Zwedru City: Day 5

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Twenty-Ninth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Zwedru City Grand Gedeh County

Peter Kuya Gaye

(First Primary Witness of day five)

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, Grand Gedeh County and the Commissioners of the TRC.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: 1927 January 8

Where were you born?

Primary Witness: Konehbo

What are you doing presently?

Primary Witness: I am a Farmer

Primary Witness: We here now to say a story which is one year old. It happened in Konebo and the same Konebo I was borne and I left their until I am old now I am stay at when I explain all that is in my heart I have heart problem. What I want to say I will explain what happened to us after the war 1990. We don't know that war was coming then we see some people the called their self defense force. It was that people that killed my brother one Patrick Gaye. They came in our town and they say war was there they bring one of the generals so they say we bring one cow so that they can eat it because they are stranger, so we killed one cow for them but when they were going so they say since they cant eat the other cow they will carry it and go sell it then I say or your say your defense force that this kinds of things your come do here your eat my one cow then your want your to eat the other big one again then one of them say you know who you talking to you don't know that this the general here. I say so what if that the general so one can talk to him, then they break the cow neck and put in their pickup and the then they say they must carry one big cow then I say why you carry the cow then the man say you not know this is a general you talking to like that then the took the cow and put in the car and carry it. And that was they were doing any town they go to they will either kill our cow or sheep or goat or like that. Because they say since they are defense force they need to eat to that our cattle because they say they were saving us. That's the place I want to stop because if I say the other one them that one that different thing that one is too much.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: what was the name of the leader of the defense force?

Primary Witness: That one Waploh he was the development superintendent.

Where was the defense force operating?

Primary Witness: The place where the superintendent was

So all the things that happen to you were in Zwedru?

Primary Witness: No that in Konebo.

So they left their control area and go to your town?

Primary Witness: The same place under the superintendent now self that particular man he married to my daughter in Monrovia their commander was Philip Green he said you don't I general he the one who took my cow and say I must not talk to him.

You said who took your gun from you?

Primary Witness: Joseph Kpayen was the one who took my single barrel from me he was the captain and Youday Belleh was one their generals.

Commissioner Bull: did they sell the gun to someone else; I mean the gun they took from you?

Primary Witness: Yes, one of them even killed my grand son behind me

Did they shoot anyone because they were Grebo?

Primary Witness: That one Konebo man he is in jail now - now

Commissioner Dolopei: you think how many died in the town?

Primary Witness: All of our people ran away we were only four in town they only came to take our cattle.

How many cows the killed from you?

Primary Witness: That two cows.

Commissioner Coleman: during 1990 how was live for your and how do you think about that war?

Primary Witness: That the Taylor people did bad to us.

But before they came everything was ok?

Primary Witness: Yes but when model came again it was not easy.

1993 and 4 how was LPC time too?

Primary Witness: By then I was in Ivory Coast

When you came back from Ivory Coast?

Primary Witness: 1997.

How was it when you came back?

Primary Witness: That the time the people back and shoot my son and when to tell the superintendent, then we took in side good he say he did by we must forgive him he said he sent the boy and the boy refuse so that's why I killed him.

Commissioner Syllah: did any of your family members suffer as a result of the war beside your grand son?

Primary Witness: My daughter and her two children and I can't even talk all because if talk all of that I don't want to that self I don't want to come there.

Can you name them and how they died?

Primary Witness: Solomon Taley they killed him to the mansion, Patrick D Gaye by brother, one Roubiyor, two children now how as in my house with my daughter they died their in the house but I don't know their name they ma name is Rebecca Gaye, one Bokiaday, my two wives one Esther, and Lucy they died too, while from Ghana my wife son died too. And my grand son name is Goh and his mother name is Mowhen.

Primary Witness: Last word: you know my age now I don't want to live in the rain my house now I wide open my house leaking, at least to eat I will manage, so that my small days that remaining I can enjoy it.

Thirtieth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Zwedru City Grand Gedeh County

Mabel Chellah Tarpeh

(Second Primary Witness of day five)

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.

