Monrovia: Day 6

Back to List of Transcripts

The six day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Wednesday January 16, 2008 at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion. 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

Nineteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
Ahmed A. Trawally
(First Primary Witness of day six)

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: How are you this morning?

Primary Witness: I am fine and you.

Chairman: I am fine thank you, I want to welcome you the TRC hearings. The entire Commissioners are here to listen to your testimony. We are happy to have you here to tell the Liberian people what you, what you saw and what you witness and all of this is in support of our peace process which started in Ghana will be achieved, and by the end of this we will have a lasting peace once again in our country.

Primary Witness: When I was in Bong County, Swakoko during the war time the people came in the town and firing started and the people came to our house and my brother, sister father and my brother was in the room. The people said the room should be open and my mother went out and they asked her to sit on the ground and the people asked her who was in the room and she said nobody was there. They continue to ask her and she said nobody was in the room, and somebody came behind my other and hit her and asked her again if somebody was in the room, at the time me and my father was spying and my other continue to tell them that nobody was in the room. Later my father went outside when the people saw my father they told my mother that she lied to them because somebody had come out of the room as such they were going to kill her. They cut off her two breasts and asked her again if somebody was in the room and she told them again that nobody was there, so the people went and cut my mother breast because they said she lied to them. When I saw the finish cutting my mother breast, I was scare, so I jumped over the window and ran in the bush. I left the other people in the room.

While in the bush, I met one old man called Kamara and told him that there are some people in the town that are killing and they cut off my mother's two breasts that is why I ran away, and the old man told me he was running from the same people. He told me to stay with him and that is how he started helping me and I stayed with him. We walk from the bush until we got to Gbarnga. I was living with him in Gbarnga and he was taking care of me. He was even teaching me small Arabic and one day he told me we were going to Monrovia, and later we came to Monrovia in 2005; it was my first time to see Monrovia. When we came they send me to school in 2005, 2006 2007 and the school fees was too high and the old man said he could not send me to school because the school fees was too much, US$250, and he could not afford it. Then one of my friends was in that school called Vafin Swaray, he took me to his people and introduced me to them and since that time that is where I am living.

Questions from the Commissioners

Chairman: Thanks you Witness, we are sorry for the pains and sorrow for the trouble your family went through. How old were you?

Primary Witness: 23 years

Where are you living?

Primary Witness: Iron Factory

What year did this happened?

Primary Witness: 1994

Where?

Primary Witness: In Swakoko

Chairman: thank you, all the Commissioners I introduced to you will ask you small questions.

Commissioner Syllah: Have you been able to see your father?

Primary Witness: Yes, one white man came with the photos of many dead people and my father photo was among them.

Have you seen your brother and sisters?

Primary Witness: No I have not seen them but I receive information that my brother is alive.

Are you the only survival?

Primary Witness: No, my brother is still alive but I have not seen him.

Commissioner Konneh: which group came to Swakoko?

Primary Witness: They were having black cloth on their faces.

I said which group was it that came to Swakoko?

Primary Witness: They told me it was ULIMO J

Were they the ones who cut your mother's breast?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How long did it take before you left?

Primary Witness: It took about five minutes.

Since then have you heard from her?

Primary Witness: No.

How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Primary Witness: One brother and two sisters.

How have your condition been?

Primary Witness: Since I was with Papie Kamara, he give me one of his daughters and we marry.

Are you still married to her?

Primary Witness: No, I don't like then again because the Papie refused to pay my school fees.

Commissioner Kullah: what part of Gbarnga did you live?

Primary Witness: Some part of Broad Street.

Did you see any of the people in the incident?

Primary Witness: No

Commissioner Dolopei: what were the names of your sisters?

Primary Witness: Aisha and Namu Trawally.

Were you older then them?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What is your brother's name?

Primary Witness: Ahmed Trawally.

Commissioner Coleman: are you the oldest?

Primary Witness: No.

What happened to your father?

Primary Witness: When my father came outside of the room, I pass over the window and ran away, but when I was in Gbarnga a white man came and brought the photo of my father's dead body.

What of your brother?

Primary Witness: He is in the United States of America. We have talked and he doesn't know where our sisters are. We have not talked a long time now.

Commissioner Washington: Which one of the ULIMO attacked?

Primary Witness: ULIMO J.

Did you hear them called names?

Primary Witness: No

Do you know if they had check points in the area?

Primary Witness: It was my first time seeing them.

Do you know which group was in the area before they came?

Primary Witness: No.

What time of the day was it?

Primary Witness: It was around 8 o'clock in the night.

Do you know of any other person hurt by them?

Primary Witness: No.

Do you know anything about the white man?

Primary Witness: No. the only thing I know is he had pictures.

Tell us a little of your life.

Primary Witness: Actually where I am now I need you help, I need to go back to school.

Commissioner Stewart: you said it happened in 1994 and you met a Kamara and he took you to Gbarnga?

Primary Witness: Yes.

When Taylor came to Swakoko, were you there?

Primary Witness: No.

