Barclayville City: Day 1

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The First day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Monday February 18, 2008 at the Barclayville Central High School auditorium, Grand Kru County. The Hearings session started with the Commissioners of the TRC being ushered into their seats. The field officer of the TRC Grand Kru office was called up to do a recognition of the Commissioners, government officials and partners of he TRC present at the opening ceremony of he TRC Public Hearings in Grand Kru County. This was followed by a speech presented by the superintendent of the County.

Statement by the Superintendent Rosalind Sneh, Superintendent, Grand Kru County

Cllr. Jerome Verdier, Chairman and commissioners of the truth and reconciliation commission (TRC). Other Official of Government and Heads of Agencies , county officials, chiefs elders, women youth, witnesses, our international partners, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today marks a milestone in our lives as individuals, as a county and a nation. This is historic because we are assembled here to listen to cases of atrocities and gross human violations committed against us as individuals and a people. This is why there is no other theme suitable for the TRC public hearings other than "Confronting our difficult pas for a better future". My fellow citizens, you can rest assured that there are five (5) questions that will be answered at the end of the public hearings in order to forge ahead for a better tomorrow.

These questions are, What? How? When? Who? Where? What happened and what went wrong in Liberia? Who did it, we must know. How was it done? When the incident(s) occurred? And where it happens? And why it happened? Yes, it is difficult to confront those who committed heinous crimes against us. Dehumanized us, violated our human dignities and worst of all raped our girls and women. But that was in the past. Liberians, have restored to their sanctity of life. We as a people cannot enter into the future with this difficult past, which I personally termed, "Excess baggage to Development".

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been one of the successful initiatives of the Government of Liberia under the visionary leadership of Her
Excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Those who are intently bent on destructively criticizing the TRC are only detractors and miserably failed because the TRC process has succeeded.

The TRC process will lead to good governance and the respect for the rule of law. Good governance as you may know manifest the rule of law. Good governance as you may know manifest itself in Six (6) basic principles: Decentralization, Democratization, National Unity and Reconciliation, Respect for Human Rights, Poverty Reduction and Transparency and Accountability. The Rule of law on the other hand seeks to mend the broken social fabrics of the society and restore harmony among citizens.

According to 1st John Chapter 1 verse 9" If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteous". Confession leads to forgiveness and forgiveness and forgiveness' leads to salvation. Fellow Liberians, if we confess to one another, National healing, unity, peace, reconciliation, recovery, reconstruction and development will be our portion.

Let me use this medium to call on perceived perpetrators on Grand Kru County to be bold and courage with a deep sense of repentance to confess their wrong doing and the victims and witness to be humble with a penitent heart to forgive the wrong doers because we all, on way others, have contribution to our difficult and ugly past.

We the people of Grand Kru County embrace the TRC process, especially at the stage of public hearing. You can be assured of our maxim security protection as was done for statement takers. I am one of the direct victims of the atrocities of our time during the Samuel Kayan Doe regime. My husband Nehemiah J. Sneh was beheaded during the Quowonkpa fracas. Being a direct victim, I want to encourage all victims of the war to come to the TRC to forgive voice to the voiceless, those who died during the war.

For and behalf of the people of Grand Kru county, we wholeheartedly welcome you Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and encourage to Barclayville and wish you a joyous and memorable stay.


Opening of the Ceremony in Grand Kru County by the Co-Chair Commissioner Dolopei

Good morning to all, the honorable Superintendent Mrs. Rosalind Sneh, all government officials here present, our UNMIL staff and heads here present, invited guests, the elders and chiefs of Grand Kru County, the student body of this county, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia I would like to welcome all of you here and thank you for taking off this important time to come and be a part of this process. The TRC was established by Law to promote national Peace, Security, Unity and Reconciliation. In our bid to realize this mandate ands as we the nine Commissioners feels that this process is a Liberian process, a decision was made by us from the very unset of this process to take the TRC to the people of Liberia. We took this decision because the war didn't take place only in Monrovia and Monrovia also is not Liberia. We feel that every corner of this country was hit by the war. And so this decision was made to go from county to county to listen to people, to heart their stories, to make sure that we document what happen in each county in every corner of the country to people. Whether you were a part of the war, whether you were a victim, whether you were a perpetrator, whether you were one of those who left the country, we want to hear all of these stories, thus the decision to come to each county.

Last week we were in Maryland and today we find ourselves in Grand Kru County. We appreciate the worm welcome we receive from the superintendent, and we also appreciate the assurance she give us right now in her speech when she said that all security will be provided for us, we really appreciate that and we are happy to be in Grand kru County, we got a very warm reception. I came in since Saturday and she is really tasking good care of us and so I say thank you to the superintendent for that. We hope that this time here will also be able to answer all the W questions that she asked, what, why, where, and then how and then why, all of those questions that were asked. We hope that this time will give us the opportunity to answer all of these questions. And so on behalf of he TRC I Once again say thank you for coming and I officially want to declare this process open in Grand Kru County.

First Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Barclayville Grand Kru County
Linda Coleman
(First Primary Witness of day one)

The First 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.

Co-Chairman: Madam Witness good morning and thank you very much for coming to the TRC, that TRC will look into the bad things that happened in this country, so we thank you for coming to tell your story. The people came and took your story and that today you will tell the people what you say to the people. The Commissioner of the TRC and the Liberian people are here listening to you. You can now tell your story.

Primary Witness: The time the LPC war came, I war in Borrow, they coming from Sinoe are and they stop half way and our own children who George controlling he sent them to the front line and they started hearing my pa and he say he will carry their complain to the commander George and he went and tell him and he say that that one business you come here, you go and join him and he say as soon as day coming your must go and kill him then one of his friends go there and save him and he run away to Sinoe and day brake they went and he was not there and they say we should go and kill his family and the big children started running and they were killing the small children.

