Harper City: Day 2

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The Second day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Wednesday February 13, 2008 at the Harper City Hall, Maryland County. The Hearings session started with the Commissioners of the TRC being ushered into their seats followed by a welcome remarks form the Chairman of the TRC Cllr. Jerome Verdier, who then called on the Hearings Officer Pastor John Teayah to invite the first Primary Witness to give his testimony.

Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Fred Bahway
(First Primary Witness of day one)

The First Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: we are happy to welcome you to the TRC thank you very much, this is your opportunity to share with us your experience we are the Commissioner the Liberian government put together to reconcile the people of this nation. We want to welcome you once again.

Primary Witness: thank you.

Primary Witness: We were ambushed by NPFL and many people got wounded and god made me to escape and I went in the bush for 2 days and luckily god send somebody in the forest and the person saw me and started running and I said my brother please help me he said you are a soldier and I said I am Mr. Fred Bahway the one who has the club at Pleebo.

He started crying and said I am going to help you to dreg you to Mr. Ogunti area and he went to Kaloken and told Mr. Ogunti and he sent people to come for me and they took me to country Doctor to take the bullet from in me and they have been trying but some are still there. So I am happy for the TRC to come to Maryland for me to tell them what happen.

Later the LPC came and each time they come and see my ear cut, they say I am a rebel and they want to kill me, I have been living a miserable life. God help me and I have reach this day, for I am still in pain. So I am begging the Liberian government and the TRC to send me to hospital, I don't want money.

The LPC came and tie my Nut and it is affecting me. Each time I go to the hospital they say I am affected, my nut has problem and it need to be checked. I am not asking for money, I need help from the TRC to go to the hospital, because my nut can be climbing. If you have any question and ask me I am willing to answer to explain it.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you very much for what happened to you. We will take this time to ask you few questions.

What year did this happen?

Primary Witness: 1990 September 4th

What part of Maryland did this happen?

Primary Witness: Pleebo Kaloken Highway.

You spoke of LPC

Primary Witness: They came and tie me and tied my private part and burned down my business place.

When did this happen?

Primary Witness: 1994. MODEL also came and saw my appearance and said I was a fighter and they jailed me and people had to talk for me. They only took all my properties and did nothing to me.

Commissioner Bull: we are sorry for your situation. Your condition is terrible and we hope that there is somebody listening who will come and help you to send you to the J.J. Dosen Hospital after your plea. We shall see how we can try to send you to the Hospital. We can assure you that we will try and see what could happen for you. Sorry and we hope that you will go to the hospital

Primary Witness: Thank you I am impressed.

Commissioner Stewart: do you remember the LPC, NPFL and the MODEL, who do you remember was the leader

Primary Witness: After I was attacked, they were in ambushed, I fell under the stick and a car came from behind, and I could hear Chalie Jayswen, Tuttle Bone and JJ they were the people that led the group to Maryland. The stick I was under they made some people to came and drink human bleed and they were eating human heart and if I did not camouflage they would have done the same to me.

LPC situation

Primary Witness: I was in town when they came and I was looking for my son to go to the IC and they saw me ears and they said I was a fighter and they tied me and some people came and talked for me and that is how they left me.


Primary Witness: When they came they saw my situation and saw valuable items in my house and they said I was a soldier and they caught me and the market women came and beg for me and told them I was a business man. So they left me but they looted my home.

Commissioner Washington: after some timer did you see these people you mentioned?

Primary Witness: I saw them, they use to visit me to my business place and they said they thought it was an army car I was in.

Do you know whether these people are living today or where they are?

Primary Witness: No I don't know whether they are alive. I only heard where they came from but I don't know where they are. JJ is from Kanweaken

Do you know where this J.J. girl fried is?

Primary Witness: No I don't know.

Do you know the name of the commander of the LPC?

Primary Witness: Yes he was called No Bible and the second commander is called Hoto. He is a Yanbo fellow from Maryland.

Do you know the real name of the No Bible?

Primary Witness: No I don't know his tribe or his name.

What kind of treatment is the community giving you?

Primary Witness: The only lady that is always helping me to buy drugs is Koplah Wleh I think she is working with the TRC she is the one helping me to buy drugs.

How many children do you have?

Primary Witness: Nine children

Commissioner Dolopei: sorry for what happened to you and I hope God will give you the strength to go ahead. Is there any other visible mark besides the ear I can see that can easily be seen to show for the records?

