Zwedru City: Day 2

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The Second Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Tuesday March 4, 2008 at the Zwedru City Hall, Grand Gedeh 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.

Eleventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Zwedru City Grand Gedeh County
Eugene Y. Gaye
(First Primary Witness of day two)

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: 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.

What is your name again?

Primary Witness: Eugene Y Gaye

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Pelezon

When were you born?

Primary Witness: May 6, 1972

What are you doing now?

Primary Witness: Student

Primary Witness: Alright during 1990 December the rebel entered Zwedru we ran to Pelezon then when we heard that they were coming again then we ran to the village Pulokan. My mother was pregnant 8 months you know in the village when the sun hot we the man can go in the bush, that day the rebel enter the village I only remember two persons that enter with the rebel in the village when they enter my mother was lying down when she heard the gun sound because she was pregnant and her belleh was big she could not run and my little brother Martin, he was just crying and when they finished during their things they went and on their way back my brother was still crying. My father had one rock side the house where he used sharpen his cut lass they took the boy and knock him on that rock and left him there.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Are you related to the boy?

Primary Witness: Yes one ma one pa and since then I have not seen my mother whether she is dead or not I can't tell?

Commissioner Konneh: what is the name of the village your went to?

Primary Witness: Pulokan village

Beside your brother and your father did they kill any other person in the village?

Primary Witness: No I only know about my own people.

Those who were killed were they the only people in the village?

Primary Witness: Yes

Have you made any effort to find your mother?

Primary Witness: When I came from exile I tried but it was difficult for me.

Do you remember some of their names?

Primary Witness: Nogbak, a Grebo boy and Charles a Gio man he was in our town as electrician.

Which group they were from?

Primary Witness: NPFL

Was there any commander accompanying those fighters to your village?

Primary Witness: They had commander but I don't him.

Of the two Nogbak and Charles who was seem to have been giving instructions?

Primary Witness: That Charles

Did they burn the village?

Primary Witness: Yes to aches

How many houses are there in the town?

Primary Witness: Three 3 houses.

Have you heard or see them since then?

Primary Witness: No

Where they generally know in the group that they were part of?

Primary Witness: They were all in Pelezon, Nogbak was there as student and Charles was there as electrician for the town generator.

Where were they from?

Primary Witness: They were from Glodiala, first town in Nimba County.

Commissioner Syllah: do you have other brothers and sisters?

Primary Witness: I have my brother junior and my sister Victoria in Monrovia.

Since your mother and father were killed how has life been with you?

Primary Witness: It is a big blow to my life for I am still in school I have my four little children have to cater to them daily if my parents were living they would have been helping me.

How old were you by then?

Primary Witness: About 10 years

Commissioner Coleman: what happened to you then, where were you?

Primary Witness: I went to Ivory Coast to struggle on my own to gain something for myself.

How long did you stay there?

Primary Witness: I came back 1997 and later we went back and came back again after the MODEL war.

Do you know what the purpose of the attack on the village was, like there was AFL and other soldier people?

Primary Witness: There was no AFL with us in the village, but they were during on tribalism line because no one had gun.

What tribe then?

Primary Witness: They were looking for Krahn people?

So your parents are Krahn?

Primary Witness: Yes

Commissioner Stewart: did you say that your father was killed?

Primary Witness: Yes he was killed after the other attack we were walking on the road and that how he was shot.

Who was overall commander?

Primary Witness: Only Charles was in action at that time

Are they still alive or any of them?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Did they loot the town?

Primary Witness: They burnt down the village

Did they loot any thing?

Primary Witness: They carry rice and things like radio and other things.

What's about the town?

The town part no one could put foot there when we went back we only met forest everything was gone.

So it is no longer a town?

Primary Witness: The town is more productive now people gone back

You know whether they looted the town before they burnt it?

Primary Witness: I think so because they looted the village before burning it, so I am sure they looted before they burnt it.

They took some girls along with them?

Primary Witness: They took one Mamie and Korti they carried them

Have they come back?

Primary Witness: No, no one know where they are

Where are their parents?

Primary Witness: They are here in Zwedru

Did they force any one to join them?

Primary Witness: No we were escaping; we could not stand in front of them

Your sister was also killed as you said?

Primary Witness: Yes, her name was Manu

Commissioner Bull: did your father go with you in Ivory Coast or not?

Primary Witness: No.

What is name of your aunty who took you to Ivory Coast?

Primary Witness: Martha sumo

Chairman: did you have the chance to bury your brother?

Primary Witness: Yes they bury my brother at the time.

Primary Witness: Last word: No

Twelfth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Zwedru City Grand Gedeh County
Oretha Dennis
(Second Primary Witness of day two)

The Second 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 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 and the Commissioners of the TRC.