The small girl was on the field they went and catch her and they cut her to pieces and they other small boy two years they cut him to pieces in the front of the town. My husband took me to Kanweaken and we went to the Ivory Coast. The other two boys they killed them. Then they say since the man running, let go and attack his property, and they went and took all my father zinc and he George Sackie say they must build his camp and he say no body can do anything to them.

Then they tell the Boru people that if they na join them they will kill them and all of them join, and they people say since they give us arms we will run with their arms. And they run and went to where my father was. When they brake they na see any Boru man with arm. Then they give order say anywhere they see Boru man they must killed them and they went and collected my two brothers and my father and they carry him to the camp to George Boru and they cut them to pieces and they killed them. All my people who I depending on they na die and I not get any body to help me. So I am begging you to help me because I na have anything.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Dolopei: Thank you for the story, the Commissioners will now ask you few questions, but the first question is, this Mr. Sackie, he is from what group?

Primary Witness: NPFL

Primary Witness: This SuSu Goe that what?

Primary Witness: That one of the soldiers.

Commissioner Konneh: we say have our sympathy for the death of your parents and other relatives. Do we understand you to have said NPFL was the first to have come and George Sackie was fighting for them?

Primary Witness: That LPC came first but they na come to our town and they stop half way and that the NPFL reach our town.

Did you say that the Buro town people form a defense force?

Primary Witness: No it was not a defense force, that George Sackie put the children together and say that his own force he use to carry them on the front.

During that time was the LPC there?

Primary Witness: No that time they na reach my area. They finish killing my people before the LPC reach there.

Is this George Sackie still alive?

Primary Witness: Yes he is living, he is in Pleebo.

Is the other soldier you called his son still living?

Primary Witness: I na know.

Commissioner Coleman: did you say Sackie is a Taylor Soldier?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Beside George Sackie did any other Taylor soldier come?

Primary Witness: That George Sackie them the NPFL that them come tom our place.

You know why they were behind your father?

Primary Witness: The time my father run away now that the time they started catching the children and they taught he went to bring the LPC that what they were behind us.

How many of your family were killed?

Primary Witness: George Sackie killed two and the other people that the LPC kill them and that GS take the zinc form my father house.

Commissioner Syllah? Can you tell us what happened to the mother of the two years old child?

Primary Witness: He ran away because that was her first child.

Can you give us the names of your relatives that you lost in the war?

Primary Witness: Yes, they are: Richard Coleman Zachariah Coleman, Emmanuel Coleman, Tommy Coleman, Mary Coleman and Fred Coleman.

Commissioner Dolopei: we want to say thank you for coming and for telling us your story. What you have done is a big thing and you have helped us to do our work. Any last thing you have you can tell us.

Primary Witness: The thing what I say all my people who use to help me they killed them and nobody to help me so I want you people to help me and give me something so that I can turn around.

Thank you for coming, you may leave.

Second Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Barclayville Grand Kru County
Amos C. Yankan
(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: good morning and welcome to the TRC public hearings and for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia, grand kru county and the Commissioners of the TRC.

Primary Witness: During LPC war when the war entered the Bleebo we ran to the bushes and so we were on the rice farmer in August it was harvesting time. One of my cousin can there and told me that Gen. Toe was planning to send soldier to arrest me and carry me to Grand Cess so I call my family and told them what I heard and that I was planning to run the bush, then I left I stay there for long, then I came back to the house and I say I want to die alone so let me be here when the people come let them carry me.

That time I had one short trouser and shirt I wash them and hang them by mid night the soldiers came and said papay you are under arrest me and I asked what I did they say that Gen. Toe can answer that question by that time I was in lapper, they oh you na get trouser I say I just washed my clothes they say I must wear my wet clothes, when I wear my clothes then they say before they go I have to pay their mileage, they say I must give them $2000, 4 chickens and 50 cups of rice, then I say right now I don't have these things in my possession let go to town my family will bring these things at that thing we were doing my hands were tied on my back. So in the morning my family brought these things, my hands were tied from Pleebo to Grand Cess, when we go to Gionyah one commander call Vale I don't know his last name say then he asked me young what happen I say I don't know, then he asked can you write then he said I should summit I writing, I did and I gave him the paper, then he asked me again do you know one Decontee Nimley, I say yes he said who is he I say that the county superintendent, then he say you know one Thol Sarlee I say yes that the paramount chief, one Kpateh Wolo I say yes that my statutory district and lastly he asked me if I don't D. Wesseh Mantu I say all those people are my officials, then he say look up the tree if you can find them when I look up and I saw all of them packed there in the tree he say because we don't have any jailed house there were we packed those people, my people where the people were the red ants say come see me, then they told me look on your right when I look I saw the plumb tree and they say I should go up there that my place of assignment, I was not ab le to climb the tree because I was too big the some one took me on their shoulders when I went up I about two branches then I met D. Wesseh Mantu, he say oh they brought you too here then he Vaye say I should on the last branch the headquarters of he red ants were. We spent 2 hours there and later they brought us down and started beating us good and we started crying after that we started the journey to Grand Cess, up to Po river water side they started cross us by canoe when I got on the canoe one of the soldier put me in the water and push my neck in the water two time and later he left me, in Johnya to Po river main town they ask the citizens to cook for them and they ate while we did not eat anything and ask us to started our journey again. It was man Manh Dossen Yenneh, when we reach Grand Cess, he went to Gen. Toe and said we bring the people, then he came and say Decontee Nimley come out here and he ask the soldiers to tie him, D. Wesseh Mantu and when they reach to me and say commissioner what happened I say you told the people to arrest me what do you want me to do, he say the only thing I have to tell you is sorry, they I say then your will have to pay all my things back, Yenebei , I don't not tell him to arrest you, wheelie the people finish beating us. And he could not tell us anything thing that the end of my story.

