Greenville City: Day 3

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The Second Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Thursday March 13, 2008 at the Greenville City Hall, Sinoe 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.

Fifteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Greenville City Sinoe County
Sarah Witherspoon
(First Primary Witness of day Three)

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. He was accompanied by a translator.

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, Sinoe County and the Commissioners of the TRC. We are happy to receive you because we believe it is the responsibility of every responsible citizen to contribute to this reconciliation process that is the reason why we are here.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: I was born April 14 1948

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am an Evangelist

Primary Witness: during the 1990 war I was in the church when the lord spoke to me and said we should pray for the whole of Liberia and if we do not pray there will be a lot of killings and exactly what I dreamt about the war came two day later and there was no where for me to run and hide and so I said let me go back to Lexington and before I went back the last ECOMOG contingent from Nigeria was around then and I was working with the city cooperation. During this time I met up with an ECOMOG who asked me to help him because he was broke and the next day I went on the barracks to see him. That day the ECOMOG base was surrounded and I had no where to run and the rebels were saying that your search the area and kill any civilians you see and I said oh God what do I do and the lord said put your hands up and surrender which I did and I was caught and they put rock in my mouth and the caught all the ECOMOG soldiers and we were brought out and placed in a cycle. There they started asking me questions and later they put me in the jail and said they will do nothing to me and said by four o'clock the will release me and I will give my statement which happened and I was free. Later they arrested me again and put me in the container sand later they took me and tabied me but all the time they were tying me the rope will loosen and they said what kind of woman is this and they said they should put me in the drum and I said the lord will save me. They then put me in the cells. The next day Noriega came and said why should you people put this woman in the cell she is not a fighter so release me and I went to Lexington.

They came again and started killing people ands they killed one of my cousin and said you're the Congo people your have money so we will kill all of you. Then one of them made me up and said you were working for Charles Taylor, and I said no and he said if you lie we will kill you. So we went in the bush and they came and caught me and they tie me. they later release me and I ran to Buchanan and there again they arrested me and wanted to kill me and I told them I was a Krahn woman from Putu Goiwilie, and they still wanted to kill me and they other man said you cant kill her she is your sister if you kill her you will kill me. That is how I left and went to Monrovia. That is what happened to me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: when did all these happen?

Primary Witness: 1990 to 1998

You mentioned Martha Griapy?

Primary Witness: Yes she was the city mayor of Greenville and she was killed

How was she killed?

Primary Witness: I was in Buchanan and they said you are the one that was working for the City Mayoress we have killed her and we will kill you, it was the LPC.

Who was Noriega working with?

Primary Witness: He was working for the LPC.

Commissioner Konneh: who was leading the group if fighters when they entered Greenville?

Primary Witness: I can remember Noriega and Chris Fallay

Do you remember the names of those that caught you?

Primary Witness: I can't remember those that did it but I can remember those who helped me such as Noriega.

Apart for tabaying you did they do anything else to you?

Primary Witness: No it was only the tabay and I did not even feel what they were doing to me because the lord was with me and five of them were tying me but I felt nothing.

Were there other people with you?

Primary Witness: Well I could not remember because the put me in the container and I do not know if they had other people.

You said it was the LPC, was they in the country by 1990?

Primary Witness: Yes

You said Noriega was fighting for the LPC?

Primary Witness: Yes

You said the rebels entered Lexington?

Primary Witness: Yes and they took people to be working and cooking for them but some of us ran away in the bush and they managed to catch us.

You mentioned Krahn Gio and Mandingo what were they doing?

Primary Witness: They were the people that were been hunted.

Commissioner Syllah: sorry for what happened to you, you said you visited one of the ECOMOG soldiers who you had promised and the place was surrounded by the NPFL soldiers, what happened there that day?

Primary Witness: After they entered and they were asking for gas, they started taking things and took all the soldiers and put them in the sun and I was in the middle of them and they were asked to take off their cloths. They then give the order that if they find anybody inside they should kill them and they carry some of the ECOMOG soldiers that day.

When did Griapy become the city Mayoress of the city?

Primary Witness: I was not here, I came here and the war met me here and I was working with her.

Can you remember the year she died?

Primary Witness: It was during the war, during the Charles Taylor regime.

Commissioner Dolopei: you said this happened from 1990, was LPC the first fighting force in Sinoe?

Primary Witness: They were the ones I knew fighting.

When did you come to Sinoe?

Primary Witness: I came here before the war.

So you did not see any other faction.

Primary Witness: When they came we were running and we did not know what was happening.

You said you fried Noriega save how did you know him?

Primary Witness: I know him when he was fighting, I use to be nice to people so that I how I got friendly with him.

Did you hear how Martha Grispy was killed?

Primary Witness: I heard that it was because of certain phone she had and the papie say she should gave the phone to them and she refused and that is how they kill her.

At the time you were with her was she working with Taylor?

Primary Witness: Yes

How was she killed?

Primary Witness: She was shot.

Do you know where this Kojo man is?

Primary Witness: Yes he is in Monrovia and he is called death squat a Putu boy

Who was Kojo fighting for?

Primary Witness: He was fighting for the LPC

Was he the one that killed your cousin?

Primary Witness: Yes it was Kojo that killed him, he was married to Oscer Quiah's daughter.

What did they do to the ECOMOG when they scrip them nicked?

Primary Witness: They put them in the car and took them away with them.

Commissioner Stewart: where was the ECOMOG camp?

Primary Witness: On the Sinoe street

How many ECOMOG soldiers were there?

Primary Witness: They were many

Did they take their arms?

Primary Witness: Yes

Did they kill any of them?

Primary Witness: They only carry few of them and later sent them back, but they did not stay to the end, some of them went home.

