Voinjama City: Day 3

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The Third Day of the TRC Public Hearings Proceedings held on Wednesday April 16th, 2008 at the Voinjama City Hall, Lofa County. The Hearings session started with the Commissioners of the TRC being ushered into their seats, followed by a welcome remarks form the Co-Chairman of the TRC Commissioner Dede Dolopei, who then called on the Hearings Officer Pastor John Teayah to invite the first Primary Witness to give his testimony.

Twelfth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Kubo Taiwteewu
(First Primary Witness of day three)

The First Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and she was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: We want to say thanks for coming to share your story with us. The process is intended to foster the reconciliation process in Liberia.

Chairman: How are you? Welcome and thanks for coming to the TRC. Please tell us your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Kubo Taiwteewu.

Where are you living?

Primary Witness: I live in Zorzor.

What kind of thing you are doing for living?

Primary Witness: I make small, small business and farming.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I am 45 years old.

Please tell us your story.

Primary Witness: We were in Zorzor when the war started. When it started, I and my brothers decided to run to the border in Guinea. While we were going, we managed to cross and when we got in Guinea in one village, we saw the ULIMO soldiers coming. When they came, they arrested all my brothers and took them back to Liberia and killed them.

When the war ceased, I came back to Voijama but the rebels started saying that if they hear me say anything concerning the death of my brothers, they will kill me. That one man call Dorley who was fighting for ULIMO was the main person who killed my brothers around right now, he still wants to kill me. Most of the time since this war ended, he always abusing me and nothing can come out off it because I do not have anybody to talk for me.

Right now I am afraid because the way I finished explaining, he will start to hunt for me again, I am too scared, so your please help me, I do not want him to harm me. Dorley and his group say why we have the "Taiwteewu", which means strong or brave people. So your please help me.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: The best thing you have done is to come to the TRC, if you had stayed there, you will always run away from the Dorley man; that's the best thing you have done; from now on, he will not run after you again, we will do all we can to protect you. What are the names of your brothers that were killed?

Primary Witness: Dowei, Yarkpawolo, and Yuquoi.

What year it happened?

Primary Witness: During the ULIMO war.

Where were they killed?

Primary Witness: In Koyamah, in Guinea.

You say what is the name of the man who killed your brothers?

Primary Witness: His name is Dorley

Where is Dorley?

Primary Witness: He lives in Zorzor.

What is he doing?

Primary Witness: I do not know, but some people say he is the Chief of the Mandingo people in Zorzor.

What part of Zorzor is Dorley living?

Primary Witness: He lives in Borler quarter and that the same quarter I am also living.

Commissioner Konneh: Please accept our sorrow and sympathy for the death of your brothers and husband. Those who were killed without cause, will have a better place with God than those who just killed people without reasons. How many of your brothers that were killed?

Primary Witness: Those that they and I from the same mother are three and the others from the same quarter were more than 15 persons.

What are names of your brothers from the same mother?

Primary Witness: Yuquoi Taywu, Yarkapwolo Taywu, and Dowei Taywu.

What's about the other ones from the same quarter?

Primary Witness: I remember only person names, Pluwee and Twanmah but I do not know the names of the others.

Why the rebels killed more than 15 persons from the same quarter?

Primary Witness: I do not know, I think it was because of our family name. The men only used to fixed shoes for sale.

Was Dorley born in Zorzor?

Primary Witness: Yes.

All his families live in Zorzor?

Primary Witness: No, some of them are in Kwayamah

You say Dorley was also looking for you in the refugee's camp in Guinea?

Primary Witness: Yes.

You told the Security people?

Primary Witness: No, if you tell anything to anybody, you will also be killed.

Where they caught your brothers?

Primary Witness: In Koryamah, Guinea when we have already crossed.

Where do you live now?

Primary Witness: I live in Zorzor.

What is Dorley doing now?

Primary Witness: I hear say he is the chief of the Mandingo People.

Commissioner Bull: Please do not be afraid of Dorley again because you have the whole of the Republic of Liberia on your side; nothing will happen to you again. What is your tribe?

Primary Witness: I am Lorma

Was Dorley a fighter?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Which rebel group?

Primary Witness: He was fighting with ULIMO

Which of the ULIMO group?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

Commissioner Coleman: Did Dorley kill other people?

Primary Witness: Only my people I was thinking about but I saw many of the men from our quarter on the same truck that carried my brothers.

What is the name of the quarter in Zorzor?

Primary Witness: Gorlor quarter.

Since the war finished, have you people had meeting?

Primary Witness: No.

Have you told anyone of your chiefs or other people about Dorley's attitude towards you?

Primary Witness: No, this is my first time talking this thing.

Commissioner Dolopei: Where your husband died.

Primary Witness: He died in Monrovia.

Who killed him?

Primary Witness: He was a policeman driving for the Late Samuel K. Doe and was killed the same day Doe was caught in Monrovia.

What is the name of your husband?

Primary Witness: His name is Henry Molee

Was he a police or soldier?

Primary Witness: A policeman.

Your get children?

Primary Witness: Yes, we have four children.

Chairman: Sorry for all the wrong things that happened to you. But do you have anything in your mind that you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: Yes, I want your to help me because the Dorley man keep abusing me and threatening to kill me so I want to leave from Zorzor because I do not have anybody to talk for me; all of my brothers are dead. One time, Dorley insulted me and I went to the human rights office in Zorzor and nothing was done, so right now I am very afraid. I actually want your to help me so this man cannot harm me.

Is Dorley an old man or young man?

Primary Witness: He is not old.

Commissioner Bull: you say your husband was driving for Doe?

Primary Witness: Yes, he was riding one of the motor-cycles in the President's convoy.

You people were how many with him?

Primary Witness: We were two

What is the name of the other woman?

Primary Witness: Deddeh

Where is she living?

Primary Witness: In Harbel

Where were you when they killed your husband?

Primary Witness: I was in Zorzor and not in Monrovia; that my mate told me how he was killed.

Thirteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
John T. Kamara
(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: We want to say thanks for coming to tell your story to us, every thing you tell us will be used to find to solution to our problem.