Question from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you very much, you were victim of circumstances that you could not control; this is why we are going all around the country to know what happened so thank you very much.

What year all these things happened?

Primary Witness: 1995 August 25

Can you estimate how long from Pleebo to Grand Cess

Primary Witness: About 2 days walk

All of those people did any of them died in the tree?

Primary Witness: No

All of you living?

Primary Witness: The only person that died is D. Wesseh Martin the administrative assistant to the superintendent.

Commissioner Stewart: which faction is Gen. Toe from?

Primary Witness: From NPFL

Is he still alive?

Primary Witness: I saw him during the campaign Bleebo

Is he from here?

Primary Witness: yes but he is basing in Monrovia.

Do he have relative here?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Mark Doessen Yeadeh?

Primary Witness: No

Is he still in the community?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Commissioner Washington: would be able to remember any of t he fighters that did those things to you?

Primary Witness: Yes the main man Mr. Vaye Wouh.

Where are they right now?

Primary Witness: No

What is your position now, are still the commissioner?

Primary Witness: Yes I am still the county commissioner.

Commissioner Syllah: how many days you spent with them.

Primary Witness: Tow days

Did anything happen to your family?

Primary Witness: Not at all

Commissioner Coleman: when did NPFL come to this area?

Primary Witness: They entered in Pleebo 1994 where they killed 14 of my citizens

Was there any authority on the ground, what was happening here?

Primary Witness: They were controlling the whole county so the power was in their hand.

How did they act towards the citizens?

Primary Witness: 1994 when they entered they pass through and killed 14 personal and killed many of our domestic animals.

Why did they kill those people?

Primary Witness: They just feel of killing them

Can you tell me the LPC activities?

Primary Witness: LPC came from Sinoe, NPFL forces were looting and animals, they ill treated us, our cattle and everything.

After 1997 what happened between that time and 2003?

Primary Witness: MODEL was in the statutory district the whole of Grand Kru, NPFL and LPC were fighting them but they could not fight LPC.

Commissioner Konneh: which one of the campaign you saw the man Gen. William Toe?

Primary Witness: 2005 campaigning to become a senator and I have not seen him since them.

Were there any civilians appointed as local authorities when the fighters were in control?

Primary Witness: Yes, they appointed the whole local Kpateh Wolo, a Grand Cess citizen, one Gbion I don't know his last name.

How was their treatment of the civilian population?

Primary Witness: They were not doing us good because for two three day they can send for goats and cows until all of those that were left all finish they were extorting us.

Coleman: Which party was he running under?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Which county was he running for?

Primary Witness: Grand Kru

What year MODEL entered?

Primary Witness: 2003

Were their citizens' efforts to resist these groups?

Primary Witness: During LPC time, that the time we created the forces of citizen defense force, during model time no, in the whole of grand force

Was there any name for them besides defense force?

Primary Witness: No

Did they commit any atrocious?

Primary Witness: No.

Who were the leaders?

Primary Witness: Boy William and, Fred Nimley.

Primary Witness: Last word; the people who committed come to this country, we should forgive if not peace will not be restore in Liberia, I want the Government of Liberia to see to it that those who were affect in the wear they should please assist us because all of things are gone and I want the TRC to see to it that our request reach to the government of Liberia.

Third Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Barclayville Grand Kru County
Alexander Tewhiah
(Third Primary Witness of day one)

The Third 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: Good morning Mr. Witness and welcome the TRC public hearing. Thank you for taking up you time to come and share your experience with us the Liberian people. We have been put together to find why the war came and how to find solution to the problem we have in out country, and the time they give us is very short. So it is people like you that will help us achieve this, that is why we are going all around to do this.

Primary Witness: that's correct

The statement made will go a long way and is very important to help to bring a lasting peace to Liberia. The war is over and all of us want it to remain that way. We don't want war in Liberia here again. That is the reason why the government of Liberia and the international community put us together and say your go back to your country, your find out what happened during the war. Your find out the why they brought war into this country. You talk to all the citizen and see how they feel so that people heart can lay down so that will forget the past. And when you're finished all of that and recommend what to do. So they give us short time, only two years. They who did the bad things your find them and tell us what could be done. The government itself, your look at the government anything that will be wrong, Your put in your report, so that we will change the government. That why you see we going all around here. So thank you for coming to be part of the public hearing

Primary Witness: thank you very much.

What is your mane again?

Primary Witness: I am once more Alexander Weah

You live here or Barclayville

Primary Witness: I live in Swan district

Do you know you date of birth?

Primary Witness: yes

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born December 4, 1964

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am ell a farmer and a voluntary teacher. I work as a voluntary teacher right in my area where I live.

Do the children really have interest in education?

Primary Witness: Yes, yes, the children are interested.

Primary Witness: alright, thank you very much I will first of all thank the TRC for allowing me the opportunity. I will classify my story into three categories. One the NPFL, two the LPC and three the MODEL, at first, the MODEL arrived, the NPFL arrived 1992, when they arrived they were taking the road, so we were so happy with them, but at the middle of 1993, then thing began to changed. The first person that I came across was Samuel K, he called himself rebel K, so rebel k was the one who was sending his delegate and his workers to collect our cattle and killed them, what so-ever we have, they killed them us and they were singing certain slogan, Gangay Taylor was the one who has all of these things and so all our cattle was killed. The killed, they caught you to also help them to carry to their loads to the headquarters, at that time it was a Banwehn. So that time too we help them and carried the cattle and say go back to your respective areas, and so my father who also had one hundred cows was also a victim and those days, the cow was the one we sometimes use to sent student to school, and they took them all from us.

