went and communicated with Benjamin Yeaten and they tie and carry me in Ganta to Benjamin Yeaten house. When we got to his gate, I did not know him but the way he came and I saw plenty cars in the yard I knew it was Benjamin Yeaten. With all the blood on me he was asking me where the arm was and he said if you don't talk you will not live. In the night, they start punishing me until the ninth day they left to go and fight. And the 10th day one woman name mamie give me water to drink but so, so blood was in my mouth and somebody suggested that they should give me banana to swallow first, I even attempted to kill my self because I was suffering too much, but God did not want me to die. And when Benjamin went to Gbarnga that day, Tiger Wontee came and saw me and called me and told them to free me and they took me to Yekepa when I got there, all the children started rejoicing. This is how I was free I don't want to go into details because I suffered too much. When I think I can cry. I stop here.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: We want to say sorry for everything they did to you. They wrong you because they should not have done that to you if even you had arms they should have investigated you.

Primary witness: In addition to this, but I been affected so many ways, some people get the habit of telling their children that I am a killer/ a hot man. I don't know why because they can be jealous of me or what? I even carry some of them to court now and they have been found quietly. I have gone to radio stations to even make myself clear.

Commissioner Konneh: You been here since 1970?

Primary witness: Yes

And you have been here since the war?

Primary witness: Yes

Have you been sympathizer or any warring factions supporters?

Primary witness: No, they ask me to even go hold arm from them and disarm but I said no. I have never hold gun before.

Have you have treatment since?

Primary witness: No, only when Tiger Wontee carry me.

Commissioner Stewart: You spend 3months in Benjamin Yenten fence?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where is his fence?

Primary Witness: Ganta

Was his house affected during Ganta war?

Primary Witness: Well, it was my first time going to Ganta so I don't know

Did he himself go to where you were in the fence?

Primary Witness: Yes it was the time he asked me where is the arm.

Who were considered to be top commanders besides Tiger Wontee?

Primary Witness: Well, my liberty was ceased I did not know

Were you kept on chain?

Primary Witness: I was kept outside surrounded by many soldiers.

They used to provide feedings for you?

Primary Witness: Yes, after the nine days, some small things.

Why if you wanted to ease yourself?

Primary Witness: Some soldiers will carry me.

Were you kept tied?

Primary Witness: Yes, but later I was free.

Was it from the tiding that your hand got affected?

Primary Witness: Yes, some will even juke me with knife in side and it bust.

Commissioner Syllah: Thank you for coming and we want to say sorry for what all they did to you.

Chairman: Did you get to Mammie?

Primary Witness: No, they said she was Benjamin Yeaten wife. Mamie Abuja

Besides Tiger, was there any other person that you know?

Primary Witness: The men who arrested me and tie me is call General shot shooter.

So sorry for what happen to you.

Twenty-Seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Saniquellie, Nimba County

Hawa Massaquoi

(Sixth Primary Witness of day four)

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

Chairman: Hawa, we thank you for coming and for having the patience to wait for us all this time. And this is a process for us to come and hear all the bad things that happen to people in Liberia. What is your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Hawa J. Massaquoi.

Where are you from?

Primary Witness: My father is from Cape mount and my mother is from Nimba.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Tappita.

What part of Tappita?

Primary Witness: I live in new Tappita near Grand Gedeh.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I am 39 years old.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I learn trade.

What kind of trade did you learn?

Primary Witness: I learn sewing, but I don't have the machine, so I can sell small, small things.