How old are you?

Primary Witness: 40

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: Siealo, in Foya district.

What do you do?

Primary Witness: Farming.

What do you plant?

Primary Witness: Rice.

Primary Witness: During the war, 1990, NPFL time, when the people them came to my town, one man was there which is Fayah, he tell the people them that my father had gun, and my father was a hunter. We were on the farm, when they went there (Witness Breaks down in TEARS).

Commissioner Konneh: John I want you to exercise courage. This thing happened over 10 years ago. In your statement you said, one of the commanders said you should be butchered, but the other said your leave him, that was for you to live and tell the story. God did that in other for you to come and speak today. So speak with courage. We know how you feel. But when that feeling overcome you, and you are not able to tell us, then you have disappointed your father who was killed. We knew how wicked people during the war, that said to people that they were freedom fighters and as liberators. That was what government was telling us that they came to maintain law and other. But when you look at the things they did during the war. But you are here not for yourself; you are here to speak against the wicked people. The Bible that you took oath from if you read it you will read of good and bad people. And if you read the Holy Koran, you will read about good and bad people. So it is now the opportunity for you to tell us. So speak up.

So, when they fighter came into the bush, we were on the farm me and my pa, he tell the people them that my father had gun, they took the people on the farm, they ask my father, my father deny. When they ask the man call Fayah, he said my father get gun, so they started beating my father. When they beat him till he not get power, the other commander say but what your doing, so they cut my father two times. So after they kill my pa, the rebel that gave the command, he say I will be his small soldier. His name is rebel soldier. So na, if I was not coming to be behind him, he was going to kill me. So I was afraid, I there na, we were there na, so certain time, I went to Sierra Leone, we hear that war coming na, I still find my way to cross in Guinea. When I was in Guinea, I was in Conakry, the time they attack Conakry it was not easy again. That time the president that was there, he give the command that all the refugees them they must arrest them. They catch me; they started beating me with the gun butt. That that thing make it I na able to do any hard work, because I can feel the pains. Beating me with gun butt on my chest, every where on my body. They carry us to one big village in Guinea, we were plenty refugees them. They carry us and they put us in one big jail. So we were in the prison hall, when day break, one man, he Kissi man too, they carry to the big jail. That how I meet one man, and he help me, that how I came back to Guinea. But I was there na, some people them die among us, three people them. In the morning the truck come, they carry the people to the big jail, what thing they do to them there oh, what thing they na do oh, I don't know. God help me, that man where free me, I na waste time, I went back to the camp. So that how come, I come back home. When I come back home, I was not able to go to my village because I was not able to live there. I decide to live in Siealo, but my own town, I na able to live there.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you for having the courage to telling us your experience. I know it was not easy, for you but today the whole world, Liberia and the rest of the people now how your father was killed, and how the refugees were been treated and how NPFL maltreated people. So we want to say sorry and thank you for having the courage.
You can tell us the time you left for Guinea?

Primary Witness: 2005.

Do you know the particular place they have this jail?

Primary Witness: Ratoma

How many years you stay in Conakry?

Primary Witness: 4 years.

When you went there?

Primary Witness: 1998.

The time you went there, war was fighting on the Liberian side?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Which faction?

Primary Witness: I don't know.

Which group was the rebel from that kill your father?

Primary Witness: NPFL

What year was it?

Primary Witness: 1990.

Was that the only name you heard?

Primary Witness: Yes, rebel killer.

Commissioner Syllah: we want to say thank you and we will say this is also good for your health. Who was responsible for your father's death, do you know his name?

Primary Witness: Yes, Emmanuel Faya, but he die.

Why did he do it?

Primary Witness: Hatred.
Where is your mother?

Primary Witness: She's alive.

So this man, how did he kill your father?

Primary Witness: He took the people to the farm.

So how many children your father had?

Primary Witness: We are 6.

You say because of that reason you will not go there, why?

Primary Witness: I don't want to go back there, even all my aunty and the rest of my family because my father was the only person we were depending on. I can't go there.

Why do you think that the people in Guinea were treating the Liberians bad?

Primary Witness: The only reason I know, the president that was there, he and Charles Taylor was not friendly. That's all.

Commissioner Dolopei: we want to thank you for coming and we say sorry for every thing that you and your mother went through. And we pray that one day you will be able to go back to your home town. The time they kill your father, did you burry him?

Primary Witness: No.

What is the name of father and your mother?

Primary Witness: Kumba Fatu.

Where is she?

Primary Witness: In Foya.

You can see her?

Primary Witness: Yes. Thank you

You say your father had 6 children what are they names?

Primary Witness: Siah, findah, fayah, saah,

Commissioner Coleman: thank you for sharing your story with us. I want to under your experience when you went to Guinea. Is it true that some of them were put in prison?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Why were they put in prison for?

Primary Witness: That the time war was in guinea.

So who carry war there?

Primary Witness: They say that Liberia soldiers carry war there.

When they put them in jail how were there treating them?

Primary Witness: Bad way.

What kind of bad way.

Primary Witness: Even the place we were air, 3 people die there, so later they took them to the big jail, and I don't know what happen to them there.

Commissioner Bull: thank you for coming to the TRC. What is your tribe?

Primary Witness: Kissi.

That means that you are a Liberian. So we hope that TRC will help you. Thank you for coming, but, I am sure you will be able to go back to your home. But because you love him, and that the place he had your, even Emmanuel, he na there again. The person who hurt you they na there. But you have to go there, to make your father pride. But we respect what you say. So thank you for coming.

Commissioner Konneh: thanks for coming and we say sorry for all you went through. You told us that this Emmanuel man was your uncle, is that true?

Primary Witness: No, my uncle can't do the kind of thing he did.

Forget about what he did, whop is he to you?

Primary Witness: We living in the same town.

But it was clear that he and your father had misunderstanding, is that true?

Primary Witness: I can't remember.

Were you present when your father was arrested?

Primary Witness: Yes.

And this Emmanuel was there?

Primary Witness: Yes, he pointed to him.

How they did it?

