Buchanan City: Day 2

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The Second day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Tuesday April 8, 2008 at the Buchanan Fare Ground Auditorium, Grand Bassa County. The Hearings session started with the Commissioners of the TRC being ushered into their seats followed by a welcome remarks form the Chairman of the TRC Cllr. Jerome Verdier, who then called on the Hearings Officer Pastor John Teayah to invite the first Primary Witness to give his testimony.

Sixth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Jerry Barseegiah
(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. He was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: Mr. Witness good morning and welcome to the TRC Public Hearings. We want to say thank for come the process intended to foster the reconciliation process in Liberia and we see this the way forging away having said that we have asked you preliminary questions after that you will continue with your testimonies and right after that the commissioners will ask you few question for clarification.

Primary Witness: Before the war I was living in Monrovia. On the second of July 1990 the whole of Monrovia was captured by the NPFL and I was in door for two weeks. We felled into old road for refugee and after two weeks were driven to ELWA where they fought for 2 hours and 17 persons died from stray bullets. At the time the Missionary had so many people that they couldn't guarantee our safety. They took most of the patients to Bong Mines and were transported by the NPFL. We were going to the Fendell campus for refuge, we pass Zina and when we got to the Cow field we met the NPFL who asked us to sing a song this way (Charles Taylor moral is heat and hot it can't get cold) we were forced to sing that song. It was 5 o'clock and there was a curfew and we could not go so they gave us a ware house for the men and one for the women and we sleep there.

Before getting to sore clinic junction there was a creek called Jordan River, that morning people started showing Government officials because they were killing them and before me they took 2 former AFL soldiers and they were killed that morning and I lose hope that I will not reach Fendell. There were some medicine men among them showing people so if you are a footballer they will check you knee and know who you are but if you are a soldier you will be killed. As god would have it I made it to Fendell and I pass through Dusa hospital where I stayed for 2 weeks for them to examine because they said the government officials were among the civilians and we were there for three days and they left us and I came to Buchanan and non the 13 of August I went to my home. When we got to Barseegiah in 1991 we meet the NPFL and they were asking people top give food weekly for the soldiers. There was Generals GKB and many other generals there.

The people were providing food for them and they were not satisfied so they use to go in the villages and break into the people homes. One morning Gunda took his men that they were going to recapture LAC from the LPC but they had to send for men power for Rivercess. At the time we were not in our own house for we were driven and we were in the villages. When they left they went to where people were seeking refuge in Gwonyen and took two men and carry them to the base. On Sunday they went to their Chief of Staff Kuku Dennis and they took these two gentlemen to him but he was in Gbarnga and they took them to Barseegiah and they were killed. They called the civilians to drag them on the train track and the soldiers followed and they extracted the hearts of those two men and other parts from them. That evening it was a pepper soup for them and they ate it. After that they told people around the village that they will start going around and those who don't want to join will be forced to join. He said he was Gonda General no bible and so if you refuse you will be treated like the two gentlemen. Later the LPC came and took over and we fled into Bong County with my old lady where I was for three from August to November. When the LPC got to Gbarnga they said Grand Bassa is free for you and we are here so you can go back for everything is free for you. That November we got back and started harvesting, and in November the NPFL recaptured Gbarnga and the LPC left while retreating there was one General Wesseh for the LPC and one son of the Wicked Devil called Mishell and their boss was killed in the some county. When we got to Sam Town three men were killed at the Satin gate controlled by the Mishell. Those men were killed and they said we will do as the NPFL by eating human being so that you can be afraid of us and they did that before me. I pray that god will not allow me to be eaten.

When we got on the compound we were there fro two weeks and the chief of the LPC George Bolley said if you want pass yon have to pay $300 before you can travel and people pay money but they said he was not ready so they ate the money. While there the NPFL was advancing and the LPC use to go fight and come back so all of our food we harvested was left there and the NPFL carried everything. While there they told us we had a new city called Barseegiah Town. They were singing if you want to enjoy go to Barseegiah town. While there at last the NPFL came and there was no way for them to keep the civilians on the compound because they had a strategy to keep the civilians with them so that they will die instead of the army. So I want to thank the almighty God that I am alive today to see that day.

The third is that general Seki after they were driven from Barseegiah they came and bust all of the graves including my father grave and told people that there was some money they had kept in that grave and they took watches and coat that was in the grave and they went away with it. These are some of the things that I saw that really hurt me during the war. The entire Barseegiah town was burned by both NPFL and the LPC and Emmanuel Siki burst all the graves and people came and told us there was no more Barseegiah and as God will have it we went back and put the broken pieces and I am now living in the Barseegiah town.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you for coming to share your experience with us and all that you went through. You have given a long narration and the Commissioners will ask you some questions. What are you doing in the town?

Primary Witness: I am a Town Chief

You spoke of life at Fendell how was life there at the time?

Primary Witness: I particularly bath at the Adam and Eve creek that is where they have the zoo for the campus and while there, we had the INPFL and the NPFL use to be assigned but the INPFL were powerful so when the NPFL heard of them they will start running. The second one is that the tanker from firestone use to bring water from the company because the water in that area was polluted these are things I saw while there.

You said you saw two persons killed there at Fendell?

Primary Witness: Yes government officials.

You mentioned Gonda, JKB and Siki as eating human beings did they all do it?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you know where these people are now?

Primary Witness: No I don't know about them?

Do you know what the JKB means?

Primary Witness: I don't know but the B is for Brickswell

Commissioner Syllah: Were any of you relatives killed?

Primary Witness: Yes one of my brothers was killed


Primary Witness: Because he was suspected as an ex-soldier

Did he have children?

Primary Witness: Yes he had one who is now in Monrovia.

You talk of eating human parts was Kuku know about this?

Primary Witness: Yes he knew about it.

Did he do anything to stop it?

