Gbarnga City: Day 3

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The Third Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Wednesday May 21st, 2008 at the Administrative Building Gbarnga City. 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.

Sixteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Gbarnga, Bong County

Lorpu George

(First Primary Witness of day three)

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

Chairman: Thanks for coming, the way you have come, you have come for us to find a solution to the problems; with this, we will be able to make recommendation to the government so that we cannot have war in Liberia again. Please tell us your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Lorpu George.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I do not know my age.

Which president you saw?

Primary Witness: I saw President Tubman but I was small at the time.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Gbarlatua.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a Gardener.

Primary Witness: In the year 1990, we were harvesting our rice on the farm and the fighters arrived in the town and at the time, my uncle was the Town Chief of the town and they put him on gun point and said that he was keeping Doe soldiers and Mandingo people, so they tied and executed him right away.

After they killed my uncle, we all ran in the bushes and we stayed the longest in the bushes. One day, my first born went to play football in another village and while he was coming back to the our village, the fighters arrested him and put him on gun point again; when they put him on gun point, he started running away and they shut him dead. After that, my husband advice us to leave the area where we were; while we were going to another village, we met the fighters again and they arrested my husband and put their loads on his head and they carried him different direction and they asked to go different direction. I side we went, I managed and went to Ganta and I stayed there for long time suffering. When the suffering was getting too much for me, I came back to Gbarlatua and later my daughter followed me from Ganta with a serious stomach problem.

The other children are not in school, my daughter is also not well and since that time, I have not seen my husband from 1990; these are the things that are worrying me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Syllah: Sorry for what happened to; do you remember the man who carried your husband name?

Primary Witness: Yes, his name is Moses Weakleler.

Which faction this man was fighting for?

Primary Witness: When this thing happened, I was not to myself but I think it was the Charles Taylor people.

What is the name of your husband?

Primary Witness: His name was Yarkpawolo Kweitay.

What was the age of your husband at the time?

Primary Witness: He was older than at the time.

How old was your daughter at the time?

Primary Witness: She was a teenager, she was growing breast.

How is your daughter feeling now?

Primary Witness: She is still facing the stomach problem.

How long your daughter stayed with the people in Nimba County?

Primary Witness: They carried her in 1990 and she came back in 1994.

How many children you have?

Primary Witness: We born 11 children and they killed one, so I have 10 living children now.

Commissioner Stewart: Who killed your uncle and how he was killed?

Primary Witness: It was Moses Werkeler the commander at the time who arrested my uncle and said that he was keeping Doe soldier and Mandingo people and he killed him with knife.

Was your uncle buried?

Primary Witness: No, we were not brave to stand there and we ran in the bush for safety.

NPFL looted in your town when they came there?

Primary Witness: Yes, when we left, they took all that we had.

They forced your husband to carry him?

Primary Witness: Yes, when we met them, they forced him to take their loads and they carried him.

They forced any young girl and carried them besides your daughter?

Primary Witness: Yes, they used to force any young girl they saw.

What are the names of the girls they forced and carried?

Primary Witness: Kebben my daughter, Krubah, Yassah, Yenkorler and Gbeahker.

How big were the girls?

Primary Witness: They were all having tay-tay and in the size of my daughter.

Have some of the girls returned?

Primary Witness: I have not seen anyone of them besides my daughter, maybe, they might be with their parents.

They forced young boys?

Primary Witness: I did not witness any boy been forced because I ran in the bush as soon as they killed my uncle.

They raped any women?

Primary Witness: We ran in the bush, so I cannot say whether they raped or not.

They burnt any houses in the town?

Primary Witness: I do not know because as I said, I ran in the bush.

Beside the 1990 war, you were affected during the ULIMO war?

Primary Witness: I do not have personal experience with ULIMO because I was also running away whenever I heard war.

What's about the LURD war?

Primary Witness: I have no experience with LURD, I was at the Manmu Displace Camp and the government troops used to take care of us.

What is the name of your uncle that was killed?

Primary Witness: His name was Sumo Gwehgweh.

Commissioner Dolopei: Sorry for all that happened to you during the war. The fighters did anything to the elderly women besides the young girls?

Primary Witness: We ran away that night and we went to the displace camp; besides the killing of my uncle, nothing else.

Commissioner Konneh: It is painful to see the child you suffered been killed in that manner; we urge you to take courage and know that God who gave him to you and those who were not authorized to take away his life will face judgment. What is the name and age of your son?

Primary Witness: His name was Daniel Oldman Kwaitay and he was 25 years old.

What is the name of your daughter?

Primary Witness: Her name is Keppeh Kwaitay.

Who killed your son and from which fighting group?

Primary Witness: It was the first group that entered in 1990 to fight the Doe government troop killed my son, my uncle and since they carried my husband in 1990, I have not seen him up to now.

What is the name of the person that took your daughter to Nimba?

Primary Witness: His name is Col Crab.

Has Col Crab visited you since your daughter came to know how she is feeling?