Primary Witness: They use knife, they cut his throat.

Your mother was there?

Primary Witness: No.

Do you have knowledge of what happen to her?

Primary Witness: No.

You say you don't want to go to your town, where do you stay now?

Primary Witness: In Siealo, Foya.

How far is it?

Primary Witness: It far a little bit.

So where are your sisters?

Primary Witness: They na there in the town.

So why did they arrest your in guinea?

Primary Witness: I don't know. For me, I na do any thing.

Do you know they names?

Primary Witness: Only Foya, because he saved me.

What are their names?

Primary Witness: I don't know their names.

Do you know the number?

Primary Witness: No, but we were plenty.

If you think what happened to you is bad, if you stay in TRC till Friday, you will hear people story you will say I never knew that what happen.

Chairman: John, you say while you were in the jail, they use to beat your with guns, can you estimate how many were in jail, are they more then 20?

Primary Witness: Yes, more then 50.

How many of you were in the cell?

Primary Witness: Plenty.

How about eating?

Primary Witness: No eating, you in jail then you talking about eating?

Ok, thank you for coming, your testimony is over, do you have any thing to say?

Primary Witness: No.

Any last word?

Primary Witness: Yes, thank the TRC and their counselors

Fourteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Saifa Amadu
(Third Primary Witness of day three)

The Third Primary Witness of the day was called to the stand and she was accompanied by the psychosocial officer and the protections officer of the TRC. The Primary Witness was then sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by the TRC Hearings Officer.

Chairman: We want to say thanks for coming to tell your story.

What is your age?

Primary Witness: I am 25 years old.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Kopalahum.

What do you do for a living?

Primary Witness: I am a farmer.

Primary Witness: I used to hear that war is coming, war is coming. So we use to be sitting down, people from Kolahun, and this particular town here Voinjama. People use to be coming and going Monrovia. So my other brothers leave there and told me that I myself want leave. So my father told me to contact my brother them in the USA so I told them. I myself I did not know what to do. My pa say Saifa, I can't no longer make it, that here I will remain if I will die, I will die. But I will not go no where. Then I say ah pa don't talk this. Then he say Saifa, the final word I get to tell you, you much not go any where, you must remain near me if any thing want happen let it happen to me. I say alright papa I hear you. Then day brake, LURD forces come they enter Masata, then we went in Kolahun. Government troop was there. That time that was Stanley was there assigned all the way in Boelahum. Then he come he put everybody together, he explained that no one able this war here so no body must not go in any where. After from there, I was small I pass behind them, I go stand behind the soldier and he was explaining to them that this war we not able. I go explained to my father again. We remain there. After from the area they come in Masabaylahun. When they came, they attack them, it give them hard time, and they ran away to Kolahun again. From then now I know that some soldiers them has come to fight. The man name was Nuseekey he his self come, he spent one day. He say he can't able this war is too difficult, after I left him, my father that was Muslim. It was after twelve then he go knock the drum they start running away. All of them scatted they start running. The Gbandie house I go put my father in now they call him Gbayah. They envied the place and say any enemy there they say your forget about that man let him pray for us. After Stanley, then they say pappy if you make us scared again we will kill you. That day, he heard it. Day break again he go beat that drum that day own they remain beating him until we come to the house. I myself I advice him again he never use to go in the house. We stayed there they make the farm; they use to cook nd give us food. That dog they use to cook, if you eat that dog that some thing for you. LURD Forces come in Mawoeyasue and this town. That two cows they come with we were there. When they bring the cow they kill it and put it on civilian head they walk with it all the way. In Barwayma they slept that day, day brake they come Boedayyala hum they capture two rebels that was government troop they call him Saifa, he shot name that quick to kill now the man living. The other rebel act that he know too much so they kill that one from there. They pass through there they come Gbalahum. They pass they come all the way Kamatahum, then from there they come all the way Kpapalahum. I was near my pappy under the bed. When they captured the town now, they start entering the house, what the LURD want they take it. They cook that cow meat there plenty. Maybe the government troop that in Gbabala town today, all of them that escaped in the bush looking at us what we doing in the town. My father compared me for me to go with that LURD forces to get food. Then from there I will bring it so he can eat and give some to me. Not knowing government troop witching us to see what we doing in the town from there they told my father that tell your son let him go tell the balance people in the bush to come. We the LURD forces we have come to push the Government troop. So my father self told me that I myself I went in the bush and go call all the civilians. After I left LURD forces left my father in the town. As soon as I come with that civilian the Government troop them was not able to come in the town, because they were afraid. They cook, they were just putting that pot on the ground to dish-up the food, when government forces enter the town and capture us. They say all of your, your are rebels. They say the forces that come, that your make them to kill us. They say all of your, your will come down here. We were taking it to be fun. Our old, old pappy they tire them like market dog. They go put them under the tree, they were sitting down there. They asked us who can speak English. At time I was small. That time self I never use to understand English. But I say I can't able. Then they say we will kill every one of you here. That one part I understand it. Then I say ah your will kill us then the other man say, and you say you can't speak English, what I you talking there? They tire my father and now he na able to walk his foot hurting. We were sitting down there they say who can speak Kissi? Then the other old man remain there and say yes he can speak Kissi they say alright who all living around me here? Them he say our people living around here. Right to the creek compared me to go show some where to them. When we were walking we went in the swamp, when we reached to the place that the people were living, the place was far off I only stand and show them the place. I say here them way over there. They say oh, they were running there I myself I run in the bush. I go hid myself. They go hold that people and go tie them they na kill no body God say we must talk the truth. But all the material that were there money, salt, they took every thing from there. Then they came back to town. That time now one rebel was living there they call Digger, digger went in the town. They other man that they call Gbayah say your let kill the pappy. Me I was not in the town I hid my self from them to see what they were doing. I remain looking at them, then they tell my pappy say let go execute you. God make it possible the side that I was there where they came and they say pappy go. Then the pappy start running now then the pappy was not to himself again. He come and fall down to where I was standing. But we were having small distance. We remain there until the soldier man go. He went in the town. Then I say papa, get up let go now, every body has gone. He can't answer. I look at him for long, I wake up and went in the town I check all around the town all of them gone in the bush they have finish releasing them , what make me now I hear the cry, I go there and when they see me they running away they say that some rebel running behind us. I left my father there and I went in the village far off they call Selema that the place I sleep there. Day brake I came back there I saw the pappy eye bow open I say oh, I touch him, I touch him, he didn't answer. I come in the town again I was having ten pen of rice then I say papa let me go and cook and bring your own the food. When I went I saw some of them again I hide myself. They come and pass and go. I cook that food I ate some. After again, I came back to the area I brought the food. When I wake up the pappy now all here, so, so blood coming I say ah some thing happen here. So I just left from here, I went to town and tell that my pappy that was in the town, the pappy say we will sleep here? I say pappy some thing happen yesterday when I was standing in the garden they fire your brother three times around but I went and met fly all around him, so weather he had died or never die I never knew.[crying]. So I look for long, I get up from there [crying]