What did they do to them?

Primary Witness: I don't know?

When was Noriega here and was he fighting for the LPC?

Primary Witness: He was here during the war and he was fighting here in Sinoe.

Commissioner Bull: I want to say thank you for coming and acknowledging the lord. It has been a number of years since this happened. In your statement you said Noriega was with LPC but we have learned that he was with the NPFL and we can say it was long and so one can remember. But what is good is that you can remember the name Gartha who save you. I want for the record to be clear and I don't think it could the LPC, but it was the NPFL so if you can't remember it is good to say it?

Primary Witness: I can't remember

Where were you during the last war?

Primary Witness: I was in Monrovia

Did anything happen to you?

Primary Witness: No nothing happened.

Chairman: thank you, as the commissioner just said the questions are meant to set the records straight so I will want you to say if the NPFL was here when you were in Sinoe County?

Primary Witness: I only know of the LPC.

On behalf of the Commission I will want to say sorry and thank you for coming to tell the story.

Sixteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Greenville City Sinoe County
Sophia Koffa
(Second Primary Witness of day three)

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, Sinoe County and the Commissioners of the TRC.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Sophia Koffa.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live Lexington.

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I was born 1970.

What are you presently doing?

Primary Witness: I am doing farm work.

Primary Witness: When this LPC came, they say they came to take us from the bush and they were also freedom fighter. So that how we run away from them. And after we run away from them, they follow us still. So when they follow us we went in the hidden bush hidden bush not known they were in the hidden bush and when we saw them that day, all our spirit was gone from us. They leave in our town till, then they start taken our things. They even took my pa deal for his land. So they took it into pieces and throw it in the grand. So they said they are freedom fighter. So they say all women and men in front no body much look behind. We say alright, so we were going we reached in the town, in our town now. They take two the from among us that was my father and one other man they call Andrew Nagba. They take two of them from among use; we thought they ran away from us. So the next day, we went back to look there. When we went we saw them they chop them chop them. My father was very old all his hair that was gray hair on him head. Thy chop him chop him with the cut less his head and open his whole head. So we decided to go back in the town and bury some of the people, so no way to even bring them back in town to bury them. But there was no place in town to bury them, because they burn the whole town down, so we bury them to the same spot they died. So they defied us not to cry. Because they say, if we cry, they will kill us, that how my story went.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: We extend our sympathy to you. Not only for what you went through but for the death of your father. The war has ended long time, but memorial can be forgotten. And having the courage to come and share with us, is a way of normalizing your father. Because your father name will go down in record and some of those who were innocently killed by the rebels had no reasons. So we say sorry.

What is your father's name?

Primary Witness: Matthew Tokpah

Your father, what was he doing, working for government or what?

Primary Witness: He was a genitor for prince Dan Junior High School

What tribe was he?

Primary Witness: Greebo.

Do you know how he was killed?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What was the name of the man who died with your father?

Primary Witness: Andrew Gbah

Commissioner Konneh: Do you know the commandeering officer name of LPC who went for your in the bush?

Primary Witness: I don't know

Do you know any body name among them?

Primary Witness: No.

But do you know whether any one of them still living who went for you?

Primary Witness: When I see them I will know some. I know one of them name call him death far to go.

Is he still living?

Primary Witness: Yes. They say he living Monrovia.

Besides your father and the Mr. Nagba is there any other persons they killed?

Primary Witness: Yes. One Black foot, you must confess, Jehovah, Josephus Byrd, Rebecca. That the people I know they killed in the town.

Did they did do any bad to any civilian?

Primary Witness: Yes. They did bad, but I was not there.

Did they take some women with them?

Primary Witness: Yes.

What they did to those women?

Primary Witness: They took some for their women and carry to their base.

Those women they took, did they come back?

Primary Witness: Some of them came back.

Did they take any small children to be soldiers?

Primary Witness: No. they only took some of our husbands to toot load.

Did they take people properties?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Did they burn any houses?

Primary Witness: Yes. They burn A.B Dahn

Was it the only house that got burn?

Primary Witness: No. one women they call Harria Donseen

Did they take any cattle?

Primary Witness: Yes. They took all our chicken. We never had goat. They take all our things. And because of that, my mother used to be thinking and get heart blood pressure and felt off and was paralyzed and died.

Commissioner Syllah: Thanks for coming to TRC to share what happen to you. Is never easy the past. Most especially what happened to your father?

How was life like in for you the bush?

Primary Witness: We built fence we put palm bush on top it, then we built baboon bench we used to lay down on it.

Where were you living before going in the bush?

Primary Witness: Lexington. They were killing people that why we went in the bush

Who was doing the killing?

Primary Witness: That LPC.

So after those things, where you?

Primary Witness: I was in the town.

What is your mother name?

Primary Witness: Mary Koffa.

How old was your mother?

Primary Witness: I don't know her age. But she was born 1936.

When did your mother died?

Primary Witness: She died 1998.

Commissioner Dolopei: part from LPC was there any other force that came to your area?

Primary Witness: No. later NPFL came.

How was the treatment like?

Primary Witness: They used to give us food.

They did not hummer your?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Commissioner Stewart: Do you know any body by the name of Noriega?

Primary Witness: Yes. I know Noriega.

What year did you get to know him?

Primary Witness: 1993.

Which faction was he with?

Primary Witness: LPC.

So when LPC was here you ever came to Greenville?

Primary Witness: Yes.

So what was some things they did to young girls?

Primary Witness: They used to tell them to cook for them.

Did they tibay anybody?

Primary Witness: No.

Did they beat any beat any body?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Bull: Thanks for coming to tell your story. We appreciate it.

Chairman: I join the commissioners to say thanks for coming. And extend to you our sympathy for the death of your father and mother. Is there any thing you want to say?