Primary Witness: No.

Has your daughter told you where Col Crab can be found?

Primary Witness: Yes, she said they were in Louguatuo, and maybe he is still in the Louguatuo.

Chairman: Thanks very much; your testimony has shown us how women were treated during the war and we are to pay special attention to women and children. Has your daughter explain to you what happened to her during the 4 years?

Primary Witness: She only told me that Col. Crab used to beat her and stepped in her stomach and that is the reason why she escaped.

Have you got any information from your husband as to what happened to him, if he was killed, and did he reach where they were going?

Primary Witness: The only message I heard was that he was killed while they were going.

Did you hear about any General One-Man-One?

Primary Witness: Yes, I saw General One-Man-One with my eyes the very day they carried my husband.

Was Moses superior to One-Man-One?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was One-Man-One part of the group that carried your husband?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you know any name besides the One-Man-One?

Primary Witness: No.

We heard that Gen. One-Man-One used to be very bad to women and children; did he do any bad to women and children in your presence?

Primary Witness: I did not witness him do any bad things because as soon as they killed my uncle, I ran in the bush.

Can you please describe General One-Man-One?

Primary Witness: He is huge, tall, light-skinny and hairy.

Please accept our sympathy for the death your son, uncle and husband who is yet to be seen; how these people died will be written in the history. Is there anything that you want to tell us before you leave?

Primary Witness: Yes, the main thing that was really burning my soul is that my daughter that has this stomach problem, who will help her get better and as well as my children that are in school, who is going to sent them to school?

Okay, you can tell your daughter to come and meet us, we are here from now to Friday the whole day; if she has telephone number, you can give it ti us.

Seventeenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Gbarnga, Bong County

Anonymous

(Second Primary Witness of day three)

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

Chairman: Welcome to TRC we want to say thanks for coming and to participate in this national hearings process. As you requested we have yield to it, no photo, no vied recording and no cameral will take your photos. The idea you have said this and it is at your wish with that we want you to relax in confidence. We were commission just to do that to the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission healing process.

Primary Witness: 1990, my brothers were not in militia but fighters recruited them to become single barriers boys. So they remain there ULIMO came. They went to the gate and give them cutlass, and some thing they can cut palm nuts with. Then the ULIMO fighters came and killed three men at the gate and all the civilians in the town left and went to the near by town call Gbapolu. So we were captured by ULIMO and they took my brother and others and they later carry then and they tied them and they were bleeding all over. And they agree to become come part of ULIMO and ULIMO J and K was fighting they kill my brothers. My brothers use to help me to work. They were working with the company. When we were here, ULIMO was leaving from Lofa, we escaped. There was a town call Kpalokplay there were they raped me. they told my husband to be present and he said no and they killed him. When I got up, I was not to my self. The people who did this, they left me there and one lady came and took me to the town and treated me with some traditional herbs. We were there for two weeks. We went Ganta. I went to the hospital and they give me treatment. When I was coming to myself, we cross the river, we went Guinea. When we went Guinea, we went to the refugee camp and they say every one should have ticket but because I did not have card food business was very hard and so, my son die and again the second one die. If I tell you about my brothers and leave I will not feel good. This is the hard time I am in today. I invested in one of the boy and he in 9th grade but I can't continue because no hand.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: We say sorry for what happen.

Commissioner Syllah: You talked about your three brothers; can you give their names to us?

Primary Witness: Sumo

Chairman: We will not ask questions related to her brothers.

Primary Witness: I am telling you people that our children die during the time we went in the refugee camp and there was no food because I never had my card because I was not able to move around from hunger. And when they attack the first night, they kill my brothers in UNLIMO J and K attack.

How was that night when you went to bed?

Primary Witness: We were in the refugee came and I did not have ticket so my two children die by hunger.

Commissioner Stewart: Can you remember any of the fighters or name of commanders?

Primary Witness: I don't know because it was during the night time. But when ULIMO came they escaped but it was NPFL Bides.

You know weather it was the same group who operated in Sanoyes?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What kind of experience you had with LPC?

Primary Witness: When LPC was coming, we only heard the lunching sound. And they say LPC entered Folopa and kill.

Besides you, was there any thing like rape for other young girls or looting by NPFL?

Primary Witness: The time they were coming, the only group was Jack the rebel and took the men from among us and they toot their ammunitions.

When you went Guinea, you came back before LURD war?

Primary Witness: After election before war, war three started.

What was your experience war, war three?

Primary Witness: When I came we went displaced came in Zeazue and they rape me and I got pregnant but the child died.

Have you received any medical attention?

Primary Witness: Yes, IRC came and sent us to hospital once or twice

How long was the treatment?

Primary Witness: We were not admitted but twice for treatment.

But do you feel pains anywhere in your stomach or any where?

Primary Witness: Well, some times my back can be very weak and I can't able to stand up.

Have you at any time, seen any of those people around?

Primary Witness: When it happened I came back after election 97, I saw him in Namah. I don't know weather he?s alive.