Then we came to the second part which was the LPC. The LPC was the one went to drive out the NPFL. I say when they came, we all ran for safety, but I was too brave not to go too far from the community, I hid myself you know, among, between the banana bushes closer to my house. But it was midnight, It was that late night there was no moon shining and so I did not see the people but I was only hearing voices. Before I could come to myself, the first gun sounded, I was there again, not less than five minutes the second gun went. I was there again then the third gun, now then it was approaching between 3 to 4. So at the time I was exercising patience to see what really happened so when it was approaching five o'clock they pulled off. They started going towards Pleebo way. And so I was too brave to come out early that morning, and I saw and look around. Before I could look, I saw one man first, he was Brown Nayou. They called him from out of his room, because he hid himself in the room. They lied him on the piaser, the have him lie on his back and in his eye they bullet him and after they bullet him they brought out certain jack o'lantern, which was lighting, and drew the cloth from there and lay it on his chest and so he had on a sweater the whole thing burned through out. So when I got to him I saw that he was dead. Then I retreated small, and ran in the bush and to have the others inform to know what happened in town. The second brother who was there was also shot from the head, from the back and so I saw him again he was dead. Then another uncle of the same boy was killed again. Three of them were killed and I was upset. I was sharing in tears and people have to come and console me. Then that one came and it came to past

Then the third war was called the MODEL war. That war was only you just alive and you just have to die, so they went to me on the village because the arrived in between June 2, 2003, and so we all ran into the bushes. While we were there surprisingly to me, my wife and we saw some soldiers around and they started coming with gun and say halt, and we all halted ourselves. And said what all inside here and you come, and they drove me, and say first, we just even asking you. They grabbed me while I was standing up, they grabbed me they tabbay me how they wanted it to be. They say what all inside here, if you don't talk we will take you, you know the war is around and I said well let's give all what we have in there. Infact they say, we not asking you, we ourselves are marching in there and take what we want. They took the three thousand dollars and stay they wanted more after they took the money.
And they say we stay get money inside here. And I say no money and they say they will tie me well and I say no problem, so they put it at the last point. They said this is the last one when he not talk, then means he has nothing. So I was there crying for almost three hours. From there now they said ok, the man if that something this man would talked we have reached the last point. So ok, so they left me.

And another point is that one girl who stay alive, that's the one that really hurt me. My sister who was pregnant at the point of delivering that girl was too brave to join the MODEL and carry the troop there to beat my sister almost to the point of death, and the girl stay alive, Lucy Seebo. And so these are the things that went on that today some of us are not even useful to ourselves, I can't even work because of the tabbay. I can't work, and I am just a volunteer and not even getting anything from the government. The little things I get I use my hands and this is the hand they finished messing with. I do not have anything again to do.

So this is my sorry of what had happened to me in the war that today I finding it even meaningless to be alive, because these are the hands that you use to work. If you aren't get money from the government, but at least if you working I mean working in the soil, you getting from the soil. At least it is alright you can just live by it. Now I can't lift up anything, so that the three stories, the three wars that were fought that is how they treated me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: thank you very much for sharing your experience with us and we want to say sorry for all the things you have gone through. W found out that your hands are not functioning because of the mad treatment they have giving you, we are very sorry for this. The Commissioners will now ask you few questions.

what year did LPC entered?

Primary Witness: 1992, no the LPC entered 2003 June 2 2002, let say MODEL
LPC enter 1995.

These rebels, were they citizen from here or citizen from other counties?

Primary Witness: the heads were citizens of other counties, but our immediate children too were part of the whole thing because they were forced to join.

Commissioner Konneh: Before 1990 war, what was some of the activities who were involved in?
Primary Witness: before 1990, you know I was a stay a class room teacher I worked here 1989 then my parents asked to help the school. At that time then I was stay a elementary teacher. As farmer as the same time, a government teacher

Were you involved in any political activities?

Primary Witness: no non nothing of the kind, nothing of the kind

You said from 1990 to 1994 the NPFL was still around here?

Primary Witness: Yes I was stay here.

Do you know the name of the commanders?

Primary Witness: Ok, at the first opening, when they arrived in Grand Kru, Noriega was the first general commander who came; from there he left his county commander in charge they called him David Diah he was the county commander at that time.

What the attitude of general Noriega towards the citizens of this county?

Primary Witness: When he arrive being that we were in the bushes, but after wards he called us and did not show any action of killing at the time, he did not show any action of killing, but after he left, then the remaining soldier were doing things on their own

What about David Diah?

Primary Witness: David Diah he was a Gio man also was so he was friendly too. He was friendly with us

So in sense NPFL did not do any destruction of lives?

Primary Witness: I at the time did not see that.

Comm. And up to the departure, your forcefully departure or voluntary departure, you did not see any atrocities?

Primary Witness: yes that is after these people departure that's the time we facing these kind of difficulties. But when they were here we never have these type of atrocities taking place.

You made mentioned of LPC, what was LPC behavior towards you

Primary Witness: Aggressive when they came even couldn't sit with them. They will be ahead and you will be hearing gun sound. You could not sit with them and once you were unfortunate to fallen into theirs hands you were going to be a dead body.

Who was the commanding officer?

Primary Witness: at that time because never stood They never find a day ever to stay. So I could not ever see the command which was carrying them. It was at midnight they arrived to destroy and just passing so you could not grab any commander from among them to say what this is the person

Did they came and stay or went through?

Primary Witness: they never stay here they just come to walk thru and ten minute and just go thru some of us who were at the head could not see to know

Is that only your area or the whole Grand Kru?

Primary Witness: I think as far as Barclay and other towns, but to my area they did not stay at all.

What is your area?

Primary Witness: Dupor.

Is it far from here?