Primary Witness: The only thing I want you to do is to find job for us to do, no job. Because a bag of rice is sold for 50us dollars our husbands are not working, we ourselves are not working.

Chairman: Why things so expensive?

Primary Witness: I myself I know, but money business hard.

Commissioner Dolopei: Does rice grow here?

Primary Witness: Yes. But the birds can eat the rice.

Thanks for coming; we take your recommendation in to consideration. So thanks for coming once more.

Seventeenth Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Greenville City Sinoe County
Barduse Sarkoh
(Third Primary Witness of day three)

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 morning and welcome to the TRC public hearings and thank you for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Greenville

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am singing, I am a musician

What is your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I am born November 1st 1966

Primary Witness: Before I tell the story I want to give my TRC song. I want to say thank you to your that came from Monrovia and for the hard work your I doing. Thank you fore the hard work of bringing peace. (sing a TRC song which says TRC is a fine organization and I like it that is why I came to it, it is not a court house and we all have to come and confess and get forgiveness.)

Primary Witness: 1990 I am a man that joined Noriega when hen came as freedom fighters. We thought they were freedom fighters so we joined, through there they recruited us and we did our six months training and one of our big man from Burkina called Paul Nimley and we were taken by Paul Nimley and I left with Noriega. Later he heard that there was need for reinforcement so he took me and we took all or our guns and we went, when we got there on the third day the Krahn guys were assaulting and coming saying where is this Charles Taylor man and hi group then one guy told our battlefront commander Gadiah and he said we should wait for them to come close and we will attack them. Then we said suppose they come and kill so we want to attack them so that they will not harm us so he said yes we have to attack them so that these boys will no get hurt because the Gio and Minnors don't know how to fight, they just hold guns because the speak their language. The Kru boys were advancing and one of my men was rushing to catch mother and the particle went straight to him and he died and the second man to him died.

So the dust came back to me like sand and it entered in my eyes and I got blind and we said Noriega we the Kru boys we are dying so we want to go back and he said we will go back. In 1991, they send me to grand Kru. I did not treat anyone bad there but the cattle they had there I eat it a lot. I ate one cow everyday and even chickens and goats. Later I came back to Sinoe and the same Noriega said he wanted to send me back on attack and I say chief I can't make it because I am tired and all my friends left me so I don't want to go and he left me.

Later on we were running from MODEL and we border with them in Newkru town and my little girl who had two children for me got sick and she died. So that is how I came to Sinoe today and I am just looking like this nobody to help. When I was small my mother and father died so I am just here like that. That is how I fought the war. When we were fighting we met a group of people and my commander will say kill this one and I will kill them and when he gave me order I will kill them. So while we were killing there was one guy who bullet could not do anything to and I caught him and kill him. But I cant lie I did not kill any old man or old woman because they people in this town say I kill one old man and I wore his glasses that is why I am blind, but that is a lie, if I kill any old man I will not get blessing again.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Do you know the name of the faction?

Primary Witness: That NPFL

What kind of Krahn people are they the government troop?

Primary Witness: No we were the government troop; it was the Krahn people that were in the bush

What year was that?

Primary Witness: It was 1990 at camp Namma in Lofa.

In Grand Kru did you capture ULIMO soldiers?

Primary Witness: Yes we captured them and took them to our commander and he was the one who took them to the overall commander Noriega.

What was you rank?

Primary Witness: I was a major

What was your rebel name?

Primary Witness: Rebel Manley

Did you keep prisoners?

Primary Witness: The one we kept we brought them to Noriega and David Amington the commander there will be the one to decide what to be done. David Amington was the commander in Grand Kru then Tomminigar was the next to Noriega then Gadiah and one Watti. Watti gate was the gate we called God bless you gate because you can't cross his gate.

How your use to get weapons?

Primary Witness: That Noriega use to bring the guns, they use to gave it to me and I can carry it to my men.

So they gave you orders to kill civilians?

Primary Witness: Yes we kill a lot of them and we were given orders to kill them and for me my grand father gave me medicine so I use to kill people who had medicine.

Do you kill children woman and girls?

Primary Witness: No we did not kill children and the women and the girls we use to gave them to the commander and he will choose who he wants.

Commissioner Bull: Sackor I was impress with you music, as you have said all you did, can you tell me where is Noriega and where he is or when was the last time he gave you any help?

Primary Witness: When he came he said you the only clever man among these people so I was his right hand man.

Where is Noriega now?

Primary Witness: He is at one Sadalla Gate when you are going to Monrovia.

Thank God you told the truth, in you statement you said you killed a lot and our duty is hear what you say and compare it and make recommendation. We are not a court to judge you, so I want to say thank you for the story you gave us for we have a lot to learn from is. So I want you to sing another song for us. (Witness sings a song)

What happened to your girl who died?

Primary Witness: When we came here to Greenville she was working and she was the one taking care of me and the MODEL came and I don't have anywhere to go and I followed captain Mawo and he dash us in Bassa and we don't know anybody there and I ask for displace camp and we went there and register and they use to gave us food there. So that is how we survive there and I went to my uncle in Newkru town and that is how me were singing around. That was our first time getting in Monrovia so the country women she get there were calling her to get close to them and they were going around and my uncle na want me to talk to her because he is a big man and that is how she got sick and that is the sickness that kill her.

How old was the girl when you met her?

Primary Witness: She was 25 years when I met her she had two children before I met her.

What happened to the child in America that you talked about?

Primary Witness: She was carried by my sister who said I could not see and the child was too fine to be with us she was a fine little girl even the white people wanted her so that is how they took her and carry her to Monrovia and she is working with the white people and that is how the white people saw the little girl and the white people took the girl from my sister because she like money business too.

