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Edward Slanger & Death Squad Killed Robert Phillips...Ambassador Coleman

Monrovia, August 11, 2008: Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) death squad led by Edward Slanger reportedly murdered engineer Robert A. Phillips in early 1990, veteran diplomat and a relative of the deceased, Othello Coleman told commissioners of Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Quoting the mother of Mr. Phillips, Mrs. Roberta A. Phillip, Coleman recounted how Slanger and his AFL death squad visited the home of Phillips during the heydays of the civil war.

At the home of Phillips, the diplomat explained an individual bang at the door and when he responded, the voice said "it's me bob." Mr. Coleman noted that according to reports the voice was Mr. Phillips brother-in-law. He said Phillips had returned home at midnight after spending the entire day at the home of his mother on Cheeseman Avenue in Sinkor

When Mr. Phillips opened the door, he explained, the soldiers engaged him in a brutal fight during which he was overpowered and murdered.

After the fight, Ambassador Coleman said Phillips' body was reportedly fed to lions by the soldiers. He said the whereabouts of 7 other relatives who resided at Phillips' residence remain unknown since the incident.

Mr. Coleman, son of slain opposition politician David Coleman, who was accused of plotting to overthrow the government of President William V.S. Tubman, was testifying Monday at the ongoing TRC's Thematic and Institutional Inquiry Hearings at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.

Mr. Phillips was murdered in early 1990 at his 14th Street, Payne Avenue residence in Sinkor. Reports say during the murder the deceased had a tough struggle with his assailants before he was killed.

According to reports this was evident by blood stains splattered all over the scene of the murder.

Under the theme: "Understanding the Conflict Through its Principal Events and Actors," the ongoing hearings will address the root causes of the conflict, including its military and political dimensions.

The hearings are focused on events between 1979 and 2003 and the national and external actors that helped to shape those events.

The TRC was agreed upon in the August 2003 peace agreement and created by the TRC Act of 2005. T

he TRC was established to "promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation," and at the same time make it possible to hold perpetrators accountable for gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law that occurred in Liberia between January 1979 and October 2003.

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This had been the official website of the Liberian TRC. The Commission ended operation
in 2010. This website is maintained by the Georgia Institute of Technology.