Primary Witness: about fourteen hours distant from here.

What about MODEL?
Primary Witness: MODEL, you see MODEL have a stay. They have their complete base at the time in Dupor and their commander was Black Snake.

What was the attitude of Black Snake?

Primary Witness: as any time, I mean, they were on the rampage, stealing, tabbaying. They were killing, but I called that instant killing. So they were just doing that round, they see you today, tomorrow you in tabbay. They weaken almost the half the population in Pleebo their hands.

Commissioner Coleman. The first group was NPFL you were happy so why were you happy?

Primary Witness: at from the beginning, the AFL was at the time during some set of things to us that were not pleasing. At each time they come and do something they carry you and they will not give you fair judgment. They just treat you the way want to treat you. So at the time we thought of changes to come. So we saw them may be things will change around here may be today

Was it child soldier that they recruited?

Primary Witness: Many of them were child soldiers

So what were some of these bad things they did?

Primary Witness: we live by the cattle, we live by the cattle, they took rice that we that we have. They will have go to the upstairs and get rice, and see any cow. Let's try to move towards it that Taylor have it. And the worst part was that when they killed it, you will have to carry it to Bahnwen so that they can eat and they tell you go back and say go home. That was the thing that they were doing

They were torturing?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They were forcing and extorting your benefit?

Primary Witness: Exactly

Who is this Ditako?

Primary Witness: Yes Ditako, I got to know Ditako that he was Mano in Dupor and so at the time when LPC was coming he went there as a reconnaissance but he was the one that was calling people when know you, he called you. But he was not the commander of the LPC

How did he treat people?

Primary Witness: Yes at the time when us, he never killed somebody but he was working as a Mano, but after wards when the people arrived. Then he was trying to use that strategy to kill people. He talked with people to either be killed, he was just hiding, he said Whiajay, so I have to sound up, so if don't sound up I was to be killed, so he finding way to put the people in cure/

He was an informant?

Primary Witness: Yes

How is your family situation, do you have children?

Primary Witness: Yes I have children; I have seven children with two wives.

In the war time no body was affected?

Primary Witness: No, nobody.

The only problem you have now is to work, could you explain?

Primary Witness: Because the tabbay which I slept in for more than three hours, you know the vein at certain point in time, it will get numb. So then I have rest for maybe two weeks or three weeks before I start.

Are some these people are stay with you some time today?

Primary Witness: We are just looking them; though they are around they never come and say here what happen oh, here what not happen oh, and the we ourselves we just finding it difficult to be able to sit with them too, because of the situation that they put themselves in now.

Commissioner Syllah: you talked about three old men and how they were killed

Primary Witness: Yes

Can you remember who was the commander at that time?

Primary Witness: Yes this is what I am saying, the LPC were passing thru so you come you come their way they deal with you they go. So it was midnight. There was no moon shining but, I did not go find out from them so I could not see who actually was the command of those people.

The LPC did sit in that town for one day or two?

Primary Witness: No as soon as they killed they pass on

I said that you made mentioned of one Lucy Seebo, wh joined the fighters?

Primary Witness: Yes but she did not join Lucy seebo did not join Lucy seebo was my sister, and was treated bad by Mercy Dio a girl was also part of the MODEL, she is the one that treated my sister Lucy seebo

What did she do to your sister?

Primary Witness: She flocked the girl when she was pregnant, called people using gun butt flocking the woman who was pregnant, so it was a kind of things that put that girl into pain, and today she still having the pain.

So how is the child?

Primary Witness: well you know God is wonderful that nobody by his mercy the mercy of god has cause the girl to deliver safely. With the help of doctor so the child is still on ground and is alive.

So how old is the child?

Primary Witness: The child is four years old four years old now

In your own history you've have being a farmer or a teacher, how long have you being teacher?

Primary Witness: As I said as soon as I graduated, I graduated 1979, then the community asked me to get into the field so I get in 1990, 1997 again I was asked to go to Webo, ell teacher training where I was have my, and received certificate, for since that time since I am still teaching as a volunteer now

You have been living in this community all these year.

Primary Witness: Yes all these years I being here

Before the war do you have any experience with a political party?

Primary Witness: No, thee only the time which the first time I went to vote to cast my ballet, 1990, let say 1997 we have the election which was the voting of the former President Charles Taylor that's the only time I have the experience of casting ballet, casting my ballet.

What about Quiwonkpah?

Primary Witness: Ah no, that time I was in school.

Commissioner Dolopei: one question is before the war what happened to you?

Primary Witness: beside that the only thing that happened to me when I left and went on the farm and I fell, besides that there is nothing else that the experience before the war thank you very much

Commissioner Stewart: You talked the NPFL, you said that they looted?

Primary Witness: They looted they killed cattle.

They tortured people they tabbay the people?

Primary Witness: some time my area I see people being tabbayed.

Do they force any young children to join them?
Primary Witness: Yes that was the mean key they joined because wanted the population to grow if they grabbed me if you refuse then you want to do anything they want.

Did they take any young girl forcibility did they take any girl as their wife?

Primary Witness: That what I say, I did not see them doing that those days now the LPC came in, the LPC came they were only restricted to tapping, stealing, tabbaying, they will just go in your house and take what ever they want.

Did they kill anybody?

Primary Witness: they killed too, LPC they killed, the killing was rampant in LPC because when you get in their way they will finished you.

Did they rape?

Primary Witness: No, I did not see them rape in my area

Did they force any young boys to join them?

Primary Witness: Forcing people to join them because they wanted the population to grow. That is how they force girls and boys to join them, that what I just said the MODEL they forced girls to join them and I called one of them Mercy who mad treated my sister as I said, Lucy Seebo.