Primary Witness: I have a bend knife mark, bullet marks and there are bullets even in my foot right now.

What is the condition with you now?

Primary Witness: From month before the last, my body can turn white and some times my see wants to climb and I have to tie it with rope, and I even have back pain, and I can't hear good and my eyes are like dew due to the bomb they send in the car.

The bend knife you show was it done by the same people?

Primary Witness: Yes, when we came from the car I knew it was rebel and I could see the junior man and the lady and the little boy and I jumped out and they caught me and a lady said no he is a business man, but that lady was killed in my presence and I said I rather die then for somebody to be killed for me. I started to argue with them and when they started shooting I jumped in the hole.

Can you identify the place it happened?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Syllah: besides you have you been able to see other survival?

Primary Witness: A lady who was in the car with the little boy is now in the IC. All the children that were in the car are safe, nothing happened. Another lady in the car is now in Barobo and she is a prophet woman.

Where arte the nine children?

Primary Witness: I had a girlfriend in Kaloken who is now in America and the Tuttle bone man was with her and they had a child. She and I had four children.

How is the life of the children?

Primary Witness: Very miserable, they can not go to school because of money. I only have one child in school now and I don't have the money to pay her fees.

Commissioner Coleman: the place you said they burnt, was it your own property?

Primary Witness: No I was renting the place, and I am renting right now. I have to plant greens and sugar cane for life.

Commissioner Konneh: sorry for what happened to you. It is difficult to see yourself in as good condition and they in a worse one we hope you will accept the condition in good faith. You did not mention General Dan when you mentioned those that said sorry?

Primary Witness: Those that came to me and say sorry are those I am concerned about.

Who was General Dan?

Primary Witness: He was one of the commanders.

Have you seen some of these people around?

Primary Witness: No

Out of the nine children, how many of them are in school?

Primary Witness: Two, but one had to drop because of money and he is finding small things for us to eat.

Do you have a wife?

Primary Witness: I do away with a wife because I am not fine.

Are you still functioning as a man?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Chairman: Mr. Witness, we want to thank you for coming, we heard you testimony and heard you plea. What you did by coming up is helping the whole country in finding solution to the problem. It will also help us in making recommendation for what went on.

Seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Maximillian N. Jah Sr.
(Second Primary Witness of day one)

The Second Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: thanks for coming to share with us we feel that it is all citizens obligation to come forward to share what happen to them with us.

Primary Witness: Thank you in the first place for your concern for war affected civilians. I was at the age of 22 when the Charles Taylor rebels spoiled my entire life what happened I went to informed my mother not go out because soon that day she use to go out to the market. September 15, 1990 a taxi driver cap was beheaded, but that did not make me afraid. What made me afraid to jump in the bush one of the fighters was naked and had a little girl on his lap she was left in the street I don't know if he used gun or knife on the little girl but he took the little girl intestine out and had it in his hand. Then I ran in the bush. They shot behind me in a twinkling of an eye they surround me and I put my hands up in that time one William T. Sewo gave an instruction and they shot my two hands, after that I was taking to the hospital. The boy who shot my hands was one Richard was shot dead too when he went to do looting. Dr. Kopto was my witness at the hospital.

John Gbeto used to work at the Agriculture Ministry in the forestry section and Moses Blai went to me at the hospital and said someone told them that I knew about the containers that were in t he port. They order me out of the hospital and took me to the port and I showed them container and force me to show them where the spear Land Rover. After I showed them the containers and they took off the jeeps then John Gbeto went and kicked in my gut then I was taken to the hospital again. One vessel came for guinea and the sailor of this ship beheaded on fellow because he refuse to give him his shoes he was one NPFL fighters.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you very much we empathize with you for the lost of your hand and the pains you went through and thanks for braving the storm to come and observe this as your civil responsibility.

Commissioner Konneh: William Sewo, do you know his whereabouts?

Primary Witness: Yes I was even tracing him one time on Randall Street he was smart and got lost from me but he live in the suburb in Duport road.

Will you be willing to sit on a round conference table in peaceful atmosphere?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Who is this Gen. Moses Blage?

Primary Witness: He was commander and later he became vice president and later president, your know him well.

John Gbeto, how you got to know him?