That government troop was in the town, they decided that any body that come to bury that body will feel it. Then to Kolahun half way on this side the civilian that were there, they took all of them from in the bush they carry them in the town. They tell them they say any body that come to bury that pappy we will deal with them and no chance to go in the bush and bury. Then they tell me they say go call people to come and bury your pappy. They come call every body we went in the town. When we went the first thing they will ask you for your name. Some people use to say Mama -Yatta Dukuly, Saifa, Mohammed, all of them are Muslim. Then the balance people them the say Jallah, Mayou, Salay. We show our name them, then we bury the pappy. Then they say when they come from burying the pappy we will kill this dog for them to eat and when they don't eat it they will see. Then our self we come they cook, our self own refuse to eat that dog. They compare us [crying]. They compare for every body to pay money. We pay $3,300 dollars to buy cane juice for them. Then we go back. Then they say every body will go but tomorrow every body must come in town if you don't come we will come for you. Every body agreed on that. Day brake, that very day they hold us we went back in the bush. They just remain there they go Kartahum and Kaywee, they met two pappy them there with one boy. They kill the boy there and the pappy the other man there they brought him to Ballahhum and come butcher that one. Then the other man remain in Butakar he left and come all the way in Boelahum and come hide himself and tell the LURD forces that all our people they are killing them. That same night they come to Kartahum and captured two rebels there and kill them. Then I tell my ma say that the same thing that kill my father I want stay here. Every body were running away to go Karma town. So I take my ma and my big brother son we went Karma town. We go sleep 2-3 days the fourth day, the food was given us hard time. Then I say mama, let me go so fishing. I went to fishing, I remain there, and LURD forces come and captured all the civilians and carry most of them in Kolahun.

So government troop knew that plenty civilians were in this town so they come there. But to talk the God truth, they na kill anybody there. But you be having your property they will take every thing from every body. They enter the houses. I myself, before my father died they took $9,000 dollars from me. After I come from fishing now I come to my ma I say ah this one is very difficult let go to my brother. Then my ma get behind and my brother son that one small then we went Karpalahum town. We slept there the next day we go, soon we reached we make two weeks there then the war finish. Then they say every body must go to their home. Then every body returned back. The very day we go enter Boepala, we met nobody there, we join in the bush [crying] then day brake we go Karma town everybody go they go sit down there no food. Then day brake no food in town they say all the man them your go look for cassava. We went for cassava. My ma small little brother I meet that one, he say uncle I can set trip carry that one there your eat it. I say I myself I not sleeping here. Because in my town I know all the bush there, so I am not staying here. This one that war now somebody suppose to save you and they not save you. I will go all the way to my brother area when LURD forces want kill me let them kill me, but me I not staying with government troop. My ma and myself I say don't take nothing only one small knife I take. It was after 5:00 two of them I put them together, then I say any road I take that it your must take. I join behind the house some kind of creek there; they call it Magbowee we pass over it. Until we reach to another town that the place we slept. That the place we remain now God say we talk true, I see government troop again until they were used to catch people in my present and kill them, but for them to hold me again that one not happen. So we were with LURD rebel and explain all that thing them to them they say oh, since they do bad to your people, your just put all your children them together so they will follow us to go and bring that man here. Every body was happy. We were use to talk fine to our people. But when we left from there now, they say every body must become soldiers. You know about it, you don't know about it they will hold you. If you denied as the soldiers they will hold you and say that your assignment there. They come again and take another group and say we going Viahum that the first attack that we going on that the same day their own commander Sakou died. Then we got to Gbakpalahum that the place government group was coming to Matahum they set ambush in front then that one of them. That was three cars, two cars leave there. That how many persons died in LURD forces, that only that their own big chief that they were depending on they bury that one with knife. That knife we use to dig hole with. They say every body wake up, we moving. When we enter Viahum, when we be sitting those Monrovia boys them use to come and say we are rebels, we come to carry dissident they use to put rope on their foot with axe until that one fall down, they remain doing that one. That was Sierra Leone soldiers them, they use to give us hard time. The very day that one them ready ford us. How many bun we were having? We were having fifteen buns. Until we retrieved we come back Ballahum then we pass there we come Viahum. Then when we come, they say every body become a soldiers because you can't walk with us and can be soldiers. And no other way for us to go we were just with them. You agree you don't agree you have to be with them. Me I lie to them. I say your know what happen? My father has pass away, they are making sacrifice and they say I should go there, please your forgive me let me go there. I myself now, I come to my brother and explain all the thing them to my brother. In Mawoehum civilians were there but no food and in my town, no civilian but food was plenty there but only soldiers. Then they say every body come join soldiers. If you don't come any time, war coming we will kill you. So every body was happy because they never use to do any bad thing to us. So they were use to hold us now and carry us Karlahum, Viamakarhum, Yeanama, all the way Yanda hum. We use to be behind them with their arm. When you get behind them they say you soldier, you say yes but when you say you are civilian they will beat you. I decide to come back and say I don't want to be soldier. I used to go in my farm. They killed 33 persons in Karla and they were my uncles. They say all the civilians your come bury the people them. We go there how many people were kill in that war there was 42 people we buried them. The person that carry us say we should take the road and go Gbamu town, then we say we must not do that one because when they come back they will burn all our houses so we must not do that one there. The man living now in Garmahum they can call him Gunakalay, they beat him like market dog. They say all the civilians that here your pay 10:00 dollars before they free him. They put two men load on his head to come Karmatahum, when we come they say every body must become soldiers again. They give me one green nail and give my friend one, the other one they give him one AK. That behind house that it we were standing, government troop come they and start lunching the lunching they did that it make my friend starting vomiting, I say ah, today, today I will not sleep here. I say me I going. The same road me and my ma take it and come all the way in Gbo-kpa- hum. Government troop ready for LURD forces now. That fighting was not easy, they fight from 6-5 in the evening .fighting was not stopping. They captured some LURD forces, they carried him Kar-ma-town that one they kill him, he come back. Most civilians die in Gbo-kpa-la -hum. God make it possible one man was there they use to call him Malier, all of them were fighting for civilians and was able to come to Mazaboelahum. That Mazabolahum we remain they come attack again in Blu-lu-woe. Some people go Gba-woe -yah- hum, I myself we go all the way in Ma-woe- yah-hum. God say we talk true, I will not getting hard time again. We remain there my other father, they were use to hold them too much now. That they the one now, they use to be carrying arm. For him par he was not having no where to go now. He say me I going to join, but the way I going, you must take care of my three dogs. I say alright. The dog them use to hunt. So I get that dog, I say I will make farm for my ma. They dog them was living with me, one guy they use to call him, Town Tuwah he was having the brave mind to come and kill that dog them. When he killed the first one, I say ah, Town Tuwah, I beg you let it still so, I myself that the dog I depending on and he kill the other two. I used to take my own fire now no dog business I enter the forest, that small, small tree them I use to be checking under it see pumpkinpan them. I get one some day and the other day one and the other day nothing. So I tell my ma say so of my friend them can go for food and I want go there. Then my ma say, this thing business you will go in soldiers hand? Then I say I must stay for hunger to kill me? She say when you agree to me let us remain here. I say alright you are my ma anything you advise me, but let me go and come. Day brake, when I come in Mozabullahum, they hold us to go Bulbala to go attack the area. My father little brother I saw him that day he came through rebels. They killed two rebels. One LURD force they kill him on his butt. My father brother he give me one cutlass to make my farm. For that cutlass business they came all the way in mawoeyazu. They carry people them and they tell the people say ah, when your not tell your son to bring that my cutlass, any time I see him, it will be bad thing for him. I just took the cutlass I give it to him. that time now the people give me hard time I left from the bush I come go in Mazabullahum for me to go look for banana them and plantain them and we reach one place one pappy give us plantain and we eat it them he give us to one man they call" take it easy" that was soldier. He say let this boy stay with you. The man now I talking about they call him magnet he living here. He come report us to that man that I finish hole 1,000 sure-fare I going Sierra Leone we are nine in number that one man there sent for us, the person that sent for us they call him bullet, I don't know weather the man living.

