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Witness Jesus Swaray: "I Saw Madam Sirleaf In Military Uniform"

The political advisor of the defunct ULIMOD-K faction claimed he saw President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf dressed in military uniform in 1990 in NPFL controlled territories.

Mr. Jesus Alieu Swaray revealed that while he was seeking refuge in NPFL territories during the heydays of the civil war he saw Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf accompanied by NPFL leader Charles Taylor touring the rebels' military bases in Nimba County.

Mr. Swaray: ?Though at the time I did not know the intention of Mrs. Sirleaf in the territory of the NPFL, I recommend that the Commission invite the madam to appear and explain her role in the civil crisis. I would advise you Commissioners to please find out from her what really she was doing there, visiting NPFL military bases and in military uniforms."

He was testifying Thursday at the ongoing TRC Thematic and Institutional Inquiry Hearings at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.
"I remember, I saw Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in her complete military uniform when she visited those military bases. I do not know what she was doing there. I was behind the line at a certain time; I never left the country. Before even we started the relief work here in Monrovia when the INPFL group came to Monrovia, it was horrible and we all ran through Fendell area. That was the time that I went behind the line and went as far as Nimba County," Swaray said.

"I was trying to find a way to cross into Ivory Coast and come back to Liberia. I was looking for refuge, but when I got there, I saw horrible things. I also had the advantage to visit some of the bases that were there. There were occasions where I saw the learned lady in her military outfit when she visited these bases.

The rest I think you can find out from her because at one time I remember when you invited her here she said she was writing her book and when that book is complete it would be released for the public to read.

The book is yet to be released," the Progressive Alliance of Liberia member said.
Swaray called for the prosecution of former opposition politicians at a war crimes court saying that these politicians including President Johnson-Sirleaf freed Charles Taylor from prison in the United States.

"Some opposition politicians who carried Taylor to Libya to train the rebel soldiers are responsible for the release of Taylor from jail in America. They paved the way for the onslaught that took place in Liberia including the capture and killing of the late President Samuel Doe by a splinter group of the NPFL led by General Prince Y. Johnson of the Independent NPFL on September 9, 1990.

Those politicians that brought this war on Liberia are not better than Mr. Charles Taylor. They should all be tried at the War Crimes Court in The Hague for the role they played in bringing upon the Liberian people such unforgettable disaster." he contended.

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.

The 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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