Primary Witness: I just got to know when they force me to go and show them the container the jeeps were in the port. But he was working at the Ministry of Agriculture in the fishery section.

When Moses Balge saw you wounded what did he do?

Primary Witness: He was still in that his inhumane way to look at me he didn't care.

Commissioner Coleman: Were Gen. Blage and Gbento the two generals that you knew.

Was Gen. Gbento a citizen in this area?

Primary Witness: He was a civilian but had a connection with Blage. He was not a general he was controlling the FDA here during the war.

Did you have any other experience after the NPFL time like the LPC time and MODEL?

Primary Witness: The fact is the fact, the first incident that happen to me I did not give me myself chance to go in those people war.

Commissioner Syllah: can you remember the fighter was had the little girl?

Primary Witness: I was so afraid I don't know his name; I had to leave that area.

Where did you work before the war?

Primary Witness: NPA.

Can you tell us how you know Moses Blage?

Primary Witness: From his activities during the war, the way he gave orders and later his ascendancy as vice president and president.

Can you tell some of his activities?

Primary Witness: He is a bit and blow me, he treat your bad and later make you happy, so I was very skeptical to get around him.

Who was William T. Sewo?

Primary Witness: William T. Sewo, he was the general who ordered his man to shoot me.

Who was John Gbeto?

Primary Witness: He was the one who kicked me in my stomach at the port after I showed them the container. Dr. Charles Cooper in the States is my witness.

How has this affected you live?

Primary Witness: A whole lot, but through god all is possible, let me give you an experience the woman that I spent 30 yrs with me just left me on Jan. last year.

Commissioner Washington: you said Moses Blage used you as free laborer, what do you mean?

Primary Witness: We used to work on incoming and outgoing vessels loading and off loading like the ship that came from Guinea we use to load with limber and after that he will just say thank you your can go.

How long did this go on?

Primary Witness: Over 6 months.

How many workers laborer?

Primary Witness: In the port system there shift are divided into day and night for my condition I was in the day I use to work, I use my own head to divide the people with into 6 or 12 at time.

Were they civilian or fighters?

Primary Witness: We were working for the port before the war we were all civilians.

What was in the container you took them to?

Primary Witness: A rubber company here had brought a consignment of vehicles. All land rover jeeps. They did not know how to get it out so some one told them that I knew something about the jeeps and that how they went for me at the hospital. They were all white jeeps and the ones they were using here.

Can you tell us what are some of things Moses Blage was engaged in, what kind of general was he?

Primary Witness: That one I can't lie to you because of my condition I was not always outside.

Commissioner Stewart: what was the role of the port in sustaining the NPFL for the port of Harper the kinds of goods that were imported or exported?

Primary Witness: Well my brother they know who they were receiving cargo from, the imported fuel as well

Who was imported the fuel?

Primary Witness: Wherever it came I don't know.

Was there anyone responsibility over the port at the time?

Primary Witness: Baba Fawahs was the responsible for the port here.

This contain up to when?

Primary Witness: Over ten years.

How many ship entered the port on a weekly basis?

Primary Witness: To my own experience, from Tolbert to Doe, 3 ships for a month and afterwards we clean the port but for Taylor there use to be up 10 ships a month

What kinds of goods were they dealing with?

Primary Witness: So - so logs.

Were they not dealing in any other cargo?

Primary Witness: Yes like rubber, when MODEL came in the Lebanese man was control firestone again and he started exporting rubber.

Can you estimate how much worth of logs were export?

Primary Witness: If I go by one old little record, over a million dollars, Vivian Cole was the GMD of the ports during Taylor.

Can you record any arm ship through this port?

Primary Witness: Actually it was one SIDA on Benson Street that hired me to do secrete investigation I wrote against Taylor and told them what was going on. So I knew how much they use export every month. We were at the port that day when he vessel came with the arms the former superintendent Dan Moriah and Sewo drove us the workers when the ship docked Fawahs was also with them.

How many times can you remember?

Primary Witness: 4 times I witness they brought in arms.

Former superintendent Moriah drove you?

Primary Witness: Yes he drove us from port when the guns came.

Did the port have any payroll?

Primary Witness: Yes people who were selected by Vivian Cole and Baba Fawaz

Where is Fawaz?

Primary Witness: I don't know I have not seen him some time.

Does he have business interest, business still running here?

Primary Witness: No but his machineries are here in WPF yard and somebody is taking care of them.