Commissioner Coleman: Where your parents, are were they affected from the war?

Primary Witness: No, they are no longer alive. They died during they war when they kill my brothers that was the frustration kill my mother.

Commissioner Konneh

I want to say to you never mind.

Chairman: We say thank you for coming to TRC you have added a great help to our work. There are some questions that are left but because of your request, we will meet you.

Any thing else you want to say in this public manner?

Primary Witness: I have nothing else in my heart but the way I am sorry full, I want for government to help me.

Eighteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Gbarnga, Bong County

Esther Gbelee

(Third Primary Witness of day three)

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

Co chair: we want to thank you for coming here to talk to us. They ask us to go from county to county to hear all of the bad things during the war. And after listening to you, we will ask you some questions. So we say thank you for coming, because it will help us to do our work and to bring peace in Liberia. What is your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Esther Gbelee.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Dargan.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I am 45 years old.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Primary Witness: The thing where happen to me, 1994, the time the war was here. We were in our town, so we heard the gun sound, so we run away in the bush. So my husband was the town chief, I was pregnant, and I had 2 years old child and other small, small children them with me. So my husband say, the way the children plenty on us let this, let go in our farm in the bush. So we were there, one man run away with us, in the bush, he say he want to go for his snuff in the town. So my husband say that one where you coming do na, that they bad one there, if you run away from the soldier them, it na good for your to go back for them to see your again oh. The man say I will take time so he left. That time there we finished cooking our dry rice, we finish eating, we were in the bush, we just see the man coming with plenty people behind him. Then my husband was wanted to run, they say your must not run, we are the Liberian Peace Council, LPC people we are here to rescue your from all the bad things. So it will not be good for your to be here in the town with these children. So your come lets go in the town. But when I want to take my baby tub, they will say no, the place we carrying your, we get everything there. We just want to drive the soldiers them when we be going we will give your everything you want. Not knowing they were just fooling us. So when we follow them now, because we were having three boys them with us, that them was the first they kill. Then they ask where the town chief? Then that man that went to the town show him so they kill my husband, but they say that your where can bring the soldier them here to come fight us. So my husband was begging them say please your don't kill me, lets go on my sugarcane farm, I get money there, lets go let me give it to your. They say no, and then they kill him. The other three boys, they cut their head with cutlass, but my husband own, they tie him, and naked him and they started beating him. The thing where make it self they na do any thing to me, because they na show me say here his wife here. So that the thing where happen to me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co chair: we want to thank you for coming and we say sorry. God spear your life so that today you will be able to come and tell us. Did they kill other people in the town apart from the 3 people?

Primary Witness: No, but the burn the town.

How many houses were there?

Primary Witness: They were about 300 houses.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you very much for coming to share your story with us.

What is your husband name?

Primary Witness: His name is Augustine Gbelee.

Do you remember the names of the others that were with you?

Primary Witness: they were Joseph Tarpee, Yarkpawolo Gbanyan, and Moses.

Can you remember any of their ages?

Primary Witness: No, only my husband.

What was his age?

Primary Witness: He was 50 years old.

How many children do you have?

Primary Witness: Altogether, I have 9 children.

How old is the smallest one?

Primary Witness: He was born 1997.

Commissioner Steward: we want to say thank you for coming and sorry for the death of your husband. This Yarkpawolo Gbanyan, was he among the people they kill?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was he living in the town?

Primary Witness: No, he was a stranger.

What is the name of your town?

Primary Witness: The name of the town is Dargan.

In what district?

Primary Witness: It is near Zoweanta.

That was LPC?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How many were they?

Primary Witness: They were many.

Did they burn the whole town?

Primary Witness: Yes, they burn the whole town.

How many people did they kill that time?

Primary Witness: That only the 4 men.

Were they wearing uniform?

Primary Witness: Yes, but some of them were naked.

Can you remember any of their names?

Primary Witness: No, I can't remember.

From there which way did they go?

Primary Witness: From there, they were going to Gbarnga way.

Commissioner Konneh: we want to express our sympathy to you for the death of your husband. The man who came to town and carry the LPC people, where is he?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Did they kill him?

Primary Witness: No.

Why do you think they were looking for him?

Primary Witness: I don't know oh.

Co chair: thank you for coming, and as I said, you help us to do our work. During this war, people kill people for no reason. So we say sorry. Before you leave, is there anything you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: Yes, I am just asking the government to help my children go to school.

What are their ages?

Primary Witness: I have one that was born 1987, 1990, and 1993.

Are they going to school?

Primary Witness: That only two my sister took and they are going to school. And secondly, I don't have house, this heavy rain come, we can get up and stand. So I want your to please help me.

Nineteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Gbarnga, Bong County

Norwah Sumo

(Fourth Primary Witness of day three)

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

Co-Chair: Thanks for coming to the TRC today, the way you have come, you have come to do plenty things, you are going to tell us all the ugly things that happened t you during the war. Please tell us your name again for the record.