Primary Witness: Not at all

While on you way to Buchanan, did they only target only government officials?

Primary Witness: Yes they killed a whole lot of people like in places like camp one and cotton tree, they were accusing people as soldiers for have low hair cut or having on a red shirt and for many other things.

Can you explain how they killed the people before extracting their hearts?

Primary Witness: They killed them with guns

Commissioners Stewart: sorry for the dearth of your brother and the difficult conditions. You said the Barseegiah town was burned on two occasions, was the whole town burnt?

Primary Witness: Yes

Did they burn the church?

Primary Witness: No it was the only place that was spare

Did they burn the schools?

Primary Witness: Yes, the town was a base for all of them so when they capture and are leaving they will burn.

You said they were eating human flesh, beside this what other incidence did you see happening there?

Primary Witness: They tabied people and said it was duck foul tabie where they will fold you and out your hands behind you and they will tie you up.

Did you hear of rape?

Primary Witness: I heard of it but I did not see it, but it happened

Was there force recruitment of boys and girls?

Primary Witness: Yes they did, they even came to me and said being a town chief you are a captain so I times I was force to carry loads for them and many people who refuse to join was treated like this and both the LPC and the NPFL did that.

How were the soldiers fed?

Primary Witness: We the civilians were feeding them and they were also looting because their leaders told them to feed themselves by their guns.

Please sing that song for us

Primary Witness: If you want to enjoy go Gbarnga, kolo kala kolo, if you want to enjoy go Gbarnga kolo kala kolo, that is the song we were forced to sing and we had to because we had to survive.

You talked of General Mishell can you describe him, is he still alive?

He is not in Buchanan now he is in Government Camp in Sino and he is the one who had the Satan Gate.

What use to happen at the Satan gate?

Primary Witness: They use to take off the cloths of people and they use to drill on the compound and you were forced to drill and sing but nicked

Did you see him killing?

Primary Witness: No he never saw him killing

You mentioned some names can you go over them again?

Primary Witness: The LPC general were General Wesseh and General Mishell. When LPC was here General Wesseh was the National Police Commander based here.

Is he alive?

Primary Witness: He died in 1996 after the County fell to NPFL, he ran from here and went to Monrovia by the ECOMOG tour boat and he was captured at the port by the NPFL and killed.

Do you remember general was bus?

Primary Witness: Yes he was killed here in Buchanan

Commissioner Konneh: sorry for what happened to you. You talked of capturing of two AFL soldiers that were killed, were they captured on the battle front?

Primary Witness: I sad Monrovia was captured by the NPFL at which time I was on the AB Tolbert road and I fled and went through some areas before coming to Fendell campus.

You mentioned some soldiers killed how it happened?

Primary Witness: They were accused as soldiers and they were killed, they were moving with us and they were suspected as soldiers and they were killed.

You said they use to inspect people feet for marks do you remember anybody been killed by the marks?

Primary Witness: Yes 2 were killed.

Did you witness them killing government officials?

Primary Witness: Yes my brother Edwin Barseegiah was suspected a s government official and killed.

What was the role of Kuku Dennis?

Primary Witness: He use to come and put his men together to come and capture areas.

Do you know whether the orders were coming from him?

Primary Witness: Yes he was concern about what was going on and when they he inform him he did nothing.

You talked of breaking graves, did you witness and ritualistic activities going on?

Primary Witness: I did not see that

Were these generals part of the looting?

Primary Witness: Yes they and the under men use to go and loot

Why did they scrip people nicked?

Primary Witness: Because they feel this will give them more power.

Commissioner Stewart: it was reported that the LPC and the NPFL operating between Buchanan and St. John they use land mines do you have report on this?

Primary Witness: Yes the two faction use land mines and in 1995 the land mines blew up one truck around Glows Town moving from LAC to Buchanan.

Did you see any of them?

Primary Witness: Yes I saw one defuse by the ECOMOG in my own town.

Chairman: thank you Mr. Witness for what you have said you have share light on many incidences. Any final words before you leave?

Primary Witness: I will first thank the members of the TRC for coming to heal the minds of the people and the Bible said we should not keep our neighbors in our minds and we should be bold to tell people what they did. So what we are doing here is people looking at others leaving their community to come and say what happen they say it is a waist of time. We had inter tribal war which made our people to migrate and it was not written and so what the TRC is a clear indication of record that will be written for our unborn children to know what happened so that they will not repeat what happened. So I will highly commend the TRC for the job. I will recommend to the TRC that we have schools and Clinic in the town so we want the TRC to help the staff because we need train nurse and PA and if they are there we need salaries for them also. So we want the TRC to help us with train people to run these areas.

Thank you very much for that recommendation and for participating in the process.

Seventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Matthew Yawon
(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. He was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: We want to thank you Madam Witness for coming to the TRC. We appreciate all of our witnesses for taking up their precious time to come to talk to the TRC. This shows that you are a good citizen and that we all want peace and we want to say bye to war and look forward for a better future in Liberia so that our children can have a better future here in Liberia. So we say welcome and feel free and you can start with your story. But before that, we will like to ask you few questions.

Co-Chair: Good morning and thanks for coming. Welcome to the TRC. The mandate of the TRC s to look into cases, document them and as well as make recommendations to the government of Liberia. You can go ahead now and tell your story.

Please state your name again

Primary Witness: My name is Matthew Yawon.

Your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I was born in 1963

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: Farming

Primary Witness: I just want to tell you that God give everybody their voice and as for, I can stammer, so please listen to me so that you can hear me. Thanks to TRC members to have chosen me to talk and as well as the Counselors, thanks to al other officials here present.