Where is she now

Primary Witness: Nowakeen as I speak to you, Nowakeen

Commissioner Bull: Mr. witness I will want to thank, because the statement you have given is very cleared was the role that all the different factions played in coming the AFL who cannot treat the citizen right so there the NPFL came your saw it as a relieve and gave us clearly the role of the NPFL the LPC and the MODEL and the roles some the citizen including the girls played. The whole experience while some going to school and history will still judge them.

Primary Witness: right

That was good job for given the story of things that happened in Grand Kru. Thank you very much.

Primary Witness: Thank you

Chairman: do you have experience before 1990 war anything happened
Primary Witness: Well as that time I was in school 1985, that the first Quiwonkpa war then while I was in school that morning the announcement came, oh they overthrow the president. So from the school to come, we saw people jubilating but after I adjust myself for the market then that afternoon, about three to four o'clock then order changed at that time whether you know or not, at that time he has his uncle right in our area and he order solder to start beating people. What you have they face gravity so at that time I just ran in the bush because of that situation. So that is the only thing, we spent four days in the bush and they called us back saying the man say order should be restored so your should be back home. So we the student we left from the bushes and came back in town. With that of the killing of the president that is the late President Samuel Kanyon Doe, that did not have any effect on us some of us it did not affect us.

Some were killed?

Primary Witness: Some were killed; some were killed that night immediately some were killed in Pleebo

Do have any last thing to say before you leave,

Primary Witness: I only want to say thank you for all of you for given this opportunity just to express ourselves. So each time these things happened to us, where to take and how, and to whom to explain it giving us hard time and I wish that will have this opportunity to and I hope that would not be the last time. We always want to see you in this place.

Forth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Barclayville Grand Kru County
Mah Nagba
(Forth Primary Witness of day one)

The Forth 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 for coming to the TRC to tell your story. The Commissioners, people of Grand Kru County and the Liberian people are all listening to you this moment; as such you have the opportunity to tell your story.

Can you say your name again?
Primary witness: I am Mah Nagba

Where do you live?

Primary witness: I live in Sass Town

When were you born?

Primary witness: I was born in 1964.

What do you do for a living?

Primary witness: I am a farmer.

Primary witness: The one that touch me most is of LPC, I will talk about. Well, when LPC enter my community, we all run away from the community. When we went in the bush , we spent two weeks there, so in the bush my children and my family divided .I decided to bring my children back to town, when we got back to Sassa Town, after the two weeks, I saw my house burning , and my uncle was not there. So I was there. Actually, I was in the town, after staying there for sometimes, LPC came back again, and that is the time every one of us scattered in the bushes. They took some people from the town, and that is the time they killed my uncle and my sister so we were stay in the bush, so after certain time, I went for my wife and children, and took them back to Town. So that is my story.

Question from the Commissioners:

Chairman: What year did LPC come to disarmed?

Primary witness: 1994

Can you give us the town in which your uncle and sister were killed?

Primary witness: Sassa Town distract, and her name is Taila

Commissioner Bull: You said LPC killed your sister, can you tell us your sister name?

Primary witness: Beatrice Nagboe

They also killed your uncle, what is your uncle's name?

Primary witness: Emmanuel Gubah

They killed any body else beside Beatrice and your uncle?

Primary witness: No, I don't' know about any body else.

Did they kill any body name Bedell Nagba from you?

Primary witness: No

Do you know the name of the general or the person who was in charge that killed Beatrice them?

Primary witness: No, I don't know.

You ever heard any name like general black cat?

Primary witness: No.
Do you know how Emmanuel Gubah was killed?

Primary witness: When they grabbed him and they tide him up.

You know any thing of killing him with cutlass or putting him in the fire?

Primary witness: Yes I .know, I saw the fire burning.

Commissioner Stewart: Do you remember any of the commanders' names who came with those different groups?

Primary witness: I run into the bush with my family.

How long did you stay in the bush with your family?

Primary witness: For two weeks.

How did you managed in finding food for your children and when they were sick, how?

Primary witness: I use to go in the bush for cassava.

Commissioner Washington: You said when LPC enter your town, they burn your town, and they killed your sister and uncle?

Primary witness: Yes.

Now I know this will be a bite hard for you concerning the case of the death of your sister and uncle. Can you just give us a little bite more of what happened?

Primary witness: I can't give you any more that I don't know.

Commissioner Dolopei: You say the people burn your houses, how many houses did they burn?

Primary witness: They burned the whole town.

Commissioner Syllah: Your sister that died, how was her age at that time?

Primary witness: she was about 40.

She had children?

Primary witness: Yes, two.

Commissioner Konneh: How are your children now?

Primary witness: They are fine.

You said, you sent them to school?

Primary witness: Yes they go to school.

And you also said that your sister get children, who taking care of the children now?

Primary witness: Yes. Some are gone to other places.

Are they grown children?

Primary witness: Yes.

How old are they?

Primary witness: I can't say how old they are.

Where is their father?

Primary witness: In Grand Gedeh.

Are you in constant contact with them?

Primary witness: Yes.

Do they go to school?

Primary witness: Yes.

Are they stay in school or finished now?

Primary witness: No, stay in school.

And you don't know who taking care of them?

Primary witness: Family people.

Chairman: Can you tell us the problem you had with NPFL/ Model or any faction?

Primary witness: NPFL took our cattle and other things were looted.

We want to say thank you. Is there any thing last you want to tell us?

Primary witness: No.

Fifth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Barclayville Grand Kru County
Stanley G. Wilson
(Fifth Primary Witness of day one)

The Fifth 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: Stanley, welcome and thank you for coming. I know you have plenty things to do but because you believe in peace and reconciliation you have come. The Commissioners and the people of grand kru are here to listen to your story. We are here that we all discuss on how we can solve the problem that happened in our country.

