Press Releases

Stories of Cannibalism by Taylor's Men in Lofa

Witness Say They Were Forced To Eat Dogs, Human Beings

April 16, 2008

Voinjamin (TRC)?Militiamen loyal to former President Charles Taylor forced civilians to eat human flesh and dogs after they massacred scores of civilians in 2003 in Popalahum, Lofa County, a witness told commissioners of Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Twenty-five-years-old Siafa Amadu said government fighters under the command of Zigzag Mazzah and another only identified as Stanley fed the town's inhabitants dogs and human flesh and threatened to kill anyone who refused to eat them.

"When they killed dogs and human beings they used to force us to eat them. If you failed to eat the dogs and human beings they cooked, they would kill you. So we were forced to eat what they gave us," he explained.

Amadu said during repeated onslaughts of rebel fighters of the defunct Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) on the towns and villages of Kolahun District, government fighters massacred hundreds of villagers and inhabitants accusing them of being sympathizers of the advancing rebels.

He said the civilians including his father were slaughtered by the fighters and the survivors were given the dead flesh to feed on or risked being killed by the government fighters.

He explained that Mazzah and his men dismembered the bodies of victims by extracting parts including their hearts, legs and hands and then piled their remains in a house and burned them.

Amadu was testifying Wednesday at the ongoing county public hearings of the TRC in Voinjamin City, Lofa County.

He explained that government fighters killed 33 inhabitants of Kailahun Town and left the bodies in the open to rot. He said the decomposed bodies of the dead were buried when fighters of LURD overwhelmed government troops and briefly captured the town.

The witness said he was compelled to join LURD rebel forces in their military campaign against the Taylor government because most of his relatives were killed.

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 public hearings are being held under the theme: "Confronting Our Difficult Past For A Better Future."

Cclic This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
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.