Where you there when he back to Gbarnga?

Primary Witness: Yes.

When Taylor came back, did nay body harass you?

Primary Witness: No.

You came to Monrovia in 2004?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Bull: you were nine years old when they killed your mother?

Primary Witness: Yes

Are you a Mandingo?

Primary Witness: Yes.

The Kamara man do you know his first name?

Primary Witness Mohammed.

Is he still in Gbarnga?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What is he doing for a living?

Primary Witness He is selling goods and use cloths.

You are 23 years old, how old is the girl you marry?

Primary Witness: I am older then her.

What is her name?

Primary Witness: Fanta Kamara.

Do you have a child?

Primary Witness: Yes, one child.

How old is she?

Primary Witness: She is 10 months old.

Do you know the state you brother live in the United States.

Primary Witness: He lives in New Jersey.

How did you get in contact with him?

Primary Witness: Mr. Kamara came to me and collected me phone number and told me that somebody told him my brother was alive and is in America and he give my number to him, that is how he called me and we have been in contact.

Sheikh: where was your brother when you were attacked?

Primary Witness: We were in the house together and I left them there and jumped over the window. I don't know how he left and I heard he is in America.

Chairman: did you know Mr. Kamara before the war?

Primary Witness: No.

Chairman: The story of your mother is a very touching and valuable one in that it has happened to many like you, that is why we want people to came and say what happened to them so that we can all find a solution to the problem.

Do you know why they targeted your mother?

Primary Witness: No.

Is there any last thing you want to say to the TRC and all the Liberians listening to you?

Thank you very much because if it was not for your people who came and took the information, you will not know what happened to me. I use to hear TRC, but I don't know what it means, now that I know, I want to say thank you to all of you.

Chairman: you are welcomed doors are always opened to you all the time.


Twentieth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
Peter Yorksah
(Second Primary Witness of day six)

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: Mr. Witness, how are you today

Primary Witness: I am fine, thank you.

Chairman: you are welcomed to the TRC Public Hearings this is a public forum for all

Primary Witness: It was during the war, I was in Jamaica road with my family, with my big brother. We hear say war coming but we don't know what they call war. So one day one AFL man was there he was going to work by 5 o clock , then one boy saw two men coming behind them so he told the AFL man say look behind you the he saw the men with camouflage uniform trouser on them so he no the man that our people. So when he saw the people good, good he ran and entered one woman house and he climb up on the ceiling but he and woman was auguring so he told the woman say go look at the two man and see so the woman went and see and she told him that oh they get the same uniform on you so he came down and came outside. He and the two boys met then they asked him where are you going he say to work they say where is your arm and he said he na get gun. All of this happened in the front of our house. Then the other man said my man finish him. The man went backward a little and shot the AFL man in his head. Then we all ran inside. And they already had curfew by that time 5:00 everybody went inside.

Then around 9:00 we heard gun butt sound to our doors they say if we na come outside they will put grenade in the house. So myself I opened the door, so I came outside and they asked me you get government troop here I said no, do you have Mandingo man here I said no then they said you are what tribe, and I said I am a Ghanaian man. Then the man asked me in Ghanaian language and said how are you? I said I am alright then he say the man that Ghana man. Call your family outside and but we hungry so if you get any food your give us some to eat we said ok.

They were still sending rocket so I told my brother that I want go out of town to look for food, so I spent sometime to Ricks Institute on the way but we na get food so we went Sass Town for cassava. We entered in Sass town by 9:30. So around 2:00 the soldier came around and put every body outside and said they should bring the guns that they have in the town, every gun, even the one that can kill animals. So almost two pickups of arms came outside because if you don't bring the arm and they check and find it they will burn your house and killed your family. So in the morning I told my family that your let go back Monrovia because the things that I see here it not easy so your let go. So when we reach Monrovia, my brother said we want to go and live in Ricks because food business was hard. So he left with his family about 19 persons. So after 4 days ECOMOG arrived but the fight between the fighters and ECOMOG was not easy. We were eating. So-so chicken food, rib and others, so after one month ships started coming in so my wife said let's go to Ghana. So when we reach Ghana the people ask for my brother but I told them that we were in different areas.

So after about 2 -3 month my brother little son came. So they boy say when he and his father came other members of the family went to Ricks. It was not easy so they went to Sass Town, and still no way so they were coming back to Monrovia. So they reach one check point and they asked them and they said they were coming Monrovia, the rebels said oh your na known ECOMOG killing our people in Monrovia in fact no foreign business, so my bother say but I am not a soldier, look at my family, so when he bend down to beg then they shot him. So they put them in the car and said your go finish the other people. When they reach on the bridge, the boy jump in the water and swim and went to hide in the bush. While in the bush in the evening he saw one girl who said she went to toilet when she came back the whole house and family was gone and she never knew where to go then my brother said but that the same thing happen to me. So on the third day in the bush side of the road they heard a wheel barrow sound and the boy sent the girl to see, and it was an old man, and it was that old man that helped them. He carried them on his farm and they started working for him. So they explain all what happened to them to the old man. They spent almost 3 months with the old man and the ECOMOG signed ceased fire and they managed and came to Monrovia, and made their way to the ship and came to Ghana. The boy is now in Ghana presently.