Did she give you some of the money?

Primary Witness: No she did not give me some of the money.

Did you see the baby or you were blind?

Primary Witness: Yes I was blind.

Commissioner Stewart: where are all the places you fought?

Primary Witness: I went to Grand Kru and Camp Namma

Where did you do most of the killings?

Primary Witness: At Camp Namma where I captured all the people and they came in Sinoe and he said your bring all the people to the city house and we brought them here and we did most of the killings.

What do you know about Billiboukre?

Primary Witness: I don't know about it, I never go there.

What do you know about plank field?

Primary Witness: I use to go there and I use to sing there because most of my people were there.

Where were you when they kill the people there?

Primary Witness: I was here in Greenville, there were people who were assigned there, when Sea-Never-Die give his men orders they will carry it our and when Noriega gave us orders we will carry it out. So I was not there when they killed them.

How about the killing in demonstration?

Primary Witness: I was not there because people were assigned to different generals.

How many orders Noriega give you?

Primary Witness: He give me orders on many occasions and I had to kill people on many occasion, the people I killed were too many.

What year the RPG particle hit your eyes?

Primary Witness: It was in 1992.

What year you became blind completely?

Primary Witness: It was in 1997 when we left camp Namma and we came back to Sinoe then I went to the Greebo people town where I live for four years and later in 1997 when we went to camp Namma that I really got blind.

Did you do disarmament?

Primary Witness: No I was blind and no one to help me do it.

When did they carry you daughter?

Primary Witness: In 1999 and they carry her to America and my sister gave her to the white people who carry her and I don't know where she is now.

Commissioner Dolopei: thank God that you are here today to tell us some of the things that happened, for we are able to know that some of these things really happened. As you talked today some of the people you killed there people are here and I hope they are hearing you. I hope they will forgive you and for what you did during the war you will be responsible for that and I hope you know that.

The people use to give your food or your use to force it?

Primary Witness: They use to give it to us but if you refuse we will treat you bad but we did not kill them.

You mentioned one sister Florence what happened to her?

Primary Witness: She is the one who use to teach us how to use the arm and how to put it together, but I don't know what happened to her after the war.

How about Paul Nimley?

Primary Witness: He is one of the people that came from Burkina and he fought the war and when he came he said the boys are too many and he took the boys and carry them on the front and they died there.

Do you know where the bad child is?

Primary Witness: He was working in Maryland but I don't know whether he is there now.

Commissioner Syllah: I want you to tell me about the training? Were there gitrls and children among your?

Primary Witness: Yes we had girls and children.

What were they training you on?

Primary Witness: How to go on the front and kill how to set ambush and open the gun and to carry it and many other things.

How many of you were trained?

Primary Witness: We were many, more then thousand.

Can you remember the age of the youngest?

Primary Witness: Some of the boys were about 20 years and we had the small boys unit who na get heart they use to be bad.

Did anybody die during the training?

Primary Witness: Nobody died there.

What was your age when you lost your father and mother?

Primary Witness: I was about 30 then.

When did they die?

Primary Witness: After the LPC war, there was no food and due to the hunger my father died by himself and when I came from camp Namma it was when my mother die by herself. I was alone until now.

So none of you brothers and sisters are here?

Primary Witness: None of them are here, they are in Monrovia and I don't have anybody to even greet me when I come around some people they will drive me and say go.

Commissioner Konneh: thank you for coming. To forgive someone who did wrong there are many conditions and one of them is te recognize what you have done and admit what you did. Besides those that you were ordered to kill, did you at anytime on your own account kill?

Primary Witness: No I was always following orders.

How many officers trained you?

Primary Witness: Three specialists were with us on the base John T. Member was the training officer on the base Samuel and Florence were also there.

You responded to the commissioner that he was not part of the fighting, if he had not trained you would you have killed?

Primary Witness: No

Where is he now?

Primary Witness: They went back to Nimba and I don't know whether he is alive or he is dead now.

You said over one thousand civilians were trained, were they all from Greenville and were the mix tribe?

Primary Witness: Yes they are from here in Greenville and they are from different tribes.

Did any of them survive the war?

Primary Witness: Yes many died and some of them survive.

Did you at anytime meet any blind man and took his glasses?

Primary Witness: No I did nothing if I did I should not get blessing.

You said Noriega took interest in you and said you should be his body guide, was the order directly from him to you?

Primary Witness: Yes, during the training I was too clever and I use to get what they taught me I was fast to learn it so he was friendly with me, and he took me.

Besides Noriega did you get any other orders from anyone?

Primary Witness: The only person was Tuazamenton in grand Kru.

You said Noriega is alive, if anyone brings him before you, will you be able to say this in his front?

Primary Witness: Yes if he is here now I will tell him all he did.

Did you fight here in Greenville?

Primary Witness: No I did not do anything here.

How are you feeling today after saying all that you have done?

Primary Witness: I am feeling bad, those Gio guys fool me, at the time we were hungry and we had no food and we were fooled to do a lot of things to people.

Are you feeling bad because you did not get what you wanted to get and you are now blind?

Primary Witness: Yes

How about the people you killed?

Primary Witness: All of them I am feeling bad for because I did not kill until the fool me.

Chairman: thank you for all you said, you said sorry for what you did and said all you did. You even said you did not kill any old man and take his glasses. Do you remember Paulson Garteh?

Primary Witness: Yes he is the one that was controlling SRC at the time. I use to hear he was having his group and killing people and he was bad.

What are some of the things that Noriega did?

Primary Witness: When he came he said we are not here to kill the Kru people and nobody should steal harass and when you steal he will kill you. Then what he did he carry all the Ghana people and the Kru people and he took all their things and carry it to his town and his house got burned. He used to treat the people bad, when they bring complain to him he will kill you.