Primary Witness: thank you very much and God bless you.

Date of birth?

Primary Witness: I was born 1974.

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Primary Witness: I thank almighty God for this hour and to Liberian who give this opportunity. Form 1994-95 what happened to me and my family while we were sleeping in the night the LPC got in and I heard the gun sound and I force myself over the window and got in the banana bush and they went in and killed my mother and my father. And the commander who brought them was De Tiger and while getting below the hill the kill three person. While there about 1-3 in the day I saw the people from our town and I told them and they were afraid whether the people who did the things were there or they were coming from behind us, so we buried the people and went in the bush.

In 1995 our people went for us. And I n2003 MODEL came and we carry all our things in the forest and we thought wee were safe and we say the people again and they surrounded us and they say we should not move. My people all were in the bush and they catch me and they say who get money and car they must bring it. They tell me to call my people and they na come and so they take me and say that me I know the area and I will carry them around, so when I carry them somewhere my people will say that me bringing them and I tell them I na know what to do they have guns behind me. They went to our town and say our people should be cooking for them and the make a gate and when people passing the will harass them. They kill all our cattle and destroyed our things. The thing that the MODEL do to us is not good the thing what they do just like they kill you, so that all I have and if I say anything again, I na know what I am doing.

Questions from the Commissions:

Chairman: thank you for coming to tell you story. You have talked for your mother and father. You are speaking for people who died, who suffer and who know that war is not good.

What is the name of your mother and father?

Primary Witness: Bessy Toe and Saply Toe.

You said that it was better to be killed then the way you are living, explain?

Primary Witness: Because if I see my friend going to school and I think about future life and nobody living on earth, that is why I say MODEL should kill us. Education is the key anyway.

Were you going to school that time?

Primary Witness: Yes

What class are you in?

Primary Witness: I stop in 9th grade.

Why are not in school now?

Primary Witness: Because there is no hand to shoot me to school.

Are you married?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you have children?

Primary Witness: Yes, two children.

What are you doing to make money?

Primary Witness: I am brushing and farming.

Commissioner Syllah: sorry for what happened to your parents. Do you know why they went straight to your house?

Primary Witness: I can't tell.

Tell us what happened to your grand parents who could not run?

Primary Witness: They were not old, but it was in the night and they could not run.

Do you remember the name of the general of LPC in the area at the time?

Primary Witness: He is called De Tiger.

Where is he now?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Is there any other name you know him by?

Primary Witness: He came on reconnaissance before the people could he could come, and when the people came he was calling the name of our people and when they was calling guns were firing so we were afraid.

You said the MODEL tied you besides that what did they do to other people?

Primary Witness: They did more things; they use to tie our chiefs, commissioners because they said the people were not feeding them.

Commissioner Stewart: I am sorry for the killing of your parents. When the LPC came they kill people in the town?

Primary Witness: Yes they kill people but they na burn houses

Did they rape and force people to carry loads

Primary Witness: They force people to join them

Did they force girls to be their wives?

Primary Witness: I can't say they force them, because the girls use to go there by themselves.

Were the girls small?

Primary Witness: No they were big, more then 18.

Did they force small children to join them?

Primary Witness: No the boys use to go there and they use to give them arms.

Commissioner Bull: thank you for coming to the TRC. you were able to be bold to come here today because you were a perceive perpetrator because they forced you to do that. This is because you had no alternative and you wanted to be dead then alive, as such you have allowed the people to hear the other side of you doing what you did. And we hope that by you coming the people will see while you did what you did. God bless you.

Chairman: we want to say thank you again for coming and want to admire you courage. You philosophy of education can happened at anytime is a good one and we want you to keep up. Anything lastly you have to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: I thank all Liberian people who thing about, we will forgive but we will not forget but if you forget you will forget, so I want to thank almighty God for you people

Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Barclayville Grand Kru County
Sarah Yenkan
(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 for coming to the TRC; this is the opportunity for you to tell the people of the county, the Liberian people and the Commissioners of the TRC your story.

Primary Witness: We were her and we hear that war was coming, so when the war wax coking we left the town while were running other were caught, then they carry us the commander called Ted Quiah, the ask us to bring water for them and prepared their food, when we were going for the water they were tying one other man, after tying him they wrap the mattress on him and wasted oil on the mattress and put fire on it. Then someone told us we should not return when we go water we did go far we slept around he town, when today broke we came to town, we saw 13 persons and the14th one was my father, the killed in a way that cut his head and his limb I could not remember him they looted the houses and killed all our cattle.

The model came again we also left the town there where my child pass away because there was no medication. This is what I experience during the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: by coming you showed strength and bravery to come and share your experience we are hear to listen to and everything you say here will help us in our work.

Commissioner Konneh: beside Ted Quiah came you remember any other commander of LPC?

Primary Witness: I was so disturbed that I could not remember any other name.

What was the name of your father?

Primary Witness: Tommy Yenneh

What sex was your child, what was the name and age?

Primary Witness: She was a girl, she was 5 yrs and her name was baby girl.

Do you remember any other peoples being killed in your town by the same group?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you know their names?

Primary Witness: I know some of them name?

Can you call their names?

Primary Witness: Moses Kaleh a teacher, Bnneh Dayo.

Commissioner Coleman: is it true that these group was a Citizen Defense Force to defend your against LPC?

Primary Witness: No

Was your father a member of this defense force?

Primary Witness: No not at all

So those 14 persons were innocent people?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Chairman: what is the name of your town where these things happened?

Primary Witness: Blebo

Did the people organize any defense at all?

Primary Witness: Not at all

Primary Witness: Last word: I want the TRC to help me with money

Chairman: Do you what?

Primary Witness: Only to help myself

Do you have children?

Primary Witness: 10 children.