Where are you from?

Primary Witness: Konehbo

What are you doing presently?

Primary Witness: Bursting Rock (fetches rocks from riverbank and burst for sale to get food)

When were you born?

Primary Witness: 1965

Primary Witness: The war that pass 1990 I and my husband was in the bush as soon they say they killed Doe when the rebel entered to us they were shooting coming and they killed two women from us I think by 3 O'clock in the evening. One day we come to the village then we go build any other village again then some rebel came again and they enter on us then one papay saw them first and he ran away but we did not know when they entered they say some one was among your and he run from here just now and they say we the woman should pass one side and the men one side then we form the line they say if we not call the papay we will see then they started tying our husbands and I say but how we find this papay then one of them say you better shout your mouth before you laid own on the ground here then one of them say where is your husband then I showed him and he put the gun in my husband mouth then and asked him say we moh kill you then the man say anything your want do they say they will kill me then I took my daughter and put her in front me then their commander say as you were then they started beating my husband, then they say we should go to the town and leave the village before we reach to the village they finish burning the village, then they starting coming when they were coming the had human parts in the bag with them.

When they were coming one man say that women that Putu woman and that time Putu and rebel were not friends if they call you Putu person your own finish they ask me I say I na Putu then they called one man and they sent me to him to see if I am a Putu I say the same and I spoke Sapo and told about Sinoe to him then the commander say I must go to his office when he was carrying me I told my husband he say but what I will do go with them and when we went they stated raping me and the next morning I came and told my husband and the next day we ran away. The next town we went to again we went to again the people met us and they did the same to us. Then my husband say we must go in Sinoe we spent 2 weeks 4 days on the road then I got there in Sinoe I had stomach problem and my husband was working before the war they looted all our money and the frustration leave on the man and that how he died so that all I got say in this war that what I see.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: when all these happened?

Primary Witness: In 1990 - 91

Where did it happen?

Primary Witness: Ganwestown in Sinoe

Which fighting force did it?

Primary Witness: I only know the commander name, rebel japer I don't know his real name.

Commissioner Bull: where is your daughter was with you?

Primary Witness: She here in town here

Since then you have any other children?

Primary Witness: I have seven living and one nursing now.

Have you seen that man since then?

Primary Witness: He is from that side, Kaweakan.

Commissioner Coleman: what's about your mother and father are they alive?

Primary Witness: My mother died in the house they burnt her in the house.

What about your father?

Primary Witness: He died a natural death.

Your sister?

Primary Witness: That her own husband killed her because he said she was a Krahn married to Gio man they had seven children.

What was her name?

Primary Witness: Oretha Ballen

What about her husband?

Primary Witness: David but I don't his last name.

Is he alive?

Primary Witness: Yes he is in Monrovia the other children are living with him, one of the children who ran to us and told us that her pa na kill her ma the one who ran away and come tell us she is staying with one of our sisters.

How many children you had with your last husband?

Primary Witness: Six children by my last husband and one by the man I am with now my boyfriend.

Commissioner Syllah: is your family in contact with your late sister children?

Primary Witness: Yes our sister who is keeping Decontee know the other children, Decontee is the girl who ran away to come tell us that her pa killed her ma.

Are your children going to school?

Primary Witness: No because I don't have anything their school business is not going fine I wan to try for them

Commissioner Dolopei: how did your sister husband killed his wife, your sister?

Primary Witness: He told his Gio friends who came that he had one Krahn woman and his friend then they shot the woman.

Which part of Monrovia is he?

Primary Witness: I don't know

What is the name of your sister who has the information on that man who killed his wife?

Primary Witness: Francess she in Zwedru behind the AG Church.

Does he have other wives now?

Primary Witness: I don't know now

Can you give the name of your mother?

Primary Witness: Sawee Quiah

How old she was?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

What town was?

Primary Witness: Gawleetown, Putu last town.

What did the rebels do with the human parts your saw with them?