Did he forgive civilians?

Primary Witness: Some of them were lucky and he used to forgive them.

Did they pay you?

Primary Witness: No there was no pay, when you go on the front and you get something that is you own.

What about eating human being?

Primary Witness: The Gio people use to do it, I never eat human being.

So the ones in your group did it?

Primary Witness: Yes they use to eat it, they called is Solaline, they use to cut human parts and eat it. When you do something they will kill you then in the night they will cut your parts and they will eat it.

Thank you for coming and if there is anything last you can say it.

Primary Witness: I say thank you for coming and we say we want the TRC to go very far so that our country can be better.

Now that you have come to the TRC and spoken to the people of Sinoe and the people of Liberia, how do you feel?

Primary Witness: I am still feeling bad because all the people I did bad to are feeling bad and some of them are here and they are feeling bad so if I get my forgiveness then I will feel good, but right now I am feeling bad.

Eighteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Greenville City Sinoe County
Lawrence Tarbah
(Fourth Primary Witness of day three)

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, Sinoe County and the Commissioners of the TRC.

What is your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Lawrence Tarbah.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I am living down town Greenville.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am immigration personal, Acting County commander (Deputy)

Primary Witness: May 30, 1960 is when I was born. 1993 Sunday my two children and I was residing in Lexington my two kids came from the yard playing. They heard firing. Bullet toughed my self but I never knew that was the case. They were saying behind me yes you got him. I ran as fast as I could and I reached a certain place in the bush. My ears were locked. I felt pains in all my body. I took my T-shirt and felt blood on my body. So after some times, I decided to go back to town. In reaching I heard people crying I was bleeding profusely when I reached in town, so people put me in the wheel borrow and took me to Lexington. They took me into the sick bush where I stayed for 5 days. I could not feel myself. Look your see the bullet marks on my body. They lifted his shirt and the marks after the five days God lifted me and I was able to sit on my body. My name was all over the place that I was killed, they carried me to Nimba. When we got in Nimba we were in IDP camp and my people had thought that I was dead. My woman too I don't know what happened in November she died. I had my young baby by my side. Every body was sorry for me and they said we can allow the man from Sinoe so they employed me. The people were good to me and they help me to take my daughter from me. I used to urinate with blood. Later I took EX- ray and they told me that one of my ribs was broken up to now I still don't feel my right left side.
Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: I want to thank you for coming to the TRC to explain your experience. We want to extend our sympathy to you for the death of your dearly daughter and your wife.

Commissioner Bull: Where you in the immigration job before the war?

Primary Witness: No, ma

I want to know which group was responsible for the bullet that hit you.

Primary Witness: They call themselves LPC.

Who was their leader?

Primary Witness: Well, LPC leader we one Oscar Quiah, one.

Your wife that died in Phebe how did she died?

Primary Witness: She got sick and we brought her. I could not feel my self. She just died.

How was old was your wife that died and what was her age?

Primary Witness: Her name was Roseline Smith. Aged 22.

Commissioner Stewart: Was there fighting in Greenville when firing flared up at Lexington where you were?

Primary Witness: No, sir, No fighting.

Has he since apologized to you?

Primary Witness: I don't even know they say he's in Ivory Coast.

You mentioned the name of Oscar Quiah was he here in Greeville?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Was he here like a big man or civilian?

Primary Witness: They the one that brought LPC from Monrovia so he was a big man here for LPC.

Commissioner Dolopei: Sorry for the death of your daughter and your wife. But was others a special reason they were after you.

Primary Witness: I really don't know why but I was not targeted it just happened that when we all ran they shot and they say we got him, we got him.

Who was the first group that got here and how did that group treat you?

Primary Witness: NPFL and they treated us very, very fine.

Commissioner Syllah: We want to say sorry for the death of your daughter and your wife, and especially appreciate where you later help to serve government as an immigration officer. But did any thing else happened to you besides that your daughter and wife?

Primary Witness: When that thing happened I was in Ivory Coast. When I came back June 22 1997 we became prisoners for them again. They went to my house and took my uniform and every thing that I had. So it is not only my daughter and wife they also took every thing that I had, and they killing of my grand father.

You said Coco Dennis Came for you, why did he came for you?

Primary Witness: They said they were coming to help but when they cross the water the people who cross them, they killed them.

Commissioner Konneh: I want to thank you for your courage and sorry for the death of your daughter. Where were you when the NPFL came here?

Primary Witness: I was in here in Sinoe.

What did you experience at that time?

Primary Witness: I did not experience any bad because since you can carry load they will not hamper you.

When they killed daughter how was she killed it is by cross fire or what?

Primary Witness: I did not think it was an attacked. It was just a general attack.

Chairman: But you did give the name of your daughter that was killed?

Primary Witness: She was called Laurana Tarbah.

Did you ever hear the name Noriega?

Primary Witness: yes he was the big general here for the NPFL.

Do you know his where about now?

Primary Witness: They said he was in Nimba but say one time he gashed some body and he was in jailed I don't know whether he is released now or so. Is there any last word?

Primary Witness: Yes this thing that happened to me was so painful. So I planned not to talk to any driving weekends. I never used to share I just used to keep to myself. Only one time I explained this story in a church. So even the TRC people I thought not to explain this story at first but later I said to myself that let by gone be by gone. And the bible says when we confess our sins also will be forgiven. So I think the TRC people program very much.

Nineteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Greenville City Sinoe County
Joanna T. Togba
(Fifth Primary Witness of day three)

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. He was accompanied by a translator.

Chairman: good afternoon and welcome to the TRC public hearings and I say thank you for taking up your time to come to the hearings to tell your story to the people of Liberia.