All the children living with you?

Primary Witness: Yes.

All in school

Primary Witness: Some are not.

What are you doing for your living?

Primary Witness: I am doing farming with my husband.

Chairman: We don't have money, we can recommend to the government of Liberia what we recommend is binding on the government, but in these kind of situation if you say you must give money to individual and give one $10,000 and give another $5,000 it becomes difficult as how to divide such monies.

Seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Barclayville Grand Kru County
Sunday P. Pool
(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.

Chairman: we want to welcome and thank you for coming to the TRC. I know you have plenty things to do but because you believe in peace and reconciliation you have come. The Commissioners and the people of grand kru are here to listen to your story. We are here that we all discuss on how we can solve the problem that happened in our country.

Primary Witness: Thank you.

Are you working?

Primary Witness: I am a class room teacher.

Your date of birth?

Primary Witness: April 5, 1962

Primary Witness: I graduated 1986 from the KRTTI and was assigned in the Boah Geeken, Boah district as a class room teacher at the Good Shepard School which is a Catholic School ands my wife was also working there. It happened that the catholic people were traveling and they ask me and my wife the take care of he place and on the 17th of August 1992 a group of 5 men came there to attack us headed by Moses, they knock of the door and he Moses broke in and said who are those who are in here and do not want to answer to our knock and I knew there was a problem and I told my wife to be in and I went our and I said oh Moses why are you her by now and he said find yourself on the ground and he invited the others in and I told my family in my dialect that enemies were around and they were crying.

Moses said I worked for the catholic people and they did not pay me, and I said Moses I do not know that these people did not pay you. He said you will pay the price, you will bear the weight. He said why I am dealing with the people; you can pack the people so that put the 17 student and my grand mother in the same room. I said Moses if you want your pay I can tell the office in Harper, he said there is nothing you can do now. He then said we should go from room to room, I had a problem with it and I had nothing to do because I was under duress. We went from room to room and they took all they wanted and we came to a room with a SSB radio and he said I was using it to give information to their enemies and I said I don't know their enemies so I am doing nothing.

They said I should roll on the ground from a point to a point and said if I pass a point they will shoot me and if I don't reach there they will shot me. One thing again as I was suffering, the people of the town where I had taught for 9 years none of them came until the whole thing was over, and when they came I told them I had nothing to tell them. They took the money I was using to help the children; they took the sum of L$7,735 which we get from the soap which we were making. Moses then said he is not going to kill me but he will kill my wife and one of the students, at that time my wife was pregnant, and I told them that they should kill me instead of the innocent people. They took five minutes to decide. Then they hit the gun on my face on my back and on my side. They told me to call my mother in law and said you have been here in this store but the only thing is that you have other people's children that is why we will spare you, thinking that if they had touched the children people will attack them.

They only tortured me and they left. This process took three hours from point to point. This had made me to have a problem with my BP. I have been having problems with my BP. That ends my personal experience.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chainman: we empathy with you for what happened to you. The other dimension to it you were in a community where you had worked a long time and they did not come to your rescue, we thank God that you had the courage for coming to tell us your story. At this time the Commissioners will ask you some questions.

Is the Moses man still around?

Primary Witness: No he is not around; I have not seen him for a long time now.

Commissioner Konneh: we want to appreciate what you have done and that it is only God that will help you. People did not cone to you rescue when you needed them and you are still teaching, as such I don't want you to leave the teaching for it is God that will pay you. I want to say sorry for that.

Commissioner Coleman: we want to say sorry and thank you for coming to the TRC. What you have done by bringing this case to the commission is the best option and the lord will pay you for what you have done.

Commissioner Syllah: besides your own experience can you tell us what these people did in that area?

Primary Witness: I will not lie that was my first time seeing them and when it happened I left and did not see them for they left when nit happened.

Commissioner Washington: what happened to the children that were in your school?

Primary Witness: They were 52 and at the timer and it was vacation, and some left and they were 17 remaining.

What is the age range of the children?

Primary Witness: They were little children.

Before that incident did anybody complain about them in the town?

Primary Witness: At that time we were only getting the ramous that the AFL and the Taylor soldiers were fighting.

How is your relationship with the community now?

Primary Witness: When it happened that tine I use to asked myself why me, and from one point to another I had to forgive them and don't have any problem with them and after it happened and they came to me I told them and the reasonable ones apologies to me and I forgave them.

Was there anytime when you had a problem with the people in the town?

Primary Witness: When I left and went to my town I was asked to take care of the school in Blebo, Blebo city at the time I was serving as district education officer and when MODREL got there they were putting in high demand that the people could not met and they use to collect me at night asking for goats and chickens and cows and I told them all of these things have finished. I will have to go to my people and beg them and this was on until the disarmament process came.

Commissioner Stewart: I am confused, you said it was in 1992 and you said it was when Doe was in power?

Primary Witness: They came and said they were Doe Soldiers so I don't know if the were the remnant.

Can you remember who the head of the MODEL was?

Primary Witness: They called him Black snake.

Is there any other name?

Primary Witness: No that is how he was called and there was another guy called pump you jaw.

Have you seen any of them?

Primary Witness: I have seen the black snake but I have not seen the pump your jaw.

Do you know their full names?

Primary Witness: No they did not call their full names. Pump your jaw is dead but black snake is still around, the town people called him and he apologize for what he did and we embraced him and he is still around.

Did these people carry on rape?

Primary Witness: Yes, one Joseph Weah did that and other guys who I cant remember and they wanted to cut his ears, but I appeal top my people did not cut his ears. The girl he did it to was a girl brought by one of his friends to our town.

Do you know where he is based now?

Primary Witness: No I know he was in Pleebo but we don't know where they are now, they came and took our entire single barrel from our town and r
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