Chairman: Good morning and welcome ma.

Do you live in Zwedru?

Primary Witness: No in Zleh Town

What do you do there?

Primary Witness: I am making farm.

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I am a 52 born.

Primary Witness: During this war 1990 we didn't run away because of reason, my sister was sick and we did not able to cross her so we went in the village and he was swollen up no doctor, we were there until ending of 1990 and our own children begin to hunt in the bush.

When they entered the village we were no there we were in the farm. We were there for 10 minutes and we started hearing gun sound so we started running to come and see what was happening but when we got there the sound was too much so we went behind to wait for the shooting to finish. When we got there thy kill my mother, my grand child Emmanuel and they burn the whole town. After that we went to a far village to hide ourselves. Two days after they came with reinforcement and started killing the old and young people. But for us we were afraid because we were having sick person and they kill the man. They killed eight people from my house, but the people that die from my village I know all of them.

Questions from the Commissioners:

What is the name of the village?

Primary Witness: Dao Village

Name of the people that died in the village?

Primary Witness: Pa Vannie, Ma Snah, Jway and her son Gebleh, Mnpowoh,

Do you know who did the killing?

Primary Witness: Yes I know who did it but they all die during the MODEL war.

Which fighting group they belong to?

Primary Witness: I don't know because they were not wearing uniform.

Were they not government soldiers?

Primary Witness: No

Name of the rebels?

Primary witness: David Koblah, Radie

Where were you during the MODE war?

Primary Witness: We were in Zleh town but we ran away and went to Gbason.

Commissioner Bull: thank you for the story. You said from your story that they were your own people and you gave certain names on the paper, are you the one who gave these name on the form?

Primary Witness: Eventhough there were name but some of these people can join from one group to another so we can not remember their right names.

What is the name of the man that was sick?

Primary Witness: Kan Gatti

What was the relationship?

Primary Witness: He was my oldest sister husband

Commissioner Stewart: sorry for the loses that happened. Can you remember the name of the commander for the group that went to your town?

Primary Witness: He is Coblah and he died during the MODEL war.

Where is he from?

Primary witness: Zleh Town.

So that is why you said it was your own people who did it.

Primary witness: Yes he was a soldier so he formed his own group and they are the ones that killed the people but they are dead now. MODEL came for them and carried them to Ivory Coast and killed them.

Besides the killing did they rape, burned houses and tied people?

Primary witness: They only killed people.

About how many young girls were killed?

Primary witness: About four young girls.

Did they burn any house in the town?

Primary witness: They burned a lot of houses.

Besides the son that was killed do you have other children?

Primary witness: Yes.

Commissioner Dolopei: you said from in your house 8 people died from you, can you called their names for us?

Primary witness: Pa Gathy, Emmanuel Gaye my grand child, Slanblati, Small Mamie, Ma Richard my mother, Joseph, Ranni, Blehsun,

Commissioner Coleman: who attacked your village?

Primary witness: I don't know them

When was it?

Primary witness: In 1990 in Grand Gedeh County.

Was there any reason why they attacked the village?

Primary witness: It was a general attack.

You said your knew some of the people who joined them?

Primary witness: They were many and we did not know them. The rebel were in Zwedru and the formed their own group to come to us but before they came the rebels finish burning the town.

Was there any other group in the town in 2003?

Primary witness: I was not here.

So when did you leave Liberia?

Primary witness: It was after 1990.

So when did you come back?

Primary witness: 1997.

Commissioner Konneh: sorry for what happened to you in the war. One of the reasons for the formation of the TRC is to find out who did the harm in this country. One if them are your own people who joined to harm their own people, so if there is any of them you know, you have to tell us, so we are asking you to tell us if you know, but if you don't know do say it. So why do you think some of your own people joined to harm you instead of protecting you?

Primary witness: I don't know.

The people you talked about are you from the same town, Clan or district?

Primary witness: We are from the same town.

Do you know of any dispute the brought about this?

Primary witness: I really do not know their reason.

Have you made any effort to find out why your own children came together to harm you?

Primary witness: We na able that thing there.

Chairman: thank you for coming to share your experience with us. We say sorry on behalf of all of us and pray that things get better and that the peace last. Is there anything on your mind that you want to say before you leave?

Primary witness: I thank your very mush for your to come and out things together, but the way your bring this thing up it is just like your now open the old sore and while I am here now I am feeling cool and I worrying about it.

From here now you will now worry about it because you have told people about and you will not be alone, because you have said what was worrying you.

Thirteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Zwedru City Grand Gedeh County
Derrick Nenneh Gbarwo
(Third Primary Witness of day two)

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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: good afternoon 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.

Your date of birth?

