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"Fighters Ordered My Brother To Have Sex with Me"...Witness Tells TRC in Robert sport

Testifying recently at Public Hearings in Robert sport, Grand Cape Mount County, the victim, Rebecca Marker said when ULIMO-J fighters captured the city in 1993 she and her brother escaped and while enroute to Monrovia they encountered a checkpoint where he was ordered to have sexual intercourse with her.

"The fighters ordered my brother to have sex with me. I was very scared and I began to tremble. They told him that if he refused they will kill him, but he still refused. I was too scared for his life but he told the fighters he could not have sex with me," the petrified witness told the bewildered audience in the Robertsport City Hall.

Rebecca said her brother pleaded with the fighters to spare his life, but they insisted that he either carry out their orders or be killed.

"He cried and cried for them to spare his life, but none of them could listen to him. They said he should either have me or else he will be killed," the witness explained.

She said upon his refusal, the fighters ordered him to lie down between her legs and he was beheaded. The witness said she saw her brother struggle as one of the fighters slit his throat with a sharp knife.

After they cut his throat half way, she explained, "his blood splashed all over my body." Rebecca said she wept profusely leaving behind the body.

She explained that after she left the rebel's checkpoint, she encountered another group of rebels who sexually assaulted her using their genitals and other blunt objects following the discovery of a $50.00 JJ Roberts Liberian banknote in her possession.

She said the rebels who accused her of being a spy of another faction flogged her with cutlasses causing her wounds before they ordered her to strip herself naked.

In words which are indecent to repeat, Rebecca explained that the fighters raped her and then used sticks and other objects in her genital.

"I beg them to please leave me but they still put me at gunpoint. They used sticks and other things on me. I cried hard but they refused to listen. After they left me, I was bleeding for three months and I can still feel pain in my body," the witness said.

The TRC is an independent body set up to investigate the root causes of the Liberian crisis, document human rights violations, review the history of Liberia, and put all human rights abuses that occurred during the period from 1979 to 2003 on record. The TRC mandate is to also identify victims and perpetrators and make recommendations on amnesty, prosecution and reparation.

The hearings in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County which marked the end of the commission's Public Hearings in the 15 political sub-divisions of Liberia was held under the theme: "Confronting Our Difficult Past, For A Better Future."

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