So I say oh this thing the people did to us I will write it but since I was in Monrovia, I say I think I can go and tell my story, but me I in Bomi hills and I give my story to the TRC and since that time they asked me if I can come and give my testimony in public, I say ok. So I have come.

But for this 2003 own, my woman was afraid so she go climb in the ceiling when the people started shooting she move from up and fall down on one old iron so her foot cut badly. Every where we went and show it they will cut it off so I tried and call country doctors they charged me $3,500 I paid some but that one that my problem.

The second war and third war our people came again and say we were not here but we are here now. They came, the soldier boys and went to our place and took all our things, the person who did that thing to us is here na - na (presently). I know him when I see him I know him, they took our things and put it on my son head, I said no but the man show me the gun so I left it, my son carry them far off and latter they let him to come back. But when the third war was coming I took my family I said your let go all the way, we go all the way to Packer paint area. One day I decided to go look for food some people say we must pass inside New Georgia and get to Caldwell - I say come see food all over anywhere you turn food. I saw some people I know so they help me with some money and I bought one and half bag of rice. When I was carrying it back the fighters took some of that food but I reach more to my family. I experienced plenty things, but that it here, so your try I thanks your.

Questions from the Commissioners

Chairman: Thank you very Mr. Witness for coming. This gives us some reason to believe that the Liberian civil war did not only affect Liberians but even foreign nationals and all others that lived in Liberian borders at the time. I want to understand what year all things happened to you?

Primary Witness: from the first was to the third war.

Commissioner Bull: I am not asking you any questions. But I want to think you for braving the storm to come and share you experience with us. Thank you very much.

Commissioner Stewart: which group did the killings in Jamaica road as you explained?

Primary Witness: that was Prince Johnson peoples them.

You said what happened to your brother?

Primary Witness: I say they were about 19 only one person we saw his little son. We don't know what happened to the other people.

What is his name?

Primary Witness: His name is Osmani Yorksah

What happened to his wife?

Primary Witness: I say all of them were killed up to now we can't even hear from them.

Which group killed those people?

Primary Witness: that was NPFL soldiers, that Taylor people did these things.

Commissioner Coleman: I just want to say thank you for sharing the story you shared with us. Thank you.

Commissioner Kullah: the first people you came across, which group were they?

Primary Witness: Prince Johnson Boys

Were they killing civilian or only soldiers, or anybody they saw?

Primary Witness: mostly that solider they were killing, they were fighting among themselves and maybe if civilians fall among them they will kill you.

You said you went to Bomi Hills and say some young Ghanaians many of the fishermen, do you know what happened to them?

Primary Witness: yes, I heard about them.

What happened to them that you know?

Primary Witness: I heard about them, the people went there and they were killing the people, they pass behind them and suffer the people and killed most of them. One little boy was there, he is in town here right now, he can tell you what happened there. They suffer the people, another woman who they killed her sister she is even here in the town.

All the people that used to do these to you and your family, do you know their manes?

Primary Witness: I don't know their names, but I know some of them. After the war I even saw one of them at Tempo Village. I was going to work and I saw him, he is a mechanic, I even wanted to fight him, but the other man told me that the war is over, I should forget it. Every time I see him I can want to fight him because it can hurt my heart. But since I left that place I can't see him again because myself I am now in Bong mines because of the hard time in this area.

Commissioner Syllah: so you say your brother son is presently in Ghana?

Primary Witness: now now he is in Ghana.

So since this thing happened, is he thinking about coming back to Liberia to find the other people?

Primary Witness: no, he is not thinking about coming back to Liberia now.

Chairman: Mr. witness, you said the first time you saw the soldiers you thought they were AFL, but when the soldier man came out they shot him, so who were the people that did the shouting?

Primary Witness: The Prince Johnson Boys.

So you also said the AFL people fall in ambush for the first time and one man survived they the man get radio?

Primary Witness: yes the men get radio

So the Prince Johnson people killed the man

Primary Witness: yes, after the fire a car was coming and a lot of people in the front and back of the car and the people had guns in the car and the people say oh the car coming and ambush was already there and the people started shouting, and they catch plenty people then after the fighting they called everybody together. Then they see the man with the radio and they ask him and he explain and the shot his foot and his head.

From what you saying you witness plenty killings of civilians?

Primary Witness: Plenty, we are the ones, who even buried them.
Your buried plenty civilians

Primary Witness: we buried plenty civilians, right there at St. Moses. If you go to the bridge that time you will see many human beings there.

So what happened to Mr. Asumana and all the children he brought to Monrovia to help him to sell?

Primary Witness: they were here and the woman was pregnant but the hard time was too much and the war was coming again and so the men say they must go out of town and he and the children and the woman left.

You have sated a lot of time in Liberia and witness a lot of terrible things and all the wars; you know whether plenty Ghana people die in the war?