Primary Witness: During this war, we were in Tappita, when we went we went to our village, where we were calling our hiding place in the village, we went in the bush and build and tent there, that the place we were hiding air. So my husband, my children and myself were there. so when we were there, one day we were going to look for food, so we left the place we were hiding and started going in the bush way. So on our way going, because my sister and her son where in front of us going. So when we were going, we heard the firing sound, so we say what happen so? When we came back to come see what was happening and where the shooting was coming from, because MODEL capture the area. When we came back now, not knowing that my sister and her son that the one they kill so, and when we came back, the other little boy that was there, the bullet catch him on his foot, they bodies were lying down there. That how we took the boy and carry him in the bush but that time there was no hospital so that how the little boy leave bleeding until he die in our hand. So when we came back, my husband went to tell their big man that oh rebels attack our town yesterday and they kill the people there, so their big man say when the rebel attack your town that you suppose to come talk? The thing you come talk, I will show you. He gave order for them to beat my husband. So they beat my husband that day it was not easy. They started beating him, until he was almost at the point of death now before they left him. And all that time we were there with NPFL, they were just looting and taking people's things from. So that how we were there, when they go and take the people them rice and they will tell us to beat it for them. When we beat the rice, sometimes, they will eat some and sell some. That how come we were there, one day we came to Ganta to sell rice, we saw the Ethiopians group coming for peace and disarmament. So that how come we were save from them. So that the thing I get to tell you.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you for coming that is why it is good to come to the TRC to talk. That all this bad things business the government and the international community put us together to come and hear and see what happen to our people. So we will say you are not alone. We say sorry for the bad things you experience, you and your husband.

Is your husband still alive?

Primary Witness: Yes, he is alive.

How about your children?

Primary Witness: One die during the war, he was sick.

What is his name?

Primary Witness: They use to call him teddy.

What was his age?

Primary Witness: He was one year old.

And what is your husband's name?

Primary Witness: Arthur Lawser.

Ands nothing happen to your husband?

Primary Witness: No, but he got wounded on his back.

Commissioner Konneh: we want to thank you for coming and we want to say sorry for all that you went through during the war. Do you know the name of the government troop commander?

Primary Witness: Yes, Erickson Badia, from upper Nimba.

When MODEL fighters enter Tappita, what happened?

Primary Witness: They never enter Tappita on the same, but my sister call Kebbeh and the little boy call Opal was shot on his foot, and he die later.

And where did you people go?

Primary Witness: We came to Sarclapea.

So you did not see the MODEL?

Primary Witness: No.

So all that you experience was from the NPFL?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Before MODEL came, what was the treatment from the government troop?

Primary Witness: They use to loot, because I was selling, that why we had to leave,

Did you see them taking people's children to fight?

Primary Witness: No, I did not see that one.

And were they taking girls to be their wives?

Primary Witness: No. I can't tell.

Commissioner Steward: we want to thank you for coming. When they were beating your husband, was the commander there?

Primary Witness: Yes.

And he gave the command?

Primary Witness: Yes, because he order the man to be flock.

Where is this Erickson man?

Primary Witness: They say he is in Monrovia.

Have you seen him?

Primary Witness: No.

The boy that die, who was he?

Primary Witness: He was my brother.

How old was he?

Primary Witness: He was 16 years old.

Did you people burry him?

Primary Witness: Yes, but it was in the bush.

When the UNMIL came, did you see any of the people that beat your husband?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Then what did you do to him?

Primary Witness: Nothing, because the man said that was war.

Besides, the 2003, did anybody die from you?

Primary Witness: Yes, but it was not 2003, it was 1994, when one of this same

Erickson body guards call John.

Why did they kill him?

Primary Witness: He did nothing, it was because he was a commissioner and when they go and start taking the people' properties when the man talk, they had grudge for him and they kill him.

The time they kill him, was there war?

Primary Witness: No, that time, they were only fighting among their self.

Who was the next to Erickson Badia?

Primary Witness: They were calling their names General Cool, general Wicked.

And where are they?

Primary Witness: General wicked own he died.

What did they do?

Primary Witness: They use to go something to the people's farm to bush their rice and sometimes, they will burn the whole kitchen down in Gul-diala.

Commissioner Syllah: we want to thank you for coming to the TRC and for sharing with us your story. We say sorry. That is to tell you that the whole Liberia is with you in your problems. So we say thank you for coming.