During the past war, I will start with the 1994, in 1994 in Vou's Tow going to Zongolar Neegbor, I met NPFL soldiers and they were eating, they grabbed me and asked me where I was going? I told them that I was going to visit my brother in law. And they said that I was an enemy. I told them no, I was not an enemy, if I had known that your people were here, I would have not pass here. They were 12 armed men and their big man called War Face said I was a liar; they grabbed me and tied me. In that process, one of my friends called Samuel said let us leave the man alone, he is not an enemy, I know him. But War Face took his knife and cut me deeply on my right shoulder and I started bleeding seriously. I was bleeding so much that I could not even move from the place, so Samuel said I should try and get from there before they kill me. I left there and they killed two persons in my presence. I managed to leave the area and later, I met my aunty and she took me to her village and treated me for 9 months.

When NPFL left, then LPC came to the area and they told us that they were Peace Keeping Force and they asked everybody to leave the bushes and come to town. When we came to town, we started receiving bad treatment from the LPC soldiers again. They were treating us so bad by beating us; I was in great pain and was unable to do any job. But War Bus came and said that we should help him carry Copper wire to Buchanan to buy some materials for us. We took the wire and started carrying it to Buchanan, when we got in one town, he said we should stay there and he was going Buchanan to sell the wires to buy us some materials.

When he left, I managed to escaped and passed all the way on the other side and went to Buchanan and when my brothers saw me, they were very happy; so they said they thought that I had died, but I told them no, but I was seriously wounded by War Face and our aunty treated me for 9 months. So they asked me not to go back to the village until the war can finish and I stayed with them in Buchanan until the war ended. Later they carried me to Henry Vonyegar and he registered me at LAC and I stayed there until the war ended.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Commissioner Sylla: Thanks for coming to share your feeling. What is the name of the soldier that wounded you?

Primary Witness: His name was War Face.

He had any other name?

Primary Witness: No.

Why he did that to you?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

Was it you alone he wounded?

Primary Witness: No, we were more than 5 persons.

What he did to the other people?

Primary Witness: He hurt all of them.

What your did to him?

Primary Witness: Nothing, what can a civilian do with a man with gun?

Where is your aunty who helped you?

Primary Witness: She is in the village.

How long it took for your soul to cure?

Primary Witness: About three months.

What are names of the people who he killed?

Primary Witness: Samuel Tarr and Sundaygar Tarr.

What is the name of the soldiers that killed them?

Primary Witness: That the same War Face.

He had nay other name beside the War Face?

Primary Witness: No.
Commissioner Steward: Which town you were coming from?

Primary Witness: I was coming from Vou's Town.

Where you were going?

Primary Witness: I was going Zongarlay's town.

Who the first soldier you see?

Primary Witness: That the NPFL soldiers.

How many were they?

Primary Witness: They were many.

They all had guns?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You remember any of the LPC commanders?

Primary Witness: Yes, they are: War Bus, Bad Blood and Blood Sucker and Nathan, and Hold your Heart and Laugh and Do Bad.

They had any other names?

Primary Witness: No.

Do you remember Nukun Johnson?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You will know these people when you see them?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where War Bus got the wires from?

Primary Witness: From LAC, he cut all the electric wires.

What's about rubber?

Primary Witness: No rubber was there because people were not typing the rubber.

You saw LPC killed people in your presence?

Primary Witness: No.

They forces young boys and girls to join them?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They did any bad things there?

Primary Witness: Yes, they beat the people and they raped the girls.

What is the name of the people that hurt you?

Primary Witness: Bad Blood, Blood Sucker and War Bus.

You and your wife stay together?

Primary Witness: No, we have parted.

Commissioner Konneh: Can you explain what you mean about you did not feel the 1990 war until 1994; no one was hurt in that process/ The new Liberia we want to build should not be so, we should all care for one another. When something happens to anyone of your neighbors, it should concern you. So then what really you see happened to other people

Primary Witness: I had my woman who was taken from me in 1993. we were in Vou's town, we did not know that the war was going to be rough, we were just enjoying ourselves in our village and people ran from LAC from the war and came to us. I will not lie; I did feel the war in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, until 1994 when I was wounded by the soldiers.

Commissioner Dolopei: Who cut your hand; can you show the mark for us to see?

Primary Witness: That the NPFL soldiers in 1994; yes, this is the mark.

What did Nunkun Johnson do to you?

Primary Witness: Nothing.

Thanks for narrating your story, you were beaten, hurt, your wife was raped; sorry for all that happened to you. Any thing else you want to say before you lave?

Primary Witness: Yes, thanks for coming here. What hold my hart is that where I am living now, there is no school, hospital, and road; therefore, I am kindly asking TRC to help us. Right now, I have 8 living children so I want also for TRC to help me sent them to school.

In which town you want these developments to take place?

Primary Witness: In Ben's Town, Compound #4 District.

Eighth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Lincoln Tohmpoi
(Third Primary Witness of day two)

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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: Good afternoon, welcome to the TRC. We are happy to receive you, this is the place where we all come to explain our testimonies.

Your name again?

Primary Witness: Lincoln Tohmpoi

Your date of birth?

Primary Witness: I don't know the date but the age, I am 65

Where do you live right now?

Primary Witness: I live in Bens Town in compound 4

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am farmer

Primary Witness: Let me say thank you to the TRC for we the native people to be here today to testify on what happened to us for the people to know because the past government never use to allow this to happen if they kill our people no body will hear it, so I thank the TRC. During 1992 during the carter Camp period a friend of mine came to buy rice and said gentle since the situation happened in LAC I want to be here to look for little money and we said yes, not knowing he was the worse. He was in the room with my little brother and he took his flash light and trousers and carried it and when the boy told me he was annoy and said he will beat the boy and in sad don't do it. So he said he is going to LAC to come. He came back with 265 armed men and he said where is the junior man who lied on me, so we asked him what happened and he said your son lied on me and said he lied on me that I stole from him so I will cut his foot. So we begged him and he said we should pay $400 but we paid $300 and they left him.