Primary Witness: Ghanaians people died in the war. Buchanan and many other places, there are lot of Ghanaians here who know but they do not want to talk about what happened. I want people to know what has happened to me, that is why I am here. There is one girl who I know they killed her father and she suffer

So where are you children?

Primary Witness: I get nine children three died in the war, they died from hunger, nobody killed them.

Their mother is a Ghanaian?

Primary Witness: their mother is a Liberian and the father Ghanaian.

Commissioner Washington: you mentioned the name of Yahya when you were sleeping?

Primary Witness: Yahya is here that me son.

I want to get things clear, is it Yahya that took the woman from the house?

No, when the was getting serious in that area, Yahya and his woman were going to Bannasville and on their way they forget about something and they were coming back for it and the woman pass different side and Yahya passed different side and when Yahya reached he cant see the women and when he went to find her the people told him that the army people carry her in the car, and since then we have not see her.

You said Prince Johnson men shot and killed a man from the beginning, is he part of your people, do you know him?

Primary Witness: No. the man is a soldier.

Do you know his name?

Primary Witness: No.

Do you know any of their commanders and do you know if they had checkpoints?

Primary Witness: I know some of them at the checkpoints but I don't know their names.

You said the boy who was shot is in Ghana, your nephew, do you know the people who did this?

Primary Witness: No. I was in Jamaica Road at the time.

Commissioner Konneh: You said you used to bury people during the war, was it one by one or in numbers?

Primary Witness: I said that we use to burry them.

I said you used to burry them one by one or plenty in one hole?

Primary Witness: I sad the place was hard that so-so iron and the way the people can bring them that how we used to burry them. Some times two some times one.

The place you burry them, can you still remember the place?

Primary Witness: That the place we living. There was no was no where to burry them so that right to our area.

If the Commission wants to inspect the place can you take them there?

Primary Witness: Yes I can take them there, the people build house over the place, but I can take them there.

Chairman: Mr. Witness we want to thank you for coming to help us to do our work. The fact that you took up your time to come and tell us your story has made us to know that it was not only Liberians who died during the war. Many foreigners died and loose their properties, as such your story is very valuable to the work of this Commission. Before you leave if there is anything piece of advice you want to give to this Commission you can do that now.

Primary Witness: I don't have anything much to say, but war is not good so we must not allow war to come to this country again. Anybody bringing war we should refuse it. War does not know anybody; as such we should not allow it to come in this country again.

Chairman: thank you and I thank we the Commissioners and the whole of Liberia will agree with you that war is not good. We now need to do things that will bring peace and help us to build our nation. We have to make sure that the things that cause the war are not done again. We are here and you are always free to come and be in contact.

Primary Witness: I will send my brother here, he is still living and he will tell his story.

Chairman: This is a free process and it is opened to everybody, so you can send him. Thank you very much.

Twenty First Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
Lee Tommy Kiada
(Third Primary Witness of day six)

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: Mr. Witness how are you today?

Primary Witness: I am fine thank you.

Chairman: Mr. Witness, you are welcomed to the TRC Hearings. Members of the Commission are all here to listen to you story today. The only thing we want from you is to say the truth and nothing but the truth.

Primary Witness: I am Lee Tommy Kiadi. I was living with my parents when the revolution came we were in Bong Mines. I was small but in know it was General Anthony Makunnagbeh. He took me to the base, CUC base. We were there until 1991 when Putu Mayor took me to Cotton Tree. From cotton tree the president, President Taylor sent for us and that how I move to Grand Cape Mount County. I was there 92 and 93 when I came for my first medicine.

It was my grand father who called me for that medicine I went all the way to my home for that medicine. When I got the first medicine, and came from the first attack, I went back home. One night I had a dream and some something came to me that night and said that if I want to be a powerful and strong man, my grandmother has to die. As soon as day broke I ran straight to our house and asked for my grandma, they say she gone on the farm so I waited later when I came I saw the place I saw that the same palace I killed her so my father say oh why you do this kind of thing, I say Papie the revolution has started and the place I am now I am becoming a strong man, I said the vision I have is what I will execute and live my life.

Then one time I came back again and my men were suppose to go on the front but there was no car so I went and collected my father pickup, and when he started talking plenty, I took all the things from the house and burnt the house. So I took the pickup and carry my men on the front. Then one day my mother sent for me so I said let me go there, when I went there my mother said oh Lee the things you did to us really set us back. I said ma that is the revolution, she was still talking plenty, so I told her if she do not move from in front of me I will beat her. Then my step father was there he too started talking, he said Lee stop this kind of thing the thing you doing is not good, but I was still talking to my ma then he came and held me, then I turn around and bullet him. Then I left from there.