Primary Witness: During the war the killed my brother 15 years in seta that LPC they kill people they raped women there were few girls by that time while they were carrying on that there was no one to tell them stop they pump my grand ma with hot oil and she died, and that how they took me to the bush

2001 during Taylor they force my brother 25 and my sister husband the carry them on the line they never return until they died so that why I have to the TRC. They beat my father now he here he na died but he is not alright

And my sister Ophelia Tobga she also died in the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Where place it happened?

Primary Witness: The Setton in 1994.

That's the same place your grand ma died?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where is Setton?

Primary Witness: Behind Kabala in Sinoe County here.

Why they pump your grand ma with hot oil?

Primary Witness: They were rebel now.

Which group they were from?

Primary Witness: That one man they call Paran he was their big man in LPC.

Commissioner Konneh: what is the name of your grand mother?

Primary Witness: Lucy Jappa.

Your brother?

Primary Witness: Josephus Togba

It was Gen Paran who did the act to your grand ma?

Primary Witness: That his soldiers did it.

Was he present?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you witness them kill any other person?

Primary Witness: No

Did you see them raping any other women?

Primary Witness: Yes

Can you remember some those who were raped?

Primary Witness: Beatrice, and Oretha

They did not harm you?

Primary Witness: Yes

Did they burnt and houses?

Primary Witness: Yes they burnt the whole town.

They took people property?

Primary Witness: Yes

They force anyone to fight for them?

Primary Witness: No I did not see them

Commissioner Stewart: what was the commander name?

Primary Witness: Gen Paran.

You know any other name?

Primary Witness: No

Where were you during model time?

Primary Witness: I was in Kakaybo.

What model did there?

Primary Witness: They never did any bad things oh.

What they did?

Primary Witness: They just put the town people together and say they came for peace they spent few months with us in the town.

Who was cooking for them?

Primary Witness: The town people use to cook for them no rice that only cassava we used to cook for them.

That every day the town people use to get them cassava?

Primary Witness: Yes, that time cassava business was not hard.

Chairman: what is your sister name the one that died in the bush?

Primary Witness: Cecelia.

How she died?

Primary Witness: She was sick and there was no medicine or hospital.

Who beat your pah?

Primary Witness: That LPC

Which faction forced your brother to go on the front?

Primary Witness: That government forces.

Primary Witness: Last word: I just want to say thing for coming so that we will not get grudge for our friends because if you come here and say anything from your heart you will not carry any grudge for our friends.

Twentieth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Greenville City Sinoe County
Evon Cartor
(Sixth Primary Witness of day three)

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: you are welcome to the TRC Public Hearings, this is the opportunity fro you to tell your story to the people of Sinoe and the people of Liberia.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Greenville

When were you born?

Primary Witness: 1965 September 16

What are you doing for a living?

Primary Witness: Petty business

Primary Witness: I want to give thanks to god for the long life to me since 1990 war. During 1998 I was in Monrovia when the war started. Then I was going to Zwedru when I got to Salala gate they took all my properties were taking from me that my sister give me they say they want to killed me but one of my tribe boy was among them and he told the people he know then I was bringing one of sister children and one of my own child they put me down and said that I stole the children if the children were for me I should nurse one of them then the put me down I nurse my daughter she was still nursing then they put me back in the car then when I got in Zwedru; I told my people what had happened to me and they say that it was a lie. After two months they rebels they called themselves freedom fighters came to our town by that time all them men were gone to the farm. The rebel asked say where are the men in the town then I say all the people go on farm, they say we looking for Mandingo and they say in fact I look like Ghanaian then they say I should go and bring the wood from behind the house that they would kill and I started to beg them and we were on until my brother came they asked him and he that my sister they say that's not truth then they brought one boy and they say me and they boy should speak Grebo for one house since I say I am Grebo then they brought the boy and we spoke Grebo that evening

I was in Kanweaken the same people went there again they grab me again say that I am a Ghanaian, then my husband paid money and they free me then my husband say we should go to the village we were are the village then 1994 LPC came first they appeared to be very peaceful as if they were not harming any body. Then they met my uncle when they were coming and he told them to speak to me when then came to our town so when they got to Kanweaken they ask for me the people were scare but when they went to but from me and they asked me for Evon I say what happened and they say that here uncle say we should speak to her then I say that me they went back. Then when LPC came gain they say when I was entertaining the rebels so they will kill me and my husband had shop they I should give them money that's what we were on when their commanded called Dead Body and say your leave the girl your know we will come to live with the people here and when I left I went and told my husband that we should go in the bush and told him what was happening and I told that we should on the village we were there until the rebel left after two days the LPC came and they say the rebel came we accepted them so they say they will killed us the town people talked until they forget it. So unexpectedly the rebel came and the LPC people say no body should go from there they give cutlasses to some and mortal pencil to some people when they were coming I started looking until we all started running in the bush. When they got in the town that only the two blind men they killed. These men were in the room they were under the bed cover the paralyzed man they never did nay thing to him.

The news that came from Jakaken they say they killed my sister and brother I started crying then my uncle say I must not worried that all will be ok. Then the rebel and the LPC caught it again and that the place my uncle died. I was cooking the rebel came and told me that my uncle that was dead and they say we should go on the Government Camp and they told me that my uncle died but don't cry they carry on the camp after 2 weeks the same people who carry me to comfort me say they want to killed my husband then one Stephen my former classmate came and told me that they wanted to killed my husband. He first came and asked for cigarette say I must give him dime and he came back again and said I must gave him another dime and it I was the time he said by 12 they will come to kill me and my husband. So that night we jump in the bush while I went and stepped in the dead body stomach and the maggot and the water wasted on all me but we could not talk when day break my husband say we should rest were we were 8 in numbers when the man left us to go look for food; the who squad came for us then one of them say Evon will be my woman one say Josephine will my woman they were arguing on me that and that how I heard them and I hid myself and throw sign to my friends and we hid ourselves and I went and to my husband and he say we should go. By that time now my aunty heard it and they were worrying. Then the rebels came back and we were still to that same place then we climb a big cola tree that was there we were up there until we saw every one of them coming again. And went to certain village the oldma want cook for but her husband was scare so she give us cassava so on the fourth night we got to our tent.