After three days they called meeting and called all the town people and said we should be feeding them. Then again they called another meeting and put us is a place and they shown the guns to us and we said which meeting is this and they said each Town should pay Money, Mattress, cane-juice and that if the towns do not pay it they will collect it for themselves. Then the chief came and said lets go in the forum and we will know what to tell them. He said all the things the people need we don't have them so we should bring 5 cups of rice I gallon of rice and some small things and we will talk to them. We went to them and told them and they said they will receive them. So the people said you the town chief if you go the first thing tell you people to leave so they will not do anything to your. Then the chiefs went and told their people and they started going on the rampage because they could not see anybody. They first thing they went to one town and they collected men and killed them and carry one to their chief, that is what they use to do. Then one day Daniel Chea came and we said we are dying the soldiers have killed a lot of people here. So he said they say you're the Bassa people can make things big but if it is true we will take the message to the president so we went and told the chief.

When they came they said who is willing to go in the bush to tell us where the bodies are so that we can know what happened and one of our men went with them to see what happened. that whole day we were sad and they went in the bush and saw the bodies and they said these people are not lying so we should attack them, but we are not many so they said they will take the message to the president and the decision taken they will know. Later we saw Gonda and JKB that the president sent them to free the people. The first thing he did he carry his people to the compound and the people started running then Gonda said you see the chief coming then your running, then they came back. So he slept with them and he told them I came here to sleep with your so that we will divide the manpower. He said tomorrow we are going to call a meeting and so your should come with your arms and they came that day. He said I will call your sis by six and they did that until they arrested 16 persons and the rest of them could not see their men so they ran to LAC.

They went back to Taylor and told him that they arrested 16 people and he said they should be killed. They promise us that they were going to kill the people in front of us and we did not se them. So we the citizens decided to match to LAC but before then the match they brought them. So they brought them and they asked and said who are the people who killed your people and we said these are the people and they said it is the president that told them to do it and they were killed.

It came the MODEL time the one Joseph who used to plat his hair and the joint security came and they were searching for people who use to plat their hair and they said two men from Monrovia are here plating their hair and they caught the Joseph man and the other ran away. So they asked him and he confess and said he is a LURD soldier and he ran from Bong Mines and came here so he started begging that they should not kill him so I join them and started begging them not to kill him. I said he should find something for your so your can leave him. So they said I should ask him what he can give them he said he had two tin of oil and he went for it and gave it to them. And they said he will be with me if he runs they will hold me. Then they cut his hair and he was with me for three weeks. Then the MODEL came and he ran. Later he came back with 6 arm men and said there was one Solomon who wanted to kill him so he will beat me and said he was my brother so he will kill me and I took him to the Solomon man farm and there was one pregnant woman, Joseph took a stick and hit the woman stomach when I complained he told me to shot up.

He took me to the town and told me to sit on the ground then he took the gun but and hit me with it and I was bleeding and I said because I beg the joint security to leave you that is why you are treating me like, he said just sit there I will do more and he came and hit me and new went to my mother and hit her. He said he will kill me so I jumped on him and we fought over the gun and took the magazine. He said I told your that this man is a soldier and we started arguing. He left and went and after the disarmament he came and apologized to me and said he wronged me and I said Joseph those things are not in my mind and you were doing it because you had gun. He said no I came to kill Solomon and not you. He bought two bottles of Coca-Cola and said I should forgave him and I told him to buy one for me so that we can nock glass, and we did it and we embrace one another and he can come to my place and sleep. That is the end of my story.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank God that you are still alive, after war we who survive are the one who can tell the stories. When did this experience of MODEL take place with Joseph?

Primary Witness: It was 1994

Which part of the year?

Primary Witness: In the middle of the year

The time DKB and Ginda them executed the men it was what year?

Primary Witness: It was in 1992 but the year did not end

How did it happen?

Primary Witness: They came and showed the men and the admitted and they told them they will be executed. They tied them and carried them o the football field and they killed them.

How many men did the firing?

Primary Witness: They were four men and one woman called Mamie

Where is he Mamie now?

Primary Witness: I don't know

What was the name of the commander of the people who did the massacre?

Primary Witness: I only know Isaac Kumah

How did you know the number of the people that they killed?

Primary Witness: We sent our brother Kadaffi Sambulleh there with the people and they checked the people that were killed in all the towns.

Have you done any burial for them?

Primary Witness: Some of them were buried and some of them were not but there skulls are there and I wanted to go in the bush and bring them.

Are the skulls still at one place?

Primary Witness: Before but the animals now scatter them.

Commissioner Konneh: sorry for what happened to you in the war. Can you tell us who tried the 17 men that were killed?

Primary Witness: We don't know

Were these men tried?

Primary Witness: Well I don't know but what I know is that they brought them before us and asked us and we told them that they were the ones who did it and they themselves admitted the fact.

Who was the person asking these questions?

Primary Witness: It was Gonda

Was the directive from Gonda himself or from above?

Primary Witness: Well I don't know sir what we know is that it was Gonda who give the orders.

Executing the 17 persons where was the mandate coming from?

Primary Witness: It was from the president

Does that mean there were no lawyers for the both parties?

Primary Witness: Yes

Commissioner Coleman: what was the group called that came?

Primary Witness: Kassaka

Were they the ones that carried out the massacre?

Primary Witness: Yes

Do you know where these bodies are today?

Primary Witness: Yes some of them are in my town.

How many of the Kassaka boys were killed?

Primary Witness: They were 17

What happened when the MODEL came in 2003?

Primary Witness: I was beaten by Joseph and we reconcile in the end.

Commissioner Stewart: firstly all of the people killed were they brought from Rivercess?

Primary Witness: Yes they brought the Rivercess and my brother-in-law was killed from the group

Have you been able to identify those that were killed?

