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Survivors of Lofa Massacres Recount Experiences

TRC Hearings Day Twelve

January 28, 2008

MONROVIA (TRC)--Two female survivors of separate massacres in Lofa County narrated horrible accounts of their experiences at the ongoing National Public Hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia on Monday.

Ma Krubo Eyea and Madame Masagbeh Dulleh recounted their experiences at Day 12 of the hearings at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.

Ma Krubo Eyea said she witnessed the slaughter of about 21 civilians in the town of Salayea, Lofa County, afterward they were piled up in a house which was set ablaze by fighters of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) in 1990.

Eyea said that in addition to the massacre, her father, Thomas Pewee, junior sister, Gamai, and her three-year-old child were also burned alive in her presence by the fighters in their hometown, Lorma Passama.

Eyea said her uncle, Harris Peewee, with whom she lived in Division 38 in Firestone, Margibi County, was also killed by NPFL fighters prompting her returned home to Lorma Passama.

"One morning when we woke up, we saw the town surrounded by NPFL rebels who claimed to be searching for government troops known during the war as "Doe soldiers," but there was none to be found," she explained.

The witness, who has scars from fire burns all over her body, explained that she was abandoned by her husband because another rebel commander, Mohammed of the ULIMO, made her a sex slave after which her husband, Forkpa contracted gonorrhea from her. The victim said she was tortured by fighters of ULIMO and the NPFL during the war.

Another tearful survivor, Masagbeh Dulleh, claimed that General Town Chief James Larsellee of Nekabozu ordered Jerry Kenne, now a police officer, Colonel Flomo, then-commander of the Zorzor Police Detachment, and Jallah to murder scores of ethnic Mandingos.

Speaking through an interpreter, Masagbeh said they woke-up one morning and saw the entire town surrounded by armed men carrying single barrel guns, arresting ethnic Mandingos on Chief James' orders.

Dulleh explained that the victims' legs were tied before they were taken to the riverbank for execution.

She recounted that the massacre of ethnic Mandingo elders and youths happened on August 20, 1999, during the regime of President Charles Taylor, after ethnic Lormas who perpetrated the massacre accused the Mandingo of not respecting their cultural and traditional norms, of sympathizing with rebels of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and of hiding their weapons.

After rounding them up, the witness explained, the elders were separated from the youth and taken to the river bank, where they were executed while the youth were taken to another location for prosecution.

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