Primary Witness: My name is Norwah Sumo.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I do not know my age but I saw President Tubman.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Fani Town, Kpaihi District.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a Farmer.

Please tell us your story.

Primary Witness: When the war came, they grabbed me and asked me to show where our things was and I told them that they had carried all our things and so we had nothing again; when I said that, they took my two years old child from my back and killed him; after that, they asked my husband again for our belongings and he said that he had nothing, and as soon as he said that, they grabbed him and they asked me to witness his execution and they executed him in my presence.

When they killed by son and husband, they again grabbed my father and killed him too; I had four children, they killed one and I am having three living with me now. I can make farm before sending m children to school; that's what happened to me during the war.

The way you come, it has been shown to us how innocent people were killed; they said that they were coming to fight a particular group, but instead, they started killing innocent people and suffering the poor people.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Konneh: Please accept our sympathy for the death of your people. What is the name of your husband?

Primary Witness: His name was Moses Jorlonqui.

What is the name of your son?

Primary Witness: His name was Patience Jorlonqui.

What is the name of your father?

Primary Witness: His name was Supo Fai.

How these people were killed?

Primary Witness: They killed all of them with cutlass.

What is the name of the group that killed these people?

Primary Witness: It was the NPFL fighters.

What was the name of the commanders of the fighters that did the killing?

Primary Witness: I was not to myself when they killed these people so I couldn't remember any one of them.

Did you hear about any J.Y.?

Primary Witness: Yes, I used to hear that this is J. Y's group, but I was not to myself.

Commissioner Stewart: Sorry for the death of your people. You say your husband was killed by NPFL fighters?

Primary Witness: Yes, these three persons were killed by NPFL.

Who was their commander?

Primary Witness: I do not know, at the time they did the killing, I was only thinking about committing suicide, I was not to myself.

Your buried the bodies?

Primary Witness: There was no time, their bones left scattered in the town and when the people came back in town, they threw the bones away.

Where were you at the time?

Primary Witness: I was not there but I came back, my mother me the information.

How long is it from Fani to Sanoyea?

Primary Witness: Fanti town is way near Zowenta.

What else the fighters did besides the killing of your people, did they lot?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What are the things they looted?

Primary Witness: They looted several things but I can remember them taking our 5 bundles of zinc and our steel mill.

Who was the commander of the group?

Primary Witness: As I told you from the beginning, I was not to myself and so I do not know their names.

Were there NPFL fighters in your area before they did the killing?

Primary Witness: No, before the incidence, they were not around there, the very day they came, it was when they killed my people.

Commissioner Syllah: I join my colleagues to extend our sympathy for the death of your people. What are the names of the other children that are living?

Primary Witness: I have Laihai, Quita and God's Gift.

Are the children in school?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Co-Chair: Which town they killed your husband?

Primary Witness: They killed him in Melee's Town.

They told you any reason for killing him?

Primary Witness: Yes, they asked him for our steel mill and he did not give it to them, so that was the crime he committed and they killed him.

Now that you have completed your testimony, is there anything else you wan to tell us before you leave?

Primary Witness: Yes, I want your to please help me with my children schooling.

Twentieth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Gbarnga, Bong County

Deputy Gamaliel

(Fifth Primary Witness of day three)

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

Co-chairman: Mr. Jorkor, good after noon and we want to say thank you for coming and this is were we come to tell all those bad, bad things that happened to us. So we say welcome to tell you story to the TRC.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Deputy Gamaliel Jokor.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born May 10, 1976.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Zowata.

What are you doing for a living?

Primary Witness: I am selling during the time 1994, when Gbarnga fall in the hands of the correlations, from the 12th we saw group of arm men retrieving from Grand Bassa County. But when they came at that time, my brother who is William K. Jorkor he was a grand commander in Zoway town. And at time, I was living Zowoe town my home town right side Zowon town. Then we saw a group of arm men arm in wheel berry and some people tooting it on their shoulders. They came we all were scared and we went in the bush. While in the bush, the people were just busting people door and taking people properties, beating people. So we got afraid we were trying to take our family to Nimba county lower Nimba. While in the process my grand father the late who is Jorkor Takpah and his son Isaac Jorkor we all were in the bush and we were the boy children that could help our mothers to help them in the bush for safety zoom. While in the process on the 19th of September, we left that morning for Nimba, the old man and his son with some relatives James Wonmah we left from the kitchen and say we gone to come back.