Primary Witness: Yes we have some people that are not yet dead that are living I the town that can come and testify that it is true.

How would you people want to remember these people that were killed?

Primary Witness: That is what I started my statement with, the past government did not do this if the people died they don't come to ask for what happened.

So your will want to reburied the bones?

Primary Witness: No because after the pact the bones some of them melt off and the animals came and took the bones away and in some areas where the put dirt over them the bones are scattered.

So you don't want to burry them?

Primary Witness: But chief no body care to come and ask for them and the past government never came and ask only the TRC so we car and forget about it.

Chairman: we want to tell you thank you for coming to speak for your people. Every thing you told us will be included in our report and will be part of what transpired in the county. Do you have anything else to say before you leave?

Primary Witness: Yes I want to thank the TRC for coming. Where we are from we don't want to go back there. Things finish and it is finish, but we are see some of the people in this town they are wearing soldiers uniform and they are platting their hair, they can spoil the name of the government. If the people see them in some area they can call them soldier and the people can be afraid of them and if you ask them they say they are not soldier and they are not even musician. Since the war is over while are these people still wearing these cloths so the TRC should do something about it. Where we are in the Compound 4 there is no development and the school there 250 students have one teacher from the government and the other teachers and volunteer and so the government should do something about it. I have 10 children and there are no school and development so the government should help so our children should be better then us.

Before you leave when has this thing of soldiers wearing uniform been happening in your town?

Primary Witness: It is happening, but they are wearing these cloths and I saw one of them to my hotel wearing soldier cloths

Ninth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Moses Karngar
(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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: Mr. Witness, we want to say welcome, and thank you for coming to the TRC. The TRC is the place where every one comes to say the truth. Because we know a lot of things happened during this war. And that's why the Government deems it necessary to put this group together, along with the International community to investigate every thing that happen in the past that is from 1979 to 2003. So we want to say welcome and for the record, can you kindly stated your name?

Primary Witness: My name is Moses Kangar.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live compound 4

Do you know your age?

Primary Witness: I am 47 years old.

What do you do for living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer

Primary Witness: I want to say thank God for the TRC, we know you care for us. I was in the bush, I na want to come here. You know, we in there, the people you sent, they are good, people, they talk to us good. 1990, I was in Yekepah before I came to my town. You know we in the interior, our work is farming. In the morning, we na get salt. I sent my wife in the town to look for salt. When my wife arrived, they catch her they put her in the house and they lock the door. So it was getting late, I can see my wife. So I wait, still I can't see her. So I say wait na, I went to look for my wife, not knowing those boys na set arm bush all in the town. When I got there, they arrested me. They were 8, but I can remember few of their names. James, Isaac, Joe, and no man there.

I was having my daughter, she was 9m years old, and she was in the 3rd grade. So, she went to school, she came back to the town, when the little girl came, these guys them, they rape that little girl in front of me. They tie me, in front of me, they rape that little girl and when they finish, they take stick and put it in her and she die. I was wanted to talk, they say if you talk, you na thinking about your own life?

They tie me, from that time I ran away from that town, they take me from there, they go cut my neck, that how come one boy say your let leave him. So that how I ran away. And my wife was still in the house when I ran away. And up to now, I never see my wife, whether they kill her, what they do to her, I don't know.

When I was going again, LPC, catch me, they tie me and suck my blood for 3 days. That one boy call Isaac save my life from LPC, he say you can swim, you k now water? I say yes, that how I get in the water for 3 hours I was in that water, I swim, swim, until I was tired now, I was just on top of the water now. That I leave doing any lace I reach air, I see water, I can swim until I reach Buchanan. So that what happen to me during this war here.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Mr. Witness: We want to say sorry for every thing you went through during this war. We want to say sorry for the last of your daughter and your wife.
I want to know, what is the name of your wife?

Primary Witness: Martha, that Rivercess Girl.

And the name of your daughter?

Primary Witness: My daughter name is Play girl.

How old was she?

Primary Witness: She was 9years old, and she was in 3rd grade.

You tried to name the people who suck your blood, can you call their names again?

Primary Witness: They are, Blood Sucker, Kill the bitch, and war boy. But they are dead now. They were killed by one ECOMOG, one Ghana ECOMOG kill him right to the welcome sign board.

Tell me how did he die?

Primary Witness: He saw this lady with her oil, he wanted to take it, that the same thing we can be talking, because we in the bush, so the will just come and start doing all kinds of things to us, because we don't have the hand and the power, to do any thing to them. So he wanted to take the woman oil, that how come one ECOMOG saw him and shot him from the back. The other one wanted to run, that how the citizens chase after him and kill him. They die right here to the welcome sign.

Commissioner Syllah: we want to say thank you for coming to the TRC to share your story with us. And we wan to say sorry for the lost of your daughter and your child.
You said that 8 soldiers, do you know them?

Primary Witness: Yes, but they are all dead now.

Do you have other children?

Primary Witness: Yes, I have six children.

Commissioner Washington: Mr. Witness, I want to join my colleagues to say sorry for all you when through during the war. We can say we know what you went through. But you know it. But what happened to your daughter was despicable, what happened to your wife was despicable. Your daughter was too young for what happen. You say she was in the 3rd grade, and she was 9 years old. Who knows if she was alive, if she was going to be a president? So we want to say sorry, I don't have any question for you. So, sorry yeah?

Commissioner Dolopei: we want to say sorry for what happen to you. Your daughter they rape and kill, who did the act, LPC or NPFL?
That was Kassaca kill my daughter and carry my wife, they were NPFL. They divided them self into groups and they will say, you go this way, you go this way.
Did she have any other name?

Primary Witness: Yes, her name was Chinese Girl, but Play girl was her nick name.

Any other person they kill?

Primary Witness: We were only two, every body was on their farm.