My brother Saytu Wesseh was with the other people the NPFL started looking for us and they went to look for us and they reached to our tent and they started calling us for us to come to the town but my husband was scare. Two boys were living with us were went in town to find cassava they ask them for me and he said my brother was looking for me. So I decided to go because the boy say my brother was there that so-so of your brother them after two day my sister and mate. They had writing to the door and I went and erase it and they say what was there that I erased it.

After all of these my mate and myself were on the farm and she chop my hand and there was no hospital in that time during the war time them then put water on the fire and put salt there because there was no hospital.

Then the last attack between the rebels and LPC my brother Saytu Wesseh I was depending on he said his body was itching so he wanted to take bath so he took all his zakay from and he was in the bathroom and the LPC came then he and the people were fighting and they shoot him no way and they tried cutlass no way then they call for their big man and then he came and used his own cutlass and cut my brother neck side and all his joints and then he dropped they tried him and he could not shake then they say he was already finished so they left him and they started running behind the remaining people the next day the LPC left his friends them came they put him in hammer and they carry him in Jakaken, he was in hammer singing that he will revenge for his people them. Then I told my husband say the same that your did to my hand let try the same thing. That what were did and we use the ordinary sewing needles and to give him stitches, and since that time my uncle that I was depending on I am not going to school and my two little children I am worried about their school business. Florence her father is a Ghanaian she is in the ninth grade and the other boy is a Grebo he father died too.

The only thing I want your to do for me is for my children to go to school and at least for them to graduate.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Are children in school now?

Primary Witness: Yes

What are their classes?

Primary Witness: The older one 10th grade and the other one in 6th grade.

What is your daughter name?

Primary Witness: Florence Cartor and Emmanuel Weah

Commissioner Stewart: what exactly the NPFL did when they entered your town?

Primary Witness: They never did anything to any body but I was the only person give hard time to because they my husband had shop I should give them his money.

Who was the NPFL big man at the time?

Primary Witness: To be frank I will not lie the boys who came to ask for money and the commander that came he is name was Dead-body.

He never had another name?

Primary Witness: Yes, that the only name that I know for him.

What year LPC came?

Primary Witness: 1994, 1995 June 6 I left Kaluken because my husband and I was in clash I can remember.

Was your husband a Ghanaian?

Primary Witness: No

Your brother was with NPFL?

Primary Witness: Yes

Where were you when they chop your brother?

Primary Witness: I was in Jatuken

When you say our people what do you mean?

Primary Witness: That NPFL I mean.

Who was the commander of the LPC you said?

Primary Witness: I don't know their big man name because I never use to even look at them I was in the bush most of the time too.

Primary Witness: Where they have government camp that you said they took your to when your uncle died?

Primary Witness: Bokenjlay in Sinoe here.

Commissioner Syllah: where is your husband that you just mentioned?

Primary Witness: He is in grand Kru

Your together?

Primary Witness: No, he is there with his woman.

Why did your mate chop you?

Primary Witness: I would say she did it intentional that morning we had a clash home before going on the farm so when we go on the farm when we were brushing and she was just murmuring and that how the cutlass hit me but she say she did not mean it but the man say she mean.

Where is your mother?

Primary Witness: She is alive

Where is your brother now?

Primary Witness: He is to our area.

How many people died from you?

Primary Witness: No the people that died from me that not people to count self.

Commissioner Konneh: who were they people who first arrested you and say the children that you have were not your children?

Primary Witness: I can't tell because they were all over in the street coming around Salala gate when any car reach there they will put every one from the car and ask for your tribe when they pass on the left then you coming died when they pass you on the right then it means that you are safe.

Why people continue to call you Ghanaian?

Primary Witness: Myself I don't know we and some Ghanaians were in the same yard with some Mandingo people too my ma that Grebo and my pa that Grebo.

Do you record NPFL killing anybody in the town you were?

Primary Witness: Yes the people the killed were they two blind men and the cripple man the chop - chop him

What about LPC?

Primary Witness: When LPC got the only one boy they catch and stared questioning him that he was with NPFL and I think they killed him.

Among the two who is the best LPC and NPFL with regards to treating civilian?

Primary Witness: I would say NPFL was the best because LPC killed my uncle who was suppose to help me with my school business.

Primary Witness: Last word: I want to say thanks to your for allowing me to come to express my feelings it helps me all so that most of friends that I was in class with if I see them in job I don't want speak to any one but the bible say death is for everybody so I thank you for being in your midst.

Twenty-first Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Greenville City Sinoe County
S. Allen Saywon
(Seventh Primary Witness of day three)

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: Evening 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?

Primary Witness: My name is S. Allen Saywon
When were you born?
Primary Witness: my date of birth is May 8, 1965.

What do you do foe a living?