That 25 pounds of coffee they use to put on our head to carry, and then we come and put that load down. I don't know weather they could remember me because they say they can tell me to join soldier and I can't do it so they give me twenty- five lashes. So they say while I don't want to be come a soldier, I say because they kill my father and I can't leave my mother suffering and leave her. So they say that all your story? I say yes. They say go sit down on that side. They beat us they say, so your want tell me we don't have mother in our home? They started beating us they beat us like a market dog. They carry us on the training base. We just make one day there. You don't know your left, you don't know your right they just give us gun to go and fight, they kill one of my friends I say ah, I say no, when I go back I will hide my self. So I tell my friend them say when we go we should hide ourselves. For me, I was recruit signet the time my father was living; I used to go to school I was know my right from my left. But he was not agree on that that what make me to fail on school. That?s why I learning Arabia and other job. It leave with you, you not my family. My friend we come. I enter in the house and take two green-nails I give it to the other one. From Masata going Sierra Leone we go to that junction there going Mawoeyahhum, the other man remain there he say ha, I can't go in Sierra Leone. I asked me what happen, he say that only your mother living but me my father is living in Mawoeyahum my sister living there. But your own only your mother and your brother. Then every body will know that our own bigger brother, they say yes. So lets depend on that and leave they one them here in the bush and three of us go. Because the war now is difficult, they say no. I stand for long I cry. I say they one them doing some thing bad to themselves. When I come to the head quarters they ask me for my friend them. I say but and your sent me to go and pick pepper and I was splitting wood, they say alright and they say I am lying because the statement I give before I say that we are one family, that not the same story I give. They ask me that day I say I don't know them. For that Magnet beat me Magnet leave beating me all this my two ear bust. Blood was use to come in my ear. When I lie on that man, I must not live in this year. I say the man is living here. When he use to be beating he, they say I must sing this song "that lie you can't go ah you can't go, that lie you can't go that what make me to become soldier. That beating now, my two ear bust I never use to get some thing on my own. What I use to do, God say we must talk true, I use to go in the market I go hold people thing and sell it. One Kahn one he come from Ivory Coast, he brought medicine business I went to him he was putting medicine there; we remain in that my ear start getting rotten. I say this one really bad on me so I say your give me small paper let me go to Magnet let he help me and carry me to Kolahum I be having medicine. Magnet was some body that get brave mind, when I come tell him that, he give me 25 pen of coffee and put it on my head. I took it from Mazabullahum to take it to Boelahum. That's three hours walking distance, I was coming then the government troop has woke up again from Foyah they had come and don't meet LURD forces there all the way to Mogbahum. I myself when be hearing that lunching sound, I don't walk with that road again I come go to Kolahum. Before I come to Kolahum I was not to myself again. Blood coming from my ear, then water come from my ear. I did know self where I was, I throw the load down and I was just sitting down near it, I sleep, sleep and until 5:00 o'clock I came to myself, I say this one here that stupid ness. I go force the civilian them too to come take the load. God bless me so far, I beg them they tote it for me. We lead there now, the paper they give to me I carry it now to airfield to T. Tambah, he read that letter. He say the man just spoil you for nothing. Then he give me paper to go to the commander. When I go to the commander now, my brother that was big person over them, I say big brother I not want become a soldier. They give me letter that I should come with it to that man that they can't able me so I must go only country medicine able me. So I go back they say when you go let them carry you for treatment. They give me that little, I carry to Airfield Tamba. He give me for three weeks, I should returned back in the office. So they released me for ever so when I go I couldn't come back again. They charge me five hundred dollars, that he the one help me I get cure.