LPC didn't kill any body?

Primary Witness: No, they only tie me, and started sucking my blood.

Can you tell us how they did it?
Primary Witness: He use the bend knife, cut me and put his mouth there to suck my blood and put it in the bottle and put Cane Juice and drink it and gave the balance one to me to drink. I was force to drink it, I was fighting for my life.

So, the time the man help you, went to the hospital?

Primary Witness: No, at that time, where the hospital air? That only country medicine.

Commissioner Coleman: What year did that happen?

Primary Witness: 1992.

You wife, when was the last time you saw her?

Primary Witness: The same 1992.

How did it happen?

Primary Witness: When the boy said your leave this man, I ran I left her there, and since and sine that time, I never see her again. Her brother went to Ganta; I went to Monrovia to look for her. Her brother even put it on the radio.

How many children you had?

Primary Witness: Me and her had 2 children. One die and the other one with her brother, they call him Elijah.

And where is the child now?

Primary Witness: He in Monrovia with my wife's brother.

Commissioner Konneh: this blood sucker, was he among the people this Ghana soldier?

Primary Witness: Yes.

This kassaca was a group from the NPFL, who was their commander?

Primary Witness: Isaac Gumah.

Is he alive?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

And if you see him, will you know him?

Primary Witness: Yes, you can forget good, but you can't forget bad. It na blood sucker who kill my daughter. Kassaca killed my daughter and blood sucker that LPC, that them tie me.

Chairman: thank you for coming and we say we are sorry for all you went through. I know that you are not alone, the whole country Buchanan says sorry for what you experience during the war. Do you have any thing to tell the TRC, your last word?

Primary Witness: I want to thank God. We know that we have a leader now. The past government did not do this. I thank God for you people. I have my children, I have 6 children, one Shedrick Kangar, he is in 10th grade and the other one Emmanuel Kangar, that one in the 7th grade. Right now no work, so I want the TRC to help me educate my children, and in our home, no good road, no good clinic, no good teacher. And then my hand, I want you to help me go to hospital. Thank you.

Tenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Dolo Gudradah
(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. 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: I saw the last term of Charles D.B. King

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Garduober Town

What are you doing?

Primary Witness: I am farming

Primary Witness: I thank God for being here to explain my story today. At the time I was in my home until this war came about during the war soldiers may have done but what happened to me is what I am about to explain. During the war the soldiers burnt plenty houses in my town including my own house. The time the burnt the house was the time we fled and went in the bush. When we entered the bush because of fear we were there for two months. So again the soldiers went in the bush and when they meet you they will tell you to go to town and they took us from the bushes and carry us to town and they use to hold us harshly. As they come when you are eating they will take your food and carry and if you are wearing fine they will take it and carry it. If you have fine slippers they will carry it, they even did it to me.

Even if a lady was wearing fine cloths they will take it from her they did this to my wife. Because she was wearing a cloth under she would have been nicked in public. Nobody could move from their village to the next and if you move to another place they will say you are going to lodge their complaint so they never allowed anybody to go anywhere. When we ran in the bush for the second we use to have a tent to be under to sleep and the next day we will go in the bush. At that time everyday the soldiers use to be in the bush to search for us. So it came a time when we went in the bush in the day we came to the kitchen and there was a soldier there by the name of victor and we did not know he was there, when we got to the kitchen and the old lady was about to cook then victor jump in midst of us and halted us, not knowing he was not the only one there. Then he told the small soldier to go and call the other soldiers and they were plenty and the came. When they got there they grab one of my brother in law and he was confuse and he was asking for people that were not there. So I told him where are the people that you are asking for? When I said this victor said they should tie me. When the grab me they tied me and they were four soldiers that were beating me, one had a cutlass and two had sticks and one had a sugary scissors and he put it in my rectum and started turning it around in me and the others were beating me. When they were beating me the old lady was confuse and she went and dish up the food and give it to them to eat and victor give order for them to tie her.

In the evening the loosen us and put us on the ground with the women. When they were beating me I was crying saying I will die and they said don't lie you will not die who is killing you. When they put us in the aches and we were there they put pepper in the fire and it was getting on us and the children were crying so they moved them and left we the four men there. So we the four men when we were in the kitchen and they were putting pepper on us the oldest man among us could not stand it and he was shacking and victor came and started beating him and he could not make it. We slept in the kitchen and the next day victor send for me and they put the arm on my neck and started turning the rope until it held my neck then he pulled the rope and I fell in the fire and the trousers I was wearing burnt. (old man displayed the trousers he was wearing) they turned me over again and this is how the other side of the trousers got burnt. I was not to my self, when they realize I was to the point of death they remove me and put me on the other side. After that they had tied my wife and the put the mottle pestle between her hands and they started turning her around like they were grounding sugarcane and I was looking at them treating my wife. They in the process were asking us for our belongings. While they were doing this to my woman they said I have to show them my food and belongings here and my wife told them that you are the same people that use to come and carry everything we has so why should you suffer us like this.

So after they loose the rope from my neck they said we have been here for two days and searched everywhere and there is nothing here so let us go in the town. So he finally took and said we should all go to town because if we stayed there we will be called enemies. When we got to the town my uncle and myself whom they beat we could not go anywhere for three months. When they realize that we could do nothing and go no where they did not do anything to me until they left. That is what they did to me and my wife. If they ever treated anybody I don't know but that is what they did to me and my wife in my village.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: sorry for what happened to you and your wife. What they did, they behave like they were not human beings. Can you tell us what year did all of this happened?

Primary witness: It happened in 1995

What town it happened in what town?

Primary witness: It happened in my town but it was on my farm

Do you know the faction that did it?

Primary witness: It was Chinese Japer's group

Was he alone or he had other people with him?

Primary witness: They were many but the man who did the thing that Chinese japer group and it is Victor that I know.