When I was going I saw my men coming to me they said our chief took my car and said that if I don't go back Gbarnga, he will not give me the car. So I said ok then I am going there because I trusted my medicine. When I reach there my chief said my man we using this car for operation so just forget about it. I said no because of the car I destroy my family so no over my dead body it can't happened. So I went and plan to attack my commander base myself, and I got ready and I went and attack them. We fought for sometime and later I left. So some of my men came to me they said what kind of thing are you doing so? you make all of us to feel bad. So let go talk to the chief. I said ok but they say just wait for us here let go talk with him first so they left then I started going behind small- small not knowing that I was getting in their arm bush good - good. Then they captured me and they beat me unmercifully and lock me up. When I was there in waterfall where they put me for three months my grand mother appeared to me and said my son why are you do this kind of thing to me? That bad we did to you? Then I came to myself, I said ah god so if I was going to die I was coming to died for nothing so that nonsense I am doing. I said even if I had become somebody in the revolution the people I will help will not be my own people, but it will be different people. But only my own people I was doing bad to, I used to help different people, oh but my own people when I got around them I felt too bad, and my heart will be burning. So since I came from that jail that how I left the revolution.

Questions from commissioners:

Chairman: you said you left the revolution but you did not say when you left it, when was that?

Primary Witness: I left since 1994

But you took part in the DDRR?

Primary Witness: no because I was not fighting that time.

Commissioner Konneh: you said your father protected you, protect you to do what?

Primary Witness: to protect for the war because I was fighting

Is your father still alive?

Primary Witness: yes but he don't want to see me now

You said something spoke to you that you should kill your grandma so what power you got from that?

Primary Witness: the only power it gave me, it made me strong and brave to fight and my friends were scare of me too because some time if your friends know that you can't talk they can take advantage of you.

What sort of power you wanted?

Primary Witness: I wanted when there is time for war when I talk to my friends they should listen they should know that man talking.

Since you stop fighting as far back as 1994 have you attempted to reconcile with your family?

Primary Witness: yes I call some people and family people to go talk to them but they say no say I send them backwards. They don't want to see self that one main reason I come to TRC to help me reconcile with my family.

What are you doing now?

Primary Witness: After the war I was frustrated we started living in the grave yard until August 24 when evangelist Blayee took us from there I am on the God bless you mission.

Commissioner Kullah: who were some of the perpetrator present when you shot your grandmother?

Primary Witness: only me and my friends but most of them are dead now.

There is not one person who lived to tell the story?

Primary Witness: no but if any of them alive, I can't see any of them.

What kind of medicine did your father gave you? How did he qualify you can you tell us?

Primary Witness: that was African medicine he give me. He cook the rice and put something inside and put me on a high chair to eat and he gave me lassimo to make me powerful but now all these things I have destroyed all, and gave some of it to Bishop Kpahn in the church.

What step you thing you can take now for your family and the whole village to forgive you?

Primary Witness: I am just appealing to them that is why I am her to the TRC to help me to reconcile with my people and the Liberian people as they will listening to me on radio, TV for every thing that I did to them.

Commissioner Dolopei: How old were you when you joined the fighting?

Primary Witness: I was ten years old

You said who recruited you?

Primary Witness: Anthony Makunnagbeh he went for us in Bong mines and took us forcibly and took us on the base.

What is your ma name?

Primary Witness: Jessey kiadi

Is she still living to that place you left her?

Primary Witness: No she lives in Caldwell'

Commissioner Coleman: what do you think people who caught you and beat you so badly did not kill you for going A-ward?

Primary Witness: To me I think it was God's will for me to live and repent

Since you stop fighting in 1994 have you taking part in another thing, I mean fighting

Primary Witness: No, I can't even be around before they come and convince me again.

How have you being feeling?

Primary Witness: I have been fine the God blessed me and mission people have been taking care of us.

But you still want to seek the forgiveness of your family?

Primary Witness: Yes, that one of the main reason that I came for my people to forgive me for the wrong things that I did to them since Christ forgive me am sure they can forgive me.

Did you say that the medicine they gave you was from somebody in your family?

Primary Witness: Yes it was from my grand mother.

So I mean that your people deal with that before?

Primary Witness: Yes, because the man I am named after was a warrior so may be give it my grand mother.

So when the thing came to you for you to kill your grandmother you think that was coming from where?

Primary Witness: From the dark world.

So you knew that your dealing with something that has to do with the devil?
Yes

How did you get the drug?

Primary Witness: It was some thing they brought but I don't know where they got it from. They use to give it to us on the front

So how old were you by then?

Primary Witness: 10 years old.

What about the time you took the medicine?
Primary Witness: Yes during all that time I was 10.

Commissioner Washington: can you remember the year you killed your grand mother?

Primary Witness: Yeas it was 1993

You said you were sent on special mission in Grand Cape Mount by Taylor, was that Charles Taylor you were referring to?

Primary Witness: Yes that Charles Taylor I was recruited by NPFL I was not alone we were many.

Who was the Putu Mayor you mentioned was he your commander or who was he?

Primary Witness: Yes he was the first commanding general that took us from Cotton Tree which was the reinforcement base.

Where were you trained?

Primary Witness: At the CUC base.

That is in Gbarnga right?

Primary Witness: Yes that is in Bong County.

Who was this Putu Mayor again you say?