Primary witness: 1968

Do you live in Zwedru?

Primary witness: Yes but I reside in Solo Town.

What are you doing currently?

Primary witness: I am farming.

Primary witness: In 1990 when the Charles Taylor war brook out in Liberian I and my family were residing in Grand Gedeh and we left and went to the Ivory Coast and later in 1995 we heard of the cease fire in Liberia and we saw some of our friends coming and going so I decide to come alone with my family so we came and decided to make our farm.

Then the old ma my brother who is Victor Slawon, Fred Thomas and others at the village, then my stomach was hurting and I went to the toilet and while I was there victor decide to go and take bath and the old ma was preparing soup for us and when I go look I heard where are the soldiers and they started to shoot and I heard the bucket sound and they said the mad is dead. Then old man Wilson Dweh was dead then the old ma was crying and I believe they were rapping her but I could not go there and rescue her because I had no weapons so I decided to be there and I soy and I say only general Gwanda. The other group was going up and down eating what they see. When I go look the people when they were going they were pointing gun in the bush and they say if you na come out we will kill you and they came out and the caught them. So myself I started traveling by the bush and I heard one gun sound and I believe that the gun that killed the old ma and the burned the tent and they started going. My brothers that went to check the trap they all escape and I was the only person in the bush and I travel by the bush and the water and I did not see them and I stop at one village where I was in the darkness and I could not hear any sound.

I was lying down among the mosquito, then in the morning while I was going I hared sounds but I could not talk because I thought it was the enemies so I went near and I heard my oldest brother sound Richards and right away he said Derricks who was firing at the village and I went to him and gave him the message. So we were creeping going to the village and we heard no sound and we entered the village and we met the old ma, but the juke stick in her, we say our brother on the ground and the Papie was on the ground and he carry the three children.

After the war I saw Gonda and I use one of my sister and she persuaded Gonda so he went for the children in Nimba and they are here right now going to school.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: sorry for the situation. Have our sympathy, commissioners will now ask you some questions.

Who is the person that went for the children?

Primary witness: One Cecelia Slehn.

Was she part of the fighting forces?

Primary witness: No she is my uncle wife and she is the one we use to persuade the man and she followed the man to Nimba and they got the children.

What is the name of the man who took the children and the group he belonged to?

Primary witness: General Gwanda for NPFL.

Did you know him before?

Primary witness: After the war he came here and he build a video club here in Zwedru and they were calling the same that is how I know him and we followed him.

Commissioner Bull: is the Gwanda still in Zwedru?

No he was here before.

Commissioner Stewart:

Primary witness: Bobby Slen he was 15 years at the time

How about the others?

Primary witness: Monneh Sleh was 5 years and Sinoe Girl was 6 years.

How were they treated in Nimba?

Primary witness: According to them they treated them well because they thought their parents will no longer find them.

Did they loot any other thing from the farm?

Primary witness: At that time war already carried all the things so that only the single barrel that they carry.

Did they burned any houses and forced the children to carry loads?

Primary witness: Yes the burned all the houses, and it is only the boy child that carry load.

What year is it that he had the video club?

Primary witness: It was 1998.

Commissioner Coleman: you mentioned any cease fire?

Primary witness: Yes there was cease fire and the group was moving from place to place and we thought the war was over.

Did anything happen to solo town?

Primary witness: Before we came from IC there was nothing there.

So how is the rebuilding of the solo town?

Primary witness: We are trying our best and things are going on.

Are you married now?

Primary witness: Yes

How many children do you have?

Primary witness: I have seven

What was the treatment between the LPC and the NPFL?

Primary witness: They were the same all of them are rebels and they treated us bad.

Commissioner Syllah: do you remember the name of any other soldier beside Gondah?

Primary witness: No I can't remember any other name besides him.

Besides you your aunty has any other children?

Primary witness: Yes she has big children.

Commissioner Konneh: who took the children to Nimba?

Primary witness: That the same general Gonda because when the came back they told us how they were carried to Nimba by him. They said the walk to Zleh town and he was with them until the got to Zias Town and he put them on the car and say they should be take to his wife then later the scatter them so that they will not be able to come back home.

Were the children sent to school?

Primary witness: No

How was their physical experience?

Primary witness: They were looking good

So they were taken as house servants?

Primary witness: Yes.

Did they say the people who were taking care of them children were going to school and they were not going to school?

Primary witness: Yes

After LPC and NPFL incident did you go back to the IC?

Primary witness: Yes I did not waist time in Liberia.

How long did you stay there and when did you come back?

Primary witness: I was there up to 1998, and I came back.

So you witness the incident of MODEL

Primary witness: Yes I did.

If you were asked to compare the NPFL and MODEL, what will you say?

