Appendix 3, Part 2, Section B




1ST Witness- Mustapha Sam Koroma
Presiding Commissioner: Professor John Kamara
Bishop Joseph Humper
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Mustapha Sam Koroma.    The witness swore on the Bible.  The oath was administered by Commissioner Professor Kamara


At one time in Monrovia, my father called me and told me that the names Koroma and Kanneh were the names the Liberians didn’t want to hear.  If you were in Liberia and you carried any of those names, you would be killed.  My father was a twin and Mustapha M. Koroma was his name.  When we crossed the river they killed my father and took away all his belongings.  We went in different directions.  I went very close to the border.  We could not go back to Liberia because of our name.  We remained within that area until one Thursday morning when there was an attack and  we were captured by one Tunkara.  He was a Vai man, he spoke Vai.  I cannot understand Vai, except Mende.  The three of us were captured and we had to follow them anywhere they went.  He took me to the south for two weeks and brought me back.  I was with him and he gave me a single barrel gun.  He left me and went to Yengema and I heard that he was dead.  Another soldier took me.  I was with him for five months.  The bodyguards were given the looted items to take to his wife.  The brothers of the boy mobilised themselves and went in search of Tunkara.   Patrick Lamin was also arrested and he was heading the whole group.  I came to Kailahun in 1994 and Rashid took me to Foday Sankoh and, according to Mike Lamin we were the people from Liberia.   We were in Kailahun and I was sent to the police in Pendembu where I was with them for about 5 weeks.  We were there until Foday Sankoh himself went to the jungle at Zogoda.   He moved with Mosquito and others.  Sankoh sent for me and I went as a commander.  Zogoda was the central base of the RUF.  A central command was passed there for all movements of sandline.  From 1994 to 1995 December my assignment was to remain in Zogoda.  I was there until Foday Sankoh went to the Peace Accord.  By then they said “Peace before Election”.  We were dislodged from Zogoda, Koribundu, etc. and we all came to Kailahun.  By then some people arrived safely but others did not.  We managed to reach Kailahun;  some of us came very late.  We had a short stick with which we beat gun powder on dried leaves to produce gun sound; we had run out of arms.  We ate bush yams and any other food in the bush for survival until we arrived in Kailahun.  When we came, we spent two weeks.  By then we were coming under serious attacks from Hinga Norman.  My own assignment was a jungler.  There was an infighting that took place between the CDF and SLA.  There was an attack and the army overthrew the government.   The following day we were called to Freetown.  Later Foday Sankoh moved to Daru and then to Freetown.  We all went to Freetown and fell in an ambush at Lungi where I was injured I was admitted for two weeks; twelve people died in that ambush.  Other people were on the civil line to form the administration of AFRC.  We were in Freetown until when I heard that people had been arrested and killed.  So we retreated from Freetown and moved to Kailahun.  We came and by then everyone was to go to the front line.  During my first attempt to go to the front line, I was injured by the Alpha jet and I was hospitalised for nine months;  fourteen people died.  They said that the land belonged to them and they had to establish a base there.  The fighting continued until there was a cease fire.  Foday Sankoh was released and he came through Monrovia; Johnny Paul Koroma went to him in Monrovia.  Some people told Foday Sankoh that Mosquito was planning to overthrow him.  He ordered Mosquito to leave and said he didn’t want him any longer in his movement.  Mosquito was stubborn and people advised him to leave as they did not want another blood shed.
When Foday Sankoh was in Freetown, I was in Tongo.   We learnt that there was a riot in Freetown.  The rest of our Ministers who were appointed were dismissed and Foday Sankoh was arrested and in the process he was shot in the leg.  Another misunderstanding took place in Makeni where UN personnel were arrested.  The whole place was destabilized.    I heard that 20 people were arrested and these people were released and they went through Liberia.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: You will expect that there will be need to clarify some areas.  I will ask the Chairman to ask his questions.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    We want to thank you very much for giving us your experience on the rebel war.  I want us to be honest, frank and open to one another.  We don’t want to leave any stone unturned.  Even if it is the most serious crime, you are free to say it here.  We want to know the truth.  I want you to feel free to respond to our questions just for clarification.  Did I hear you say that you belonged to a Special Forces group of the RUF?

Mustapha:    No.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you know of the different groups in the RUF?

Mustapha:    Yes,  Special Forces, Vanguards and Junior Commandos

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Which of these did you belong to?

Mustapha:    We who were captured and taken along with those people were later brought to work with them.  They considered us to be next to them and so they called us Vanguards.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Were you involved in fighting, looting, killing or destroying properties in anyway?