How things will be if it will be aright we will come back for the old man. While going, we saw another guy he said my man the gun sound that we heard in your area was not easy. The gun fire was too much and the next morning, we saw the James Womah man I am talking about he said, my man the people hold us they tie us but we escape from them but he said they kill the old man and his son. Then that next morning, my brother Harris we came we went there, when we went there, the cut off the old man head, then Isaac they fired him with gun. But he run away in the bush but he die in the bush. One time in the process, in December, because it was in September so in December now when the people say we should come back now, to harvest our rice, the same Navy division, they were headed by general Gonda. When we came now, the guy who did the act they call him JR when they came in the time now, J. Wamah he was able to identify the man he say oh my man this man then that say we should come in the town, that this men them kill the old man that they the one was in the bush. But we run away form them. That this men. They were assigned right to our town in Zoyea town. I can still picture the man, I know his structure but I don't know where he is living now. They were with us there the people they used to force us to do what we are not to do like, taking car engine from Zoyea town to sell. Even one time we brought a load in Zoyea town, where the general at that time, Genera Gonda he was at the clinic side when we brought the load, he said we should carry to the chief, when we went we saw some things there I my self I was afraid, they has bodies. They open the body and take the intestine.

When I was observing I my self I was too scared. We came and after they have left then, one time, J.Y then has come there. After the Navy division has left. General JY he started his same behavior because he was a delta force commander forcing us to go pick cocoa in the bush to hunt for them and started brining it. One time we went for cocoa to Zoyea town, at that time my friend took me, they had left the clinic. And he said the guys were doing terrible things here when we went we saw the shot drums with human grease in side certain short cut there to the hospital with the train trick, while going to the right hand side, I saw the human skull there. I say oh, that what this men them were doing here? I say even they kill my people in the bush and they were in town here eating people? That what happen that 1994, when Taylor left in Ghana, that what happen and that what I saw with my eyes.

2003, when Taylor left, because he was called by the war crime court in Sierra Leone after he has left, we saw group of arm men calling themselves LURD forces again. When they came they started running behind people. They throw one of my little pinking they came with knife he was running away. After that they grab people one 17 years old girl, her name is baby girl they took her in the town and make her as his wife. His name was called Yanmayanma the commander they all went Zowee town way while we left in Zoryah. After taken our properties they told us that they were just citizen like us they just came to laborite us. But what we want to do, if any thing belonging to your in the bushes, we want your to go and bring it in the village because our soldiers we sent them on patrol, Seku Damate Konneh who is our director say the only thing we should leave with you people is your life, but nothing is belonging to you people. So when we brought our little thing again they came and took every thing from us again. When we went we talk it they say we told your only your life belong to you people. They started beating some people in my present even the little wheelbarrow I had they took it and use to put cattle in side. When they use to come, I use to say me I respect my body, so anything they use to tell me I will do it. So I don't have any mark on my body they never beat me they only took my property. The only thing I saw is they kill my grand father and my uncle that what happen to me in the war that what I experience.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Vice chairman: Thanks for your testimony. You talked about one 17 years old girl they took, can you tell us her name?

Primary Witness: Her name is Baby Nyhnor

Has she come back?

Primary Witness: No, in Monrovia and has not come back.

Is she still with him?

Primary Witness: No

Commissioner Konneh: You said some fighters?

Primary Witness: Yes, NPFL but they use to call themselves Malasis division.

What is the name of your uncle?

Primary Witness: Jorkor Takpah

What is the name of your grand father?

Primary Witness: Isaac Jorkor

Can you remember other names that were killed?

Primary Witness: One Freemam Satae, they took him and carry to Nimba kill him and took his heart.

Was there looting?

Primary Witness: Yes, they took things and they burn houses

How many houses?

Primary Witness: Three houses

They boy they hurt?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was hurt by Yamayama the commander.

Which tribe?

Primary Witness: Mandingo

He spoke English?

Primary Witness: Not too well.

Commissioner Stewart: When the group was retrieving which group was in control?

Primary Witness: They use to call them E and P.

Was there battle?

Primary Witness: No, they never fought; they said it was the same Charles Taylor soldiers.

When they left?

Primary Witness: Gondar left in charge

Did you see them?

Primary Witness: No. they said they took 7 men and kill them on the train trick

Was houses burn?

Primary Witness: Yes.

By whom?

Primary Witness: Gonda

Have you seen him?

Primary Witness: They said in 95, he was commander in Zedweh.

Any experience of LPC?

Primary Witness: I only heard about them I can't tell

Was Zota looted?

Primary Witness: Yes

Nancy Gonga, they rape her?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was there any killing?

Primary Witness: It was serious.

Was there looting?

Primary Witness: Yes, they loot things and burn houses.

How many houses?

Primary Witness: Three houses

The boy who was hurt?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was hurt by the commander Yamayama

What tribe was he from?

Primary Witness: He was a Mandingo boy

What language did he speak?

Primary Witness: He spoke English not too well.

How long did they stay there for?

Primary Witness: They came September and retrieved December.

How many persons you think they killed?

Primary Witness: More then 50 or 100 they started from Kokoya to Gbadah

Did you bury your father?

Primary Witness: Yes, the bone.

Commissioner Syllah: You said some body stomach open chest out?

Are you aware weather they were eating human heart or not?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I was not present but the shot drum they use to cook it in the bone was there.

You said the LURD forces came to the town?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you remember the month?

Primary Witness: Yes, August 18.

Were they Taylor soldiers around?