Primary witness: I will say the MODEL is very good if they are even compared to the LPC.

So where you were they never raped, burned and captured people?

Primary witness: They were very friendly just like they are not rebel forces. When they entered al of us ran and it was later that the people brought the message that the people were not bad they were only targeting the president and not the civilians.

Are the children going to school now?

Primary witness: It is only the girls that are going to school but the boy has a woman and he is doing farming and any where he wants that is where he and the woman can go

Have you encourage him to go to school?

Primary witness: I have encouraged him, but I do not have the hand to encourage him. I have seven children and I can't even support them so I do not have the means to support them.

Commissioner Dolopei: thank you for coming to the TRC, your story given us today will assist us in having our job. You have been able to confirm some of the they-say that has been going around and we now have the first hand information and no more they say. We hope that your story that you told us today is like a message and a story for others that have not been able to come here to talk for themselves. Is there any last word?

Primary witness: I am trying to do my farming as I have said. The vegetables I want to make four acres but I do not have support, I was about tom go on the farm before the TRC came for me and I told them that they just want to hurry my feeling. More so if you say those things they will be feeling bad about you, so on the security level I want you people to consider it, because if they do bad, they don't want it to come to light. Apart from that, the farm I am making is a big farm, I don't only want to supply Grand Gedeh, but to also supply Monrovia and I want your help so that I will send my brothers to school from the farm.

Thank you for what you have said and by coming you have been able to clarify what has happened that is one aspect and so the other is how we can make recommendation to the government to help people. They say if you want to help a man do not continue to feed them but make them to feed themselves. So if the recommendation to the government I am sure something will be done, so we have heard you recommendation and we will out it forward.

Fourteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Zwedru City Grand Gedeh County
Mary Voerjolo
(Fourth Primary Witness of day two)

The Fourth 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 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.

What is your name?

Primary witness: My name is Voerjolo.

Where do you live?

Primary witness: I stay in Parl Town.
What is your date of birth?

Primary witness: I don't know by birth date?

Primary witness: Me I in Parl Town their war come they move we from town to town. That time I get belly, that boy I born it in Monrovia. That time 1990 hungry come we be suffer. I ran away to Ivory Coast. We suffered no money I have to wash people cloth before we eat. Then my husband it go looking for food for the children. Man can't stay in town that in the bush. Then when my man go in the bush, then when my man go now, we na see him again. My I don't want I must lie I can say that gun kill him or what; we just see his body in the bush. That the sorry, me and the children when we buried my husband then that time they say the war entered River Gbeh and my only brother die again.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thanks you for coming to TRC.

Commissioner Steward: Thank you for coming to the TRC and we say sorry for your husband and brother. Who killed your husband?

Primary witness: oh my husband that one I saying he go in the bush and we just see his body whether gun killed him or they beat him.

Did they burn any house?

Primary witness: Yes they burned all the houses sot that tent house we build now.

Did they kill people?

Primary witness: The people who do bad, bad thing. It can beat people and when you get food the take from you.

Which group came that time?

Primary witness: we pa we old, old people so we don't who come we just called rebel. Some can speak Bassa, Krahn and Gio

Did they rape girls?

Primary witness: Yes, they see girl and married

Did they force the boys in the town to follow them?

Primary witness: No

Did town boys follow them?

Primary witness: Yes they force group to guide we the women

Commissioner Bull: sorry for the death of your husband. I know what it is to be without husband because I myself my husband died. Sorry you hear.

Primary witness: yes

Commissioner Syllah: I joined my colleagues to say sorry you hear.

Primary witness: yes

Commissioner Konneh: You said you delivered in the bush that time. what is your son doing in Monrovia?

Primary witness: He's going to school in Monrovia

What is his grade?

Primary witness: He in the 7th grade.

Commissioner Dolopei: before you leave what will be your last words?

Primary witness: although I married Krahn man but I am not a Krahn, I am a Grebo woman, so what I want your to do for is I no get house I no get hand to help my children

Fifteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Fish Town City River County
Sammy D. Gaye
(Fifth Primary Witness of day two)

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: good afternoon 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,

What is your name again?

Primary witness: My name is Mr. Sammy Gaye.

When were you born?

Primary witness: I was born 1963.

Where do you live?

Primary witness: I live in Tchien Town Gbayu District.

What do you do?

Primary witness: I am doing farming.

Primary witness: Thank you. 1990 war nothing happened to me because 1990 I was working with a logging company called LLWPC. But what happened to me is the death of my mother by MODEL rebel. She died by sassy wood. The people told the commander that it was not good to take sassy wood from one town to another but he did it because he was having arms.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Vice Chairman: Thank you very much. As you say you can do anything you can build house etc. but can't buy life. Even though, they say you man don't cry but it can work in the heart. So we say thank you for coming to the TRC. So the commissioners will ask you questions. My own the question when they killed her?