So the Victor was different from the Chinese Japer?

Primary witness: Yes

Was he bright or black?

Primary witness: I did not see him they only use to say he was the one who sent them.

Commissioner Konneh: we are sorry for what happened to you. Which group was the Chinese Japer fighting for?

Primary witness: Charles Taylor.

Why did they beat you?

Primary witness: They said they wanted us to gave them all of our belonging

Was the similar treatment mounted against other people?

Primary witness: Yes some women told me that they beat on them but I was not on the sane.

What is your physical condition now?

Primary witness: Thank you for that question, since this happened to me I have been helpless. Since they burnt down my house if not for the assistance of others I would have been sleeping on the ground or under the tent because I can't build anything for my self. Even the house I am in if it is raining I have to pack my thing on the other side. My wife is even suffering now she can't walk easily.

Do you people have children?

Primary Witness: Yes we have children and most of them have gone out they are married.

When it happened was she in the age of giving birth?

Primary Witness: No we are of the same age

Commissioner Stewart: can you remember other names besides Chinese Japer?

Besides him the only soldier I know was Gassaway but he did not do anything to me.

Commissioner Syllah: sorry for what happened to you and your wife. After they burnt you with the fire that day how did you manage ton treat the sore for the fire?

At that time the soldiers could not allow us to go anywhere so it is my wife who use to find pawpaw leaf and beat it and mix it with chalk and treat me, that is how I got cure.

Chairman: is there any reason why you kept the paints?

Primary Witness: I purposely kept this cloth so that I can show it to my family and if there is anybody who had sympathy for mew I will show it to them.

Sorry for what happened to you and they way you show us the trousers, no body can deny what you said. What you have said will be recorded in the history books and thousands and thousands of people will read this and children who are not born will get to know about this. Is there anything else on your mind that you will like to tell us?

Primary Witness: Yes, when the war came I was old and I am older now and they burnt down my house and I have nothing, so after explaining this, what will be my help from the TRC. Besides this I thank God for the Liberian Government for them to send the TRC and for your to come and investigate what happened in this country. So I thank God for all of your to come and do this work. The second one is if the Liberian Government can help me for me to have some materials to build my house what they burnt. From now on the person who did this to me what they will do to him?

What do you want to be done to him?

Primary Witness: For me I am old and I can't do anything so it is left with you people to do what is best.

There are several things the government can do, the government can punish the person and they can forgive the person so he can decide what to be done to the person. If he forgive the person and want the person to go free, the TRC will take that into consideration. If he wants the person to face him and say sorry, the TRC can do that, so it is up to him to maker a recommendation now. That is why we left Monrovia and came to you because what you will say is very important to us.

Primary Witness: If I was able to locate the man who harmed me I would have known what to say but since I can't locate him then I leave it with God. So if the government can come up with any suggestion then that is it, so my recommendation is while I am still living I want them to rebuild my house.

We hear that and we say thank you

Eleventh Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Rebecca Yoursee
(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. She was accompanied by an interpreter. She was accompanied by a translator.

Chairman: thank you for coming to the TRC. This shows that you are a good citizen and as a good citizen you have come to share your experience with us. So we say thank you for coming, and we will like to ask you some questions for the records.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Yoursee town.

Which district is that?

Primary Witness: Number 4

What do you do?

Primary Witness: Farmer.

Do you know your age?

Primary Witness: I am 34.

Primary Witness: I thank the almighty God, I want for the lord to give me the power to be able to speak. In coming here, they say we were coming to judge with the soldiers. I was afraid. But the counselor talked to me in Yoursee so I came here. During this war, when LPC reach number 4, all of us went in the bush. I came down to Yarpah's town to find my way to Buchanan. My people were spectacle so they left behind. So my way to Yoursee town, soon in the morning I woke up to go back to Yoursee town. Before we were reaching, I went near one town that is close to my town, I hear the people talking, say your just kill us for nothing.

I went near the town I go see they were coming to kill the people with cutlass. They chop one of the babies on the mother back and now the child is alive and still suffering. They kill my mother, my sister and they kill my step father. So that all I get to say.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: we want to say sorry and the Liberian people e share your burden and we say sorry. You are a good citizen and that's the responsibility of every good citizen. What year this took place?

Primary Witness: 1994

All of that happen in Yoursee town?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you know the faction?

Primary Witness: It was between two factions. Rebels were behind us in number 5, and LPC were in number 4.

So which group?

Primary Witness: NPFL

Commissioner Syllah: thank you for sharing your story with us, and we say sorry. In Yoursee tow, how many people die?

Primary Witness: Over 300.

So they have people from other towns?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Do you know the reason they kill the people?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Can you call the mane of you people that die?

Primary Witness: Payon, Saturday, Sundayway, Chinese Boy, and Simon.

Were they able to burry the people that die?

Primary Witness: Yes, we took the bones and put them in one hole.

So where were you when these things happen?

Primary Witness: I was coming from the other village.

Commissioner Steward: sorry for the death of your mother and other relatives. You said when the war came you were living in Sayee town?

Primary Witness: My own town is Yoursee, but when the war happened I came to Kalkal David town.

In your statement, you talk about one general Koffi, can you tell me more about that.

Primary Witness: During that time, they never kill our people yet, LPC time never come yet, that the rebel them time. The time I was in my sugar cane farm, one other boy came and stole some thing from that village, and they started beating them and they stripe us naked.

So who did this to your?

Primary Witness: One Koffi Zah Group.

And they came and took away your things and tie you up?

Primary Witness: Yes, me husband and i.

What did they do there, besides beating your.

Primary Witness: They only beat us. All we were having, they took it.

Who arm bush they fall in?

Primary Witness: The soldiers them.

Commissioner Washington: the group that tie you and your husband, is that the same group that did the massacre?