Mustapha:    I never went to the war front.  I took up an assignment.  28 lives were killed among themselves.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Mustapha, did you ever go the war front?

Mustapha:    My first time of going to the front line was when Zogoda was dissolved;  I was injured and admitted for nine months

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Can you tell us some of the atrocities your people committed?

Mustapha:    From the time I came here in 1994, even the information they gave you yesterday, I came here after that time. 

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Let me help you. Was your group involved in killing?

Mustapha:    For as long as you fight in the front line, you will always kill. 

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Now, about destruction of houses.  Would you say that your people participated in the destruction of houses?

Mustapha:    Any civilian can tell you that Foday Sankoh never allowed anybody to destroy houses in Kailahun.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you hear about the arrest or detention of UNAMSIL personnel?

Mustapha:    There was a commander named George.  He belonged to the RUF.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Was it the right thing he did?

Mustapha:    It was the wrong thing.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Assuming you were forced into it.  Can you say your involvement was a good thing for yourself?

Mustapha:    I am a little bit sceptical about the question you have asked.  I am saying something to give you the right information.  If you ask the people about me, they will explain to you that I have never done any evil thing in Kailahun.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You were in Liberia  and my guess is that you are a Liberian; am I correct?

Mustapha:    No sir.

Prof. Kamara:    You said people with the names ‘Koroma’ and ‘Konneh’ would be killed in Liberia

Mustapha:    Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You were coming when you were arrested, was it after crossing the border?

Mustapha:    Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    That was in 1994.  You were arrested in 1991 and after going through the hands of two people who were all killed, you came to Kailahun in 1994.  Were you there in 1994 when the government forces attacked?

Mustapha:    Yes.   

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Who was  the commando by then?

Mustapha:    Mohamed was the second in command to Rashid.  He was staying in Galon Nyawa and another man called Moris Kallon was staying very close to Daru.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Were there arms or military people in Kailahun?

Mustapha:    There was an attack,  the South African came to Kailahun.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    What was the process for promotion in the RUF because you said by 1994/95 you were promoted .
Mustapha:    It was not a promotion: it was an appointment for me to move from place to place.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You didn’t have to distinguish yourself in any way?

Mustapha:    You had to do something to attract the authorities. 

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    That means you had to commit atrocities?

Mustapha:    During that period, especially in 1996, when the “Peace before Election” failed, a lot of atrocities were committed by rebels and soldiers. 

By then the soldiers and RUF were not together.  In 1996 Foday Sankoh went to Ivory Coast for the Peace talks.  The RUF in Pujehun district then, crossed to Liberia and surrendered to the ULIMO.
Commissioner Professor Kamara:    In your opinion, did you say that if the pressure was continued on the RUF the war would have ended?

Mustapha:    Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    What period was this when you were pressured out of Sierra Leone?

Mustapha:    At the end of 1996 as well as in 1997.  It was the coup that caused the RUF to survive.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    When did the misunderstanding of Mosquito and Foday Sankoh happen?

Mustapha:    It was a movement we all belonged to.  It started from gossip to the leader.  When Sankoh was away, he told Mosquito that he should put his feet in his (Sankoh’s) shoes.  When Sankoh came back, the people complained to him that Mosquito harassed them a lot.  Sankoh called Mosquito and told him that he was not coming to Kailahun again.  He told Mosquito that he should go to Liberia to go and train, but Mosquito refused and alleged that Sankoh wanted to kill him.  Sankoh said that if he did not take his advice, he would no longer be accepted in the movement.  Two boys who were supposed to be giving Sankoh information were beaten by Mosquito.  So Sankoh asked Mosquito to leave and attach himself to another group.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Where did that happen?

Mustapha:    That happened in the Simingo area.  Whenever anything happened, they would call all of us for discussion.  He never judged you or decided or give information without consultation.  We learnt that one of his body guards beat up somebody and he was judged by the court in front of men and women.  The man was condemned and sent to a base for punishment training for 2 months.  Whenever you committed a  crime you were arrested, but a Captain could not arrest another captain.  Every signaller was a secret informant for Foday Sankoh.  Sankoh would ask the signaller if the person who committed an offence had moved. If he had, then he would make arrangements for an arrest to be executed.

Leader of Evidence:    Is it true that the Paramount Chief has asked you to leave the town?

Mustapha:    No sir.  An incident took place among us.  Moriba, a body guard to Sankoh, and I had problems during the war.  I was sent here to come and disarm.  That was the first assignment given me by the RUF from a higher level. By then the Ghanaian contingent was in Daru.  There was fear for UN to deploy in Kailahun.  I went to Issa Sesay to tell him that that was my first assignment.  He said I would have to be in Kailahun and disarm.  I met the townsmen who wanted to know if I had any idea about their missing window bars.