Primary witness: 2004 MODEL

What was her name?

Primary witness: Betty Monjlor Gaye

Commissioner Konneh: Sorry for them killing your mother in the manner that she died? But my question is who administered the sassy wood and under what authority?

Primary witness: Himself administer authority and because he had arm.

Did he administer it to other people in the town other then your mother?

Primary witness: Yes, he gave it to other to drink and they died.

Commissioner Konneh: Where were you when LPC came to your area?

Primary witness: After NPFL all the other factions, I was in the Ivory Coast.

Commissioner Syllah: Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us today and I join my colleagues to say sorry for the manner in which she died. But where you there when he gave you.

No, but when I came from Ivory Coast my brother told me that she was killed so.

Commissioner Coleman: Sorry for what happened but I want know some thing. What is the way sassy wood suppose to be administered?

Primary witness: There is a way to administer it because he administered it to my mother was too much for her age.

Was it that he believed that the old man was against any modern thing like brining electricity and your mother was against it?

Primary witness: Yes, you know there was a rumor that my mother wanted to kill by witch that's why he killed my mother.

What company did you say you worked with?

Primary witness: LLWPC

What does it mean?

Primary witness: Well, Liberia Logging ooh I don't know. [Laughter]

Commissioner Bull: Sorry ya Mr. witness. Many people talked about MODEL around here that they did not killed. But thank you today you have told us that they too killed. Your mother was not the only witch and in fact it is only witch knows another witch. So thank you for coming to the TRC.

Vice Chairman: [Laughter] it looks like Commissioner Bull has said all that I had to say. So thank you for coming. Is there any last word that you have for us?

Primary witness: Nothing I don't want money from anybody for my mother's life. Even if I get money full of bucket I can't see my ma again. I am a strong farmer. I can make farm and get money but I can't get my mother again.

Sixteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Zwedru City Grand Gedeh County
Francess Quedeh
(Sixth Primary Witness of day two)

The Sixth 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, this is the opportunity fro you to tell your story to the people of Grand Gedeh and the people of Liberia. The war the happened the war is over. All the things that you going to talk will help us bring Liberia back to peace.

What is your age?

Primary witness: I am 68 years of age

Where are you living?

Primary witness: Fele town to Sarpo.

When you were young what were you doing?

Primary witness: I was young I was plant rice to my ma farm anything my ma do I do it.

Primary witness: I say when the war was coming we all running away, but when we run they caught us and grabbed my four (4) children and killed them right by me and they even chopped me on my hand. The mark is still here you can see it now. Look. The time they beat me when it reaches the part of the year the pain can come on me. The other children in Monrovia, Some of my children went to Ivory Coast and they say they gone to America.

I was in deep sleep, I don't know I died oh the people burned my house and now I my in the town house. I who here now I don't know my time because use I old now. The people I was expecting to help me all gone. I here now I don't feel good, all my people they finished I am alone.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: how can you eat?

Primary witness: I can make farm. God can feel me I can make farm. Right now my farm finished burned, but I have no hand no way to plan it

All of us say sorry for your suffering. We are going all over country, we have gone to Maryland, Grand kru, River Gee and now in Grand Gedeh to hear all these story and report back to the government who will in turn do something. We say thank you for coming for now we can't do anything the war did bad bad things to you everybody. That why we tell her thank for coming to the TRC. We say never mind. So we will ask you some questions

All this things that happened what year?

Primary witness: 1990 the first war, the first war

Where did it happen?

Primary witness: Quedeh (kpeles) Town from Pyne's town road

What are the names of the children that they killed?

Primary witness: Boys - Borbor and Arthur Girls - Pordeal and Nyuenueh ( person who can do some)

What is their Father name?

Primary witness: Joseph Kahn

He is stay living?

Primary witness: No, he drown in the water, he was working for LRC

What happen to your hand?

Primary witness: That war time they beat me so. I leave from there I get time to sit down there again, they chopped my hand that make me to be helpless

Commissioner Bull: do you hear from your son in Monrovia?

Primary witness: Yes

What is his name?

Primary witness: Messy Kahn

You say you are 68 years and you have the time to talk with us. But God spared her life because he wants her tell to tell story for the other women in Grand Gedeh County who couldn't be here. This paper the story you talk the person who came to take the story. This paper will not only stay in Zwedru but it will go in the history, over TV and Radio Please try to get to the Chinese hospital for medicine

Primary witness: What I will do I don't have people here to help me

Commissioner Steward: never mind ya we thank you for coming to tell the story.