Primary Witness: They were carrying it when they were going.

What happen between the rebel and the Putu people?

Primary Witness: They were fighting.

What the Putu people were fighting with the rebels?

Primary Witness: When Doe died the rebel use to go there to kill to them so they their self too started fighting too back the rebels with the arms they had there.

Which one the groups raped you?

Primary Witness: That NPFL people raped me.

Primary Witness: Last word: I want the TRC to help me with my children future to have opportunity to go to school.

What are the names of your children and their birth dates?

Primary Witness: Angelyne Quiah 1984, Abertal Quiah 1986, Decontee Quiah 1992, Winston Quiah 1994, Ishmael Quiah 1997, Roosvelt quiah 1999, Prince Kunson 2006.

What year your husband died?

Primary Witness: 1999


Primary Witness: In Ivory Coast when we flee there.

What is your late husband's name?

Primary Witness: Robert Qiuah

Thirty-first Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in

Zwedru City Grand Gedeh County

Lucy Saydee

(Third Primary Witness of day five)

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 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: I am Lucy Saydee.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I am 60 years.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Gbaba Town Klan district.

What do you do for a loving?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Primary Witness: When 1990, I joined my people and we fled to Ivory Coast. We were in the Ivory Coast until 1994 during the ceased fire, and then we returned. When we returned we decided to make continued our farming. While we returned home from farming the cease fire brake the war renew. Then we run back to the Ivory Coast again. While we were in root to the Ivory Coast, I met few friends and relatives of mind in Gbablo town. And we were informed that this war that just came will not reached the interior part of the Country. So we so there is no need to go to the Ivory Coast. So we stopped in Gbalo town, while we were in Gbalo town, waiting to see whether the cease fire will hold. Surprisingly, rebel entered and enveloped the whole of Gbalo town. When these people came, they discard themselves and under the portent that they are LPC fighter the George Bolay factions. Okay another fighter among the group that came was a Bassa man and he spoke Bassa to us he said, we have come to joined you from the LPC. And if there was any persons of citizens that belongs in the town that was still in hidden in the bush or in the village I should sent for them let them come so that we will go in to Zwedru for safety. While we were in that process, we saw another movement. The movement became to signal to us that they were not thoroughly from our end the George Bolay faction. Guns start firing when it started firing, I went under the bed. My husband run to the cocoa bush, while in root running he was fired and instantly got killed. We that run in the bush were there over three days we went in Za town. From that incident we traveled from Za town all the way we went to the Ivory Coast. The day we traveled, the people went on the journey, today, I am ill from heart break. Today I am suffering from heart blood pressure. When we arrived in Ivory Coast after some times, that's when I came to myself and I became to recover. That is how I returned to the Ivory Coast during the 1990 the day of cease fire. That's all.

Questions from the commissioners

Chairman: Thank you mama. All of us say sorry for the death of your husband. And the many difficulties you went through just to stay alive and see other people dying and running away on the streets. You see plenty bad, bad things happened in this country, all over the country. And we who survival if we don't talk it, people will never know and then our husbands, our brothers, our children, our wives, their blood will just for nothing. But when you talk you are not only talking for yourself but for every one of them who died. And then, when you talk to the TRC in helping to bring peace to our country, and when we do that we helping our people who die in the grave to bring peace to our country. And their name will also go in the record we are fixing. To show how they died incidentally not because they were doing bad things, not because they were looting, not because they were killing not because of any thing they did but just because they were good, armless and peaceful citizens. So we say, thank you.

Do you know when the ceased fire was broken?

Primary Witness: I can't remember the month but we were brushing.

How she know the ceased fire was broken?

Primary Witness: Okay we were in the Ivory Coast. And government and fighting force signed peace no more gun firing. When we came back home, gun fire again so our people that know book say that cease fire. So that's the cease fire all of us know about.

So she heard the gun firing?

Primary Witness: Yes, she heard the gun firing.

So the people who did this bad things before they came LPC was to there area?

Primary Witness: Yes. LPC was based in Zwedru.