Primary Witness: Putu Mayor was one of the Special Forces that came with Taylor. He was a mine specialist he used to fix mine bomb.

Do you know whether he still alive?

Primary Witness: No, he did certain thing in the NPFL government so he was killed by the same people.

When was that?

Primary Witness: Oh, I can't remember the time but he was killed.

Where?

Primary Witness: He was killed around Bassa area from Grand Bassa to come on this side.

Do you know under whose order he was killed?

Primary Witness: No I don't know but it was a set up. That day they went for him and say the president wanted to see him and the news reached that they fell in ambush but that place was not enemy zone.

Do you remember any other commander that you follow; can you share that information with us?

Primary Witness: The only one I can remember was one man one and he never live from the revolution.

Is that his only name?

Primary Witness: That was his fighting name but that the name I know.

You said you were operating in cape mount, there are information that many things occurred in the area, are you aware or do you know anything about any of those massacres that too place there including Sinje, Madoman, the Menkor , the massacre in Madina, Swen, Robersports and many others, my question is do you know anything about these massacres that you can share with us?

Primary Witness: No, no

You were not in the area during that time?

Primary Witness: Yes

And you don't know anyone who was in the are during those times?

Primary Witness: Yes

You said there were other people with you can you tell us who some of these people were and their position at the time?

Primary Witness: I said I was with one man one and some other fighters.

Can you remember some of their names?

Primary Witness: Nasty Plastic, bad boy unit, and some other guys.

You can't remember any other name other guys?

Primary Witness: No

Mr. Kiadi given your experience during the war and with what you have just told us who do you think is responsible for this war?

Primary Witness: We all were responsible for the war we all welcome it. even if you did not fight self, but some of the fighters will bring food and things for you and will hold it so one way or other we all contributed to the war.

Commissioner Stewart: did you ever met with Charles Taylor when you was with his group?

Primary Witness: Ah, no I never met him face to face.

But who was the closest that you met?

Primary Witness: The only closest person that I met was our training commandant Gborbi Devil and PI and we were taken from the base by Putu Mayor as I said.

At the training base what sort of general orders were you taught regarding you operations and activities if there was any?

Primary Witness: At that time there was no time for general orders that was time for fast mission so they needed men to execute it.

So what did you say were your standard operating procedures I mean your SOP?

Primary Witness: Well break it down for me.

Did they teach you any thing about the laws of war, the Geneva convention or the laws of wars..?

Primary Witness: Nothing like that.

What were some of the missions you were sent on and where?

Primary Witness: Our first mission was Cape Mount Town, from Cape Mount Town we went to Bomi areas that the only place I participate.

Which area you were assigned mainly?

Primary Witness: For me we were on the main road coming to Monrovia.

There were many civilians running coming to your area?

Primary Witness: Yes plenty civilians used to come to our sides.

Who was the overall commander in Gbarnga at the time?
The commanding officer was one man one

The people that use to go to your control how they use to be treated?

Primary Witness: Oh one man one used to treat the people fine no soldier use to disturb them.

So you were assigned with one man one

Primary Witness: Yes

Is the same one man one who ran away with some Liberian refugee to Sierra Leone?

Primary Witness: No I don't know.

You said you were living in the grave yard, how did you get there?

Primary Witness: It was after the war I became frustrated and some friends that I used to follow carry me there after octopus and before April 6.

How was life in the grave yard?

We are use to stealing, breaking through people house to look for daily needs, and when we get money we go smoke drugs, if you see me that time I was looking like tuberculosis patient I was looking bad off. I could spend months two, three months without taking bath. I was not healthy just like man who been sick for life time.

Where there women in the grave yard too?

Primary Witness: Women, children and men, people were even bearing children there, food cold water people were selling, in fact it was looking like city in another sense.

How did you protect yourself from the rain, when it was raining?

Primary Witness: We were living in the vault in that grave, we could burst the grave when human bone was there we took it out that was one person room, some people find plastic and connect to the other grave and make that their own of room.

Were you sometime chased by the police?

Primary Witness: That one that was every day business, the one freedom was when the police chase you and get you they carry you to Central and send you South beach and when they release you, you come back to the grave yard and that is whatwe use to go around. That is how we were living.

Commission Bull: what is your real name?

Primary Witness: Tommy Lee Kiadi.

Was that the name your parents gave you?

Primary Witness: No but yea, the Kiadi name is my name and the Tommy name is the name I choose to add to my name.

So what the name your ma and pa gave you?

Primary Witness: My ma and pa gave me Mansell Kiadi.

So what's the name the outside people and your parents know you by?

Primary Witness: My ma and pa know me by my Mansell Kiadi and Tommy Lee Kiadi name.

You said you are 35 years that means you were born 1972 and you said you were 10 years old but if we do the calculation you were above that age and you also said you were taking cocaine and bobbo is that correct did you say that?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You also said you pa called you and give you medicine but how sure were you that it was a protection because you said you were 10years old but form my calculation you should have been around 18years, please carry your minds back a later bit. Lets just clarity that.