Do you know their names they that killed your children?

Primary witness: I don't know nobody name, they are different different people
The only thing I know that it was Charles Taylor soldiers.

You then only one who children they killed?

Primary witness: We have village by village; you can't go to another people village if they take your children.

Plenty people were in the village?

Primary Witness: No, I alone with my husband and children

How many houses were there?

Primary witness: One tent village, they know that road the lead.

Where did killed your children on the village or in town?

Primary witness: On the village, my husband ran away.

Did they burn the village?

Primary witness: No, that the town they burned, not the village.

After doing all the bad things to you, how you managed to move from their hands?

Primary witness: after they beat me plenty and when they chopped I dropped, and went in deep sleep they thought I was dead and they left there and my husband came and took me from there.

Then the husband took her?

Primary witness: Yes

Do you if they buried the children?

Primary witness: No, they did not bury them

Where did you run?

Primary witness: I come to my place


Primary witness: Quayee town

Did you go to Ivory Coast?

Primary witness: No, I will no lie

Commissioner Dolopei: sorry for all the things that happened to you when you were talking you mentioned about your two children that run away. Where did they go?

Primary witness: They go America, they went Ivory Coast then to American.

What are their names?

Primary witness: Josephine and Arthur. Their father is kpelle, they are kpelleh people

What is their father's name?

Primary witness: Joseph Winton stay to Kakata

That two boys to America?

Primary witness: No, one girl and a boy.

Commissioner Coleman: when you explained your story, my heart hurt because to see when you were there and they killed your four children on the spot , I was better that they killed you instead that you stand there and they killed the children. This is why we are going around the country to get all these stories. We will make sure that such things will not happen once again that how we are here to take these stories and make recommendations.

Commissioner Syllah: Thank you coming to the TRC, so we say sorry for what happened.

Primary witness: ok.

Commissioner Konneh: I again join my colleagues to say sorry. Now you are 68, by the time they took your four (4) children you were about 50 years. But God know why you have to come here to tell your story. It doesn't mean that the people that killed your children we will not hold them responsible. When your children were killed, do you remember the names of some of the people that they killed?

Primary witness: Yes I know plenty people, they full them in the truck and dump them in the river: Oldman Flank, oldman madiah, Jawu and many others.

Can we put you in the car and you go show us the place?

Primary witness: No, I don't want to go there on the scene because it will remind me of what happened. So I am not to do it. The water that full will carry everything

The place they use to dump them. Do you know the place?

Primary witness: Yes, Janbeah town. I know the place

Beside the time they killed your people. Who killed, what was faction?

Primary witness: Noriega, he was the big man.

Commissioner Dolopei: You said all the four children were killed but you have other children in Monrovia. What are names in children in Monrovia?

Primary witness: Messy and Eugene Kahn, and Mary

What is your relationship of the ones in America?

Primary witness: When they sent anything, the ones in Monrovia can eat it

You said your husband Joseph Winton. Can he remember you whether he is stay alive?

Primary witness: No,

Where are they staying in Monrovia?

Primary witness: The big one to Bomi hill road. (voa camp)
The other two they are their pa house on west point road.

Chairman: what they used to kill the children?

Primary witness: That gun.

Can you remember their language?

Primary witness: They never talked, when they enter the village, we not talked.

Let us talk about Naroga when he entered what he did.

Primary witness: All the Papie them they grab them, they killed every one of them, I was the only person that they did not kill.

We want to tell you we happy you come, the way you have told us your story. Their names will go down in Liberia history book that bad bad people killed them so we say sorry the way that you have come to tell you story. What is the one thing that you have to say before you leave?

Primary witness: My children who build my house for me to die inside they finished killing them. So what I want your to do for me is to build back my house. So I can die inside like my children had intended it to be.

The things that you want might happen before you die.

Seventeenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Zwedru City Grand Gedeh County
George Seebo Seebo
(Seventh Primary Witness of day two)

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: good afternoon 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. After nearly 20 years of fighting the government of Liberia and the International community have decided that we should not allow this to just be left like that, but that we should find a solution to the problem that is why we are appreciating you for coming.

What is your name again?

Primary Witness: George Seebo Seebo

Where are you from?

Primary Witness: Putu Penekan

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am a Farmer and the general town chief Putu Peneken.