Primary Witness: Yes, it was funny because they use to combine.

Besides Baby girl, they carry other girls as their wives?

Primary Witness: That?s the one that happen in my present

Commissioner Dolopei:

Where some of your relatives part of the fighting force?

Primary Witness: Yes, my brother his name is Jorkor

Commissioner Coleman: Your parents, any thing happen to them?

Primary Witness: We run in Nimba

Where are your father and mother?

Primary Witness: My father die.

From the war?

Primary Witness: No, natural death

Co-Chairman: Any thing you want to say?

Primary Witness: What we want for government to do for us or TRC and the International world is find us trade school to learn and be able to help our children.

Twenty-First Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Gbarnga, Bong County

Oritha Morris

(Sixth Primary Witness of day three)

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.

Co-Chair: Thanks for coming; this process is intended for us to identify the bad things that happened to people during the war. Please tell us your name.

Primary Witness: My name is Oretha Morris.

When you were born?

Primary Witness: I was born on October 14, 1974.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Harbel, Dolo's Town.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I do small businesses for living.

Please tell us your testimony.

Primary Witness: In 1993, the war drove us from Bong Mines and we ran to Kakata; when we got in Kakata, it was attacked and we had to run to the Division. When we got at the Division, my mother came and informed us about our father's death. When we heard the news and we were about to cry, they attacked the area again and we had to traveled all the way to CARI.

While in CARI, Gbarnga fell and we went for refuge on the Tanzanian Troop base in CARI; while we were there, the Tanzanians soldiers started leaving the area secretly. One of my friends came and was telling the how the Peace Keepers we were depending on were leaving secretly. While we were discussing, one of the Tanzanian soldiers came and grabbed me by my hand and asked me how I got the information that they were leaving secretly? Right away, a girl who was one of their girl-friend came and started asking him why they are leaving secretly? After a while, ULIMO fighters came and captured the area and they told us that they had come to liberate us and we left and went to the Phebe school compound and we started living in some of the classrooms. We were in the school and ULIMO started giving us food and they told us that they were there for just 10 days. We heard that ULIMO did lot of bad things but I did not see them doing it.

After 10 days, they started looking for woman, one of them came to our window and told his boss man that oh, here are two beautiful women; they took my sister and she asked them not to do anything to me because I was her bigger sister. While we were there, I used to rub white chalk on me and it created rashes all on my body and I used to wear one old gown that was owned by our mother; one day one of them came and saw the dress on me and said who this ugly old lady? They left me and went their way. One day, we heard that NPFL was coming and the ULIMO fighters brought a truck and asked who all wanted to go with them and those that wanted follow them went with them. After few days, we heard that NPFL set arm bush on the road and all those that were in the truck died on the way.

When we left there, we were worried because there were ULIMO or NPFL fighters around the area but one day, we saw few of the NPFL fighters coming to the compound and the entire citizens of the community were very happy and the women spread their lappers on the ground for the fighters to walk on. While we were rejoicing, the same NPFL fighters that we were receiving happily started looting people things. Some of the citizens got angry and arrested them and beat because they did not have any ammunition in their guns. After they beaten, they took the report to their boss man called Monamee in Seayen. When Monamee got the information, he ordered his men and they started coming to Phebe. When I heard that they were coming, I ran to the hospital. All the civilian men took their cutlasses and went in front of the hospital but when Monamee and his men came, they started shooting at the people they met in front the hospital; they started killing people; some of them went to the back, some went to the front and others entered the hospital and started killing people. They even killed a Doctor that was on duty that day. It was only God that saved some of us that day.

They arrested those of us that were not killed and took us to Senyea; when we got in Senyea, they started forcing people to carry them to the base and I managed and escaped that same day and went to Gbartala.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Dolopei: Where was your father killed?

Primary Witness: I said we ran to Kakata and Kakata was again attacked and we ran to the Division and while we were in the division, our mother came and told us that our father has died.

What was the name of your father?

Primary Witness: His name was John Boe.

Which fighting group was responsible for the killing of your father?

Primary Witness: I do not know because I was not there.

Where is your mother?

Primary Witness: She is now living in Harbel.

Commissioner Syllah: How many persons died at Phebe Hospital that day?

Primary Witness: I think they were 102 persons.

Do you know the name of anyone of the commanders?

Primary Witness: I did not know anyone from the beginning but one man called himself Monamee, he was boosting and calling his name, Monamee and that nothing was going to happen to him if anyone tells Taylor.

Children died?

Primary Witness: Yes, children, the elderly and a Doctor were killed that day.

They buried the bodies?

Primary Witness: Well, I was not there.

Commissioner Stewart: You say NPFL had their base in Senyea?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you remember any of the commanders name?

Primary Witness: I said no.

How was Monamee speaking?

Primary Witness: It was war time and so no one had time for that.

Do you know the name of the Doctor that was killed?

Primary Witness: Yes, his name was Dr. Farnia.

A medical Doctor?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was going to the back door and they fired, the first shot hit him and he died.