Some time can reach for me to hear it can be difficult, I can be doing some thing them I can't remember that what can happen to me. I was with my brother now until they say LURD forces has failed totally. All of them come here. Some remain here in Johnny's town. All the civilians them they released them, they say that you, you know that you can live, go any where. I get behind my brother them we go to Mawoelahum. Then we meet the soldiers that were in Foyah they finish taken them from there they were missing in action. All of them were going in Sierra they took me to come all the way here. But before we could come here, it was not easy one man in Kolahum they can call him Saddam. Sadsam get brave mind, he come in my brother kitchen we take the beans we cook it he mean me. Then day brake, they put seven bundle on my head. All those load them I reached with it in Kpoto's farm, I tell the man say I fail, I can't make it again. He say try hard so we can go. They were fourth in number I told them say your divide it then I can tote the balance one. The man say okay when we reach to Laceco I told them say I will not pass by this place here. I say I think your will kill me but I can't pass by here. Me and that man leave behind 30minutes between us the man say you can't take the load, I say yes, I can't take it. The man take the stick he start beating me. He beat me, he beat me and he go take one big one before he take it I jump on his neck. I myself the bugger boy hill that was there I just start putting it on him and all his strength was gone I leave him there I go. When I go in front the house one arm man I meet him there they can call him old pa. that man hold me again, one girl they call Kleema, they were two the other one they call him Action pa and the other girl I can't remember her name. They compare us to go with them. Them they say fighting has started. They use to take us from here we go to Lavalazu, Kpadamah, Johnny's town, all the way to Karmolahum, we were on that one until, all the soldiers them that were in Fassamah, they were able to come back in this town and build one room here. Then they go captured in Kolahum government forces and some times they use to captured all the town and some time when we able we clear them from there. I go explain my problem to one pappy, that pappy use to talk to people not to harass people, so I tell him say I get ear complain. So he gave me little that no soldier man will harass me. They never use to carry me to Kolahum again, but for totting load and beating we were on it now until the war. Then my brother come from Sierra Leone and he tell me say I don't want for you to be soldier again, but let us go and be able to make our farm because that only the two of us now. So that's what we on now. I forget some thing. We were living in the bush, the people that were living with my brother they were three in number, two men and their wife. They can call the man Kpadah, that man was able to get that man them, they carry them in Boelowyalahum and kill that man. Before they kill them, they were use to put gun on them it never use to fire them, they use to chip them, the knife can't make it. So they beat them with mottle pestle until they died. Their wife they make them with their woman the little child too not survival. One day we were just standing and she came and say the little child not survival all the suffering I went through, now I have come back home. The girl is with us now. That government forces did that one that was not LURD forces.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you for coming. And for given us the four duties of what happen to you. So which troop was that?

Primary Witness: LURD Forces.

Commissioner Syllah: What was your father's name?

Primary Witness: Bongarmunee

Where they able to buried your father?

Primary Witness: Yes.

Where are your other brothers or sisters?

Primary Witness: Other children, some of the went in Sierra Leone and some in Monrovia

How many children your father had?

Primary Witness: He was having fourth-five but now we are thirteen.

How many of them die in the war.

Primary Witness: We are twelve now.

What happen to the other people?

Primary Witness: Some of them, the other one living in Monrovia the bullet touch his eye boil he can't see. So we are begging. But when you go you want find him, his name soldier man.

So how many of them in the soldier?

Primary Witness: That was he the only he alone living.

So you talked about one of your ma small brother, they killed him?

Primary Witness: Yes. They use to call him Famahka Karmah

How old were you when your father died?

Primary Witness: I can't remember , this year making 23years old.

All these things happened during LURD time?

Primary Witness: Yes. All the thing that happen to me that LURD Forces.

How many persons did you people buried?

Primary Witness: Only one person because we always use to run away.

How long did you stayed in the soldier?

Primary Witness: After they bust my ear, that the time I use to go to the medicine man that came to the market and go to treat my ear.

Where is Magnet?

Primary Witness: Magnet is right here now. If I go and he come here he will explain some thing to you.

Was he one of the commanders here?

Primary Witness: Yes. He was the commander for Kolahum.

So where is your mother now?

Primary Witness: My ma is in Boebalahum

Thank you for coming and for taking care of your ma and pa

Commissioner Dolopei: What was the name of your father?

Primary Witness: Bongarmunee

The people who kill your pa, you say that was Government troop. What was their commander's name?

Primary Witness: The first commander was call Stanley and the other name Gbaryea.

Is he from Lofa?

Primary Witness: Yes. He is a Gbandi man

Is he the one who brought the government troop to your town?

Primary Witness: Yes. They force me.

You get any fighting name?

Primary Witness: Yes. Surface-surface in your hand

You killed any body?

Primary Witness: No, I did not hold arm, if I hold arm, this year must past me bye.

You used to go on the front.

Primary Witness: Yes,

What used to happen there?

Primary Witness: The government from Monrovia used to shed too much, government troops use to kill LURD forces. One day 40 people from Sierra Leone came and killed more people.

You see LURD killed more people one time?

Primary Witness: No, God say talk true; only.

Commissioner Coleman: Some group came from Sierra Leone to attack LURD?

Primary Witness: Yes, one time we captured some and they told us .

Who were they?

Primary Witness: RUF

Which town they entered?

Primary Witness: Kolahum district

Which way LURD came from?

Primary Witness: Guinea

Where you took your training?