Primary Witness: I was in Greenville that where I was working and we heard that war was coming. The place I built my two houses now, when the war was coming my wife Tuewehn say let go the people coming near, I say no man so my women went to her family place I was on the job site they say they looking Krahn and Mandingo I am a Krahn man so when I look at it for long I hid my self and went to my woman place we went in the bush and built a tent about 18 men were there, then one women came say you Seebo that you keeping Krahn people here so your better leave from here I say but why then I told my people that we should go but they say nothing will happen then about we were about 17 men they grab me they say they must carry us to the town about 17 men we reached somewhere they dig big hole with caterpillar and that was the grave and they put us on line they kill 15 men behind me, when I look 15 men gone then I say why then I told them that I Gio man then the commander white tail man say oh you Gio man then they sent me to one woman to go speak Gio then I told the woman that I am a Gio then my friends were laughing at me they say where you come from I say Bahn, he say my face not look like Gio man then I say how Gio man face looking then someone say if I Gio I must name the town chiefs from Bahn so I started naming the names of all the chiefs name from Bahn area then one man come in and say they will carry me Noriega then he say I must laugh at the people the dead people that were in the hole then I laugh now then the way you laughing that the same way others will laugh at you. They put me in the car and carry me to Noriega, when they carry me to Noriega he asked me say you Gio man then why you heard say Noriega here then you not come speak to me I say but I don't know Noriega then while he was talking to me one captain came and say oh your still keeping this man here your go killed him man then Noriega say oh you see me talking with the man then you say what in fact your carry him and do his work the they carried him and killed then Noriega say my man from today you sergeant he give me clothes to where and assigned me to the stations and I have my office there.

Then they change Noriega, then the man who take over that kru man then I say this one here I have to move from here, then my people say since you na come you na die in the war you being the town chief but no pay government not pay me yet and my town house now I na get place to stay now self that my piece of my story.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: how long you spent in Sinoe before the rebel took over?

Primary Witness: From 73 until 1990 when the war came.

When the war entered Sinoe?

Primary Witness: 1991 to my part of village the ending part of 1991.

Then when you came to Putu?

Primary Witness: 1998 because I spent some time in the bushes hiding.

You saw Noriega with your eye?

Primary Witness: Yes face to face he deployed me and all.

You can describe him?

Primary Witness: He is a slim man tall black but you could not even look at him for long time but if I see him I know him.

Commissioner Konneh: how long you spent in Noriega control area?

Primary Witness: About 5 months

What was the behavior of Noriega towards other civilians?

Primary Witness: I was just at the station controlling the station no body can tell you I did bad to them.

What kinds of office you had?

Primary Witness: I was star sergeant you know.

Do you know the name of the commander that took over from Noriega?

Primary Witness: Gen. Jackson

What was his behavior towards civilians?

Primary Witness: That one we can talk if he say today your go your will go.

So you did not see Noriega or Jackson burn house?

Primary Witness: It is the Jackson man who burnt my two houses now I don't have place to be that was why when he took over I left because he was coming to kill me too.

Did they harass women?

Primary Witness: your own woman when the man say come outside that my woman you will say no, no way.

So they were law onto themselves?

Primary witness: No one you can talk that they had their own gavel.

Commissioner Syllah: were where your children when you were sergeant?

Primary Witness: Only four children were with me but my woman and oher children were in the bush.

So nothing happen to them?

Primary Witness: Only two of my children died from but that in Monrovia.

Why they killed them?

Primary Witness: Because of the same war and their Krahn tribe business.

Their ages and names?

Primary Witness: Partrick Seebo 63, and Jestina Seebo 66.

Can you tell us briefly some of the activities Noriega was engage, were there women, and children behind him?

Primary Witness: They were not bringing their women and children with when they go to war anywhere they go they met woman there that their woman they make the people women their women and the killed other people children.

Did you notice that there were children below 15 or so?

Primary Witness: From 14 for the women they will take them as their woman.

Can you remember how many times your went on the front?

Primary Witness: I never take guns to go on the front I had the rank but one day I did not go on the front.

Can you remember the commander of the people that kill the 15 persons on the line with you and your son?

Primary Witness: The called him Gen. White Tail.

What's about Cut Throat?

Primary Witness: He part he used to only be there for cutting throat and that's cut lass he used to used.

Commissioner Coleman: how many people they actually killed?

Primary Witness: They killed 15 persons behind us and me and my son was remaining.

Where they buried them?

Primary Witness: They had a front roller a machine use to dig the grave to put the dead bodies in there in Sinoe I know the place.

How you will able to know about the Gio people that you manage to speak the dialect and escape the line?

Primary Witness: In 1957, when LAMCO was here they carry us and I was living in Yekepa, and that from there we went on the diamond mine I was there for 10 years and that how I learn there dialect.

What's about your wife, what is her tribe?

Primary Witness: She is a Sapo from Greenville.

What happen to your parents?

Primary Witness: My entire family they died one day on the diamond mines because they were Krahn

What about Noriega was he involve in the mining?

Primary Witness: He used carry his troop Wekanglay and take people gravel and ask them to wash it for him.