What are some of the names of the people that were killed?

Primary Witness: No, I cannot remember any of the names.

You say the fighters entered the hospital?

Primary Witness: Yes, some of them went to the back, some went to the front and some of them entered the hospital itself.

Where was your sister?

Primary Witness: I left her and my mother at the Phebe School.

Where did you go after?

Primary Witness: When they arrested us, they took us to Senyea.

What happened in Senyea?

Primary Witness: They were just selecting people to go for training.

Was Dr. Gonlegarley the head of the hospital at the time?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

Which month and year it happened?

Primary Witness: It happened in September in the year 1994.

Gbarnga had fallen at that time?

Primary Witness: Yes.

How long you were in Senyea?

Primary Witness: Lass than one day, I left straight for Gbartala.

Please describe Monamee.

Primary Witness: At the time, he was black and slim but I do not know whether he was a foreigner or Liberian at the time.

Will you be able to recognize him when you see him?

Primary Witness: No, it has taken a long time.

Commissioner Konneh: Which forces attacked Kakata?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

Which fighting group was in control of Kakata?

Primary Witness: I cannot remember.

The Tanzanian troops left the area and went without telling your?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was the Doctor that was killed dressed in his medical attire?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Co-Chair: Thanks very much for your testimony and we once again say sorry. Is there anything that you want tell us before you leave?

Primary Witness: Yes, but I forgot something. In 2003, Armed Robbers killed my sister in Dolo's Town in Harbel.

Was fighting still on going at the time?

Primary Witness: Yes, they shut the man and he is presently walking with crushes and the government did nothing about it.

What was the name of your sister?

Primary Witness: Diamondwa Cooper.

What is the name of her husband?

Primary Witness: His name is John Cooper.

Have you any idea about the doers of the act?

Primary Witness: Yes, it was Oliver and he is right now in Monrovia; the night he did the killing, he came and ate with my sister.

Who told you that it was this Oliver?

Primary Witness: There was a man in his cassava farm that night and he heard all that was going on; he was the one that told us how they took my sister outside and she recognized Oliver and asked him to save her and she would have given her wedding band to him; but Oliver said that he release her, she would have expose the secret and so he shut her.

The man who claimed to have seen the action still alive?

Primary Witness: Yes, he is living right now in Harbel.

Was Oliver arrested?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was arrested and detained at the Central Prison in Monrovia but when we to find out, the people at the prison compound told that he ran away; and right now he is in Monrovia.

Has you family taken the complained to the police?

Primary Witness: Yes, we have been doing all we can but in Liberia if you do not have money, there is no right for you; the police once asked my mother to give them L$30,000.00 but she refused and said that it was better to use the money for the children that are left behind.

Where Oliver can be found in Monrovia?

Primary Witness: He is in Monrovia and I know someone who knows where he lives in Monrovia.

Twenty-Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Gbarnga, Bong County

Moses B. Kekula

(Seventh Primary Witness of day three)

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.

Co chair: Mr. Kerkulah, hello and welcome to the TRC and thank you for coming. We are supposed to go to all the counties to listen to all the bad things that happen during the war and we are also supposed to find out why the war happened. So we say you are welcome. We will ask you few questions for the record. What is your name again?

Primary Witness: My name is Moses Kerkulah.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Sanoyea District.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I am 34 years of age.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer now.

What you use to do first?

Primary Witness: I was going to school.

When did you stop going to school?

Primary Witness: I stopped going to school in 1990.

Primary Witness: During this war, it was 1994, one of my brothers, we are 3 brothers. So one of they call Cyrus, so when the war came, we decided to come back to our town. When the war came, they kill my brother right in front of me. So I was scared, I say I can't stay here, so I went in the bush because at that time the whole of Sanoyea was not saved. Because they had one group in Sanoyea, they use to call the Bandies. They say first that they came to guard us. When they sent any commander there his own friend them will kill him. So they sent one general there by the name of General Sawkpor. When they came, they use to do all kinds of bad thing in the town. But that time, they use to have one group call the Bandies. They use to be doing all kinds of things there, they use to raped the women them, kill and loot people things. So I say I can't stay in this place. So I went in the bush. After some times I stayed in the bush that bush, one day, I tell my ma say I can't stay here; I want to go back to the town. So I started going, me and some other people them. When we were on our way, we were 3, as soon as we left the bush and we got on the road, that how we met them and they halted us. So one of my sister was there, she was having baby, so she was sacred and she ran away in the bush. So that how they ask us where your going? We told them we going back to our town. So they took us and carry us back to the kitchen where my ma them was air, that how we started carrying them. So when we got there, my other sister was there, she was having baby; they rape my sister in front of me. I was standing there. Yes, I was standing there, it was hurting me, but that was nothing I can do. I was standing right there, I saw it. So that the thing I get to tell the TRC.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Co chair: we want to thank you for coming to the TRC; your testimony will help us do our work. And we are sorry for every thing that happened to you. We want to say sorry for the death of your brother and tell your sister sorry for what happen to her. You said they kill your brother in front of you, do you know why?