Who is in charge of them?

Primary Witness: One Liberian Mandingo man is in charge.

Commissioner Bull: William Sewo order Corel Rachard to shoot when you put your hands up, what hand did you use to work with prior to the hands been shot?

Primary Witness: My right hand.

I see chalk on your other hands, what is it?

Primary Witness: Oh, this one last year December 6 a motor cycle threw me down and I had my hand disjointed.

What year was that when you were doing the investigation for SIDA?

Primary Witness: That was 2001 to 2002.

Babas Fawaz, did he have a business in Maryland here other than logging?

Primary Witness: Yes in Maryland here no.

For how long was controlling the ports here?

Primary Witness: From 1990 to 2000.

He practically ran the port was there any other company around then?

Primary Witness: There was another company that was called LWPC but he use his connection to push them out.

Former superintendent that drove you was he Dan Moriah you were referring to?

Primary Witness: Dan Moriah.

How did you know it was ammunition?

Primary Witness: After they drove us I came to the ammunition I came to Fawaz store where the arms were store. And I saw it.

Did you ever see Moses Blage with a gun or giving orders to shoot anyone?

Primary Witness: The true is the true, he never had arms but he stood and give instruction.

Commissioner Coleman: was he aware of the off loading the vessel with the arms?

Primary Witness: By then I heard that he was ambassador to Libya.

What year was that?

Primary Witness: After 1990

Was Fawaz collecting port revenue as well?

Primary Witness: Yes he had his brother Sam Fawaz was his accountant here.

So there was no government official here?

Primary Witness: Only Vivian Cole.

Chairman: you said Baba Fawaz was here as second vice president, why so?

Primary Witness: Ask any one here who has lived during that time the way soldier guarded him. He was very powerful he was really next to the vice president.

Primary Witness: as everything has its support, my recommendation for we affected civilian in the war, 1st is I want you to please improvise for the affected civilian, like artificial arms and limbs for us, 2nd to improvise for affected civilian to fit in the society - they had to work not as street beggars, and these what I can recommend.

Chairman: Thank your very much so your recommendation and your testimonies have added weight to our works and your voice and the voice of all Liberian will be heard so your coming is appreciated thank you again may leave.

Eighth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Jacob B. Wah
(Third Primary Witness of day one)

The Third Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: Mr. Witness, you are welcome to the Public Hearings of the TRC process, the people of Maryland County, the Commissioners of the TRC and the people of Liberia are all listening to you. We want to express our appreciation for you coming to tell your story. The contribution of every Liberian is very important to this process. This is the opportunity for you to say what has happened to you.

Primary Witness: thank you sir.

Date of birth please

Primary Witness: 1953

Are you currently employed?

Primary Witness: No, I am town chief for Pleebo Town.

Okay, the one what happen is my first trouble is LPC, they killed my daughter right on the road and they chap me. During MODEL time they killed my mother and my small brother, and one soldier man name Turtle bone came to Pleebo town and say I want you to carry me Kaloken and nothing will happen and they collected the people and carry them. We were there and LPC came and they grab us and they killed my brother and my mother. They even beat me. So this is my problem.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: We want to thank you for sharing your problem with us. We want to say sorry for the lost of your grand mother and your son. What you have said is what we want that is why we are going from County to County.

Did the war go to your Town?

Primary Witness: Yes it went there, all the war went to the town.

Your people in the town, did they suffer in the war?

Primary Witness: Yes

Can you tell us some of the things that happened in the town?

Primary Witness: What I know is the soldier people came and they suffer my people and take their things from them and beat some of them.

What year did this happen?

Primary Witness: That LPC time.

How you know that LPC?

Primary Witness: Because when they came they can tell us.

Commissioner Konneh: you said your brother was killed, which of the rebel faction killed him and how he was killed?

Primary Witness: My brother was on the farm and he was coming from on the farm and the met him and they killed him and that LPC kill him.

In your story you said your brother was grabbed and gashed with pieces of bottle, who did that?

Primary Witness: It was LPC time. When LPC go away then Taylor came in then they brought in ECOWAS.

Commissioner Coleman: you said before the LPC came it was a peaceful time, is that right?

Primary Witness: When LPC come they na trouble but when Taylor group came before the trouble start. The Taylor people treated us bad, they take our things our money and they kill us.