What is your experience with LPC?

Primary Witness: By that time Gen. Deh Kiah save me now he sent some troop with me to come back home.

Around what time now this happened?

Primary Witness: 1996 before then he asked if I ready to join now and I say I want to go home and he sent troop to carry me.

What about the MODEL time 2003?

Primary Witness: I was not here.

Where you at that time we place?

Primary Witness: Putu

Commissioner Stewart: what was the kind of things Noriega was involved in?

Primary Witness: He was a wicked man when he gave you orders it has to be executed but to me he was good because he save me.

Have you seen him since the war?

Primary Witness: No I have not see him I can't go any where I am just here.

Eighteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Zwedru City Grand Gedeh County
William Zeh
(Eighth Primary Witness of day two)

The Eighth 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. He was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: Hello Mr. Zah, you are 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. The People of Grand Gedeh and the Liberian people are here to listen to you. Thank you again.

Your date of birth?

Primary witness: I don't know my date of birth but I am above 60.

Where do you live?

Primary witness: I lave Barbloh town

What do you do?

Primary witness: I am farmer and I am a Town Chief of the Town.

Primary witness: I thank God for you safe arrival here. If you are loaded with burdens and somebody come to here from you it is very good. Since the war took place in Liberia we went through a lot of horrible things but nobody came to hear from us so we sat by ourselves. So I am happy that you have come to hear from us. What really hurt me most during the war is that four of my kinsmen were hurt in my town where I live? Those included ion the murder the oldest is Brown and the next is David Hne and the third is David Totti he was a town chief and the forth person is Moses he was working with LAMCO as shovel operator. All of these four persons are brothers and are my relatives and it hurts me a lot. This is what has been burdening my mind. We sat down and we do not know who to bring our problem to, so I am happy that you are here and I can bring my problem to you. This is what I say during the war. There are a lot of things that happened but the must painful is the death of my four immediate brothers.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we say sorry for the death of your brothers. The way you talk you are talking as a member of the TRC because you have talked clearly about what the TRC can do. The international community and the government of Liberia wants the problem in our country to be over so the organize the TRC. They say before development can come the people mind have to be clear that is why they told us to move from county to county so people can tell us what is in their heart. So we are happy that you were able to come and say what is on your heart. Commissioners will now ask you some questions.

Commissioner Bull: Mr. Witness, I thank you for coming. Just what our chairman say just now, he has talked for me and the whole commission, so thank you for coming. Your brothers have gone top the grave yard so we have to learn from what happened. The name of your brothers will go down in history. What is the name of your brother?

David Totti, he was a Clan Chief.

Commissioner Coleman: when were your brothers killed?

Primary witness: It was during the cease fire we returned from Ivory Coast and it was when they broke the cease fire that they killed my brothers. They said they were George Bolley factions and they came to save the Krahn people and they came and killed my brothers.

So they hid their identity?

Primary witness: Yes they were NPFL, but they came and lied to us and they killed my brothers.

During the time of the MODEL war of 2003 what was the experience of you and your family?

Primary witness: MODEL did not treat us any bad.

How many children do you have?

Primary witness: The children are many; it is like a whole family.

So in total you lost about four people?

Primary witness: Yes it is four of my own relatives. But those that died excluding my relatives are about 12.

Commissioner Konneh: besides your four brothers, do you remember if there was any other person killed?

Primary witness: I can not give you the name of any other person that was killed besides my brothers. There were others who died besides my brothers.

You said that you were out of the town when these things and when you came in you saw bodies, where there men children and old people among them or just men?

Primary witness: Yes we realize four women were among and the rest were all men.

Where there any survival from the town?

Primary witness: Yes there were survival, those who sense earlier that they were not LPC left the town and they were saved.

Was there survival from those that were left in the town?

Primary witness: Yes there were survival and they gave testaments, they will be here to testify.

Commissioner Stewart: for the people who were massacre in the town, did they come back later on to burry the bodies?

Primary witness: What happened is that the grave is a mass grave and if we fond any bone we pout it in the grave.

How can the TRC help to memorialize the place?

Primary witness: We will really appreciate if the commission can help to make a Tomb with their names enlisted on it so that those that will come later can know who is in the grave.

Chairman: we want to tell you thank you form coming to share your bitter experiences with us. Eventhough you people died you were able to come and share this with the TRC, this is a noble thing and we appreciate it very and we want to tell you thank you. If there is anything last you want to say you can say it now.

Primary witness: I wish to extend my thanks and appreciate you for coming here and what you want to do we can not dictate to you, but you as a organization will determine what best to be done for us. But the mass grave we want the tomb to be built so that our children will know who is in there.

End of day two of the TRC Public Hearings Grand Gedeh County

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