Primary Witness: No, I will not lie, because I just saw them put him in line and they fire them.

Was he married or had children?

Primary Witness: No, but he had a girl friend.

What is her name?

Primary Witness: Her name is Korlu.

Did they have children?

Primary Witness: No.

Where is she now?

Primary Witness: She is in the bush.

Commissioner Steward: I want to thank you for coming and sorry for what happen to you. This group that kill your brother, who were they?

Primary Witness: They were NPFL.

Who was their head?

Primary Witness: He was General Monami.

Is it the same man that was at Sinje?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was he a Liberian?

Primary Witness: No, he does not sound like a Liberian.

Since that time, have you seen him?

Primary Witness: No, I have not seen him.

You said, your sister was raped, what happened to the baby?

Primary Witness: The baby died the next day.

Did she die?

Primary Witness: No, but she was feeling bad, but my mother help her.

But has she gone to the hospital?

Primary Witness: No.

Is everything ok with her?

Primary Witness: Some time I can see her she na well.

The people who did the thing, do you know them?

Primary Witness: No, I can't remember them.

Besides the rape of your sister, did they rape other people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Did they loot?

Primary Witness: Yes, they were looting.

Did they force boys to be soldiers?

Primary Witness: Yes, we were all in the bush, they force us from the bush, and brought all the boys out side, but I was sacred, so I never came out, and when I came back my ,mother told me they carry some boys when they came back, they were soldiers.

Did you have any experience with ULIMO?

Primary Witness: No, because I was too afraid, only NPFL I saw.

And you were in Yakpai town till now?

Primary Witness: Yes.

When LURD came, did they do anything to you?

Primary Witness: No, I was not there.

Can you remember anything about the Bandies, in Sanoyea?

Primary Witness: Yes.

But do you about the involvement of Richard Flomo?

Primary Witness: Yes, I know him.

Did you see him?

Primary Witness: No, he lives far away from my town.

Did you hear about any killing about the bandies in your area?

Primary Witness: The Bandies kill, they kill in Sanoyea.

Besides this General who else do you remember?

Primary Witness: It was General Siafa Momo, and general Sawkpor.

Can you see any of them?

Primary Witness: Yes, they are alive but in Monrovia.

In 2003, what were the bandies involve in?

Primary Witness: They sent them there to take care of the civilians. One general Abel Mulbah, he was sent there, and this General Abel Mulbah was their head, and the bandies kill him, and that how they started taking over Sanoyea. So we use to haul rice for them.

How did they kill him?

Primary Witness: They just catch him and kill him, his own man them.

Commissioner Konneh: thank you for your testimony and sorry for the death of your brother. You talk about one general, what is his name?

Primary Witness: His name was Gogai Gee.

How did he treat the civilians?

Primary Witness: He treated them very bad.

Like how?

Primary Witness: Like raping, making us to carry their load.

Besides, your sister, did they rape any other person?

Primary Witness: Yes, one girl call Yakpai, and one other one called Waysei, but she died.

Did you talk about any general Saye?

Primary Witness: No.

What's about Siafa?

Primary Witness: I heard he is in Bomi.

What about general Sawkpor?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you very much. Your sister, where is she now?

She is in Monrovia.

Since that time, has she complain about her health?

Primary Witness: Yes, she always complains about her stomach.

Does she have children?

Primary Witness: Yes, she had children since that time.

Co chair: do you have any thing to say to the TRC before you leave?

Primary Witness: Yes, I will like to tell the TRC thank you for what you are doing. In our area there, I will like for your to help us open a trade school there so some of us can go to school, we want to learn but what do we do? And I want to thank the council member of the TRC and the commissioners.

Twenty-Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Gbarnga, Bong County

Joseph McGill

(Eighth Primary Witness of day three)

The Eighth 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. He was accompanied by an interpreter

Co-Chair: We want to thank you for agreeing to share your story. We are asked to go through all of the atrocity that were done and to document it. What is your name?

Primary Witness: I am Joseph McGill.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I am 40 years old.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I presently live in Gbarnga.

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I do farming Garden, I plant vegetables pepper and batter ball.

Primary Witness: The starting 1994, we left Gbarnga and went to Kokoya the group call LPC came and we left again. One evening, we saw one man and a litter boy coming on our farm he came and grabbed me and knock me down. On the farm there was my wife one blind man and myself. They tied me and he said he was going to kill me. And one man came and beg for me and when he left me, he took my wife and carry her and rape her and he came again and tie me. One boy was coming, Richard he grabbed the boy and carry him. I was very scared now and we went to Zota but while there, my daughter was with my mother and so we came back to look for them and when we came I find my daughter with the old ma. Another war came, Charles Taylor group came and one other group with Paul Kromah. My two daughters and myself went on our farm and while there, I left them at the kitchen and went in the bush, and some man came and ask for me and my daught
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