Commissioner Dolopei: thank you for coming to the TRC. Before the LPC came what the group was there?

Primary Witness: That the Taylor group, that them was the first group and they kill people.

What happened between your and the LPC?

Primary Witness: When they come they not trouble anybody. But before they go back, that changing gun carry them, but when they come back na they was worse, they started killing people. They were looking for me then I run away, and they kill my grand mother and my brother and my son.

You know some of the people who were doing this thing?

Primary Witness: Sometimes when they carry our children and go on the other side that the other people will come on the other side, so you will not know the people who did that thing. The name of the Taylor group I forget the name, but the LPC the call their chief Rebel King.

Who Turtle Bone was fighting for?

Primary Witness: Taylor Group.

Chairman: we want to thank for coming to share your story and to say sorry for what happened to you. All you have told us will contribute to the work of the commission. If you have anything else to say you can now say it before you go.

Primary Witness: Okay! We had a workshop, and they say if your go and the person who did bad to you what you will say? My point is the person who did bad the time is past, my mother die I cry she not come, my grand mother die I cry she not come back. I want to tell your that the way how your come to us is very good. I want to tell your that if your go, your must look back, because if the suffering come it can be easy, so I beg your if anything happen your must come back.

Chairman: Thank you we are very happy for sharing your story and for the advice you have given us.

Ninth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Josephine Nimely
(Forth Primary Witness of day one)

The Forth Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and she was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: thank you for coming to the TRC. We thank every citizen like yourself for coming to the TRC. We have a work to do and the people of Liberia have to help us in doing this work that is why we are going from county to county. That is the reason why we are here today. The Commissioners of the TRC and the People of Liberia are all here to listen to you.

Your name again?

Primary Witness: Josephine N

Are you working?

Primary Witness: I am not doing anything.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born 74

Primary Witness: The second LPC war we were sleeping and the people came and we begin to run and we saw the people and my mother say we not hearing anything and we not know where we are going and she say me and my two brothers must come back and take some things. I heard firing and I say oh the people in town, your look for canoe let us cross.

The people finish shooting all in the town and when the see the canoe on the water they starting shooting and the bullet touch me and one boy drop and I say you have to put strong before thy kill all of us and one boy drop again and the people were still shooting and I jump in the water and I swim across. ?

The people put canoe behind me and I say ah god if the people catch me who will carry the news, they were passing over me and they na see me and they cross the water and I went to the town and tell the people and they na believe it. When they see the blood on my foot they now believe it. I went to the other town and I tell my mother. The other people they na survive. (Witness in tears)

As I was saying when I went to tell my mother, she couldn't make it and she died from it. So anytime I remember I share tears. (Still in tears) today I am expressing my feelings; every thing that is coming from my heart is very painful. I am missing my mother too much. (Witness still in tears and the psychosocial team talked to her. Commissioner Dolopei asked her if she could continue and she said yes but she still broke down and had to be taken to the office of the psychosocial team)

The chairman called for a lunch break which will last for an hour.

Chairman: madam, are you okay now?

Primary Witness: Yes

We are very sorry for what happened to you. There are some people who are not strong like you and have killed themselves, so for you to be able to come up here and say this, you are a very strong person and have contributed to this national process. Is there anything that you will want to say to the Liberian people?

Primary Witness: No that all I have said.

Tenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Marie M. Toe
(Fifth Primary Witness of day one)

The Fifth Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and she was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: you are welcome to the TRC Public Hearings, the people of Maryland, the Liberian people and the Commissioners of the TRC are all here to listen to your testimony.

Primary Witness: thank you.

Are you working?

Primary Witness: no

Primary Witness: What I experience during the war 1990 I was in my home in Ro River when the war reach my mother and I was in the kitchen with my baby, when they got there they cross and got in our town, my mother was pregnant 4 months they shot her in her mouth in my presence. We ran into the bush I stay in the bush for 7 months me and my baby when I came back to the town my baby died from me again. They killed my grand ma and my uncle because my mother was the corner stone in the family.

When the LPC war came my friend and I were escaping a lady was traveling with us she was pregnant and they killed her and took the children from your stomach they were twins not they say in my presence.

It is difficult for me to say all but for me Marie M. Toe; I have forgiven everything happen to me. (Witness bust in tears and could not be questioned by the Commissioners)

Eleventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Jammie S. Weah
(Sixth Primary Witness of day one)

The Sixth Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: thank you very much for taking up your valuable time to come and share your experience with us.