Primary Witness: I only engage in agriculture presently yet I am planting vegetables

Primary Witness: thank you, when TRC started I for one decided not to go to TRC to explain anything because I say what passed it has passed, but I thought it wise if I do it, it will do harm to the generation to come because they will not know the cause root of this conflict. So as time passed not I decided to explain to people the root cause between the Kru and the Sapo and that what I am here today for. It was July 26, 1990 when a arm group entered this place which called themselves, freedom fighters. When they entered they only did shooting at the air, they never shoot at nobody. They go from street to street and say that everybody should open their houses; they are looking for their enemies. And we all opened our house and came out and joined them to rejoice. On the 28th (of July) there was meeting that was held in this very City Hall by the Kru ethnic group that they please to welcome those who say they are freedom fighters, because the support them they have listed their name so that they will be killed on the 26 of July. They invited Noriega who lead the, the group here at this very City Hall. And they put this before him that we are pleased that you people come to free us. And these people they are arm people. So when they got this information; they said that if it is so, then this Sapo people they are enemies to us. We are going to go after them. Immediate as we are talking now.

Chairman: sorry for interrupting you but to get something clear. Tauson and the Kru people were being in a town meeting?

Primary Witness: no, the Kru called a meeting inviting Noriega in this meeting and they put this before him we pleased that you people have come to rescue us because on the 26th was our last day that we live in this county. They Sapo have decided to defile us and infact they did listing of those that suppose to be killed, so when Noriega heard it he say that if it is so then they are going against us, they are enemies to us. The next day was a crying in every corner in the Sapo areas. We began to run up and down. Houses were marked, the Sapo houses were marked, we began to flee in the bushes. While we were fleeing, they were destroying our house even with Yellow Machines. Yellow Machine broke houses down. As time goes by, Noriega visited every area. Before he visited the area, a committee was set up. And this committee was chair by the late Peter Kloteh Senior, he was the chairman. Myer Chea was the co-chairman for this committee, the committee that was set up it was intended that if any Kru and a Sapo woman has a child, that child must has a permit then the child is free to the Kru person and if any man have child that child must permit then that child free to the Kru person. So we were here they war was still continuing, we were in hiding.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: so that was the mandate?
Primary Witness: the mandate was if Kru woman and Sapo man have a child, so long she holds that permit that child belong to the Kru woman: If a Sapo woman has child by a Kru man and holds that child free to the Kru man. That what was going on here.

So it was set up to separate the sheep from the goats?

Primary Witness: exactly so. So after few times, Noriega began to go in and out. To the Sapo areas there is no firing, there is no attack. So he came one time he say. These people that wrote letter, every village and town I go to, the people are engaged in farming. I have not received on attack from them. So as from today's date, these people they have being set free. Right in this are they called that meeting, he made that announcement. After certain time, one late Farley they called Teacher Farley he married to one Kru woman. But this Kru woman was married to one Kru man and they departed. The man talked with him and she went with the man this Kru man went to the Sapo community and took that man out and killed him. So Noriega went and order for his arrest. He was arrested brought to this very City Hall. He said I told you people that from todays date the Sapodeans are freed but I need to show example on this fellow who went against our rule by killing this man

And that fellow was Kru?

Primary Witness: yes was Kru man right on this here Noriega tied him and called the late Farley son, his son at that time. Mr. Farley son was 8 years old the little boy true story 8 years old. And told the boy and that he should use the gun to kill the man who kill his father, he refuse because he was very small, he not able that arm he killed the man right here. This is how Noriega became to go against the Kru. That is how the conflict between the Sapo and Kru began. Today lit thing that the gun from the Sapodeans can not be produce up to this time, that how the Sapo and the Kru conflict began in Sinoe. In fact if you check at Pyne's farm you will find mass grave for those that they killed. We are always arrested here just to clarify that case there. Sinoe river is another place, Bilobo Creek where after they packed it over there that water right after that people camp, public works camp that water is another area that when they killed you they put you there, and that how we were killed here. And that the conflict began between the Kru and Sapo. That why I came to inform your today to know the cause root of this conflict. The basis root between the Kru and the Sapo

That is why the TRC was formed to look in the causes of the conflict. And we all are confident that the information is correct. Were you present at all these meetings?

Primary Witness: Yes, I was always there

What group do you belong to, Sapo or Kru?

Primary Witness: I am a Sapo

Commissioner Konneh: how old were you when the 1980 war took place?

Primary Witness: I was 16 -17 years old

Can you explain further how you were present at the Sapo/Kru meeting?

Primary Witness: yes all the tribes were represented - Sapo, Kru and Mandingo

Was any one killed after the Sapo/Kru meeting?

Primary Witness: yes plenty things happened. House were burnt

When LPC came where were you?

Primary Witness: I was in Juazon, where I have gone for food. I took two 2 weeks to enter this place here.

Commissioner Syllah: thank you very much. Which was the rebel group was there first to enter here in Sinoe?

Primary Witness: NPFL

Was there any reason for the Kru people to act bad to the Sapo people?

Primary Witness: they know best, we don't know

Now that the war is over, what do you think are the prospects for the future peaceful coexistence between these two tribes?

Primary Witness: Very good. Before the war any one could be superintendent even to any county, but now its not like that. This why we came to the TRC

Now that the war is over and you people used to intermarry. Do you think there is still problem?

Primary Witness: Yes

Commissioner Dolopei: thank you for coming to the TRC. Your coming will go a long way in help our works. Did the Sapo people file a formal complain to show that the Kru people being targeting them?

Primary Witness: well, we are a small group. So we just living among them

Have you personally made an effort to reconcile between the two tribes?

Primary Witness: yes, but it has been difficult. But the two tribes all have wronged each other. So it is not one tribe going wrong against one tribe. So that's why the TRC has something call thematic Hearings where the people tell why they disagree on many issues.

Commissioner Steward: What was the motivating for the Kru and Sapo who had being living together for so long did not have problem until the NPFP time?

Primary Witness: The Development superintendent.

So during the reign of Samuel K. Doe was there any trouble?

Primary Witness: no there was no trouble, but the leadership business is
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