Primary Witness: I said, they did not train us to fight but they forced us to fight to Yassadou, Masahnbalahum

Who was the commander?

Primary Witness: Magnet

He living in town here?

Primary Witness: Yes

Any higher commander?

Primary Witness: Dorbor Gbarya Kolahum district.

You see them raped?

Primary Witness: No.

They make women their wives?

Primary Witness: Yes, they carried my brother's wife

They took people things?

Primary Witness: Yes,

They took children to fight?

Primary Witness: Yes, one Liberty used to do that.

They used to eat human being?

Primary Witness: Yes, they did it two times, when they killed government troops , they will eat the heart.

Where they used to get the guns?

Primary Witness: From Guinea.

Commissioner Bull: Thank you for coming.

Commissioner Konneh: How old you were when the war entered your town?

Primary Witness: I do not remember

You know when you were born?

Primary Witness: No,

Who all were in the government soldier?

Primary Witness: Mandi and Gbandi people were plenty

What they were doing to civilian?

Primary Witness: They used to rape

They use to kill?

Primary Witness: Yes, the Zigzag Marza used to do that

Where were you living?

Primary Witness: Popolahum

What kind of job your father was doing?

Primary Witness: He was Iman

Who was the commander of the government troop?

Primary Witness: Bayah Stanley he is in youkasue, Bonwalasue
Zigzag Marza he is in Hasalah

What Zigzag Marzah used to do to civilian?

Primary Witness: He used to kill people plenty

What's about Stanley?

Primary Witness: He was not too bad

Government soldiers asked your to buy them liquor?

Primary Witness: Yes.

They trained your how to hold guns?

Primary Witness: Only one day they trained us for, the next day, they took us to Yarsadu

Where you fight war?

Primary Witness: To hold gun to fight, I did not do that, if I Siafa should hold gun to fire, this Bible must catch me.

You did not fight alone side LURD in Foyah, camp Alpah, etc?

Primary Witness: I say they hold me and I take the gun shots in these arrears.

LURD used to do bad to civilian?

Primary Witness: Yes,

Chairman: Magnet was your trainer?

Primary Witness: Yes,

You see Mosquito

Primary Witness: Yes, tall man, small and ugly

You remember the year?

Primary Witness: No,

Is there any last word before you leave?
Primary Witness: I want to continue the house my father had. Me and my brother was afraid there and they say I must leave behind.

You want finish the Koran?

Primary Witness: Yes,

What your brother's name?

Primary Witness: Amadou.

Fifteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
Hannah Varney
(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: Thanks for coming to the TRC we use this time to discuss the past. Please call your name again.

Primary Witness: My name is Hannah Varney.

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Menakormah, Foya District.

How old are you?

Primary Witness: 28 years old.

What are you doing for living?

Primary Witness: Farming.

Now you can please tell us your story.

Primary Witness: when the first war started, we were in our town, Menakormah; when the soldiers came they used to catch our goats, sheep, chickens and other things by force. After that, the second war started and it one man called JK who was the commander and they used to beat us and also take our things by force.

Again, one day we were in our town and we saw people running and they say another rebels had entered. Later, we saw people who called themselves ULIMO. So we ran in the bush. While we were in the bush, we saw a group of ULIMO soldiers under the command of one Gbahai entered the place we were hiding in the bush. When they got there, some people managed to run away but I was in the kitchen and Gbahai said I should him to town and I said no. In that process, I had my hand firmly on a stick and Gbahai took his knife hurt me on my hand and I was forced to go. He pulled me by force and carried me to town. When we got in town, he said he was going to kill me if I refuse him and so he did whatever he wanted to that night. When day broke, they went for meeting and I later managed to escape back in the bush where my people were. When I got there, I saw my people and we changed our hiding place.

When we look again, they say another war had started by a group called LURD. We ran in the bush again but unfortunately for us, the LURD forces came there again. When they got there, at the time my husband was very sick and they said that my husband should take their load to where they were going; but I said that the man was not well and so he could not go; so they said they were going to kill my husband if he does not go with them. He was now forced to carry their load and when he came from there, he started vomiting with blood. When is condition was not improvement, we ran to Sierra Leone and there was no proper medicine and he finally died in Sierra Leone.

When my husband died, I had all our four children with me in exile and things were very hard on us. I decided to go to one of my aunty in Gigadu but when I got there, she has gone somewhere different and so, I had to stay with others until me and my children came back to Liberia.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: You can remember the year?

Primary Witness: No, I cannot remember

You remember the LURD war?

Primary Witness: No, I just used to hear people say war-1, war-2, war-3.

What was the name of the NPFL Commander?

Primary Witness: I only used to hear people say JK.

You say who raped you?

Primary Witness: Gbahai, he was the commander.

Since than, have heard about him?

Primary Witness: No.

Besides this Gbahai, you know any LURD commander?

Primary Witness: No.

What's about the Government troop?

Primary Witness: I do not know.

You say where your husband died?

Primary Witness: He died in Sierra Leone.

They used to arrest Liberians in Guinea?

Primary Witness: Yes, that was in Kalikala refugee camp, but they free most of them at last.

Commissioner Syllah: You were the only person in the bush?

Primary Witness: No, we were there plenty.

How the man catch you?

Primary Witness: When the soldiers got in the area, they put all the people under gun point and decided to take only me to the town.

Where you married at that time?

Primary Witness: No, I was small at that time.

What is the name of the man who raped you?

Primary Witness: Gbahai, a ULIMO fighter.

What is the name of your husband?

Primary Witness: Nelson Sengbe.

How many children you and your husband have?

Primary Witness: Four (4)

What are the names of the children?

Primary Witness: Saah - 13 years, Jenneh - 7 years, Tamba - 9 years, and Augustine - 4 years.

How are you managing life with you and the children?

Primary Witness: I only make garden and sell the produce to take care of me and the children.

Are the children going to school?

Primary Witness: Yes, they are all going to school.

Commissioner Coleman: When you were raped?

Primary Witness: That was during the ULIMO time.

NPFL do any bad things to you people?

Primary Witness: Yes, they used to catch all our cattle and forced us to provide food for them.