Primary Witness: It was during the time the war was fighting I have many difficulties. When LPC was reaching to our town, the way the people were coming they running and shooting, while we were running a stray bullet hit my wife and she died, and they went and burnt my house that how I joined the Citizen Defense Force and when the LPC dissolve I lay the arms down and now some of my children I can't find some of them that is my experience during.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: you said where was your house?

Primary Witness: Kanweakan, River Gee

What year?

Primary Witness: 1992

How many children do you have?

Primary Witness: 6 (six)

Where are they now?

Primary Witness: Some with their grand ma

How many missing?

Primary Witness: Two (2)

In which war they got missing?

Primary Witness: In the LPC war

Commissioner Stewart: which year you said LPC came?

Primary Witness: 1991 to 1992

You said you joined the citizen defense force?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Who was the head of the Citizen Defense Force?

Primary Witness: That Musa Cheya.

Is he still around?

Primary Witness: No he died.

Do you remember the name of the LPC head?

Primary Witness: No it was hard you can see them, when you come out they blow you off.

So you use to fight LPC as Citizen Defense Force?

Primary Witness: Yes we used to set ambush to wait for them any time we hear that they were coming.

What kind of arms the Citizen Defense Force was using?

Primary Witness: Single barrels.

Where you use to get your ammunition from?

Primary Witness: From across in Ivory Coast.

Were you people receiving support from any where?

Primary Witness: No

What were the relation between the CDF and the NPFL, were they supporting you?

Primary Witness: Yes they use to give us ammunition.

How you use to get it?

Primary Witness: That one that my commander used to go for it

So after elections you put your guns down?

Primary Witness: Yes

Commissioner Syllah: what are some other activities of the CDF?

Primary Witness: What we used to do is to defend our town when we hear they are coming we will go and take our covers.

Children were part of the CDF too?

Primary Witness: Yes if you see yourself and you able the heats then you join it.

Commissioner Coleman: before the LPC enter your town NPFL was there with your [you people]?

Primary Witness: Yes no one could stand in front them they were just launching coming and it used to be heavy.

How LPC treated civilian?

Primary Witness: We never stay together, because they way they were coming.

So your live with NPFL good?

Primary Witness: Yes there was no problem.

What kind of massacre you witness?

Primary Witness: They killed my woman and three persons died and that's what I know about.

Commissioner Konneh: when NPFL came they never killed any body in your town?

Primary Witness: Yes they never killed any one in our town.

Did you recognize that both LPC and NPFL were all rebels forces?

Primary Witness: I don't know that one.

You didn't see the danger of collaborating with one group against the other?

Primary Witness: Yes

Were government soldiers around when LPC was around?

Primary Witness: One ray was the commander he was living on CRC camp. But when they LPC coming we all will scatter nobody will stand.

Chairman: your had any traditional protection in CDF?

Primary Witness: Yes we were protecting ourselves that any thing it should go one side, we had medicine

You were protecting the entire River Gee?

Primary Witness: Each town had their own defense force.

So the Grebo people all around put their self together in the Citizen Defense Force?

Primary Witness: Yes as CDF.

During that time your capture so prisoner and killed some enemies?

Primary Witness: Your say let bygone be bygone, the UN now come. I am already in this condition if any body brings war we all will take gun so I hope that war business will stay like that, for me my wife died, my house burnt and some of my children missing then what I want.

Commissioner Washington: how do your people see your now as hero, how they treat you now?

Primary Witness: I leave my place that one year now, now I want to go back what I came for I can't get it so I plan to go back.

How will the people receive you?

Primary Witness: They will receive me very fine, no body will say I do bad to them, I fought to protect my town.

Chairman: we want to thank you very much and sympathy for the lost of your wife and we agree with you that for a peaceful Liberia we all need to forget about war.

Primary Witness: Lets us be one and stand together, let put the war business aside the things the war spoil it will take time to put it together.

Twelfth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Harper City, Mary land County
Nathaniel Nabey Seton
(Seventh Primary Witness of day one)

The Seventh Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and he was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer. He was accompanied by an interpreter who was also sworn to tell the truth.

Chairman: thank you very much for coming to the TRC to tell your story. We know you have basic schedule but you have come to serve you county and country by telling your story.