Chairman: we want to say thank you for coming and for having the patience. Is there anything you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: Yes, I want TRC to help me because I learn Trade, and that sowing, so I want you to help me get machine, and before the war, I use to do business but now that just petit trades.

Twenty-Eighth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Saniquellie, Nimba County

Sonkarlay Kartee

(Seventh Primary Witness of day)

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

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

Primary Witness: I am Sankarlay Kartee

Primary Witness: During the war in 1990 one other fellow who came from Tapata he was serving as AD cant to the president he is James Seiway he came from Libya as a special forces and he came with a troop to hunt for my father and he said my father was the man who use to put tax on them and so he wanted to get rid of the whole family.

He was caught and beaten and he was dragged behind the car. There was one fellow called Oliver Vanie who came and said you don't just kill because we are fighting so you have to investigate what the man has done to be killed and the fellow who carried him said the man use to put tax on the people so we should kill him man they said no this is not a reason to kill him, so Oliver Vanie made a paper and he was released.

Later the same man told the people that if my father comes they should kill him and when he reached there they caught him and started beating him and juke they him with knife. My mother followed him when they were carrying him and they told her to stay back because she was no longer going to see her husband again and she said she will go there because anywhere they kill him they will kill her and luckily when they carry him they met the sane man and he said they were doing something bad as such they should leave him.

Then he told my father that what happened if from his town so he should go back and if he is embarrassed he should come and complain. He went back and they called people around the town to come and build in the town. They use to catch the old people to come and build their house and in three months we were able to build our house and my brother had to join the army to save my father. When he joined the same man followed and took him to be his bodyguard and he took him to Gbarnga where he was for six months and later hey gave him a car. He was driving a care and he took a spare tire and gave it to one man to use and the owner of the car got annoyed and said I am keeping you here for nothing because you father was a high ranking man and had a lot of money so he caught my brother and put him in jail, and later he called a case against him.

After that they called him in our town and investigated him and he was found guilty and when they asked my father on what to be done he said anything they want to be done they can do it, and they didn't what they wanted to do they killed my brother. In 2002 we took our father to the hospitals and they said he was bleeding from the kidney and the doctor gave me medicine for him to survive for seven months and that did not reach and he died. As a result of this I am today not having any support and there is nobody to help me as such o am appealing for you people to help me with my school. That is what I have to say and I thank you all.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we are sorry for what happened to you, these things were done by people who are wicked and today you are feeling the effects of the evil they did to you. We say sorry for all that happened to you. What is the name of your father?

Primary Witness: Edward K. Sankali

What was his age when he died?

Primary Witness: He was 79 years old

What of your brother?

Primary Witness: He is Edward Sankali Jr. and he was 39

Do you know how your brother was killed?

Primary Witness: I told you that the man said why he gave his spare tire to Jenkins Worklo and son his head was cut off. I was not present but I saw the body without head.

Did Jenkins Wongbeh know that your brother was killed because of him?

Primary Witness: Yes

What is the name of the man causing he problem?

Primary Witness: James Soygheb

Is he alive?

Primary Witness: Yes I saw him in 2007 in Coca-Cola factory in Monrovia.

Commissioner Konneh: sorry for what happened to you. Where you saw James is that where he lives?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Commissioner Stewart: sorry for the experiences, is the Jenkins Wongbeh the same one in the civil service?

Primary Witness: Well I don't know but he was a special body to a special forces and he was basing in Gbarnga at he time.

Have you seen the Jenkins since then?

Primary Witness: No

When it happened did he returned the spare tire?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Was your brother buried?

Primary Witness: Yes by the government

Is your mother alive?

Primary Witness: Yes

Has she been able to get over with this?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you have brothers?

Primary Witness: Yes they are my little brothers

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for coming and sorry for all that happened to you and I command you for staying in school despite this.

Chairman: sorry again and please let your ma know we are sorry for all this. Is there anything last you want to say?

I thank the Commission for all they are doing. As for one we are appealing for you people to give us help because of the lot of damages that went on in our towns on our houses.

End of day Four of the TRC Public Hearings Nimba County


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