Primary Witness: Yea, by that time myself I was small I was just guessing I did not know my age.

Since your stop fight 1994 can you remember that year?

Primary Witness: Yes I can remember that year that was some time after the octopus.

Where were you after 1994?

Primary Witness: I came back to Monrovia, and I was with CPA

What did you learn with CAP?

Primary Witness: I learned upholstery, that fixing chairs living room sets and car seats.

You were taking hard drugs while in the grave yard do you think these thing are clear out of your body now. You think you really clean now or you need to be cleaned?

Primary Witness: I belief that I am clean because this something that if you are not clean out of it you can't go out of it for even one second before I talk about a day.

How long you been without it now?

Primary Witness: From August 24 last year.

Where is old man Varney Kiadi your father?

Primary Witness: He is in Caldwell with my ma.

You are live on radio, if thinking that you were sitting before your ma and pa what will you say to them?

Primary Witness: I will just want to tell every one even those who witness the things that I did to forgive me I did bad.

Chairman: was there any time that your group burn mosque or church.
No I was the one did that on my own.

How did you people survive during the war, eating, sleeping...?

Primary Witness: At that time any thing that comes your way is food. We did not border with what we will eat and for sleeping, sometime we used to sleep but at time we don't sleep. We will walk the whole night and some time we sleep in chair or on tables any thing.

Were members of the revolution paid for their service?

Primary Witness: It was something like when you attack what you get from there that's your pay so every body wanted to be on the forefront.

Chairman: thank you very much for coming and for recognizing the need for reconciliation and you have to stay in touch with the Commission for we will help foster that relationship to lead to reconciliation with your family. Thank you very much and if you have any last thing to say I think this is the time.

Primary Witness: I want to tell the Commission of the TRC thank you for the hard work and will like to tell the Liberian people to please forgive some of us and to my family I want them to forgive me I wan to be their son again in life.

Chairman: ok thank you very much you may leave. Ladies and gentlemen the Commission will recess for twenty minutes and resume there afterwards thank you!

Twenty Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings
Boikai Massaquoi
(Forth Primary Witness of day six)

The forth 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: How are you today?

Primary Witness: Fine

Chairman: Can you tell us your correct name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Boikai Massaquoi.

Chairman: Do you know when you were borne?

Primary Witness: No!

Chairman: You don't know your birthday?

Primary Witness: No.

Chairman: Are you in school?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Chairman: Which School?

Primary Witness: The school is in Browerville.

Chairman: In Browerville, what class you in?

Primary Witness: I in the 11th grade.

Chairman: You live along, or you live with your parents/

Primary Witness: I live with my mother.

Chairman: With your mother?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Chairman: Welcome to the TRC public hearings. The one they called the palaver hut. : What we do here is, come here, to discuss all the problems that transpired during our crisis. That is from 1979 to 2003. So, we invite people who have experiences, who have ideas, people who saw things, people who did things to come to the Commission and share that experiences with us. All of us you see here are all the Commissioners who were authorized by the government to do this work. So in the end we can make recommendations on how Liberia will be more peaceful and avoid violence. So you have volunteered to come to tell us your story and you are just supposed to tell us the truth. What you know alright?

Primary Witness: Yes. I was, we were in the village and they called the area, Grand Cape Mount County. We were there until the people started telling me, they say war was coming, war coming. So that time, I was small. So we were in the town, me, my mother and my father, we were in the town with my sister. The rebel entered the town. They enter and say we must go under the palava hut. And we went to the bush. So we go under the palava now, we were there, when they finished talking to us, they say they are the rebel, they came to rescue us, and after talking they said we must go back to our houses. We were there the next day, they attack the town. When they came in the town, so we left the town and we ran to the bush. Me, my mother, my father, were in the bush, the other boy, I know him by face but/t I don't know him by name. They came in the bush where we were hiding, then they say we must go in the town. When we went in the town, their base was right, before reaching the place called Tywar. They get one big football field there. While we were on the football field, they line up everybody. So we were on the line, then they say the other tall guy with them, they call him Senegalese, tall, huge. I know him, one time self, I bracket with him waterside. So then he said, ha want eat human being, so they lined us up, everybody and the line was long. So, they started picking people from on the line. So when they reach to my father, they told him to leave the line. Then they said the other people should go back to the town, in Tywar now. So we were there, they said the other rest that was the 6 people whom they collected. 3 women, and 3 men, and they said, but this one of them, we coming kill them. And my father was in the group. So one of my friends, say lets go in the town, and I say no, I will stand here, what they want to do to my father, I'll see it. I stay there, the other first man, they laid him down and cut his throat. They called the other man; they laid him down and cut his throat. When they reach my father, me and my father started begging, we begged and they say no. So they laid my father down and cut his throat. Then I say, so I begged you not to kill my father, you still kill my father? Then he says if you don't stop asking me questions, you want to follow your father? Then I say no. Then I started coming in the town, then my friend hold my hand and say lets go in the town.