Your Name again?

Primary Witness: Nathaniel Seton

Date of Birth

Primary Witness: April 15, 1956

Are you employed?

Primary Witness: No I am a farmer.

Primary Witness: when the war started in 1989, we that were in Maryland we na go anywhere. When LPC came in 1994 we na go anywhere. And when they came back in 1995 they were killing people so we went on or villages and they went to our villages and they met my two daughters at the water side and before they could see them, they fired the little girl on her back and before she could turn back they fired her for the second time. The second girl they went to her and chap her into pieces. When we heard the crying we had top run away. When we came back we could not hear the little girl crying. We went there and say her and took her to another person farm and she died. We could not bring her to town and we buried her there. This is what happened to me and what I want to tell the TRC, that I what I know.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we the people of TRC want to join the people of Maryland and say sorry to you for what happened. We hope that by the end of the work of the TRC it will be able to solve our problems. The Commissioners will now ask you some questions.

Commissioner Konneh: we want to say sorry for what happened to you, your children and your community. We thank you for coming to tell us the horrible situation you underwent. You said in 1994 you people were at your town and LPC came, was the NPFL already on the ground when they came?

Primary Witness: Since they were many fighters when the other group coming the other group can run.

Who was the first group in your town?

Primary Witness: The NPFL

What was the relationship between your people and them?

Primary Witness: When NPFL came from the initial stage, we were all here and they said they were not going to kill and we were laving together.

Who was the commanding officer for the NPFL at the time?

Primary Witness: I can't remember who the commander was because they had many commanders.

Do you also know the commanding officer for LPC?

Primary Witness: How do I stand in front of somebody who came to kill and know him?

Besides you two daughters who were killed, do you know of anybody that was killed?

Primary Witness: When they entered they were killing people so you could not identify who was killed as such I can not remember who was killed.

In a town, after such thing people come together and discuss what went wrong?

Primary Witness: There were many people who died, but if your person died then you will know.

Chairman: is your wife here today?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you want her to come and join you?

Primary Witness: If she which to come I can call her to join me and testify. (The wife of the witness was escorted on the stage by the psychosocial officer)

Secondary Witness: it is true that my two children I born died in the war as my husband said.

Commissioner Coleman: we are grateful that you people are here to share with us what you went through, this is the work of all Liberians and you are doing a great job for you nation that is why the TRC was formed. Do you have any other children, how is the family now?

Primary Witness: I have other children that are there. We have seven more children, two boys and five girls.

How was your family protected during other wars?

Primary Witness: After they killed the two children, we fled to the Ivory Coat for protection.

Commissioner Syllah: sorry for what happened to your family. Could you please share with us the ages and names of the children that were killed?

Primary Witness: Nymade Seton had 9 years, Buor Seton had six years.

Commissioner Dolopei: I want to say have my sympathy for the lost of your children to you and your wife. What is the name of your wife?

Primary Witness: Mary Seton.

Commissioner Stewart: sorry for what happened to your children. Can you remember the name of the commander who was in the area and if possible the names of the people who killed your children?

Primary Witness: I don't know their names and where they are.

Do you have an idea of the number of persons that were killed?

Primary Witness: I can't estimate the number but they were many.

Were they over 20 or 30?

Primary Witness: It is true that they killed most of our people ion the villages but I can't give a number.

Did they burn houses?

Primary Witness: Yes the burnt more houses.

Did they force people to carry loads?

Primary Witness: They forced people to carry loads and took more people with them.

Did they return?

Primary Witness: As I am speaking two of those they carry are in my home now and one is working at the J.J. Dosen hospital.

Did they rape anybody?

Primary Witness: I don't know if the rape anybody.

Was there any schools in the towns?

Primary Witness: Yes

Did they burn the school?

Primary Witness: No

Did they loot your properties?

Primary Witness: They looted my properties and burnt down my house.

Chairman: we want to tell you and your wife thank you for coming to share your story with us. What you have told us is very vital to the work of the TRC because our final report will lead to development, peace and reconciliation, so by you and your wife coming forward, you are good citizens contributing to this process. It there is anything last to say, you can say it.

Primary Witness: My wife and myself say thank you for calling us here. We are looking at the international community and you people and we do want any war in this country again. We say thank you to all of you that came from Monrovia.

End of Day Two of the TRC Public Hearings in Maryland County

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