How many persons died that day in the town?

Primary Witness: Okay, people that died I counted them, they are ten but are more then that.

Commissioner Bull

What was the name of your husband?

Primary Witness: Thomas Saye.

What work did he do? Did he work for government or what?

Primary Witness: My husband was a farmer.

We sorry for what happen.

Commissioner Coleman: Thank you ma for sharing your experience with us. I want to ask two questions. When LPC was in the town, during the cease fire, can you tell us about or name some key people?

Primary Witness: I don't know any body from among these people.

And you said the total of people involved in the massacres were ten to fourteen?

Primary Witness: Those that I know and recognized personally are those I just give, they are ten.

Commissioner Syllah: Madam Saydee, I say thank sorry for the death of your husband. And thank for coming to share to share your experience with us. The people that were responsible for killing your husband do you know any of the people by there name or their commander?

Primary Witness: I don't really know any body because they did not stayed with us for long the movement they came they started their activities.

So how long you stayed in Gbaboe town before they attack the town?

Primary Witness: Almost a week.

When the people came they said they were from George Barley can you remember the commander's name?

Primary Witness: When we came we never met George Barley fighter in Paygar town or Gbablow town. They were based in Zwedru. So when we returned from Ivory Coast, we heard that they were here we that they were and protected us. When the people came they said the were George, they came to protected us more so we can come to Zwedru. But when they try to assemble us to put us together fro, the bushes, just with in that period of time they changed there color.

Commissioner Konneh: I want to join the other commissioners to say to say never mind for the death of your husband and other people in your town people. Before the killing of your husband, did you have children? If so, what is the number and what are the conditions of them?

Primary Witness: Four living children I have all of them living in Monrovia and going to school.

Now you talk about more then ten persons that died alone with your husband. Where all these people who were killed ageable people. People, who were married, were there women among them, children or men or were they were all grown up people?

Primary Witness: No. There is no child among. They were all ageable men, able body men.

No woman among them?

Primary Witness: Yes, few women among them.

You don't know the number of those that were killed? Now, what are the conditions of their family, their children, their husbands, their wives, and other relatives today?

Primary Witness: Well for health I don't know. But they are here brushing. For me I live in Pleegar town. That in Gbagla town the massacre went on.

When the incident took place you said you left and went to Ivory Coast, how long you stay in Ivory Coast before you returned to Liberia?

Primary Witness: One year and I returned.

Did you witness or experience any of their activities of LPC?

Primary Witness: Well, when we returned from the Ivory Coast, LPC were residing here Zwedru, when I came from Ivory Coast, I went Zoluga town. I did not come to Zwedru to find out who was here and who was not here or how there activities were. When I came from Ivory Coast, I went to Zoluga town. Where I stay up to the time until we were in the Ivory Costs. When I came from the Ivory Coast they were in Zwedru I went to Zoluga town.

So you don't know any activities of LPC?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where you here when MODEL came in the Country?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What was the attitude of the MODEL fighters towards the civilians?

Primary Witness: When MODEL came they told us not to run. They had come to delivery us from the hands of the lions. So we sat down, and the people did not do any thing to us.

Has there been any traditional ceremony for them?

Primary Witness: Well I don't know whether there was a ceremony for them, I don't live in Barbla town. As I continue to say.

You don't have any information about them performing memorial ceremony with them?

Primary Witness: No. I don't know.

Thank you very much.

Chairman: Thank you mama anything on your mind that you want to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: What I want to appeal is that since my husband, I have been a widower and have been struggling on my own. Every thing that we had, was destroyed because of the war. Right now I don't have a house so I want to appeal to TRC with a bundle of zinc, that I will be able to build my house, something for my children and myself.

She wants just a bundle of zinc?

Primary Witness: Including zinc and building the house and also a hand out to survive on a daily bases for food that I want a bundle that will build me a house for my children and are.

So a bundle of zinc is sufficient enough to build the house.

Thank you the one you did today is very very important. It is also for the Liberian people. So thank you.

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