ULIMO raped other women/girls?

Primary Witness: Yes, in fact, when I got there, I saw four girls with other soldiers in the same house.

Which group forced your husband to carry their load?

Primary Witness: The LURD forces.

Commissioner Bull: I join my colleagues on the Commission to tell you sorry for what happened to you. What tribe are you?

Primary Witness: I am Gissi.

Where you come from?

Primary Witness: Menakormah, Foya District.

Are you married now?

Primary Witness: No.

Commissioner Konneh: Is Gbahai still alive?

Primary Witness: Since I came back, I have not heard about him or seen him.

Are your husband's parents around?

Primary Witness: Yes, but they do not want to help me with the children.

Where your husband come from?

Primary Witness: The same Menakormah.

Chairman: Thank you for telling your, but is there anything on your mind you want to tell the TRC?

Primary Witness: Yes, Thanks to TRC because we were having these bad feelings in our hearts but no one ever came to let us express but TRC. The main thing I want to tell TRC is that I your to please help me and my children. Right now, I depend only on gardening and it is not easy, so I need your help please.

Sixteenth Primary Witnesses of the TRC Public Hearings in
Voinjama City Lofa County
George Kimba
(Fifth Primary Witness of day three)

The Fifth 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: Welcome and thank you for coming to the TRC. Because with out you, there will be no TRC. And if there is no TRC, there will not be peace. So we want to say thank you. So before we start, we will like to ask you few questions for the sick of the records.

When were you born?

Primary Witness: March 5th 1956

Where do you live?

Primary Witness: I live in Kolahun

What do you do?

Primary Witness: I am working with the Commissioner on a voluntary basis

Primary Witness: The first massacre that I experience in my life was in Sibusu in Lofa and the head people assigned in LIBSCO decided to take a tour as far as Kolonahun and on their return to Silusu one of their managers called Konneh was caught in my presence because one of the boys with the company said this young man ill-treated him so they caught about four men and two ladies with him. He was traveling with 61 thousand United States dollars and it was taken from him and he begged to be freed and they did not.

They killed him in my presence and after they had killed about three the asked the town commander to give a civilian to kill the last person and that night every body was forced to dance for the killing of the young men and he two ladies were freed and taken to their base in LIBSCO. They were not berried; they took them to the valley and threw them there. That was my first experience in the Charles Taylor 1990 war.

At the time I never had the time to escape for my father was serving as a representative and my sister was going out with a big man in the government. We also took an oath in our area not to pinpoint at anybody. But while I was in Silisu they pointed at my house and they caught me and I was asked to stay out of the town because of the risk I posed to them. I was in the bush for a year and a half and they accepted me in their town. When the NPFL came I was one of the victims because I was stabbed and the wound is still on me. After the retreated until the time of ULIMO I never saw anything until the LURD rebel's invasion in Lofa. When the LURD rebels came we could not come to our area, so we had to go toward the Gola forest and while going there we saw people coming saying that the are catching the Gbandi boys and killing and so those of our brothers going were killed and some managed to escape so we were afraid and came back.

On September 21 was the first day I saw an attack on our town, but the people in the nearby town all fled after they killed a lot of people in their areas. So all the town people came and talked to me and I was the chief of our town and all the strangers that came I was asked to take statements from them. We were putting things together for the fighters for they asked us to produce rice four times a week. On a Friday we experience the first attack and five persons were killed in the town and some of us escape. The next day we came to burry them about four civilians and one soldiers. We escape and went in the bush.

A new commander came and they said we should come back in the town and we refused but the forced us to come. When we came they asked us to brush the town on a Friday which was the 28th. While brushing the town their commander took them to Passalahun. When they got there they saw us brushing and they kept quite and when we finish they told all the men in the town not to sleep but to keep guide. We were there until about one o'clock and they asked me to go and sleep. I slept for some times and got up by 4'o'clock and later went to sleep but to my surprise they started lunching in the town and I managed to find my way through the window and lie down in the bush. I could not run because of the firing in the town and we could not tell where it was coming from. They fired for three hours and the soldiers escape and left us and there was a house there where they could not leave and they captured all of them that were there. The town crier, his mother and his father, but they could not do anything to them.

They then give the civilians water to go and cook. So to where I was there was a beautiful little girl who was about six months pregnant and she left her daughter in the town when she heard her crying she went there to get her and they captured her. When they captured her they extracted her sexual organ alive. Before they did that she begged them to be their wife and they said she was the wife of their enemies as such they will kill her. The beheaded her and used her head as a gate. They set the town ablaze and destroyed everything in the town. The people that they caught about thirty after they got through cooking for them they ate the town crier because he was greasy. After that they left the town and we came in the town and as a chief I came back to know what was going in the town so I collected some bays and we went towards the town in my brief and a T-shirt.

When I entered in the town I saw the head of the girl in the tree and when I got nearer I saw that it was the head of a woman and the woman was the head of the women in the town and when I reached the palava hut I met three bodies, the town crier, his mother and his elder brother. I went on the road and at the time the LURD rebels came to repel the attack and they were afraid. So when I went on the other side I saw the girl who they had beheaded. The rebels called me but I was afraid and I ran in the bush and I went and reported the case, and they came to find out what was happening in the town. The girl who they beheaded and the others we came to burry them in a mass grave with the exception of the town crier who was buried in an extra grave, the thirty persons were buried in one grave, that was my experience in the war.

Questions from the Commissioners:

Chairman: Thank you for coming to relay your experiences in the war to the TRC. By efforts we are able to ascertain these things which we heard before, as such we say thank you very much for coming and we can imagine the trauma and grieve you went through as head of your people and not being able to protect them. Have you been able to obtain a list fo nthe people who were buried?

Primary Witness: I don't have a list but I can call some of their list such. For the Zoa lady the rap her up and broke her body and she is called Sobonu her daughter was Copu Hergbeh, her daughter who organ was extracted was Hauwa Soleh, her son wife was Jenneh Kplambah, her daughter about six years old I cant remember her name, the Zoe lady grand son was Ngalandi (God'
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