Primary Witness: No, that different group?

So that two different group?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Is it the same NPFL, or other NPFL group?

Primary Witness: No.

I want to know is it the same people that did the massacre that tie you?

Primary Witness: No, but I don't know the group that did the massacre, but I know the people that tie me.

Commissioner Coleman: Do you know the place they burry the people?

Primary Witness: Yes, I even show it to the people that when there.

Commissioner Konneh: Madam Witness: I am sorry for all you went through and we say have our sympathy.

Chairman: we say sorry for the terrible experience you whet through. Can you confirm how many people were killed in the massacre?

Primary Witness: They never counted the people, but the figure that they give; there were other people from different places. That was the figure.

Where is the place?

Primary Witness: In number 4.

Can you tell us the name?

Primary Witness: Yoursee town.

Chairman: thank you very much. Do you have any thing tom say, your last word?

Primary Witness: I said in my statement, the child, the chop, is with me, the child can be shivering and in the first place we living, when it rains, the fresh scent can be coming and no drinking water. And the second thing, we want to know if your will burry those people in a mass grave.

Chairman: in your statement, did you say the baby was chopped on its mother back?

Primary Witness: Yes, the child needs medical attention

What is the name of the baby?

Primary Witness: Toemah

Is the baby a boy or a girl?

Primary Witness: A girl.

How old is the child?

Primary Witness: 12 years.

Is she in school?

Primary Witness: That recently they send the child to Buchanan.

Is the child the only survival?

Primary Witness: That only my sister daughter I know about. The second thing there is no safe drinking water, so what do you want to be done?

Primary Witness: First of all I want for your to fix the grave for our people and then we need a hand pump.

The area where then people were buried, can you identify it?

Primary Witness: Yes.

So we thank you for coming, you didn't only talk for your self, but you talk for other people. These are recommendations we will be making to the government. War, came and it really disturbed us. So I thank you for coming.

Twelfth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Buchanan Grand Bassa County
Matthew Vondeh
(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. She was accompanied by an interpreter.

Chairman: Good afternoon; we are happy to see you at the TRC, we are all here because we all are interested in what you experience and or what you have to say. Could you please repeat you name for the sake?

Primary Witness: My name is Matthew Vonleh

Where are you living presently?

Primary Witness: I am living in Coco David town.

What are you doing for your living?

Primary Witness: Farming.

Now, you can tell us your story.

Primary Witness: During the war, the rebels killed my mother big sister in Yorsiah Town. The rebels also burnt Coco town. When the war started, I told me that the place was too packed and seem not to be safe and so we had to run into a village in the bush. We spent about one week in the bush, while in the bush, we came in contact with the rebels and they grabbed the town. In that process, they killed my aunty and all those that were in the village. The same evening, we saw one boy running from the town direction and we asked him and he said they rebels had captured the village and killed all the people.

When we heard this, we came to white house and later back in the bush. The rebels saw again and grabbed us and said we all should leave and go to town. While we were in the town, the soldiers asked to be cutting palm for them. In that process, I fixed enough oil and gave it to the soldiers and they allowed my people to go to White House. When war broke in the area, the whole area was not safe again and we went to Christian gate. While at Christian gate, the soldiers said they had killed one of their big man and so they were also going to kill all of us. Then there was a woman in the town they used called Chairlady. Chairlady told the soldiers not to kill us but the soldiers said since she had asked them not to kill us, we should all provide palm oil for them. We started producing the oil and we gave them the oil they wanted so each one of us gave one can of oil. When we completed the oil for the soldiers, I asked the woman to take me to town and I gave her my balance 5 tins of red oil I had and she took me from the rebel area. That's all that happened to me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thanks very much for telling your story. What year the incidence happened?

Primary Witness: It is almost 6 years now.

Which group committed the act?

Primary Witness: We did not see them, we were in the bush.

But you heard any name?

Primary Witness: One of the commanders who they called CP and he CP had his group in Compound #5.

Commissioner Konneh: We are in sympathy with you for the death of your aunty. But which group did the act?

Primary Witness: That's NPFL.

In which County this happened?

Primary Witness: In Yoursee town, Grand Bassa County.

Can you remember the number of people that came there?

Primary Witness: No, I was in the bush.

Commissioner Coleman: Was it before LPC or after LPC?

Primary Witness: Before LPC.

Commissioner Washington: Was the Town President with the rebel or was she a rebel at all?

Primary Witness: She was one of the big rebel man wife and also a fighter.

What is her name?

Primary Witness: I cannot remember any name besides Chairlady.

Which group she was with?

Primary Witness: NPFL.

How long NPFL stayed in your area?

Primary Witness: They spent longer time there and I left them there and went home.

Have you heard anything about this Chairlady?

Primary Witness: No.

What she used to do there?

Primary Witness: She used to give command to the soldiers as well.

She had girls under her control?

Primary Witness: Yes, she had boys, girls and men as well.

Did you people burry the bodies?

Primary Witness: Yes, when we went to the village, we buried the bodies.

You said your children were killed, do you still have children?

Primary Witness: Yes, I have 5 children and some are in Monrovia while others are in the village.

Commissioner Stewart: Sorry for the lost of your people. Was she NPFL or LPC Chairlady?

Primary Witness: She was NPFL Chairlady.

How she looks?

Primary Witness: Fat, and bright woman.

She had open teeth?

Primary Witness: We were afraid to go near her and it was hard to see her smiling.

Will you recognized her if you see her?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Which town she was based in?

Primary Witness: Right in Campford area.

Who was in control of Big Joe town?

Primary Witness: NPFL.

What year was it?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

Chairman: Name of other relatives that died in the area?

Primary Witness: Only my aunty called Leasy but I do not know the name of the other people.

Is there anything else you want say?

Primary Witness: Yes, what I want to tell the TRC is that if the government can
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