We came back in Tywar, we were there when the other group came, and they say we must go root out ground pea for them. But I was scared. I was scared, because my mother wasn't there, with my sister. I wanted to find way to go to them. And tell them that my father is dead, so the next day, I jump in the bush. I started going the area my mother was, but when I reach, I never saw them in town. So I started going to the next town, they called the place, Fourgbor. When I reach, the people tell me say O! Your mother them go Diyea way. So I decided to go there, when I got there I bracket with her. So, I told her and she said, since it's like this, I will find way so we can go to town. We say okay. The next day, my mother, my sister, and myself, we started coming, That is how we started walking. When we walk, walk, walk, some town we reach, we say lets sleep, and the next day, we continued our journey. That how wed walk, until we reach the Poe-river. We stay in Poe-river, and from there we came to Browerville, from Browerville, to the displace camp. That the place we were until this people came there, I explained and they ask if I can come and testify and I say yes, that how I am here today. With all that, the other guy, they were in the group. But I know some of them by face, but I don't know them by name. The other man self, I can see him, he's a mechanic. We in the same area, they can called him Bookurman. But me, I know him by face; I can see him in my area. And the other one them, one time I go for vacation in cape mount, I saw him there. One guy there, their big man was there, they called him Bobo. That he was the big man for them, I can record. The other man, I know him, they called him Wayoe. That his rebel name, but when I see him, I'll know him. But I don't know his real name. The main man who killed my father, they called him Senegalese. The other time I was selling waterside, I bracket with him. He passed him and I stand and I looked behind him, look behind him, look behind him, until he go, go, go...until I never see him again. And I started doing my business again. But since that time, I don't know the main area he living. But I can see him all the times, always, so that all. I finish.


Questions from Commissioners:

Chairman: how many times have you seen Senegalese?

Primary Witness: I have seen Senegalese only one time in Water side I was selling he pass by I was looking at him until he went.

What's about Bougouman?

Primary Witness: Yes I can see Bougouman almost every day. He is a mechanic man so sometime he can pass with car to our place to go try.

What year did this happened?

Primary Witness: No I can't remember the year.

Where did this happen?

Primary Witness: It happened in Taywor.

Can you see some of the people around?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you know some of them names?

Primary Witness: Massalay, who is still in town in Taywor.

Commissioner Stewart: when were you born?

Primary Witness: No I can't remember.

How big were you when this thing happened?

Primary Witness: I was a little bit big because I still remember the community I was around 13 - 14 years.

Which group can you remember that did these things?

Primary Witness: That was ULIMO K

Was there any reason?
Primary Witness: No!

Those people that were executed were they armed?

Primary Witness: No!

Where do you lie presently?

Primary Witness: I am on the displace camp in Browerville.

Commissioner Bull: So the Bougouman is still around?

Primary Witness: Yes

What's the name they call him with now?

Primary Witness: They can call him Kabisco.

What's the name of your mother?

Primary Witness: My ma name is Miatta Massaslay?

You think Bougouman still know you?

Primary Witness: No!

Commissioner Washington: do you know another name for Senegalese?

Primary Witness: No!

Can you remember the names of some of those fighters?

Primary Witness: Yes I can remember one Wayo and Colonel Borbor.

Do you know where any of them are right now?

Primary Witness: No!

If you have the opportunity to say something to Bougouman what will you say to him?

Primary Witness: Nothing! I will not tell him anything. What will I tell him?

Commissioner Coleman: you said someone said they want to eat human being who was that person?

Primary Witness: Yes, that was Senegalese

Did he sound like foreigner?

Primary Witness: Yes, he is a Mandingo man.

You said where they had there base again, please?

Primary Witness: They had their base in Genewaylay on the football field.

Where were you after the incident?

Primary Witness: My friend held my hand and we went to Die in the same cape mount.

Commissioner Dolopei: what was your father's name?

Primary Witness: Nmana Massaquoi

What was your sister name?

Primary Witness: Kayma

Commissioner Kulah: did they do any other thing after that your incident?

Primary Witness: well they used to go every time and collect civilian and tell them to register and after the lucky ones will come back home and they will eat some people that day.

Did they ever ask you to go in with them?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I was scare so I did not do it.

Commissioner Konneh: what is the name of the town they order you to kill your father?

Primary Witness: That in Taywor.

Did you remember the name of other people did that?
Primary Witness: No

Do you remember the name of this your friend who took you from the scene?

Primary Witness: Yes Kanneh.

Commissioner Syllah: how was it like after your father died?

Primary Witness: Well life is hard even up to now. It was my father who was doing everything for us.

Have you been able to go back to the town?
Yes

Chairman: can you remember anything about your father?

Primary Witness: My father was a carpenter, he use to like me very much.

How did you come to the TRC?

Primary Witness: That one of my friend confuse [convince] me to come and explain my story that I told him before.

Chairman: thank you for coming to the TRC and giving your statement, all you have said have contributed to the TRC process and will help us in completing our work.

End of Day Six of the TRC Public Hearings



Back to List of Transcripts