Leader of Evidence:    I am asking you again, “Have you ever participated in looting and the harassing people?”

Mustapha:     I told them that I wanted to express my own view.  The present officer knew about this case in Kenema.  When the DO wrote to Banya in Tongo asking if he was aware that they were destroying Kailahun District and the person sent there might be involved, Isssa called me and accused me of involvement there.  I got information from Bendu junction that Rambo, a commander,  said he had collected 60 windows from Kailahun to go and sell.  I came to the body guard of Foday Sankoh and asked him if he had ever seen that done during Foday Sankoh’s time.  I arrested him and locked him up.  It was a serious problem.  If you were afraid of those boys, they just continued to misbehave.  I dealt with him seriously.  He sent a message to Issa and told him that I sold a diamond for $68,000.  For that reason Moriba was to receive 162 lashes but I begged for him.  When Feika was here, he said he had evidence of the selling of the windows.  I asked Moriba why he allowed his boys to sell those properties.  I accused him of being the cause of those problems.  He sent the windows to Kenema and did not bring them back.  Moriba joined the SLPP to stand against me.  They said I am a Liberian and my father was in Liberia therefore I should go back to Liberia.  People started insulting me.    I was in PAKBAT for one week.  People who were around know the people who destroyed Kailahun.  I gave assurance to the police in PAKBAT.  I was not asked officially to leave this place.

Leader of Evidence:    Do you think the commission can help you solve this problem?

Mustapha:    Yes, I am begging the commission to help me solve the problem.  I don’t even know where my father is.  I am attending a computer school.  I attended a university in Liberia.

Leader of Evidence:    For the kind of experience you have and the fact that people still think you are planning evil, is there any way the Commission can help with your story?  You have told us your story but there are lots of gaps.

Special Forces were those trained in Libya?
Mustapha:    Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    This includes.

Mustapha:    Mike Lamin. 

Leader of Evidence:    Vanguards were trained in Liberia?

Mustapha:    Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Were you part of their training and how many people were trained at that training camp?

Mustapha:    There was no training camp at Borma hills; I was given an emergency training.

Leader of Evidence:    How long did this emergency training last?

Mustapha:    One week.

Leader of Evidence:    Who else was trained during that period?

Mustapha:    None.

Leader of Evidence:    Those who were trained in Burkina Faso, what were they called?

Mustapha:    They were Special Forces.

Leader of Evidence:    Those who were trained in Sierra Leone?

Mustapha:    They were called Junior Forces.

Leader of Evidence:    While in Liberia, Sierra Leoneans were arrested by Charles Taylor. Sankoh convinced Charles Taylor to release those people.  Do you know about that?

Mustapha:    Other people gave us the message that those people were dead.

Leader of Evidence:    Who was the first commander when you came here?

Mustapha:    I met Mohamed Tarawally.  He was staying on the road going to Koindu and he was next to Sankoh in Kailahun.  There was the formation of the Top 20 when the Gio people were forced out, and the command structure was left in the hands of Sierra Leoneans. 

Leader of Evidence:    It was Rashid who introduced you to Sankoh?

Mustapha:    Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Who killed Rashid?

Mustapha:    He was killed on the command of Sankoh.

When we talked about betrayal we referred to those persons who leaked what was discussed in confidence to the enemy.  I cannot say I ever saw Rashid perform any action.  According to information, Kanneh and Rashid had an earlier plan to come and launch their own revolution in this country.  We received information from Kanneh that Sankoh could not control the programme.  They had plans to set up there own programme.  During the time of the arrest of Rashid , Kanneh said he was betrayed because Rashid said Foday Sankoh could not control the war, he was old and he joined the RUF late.  So Sankoh went to Rashid and asked him to join him in a meeting and Rashid said somebody had betrayed him and that he would have to execute that person.  When they came to Sandehun he arrested Rashid.  Kanneh then said that Rashid had betrayed him.  Kanneh told Sankoh that if Rashid wanted to overthrow him he would have to use another method.    Kanneh then asked Rashid whether he was not the one who said Sankoh was not good enough to lead the movement and we should get rid of him.  Rashid had told the commander at Daru that by 8 O’clock he should make use of the light to talk to his men, but he should not use it too much.  No sooner had the man left than they launched the attack and the body of Rashid was torn into pieces.

Leader of Evidence:    Were you there when the trial of Rashid took place?

Mustapha:    Yes sir.

I never saw the people who killed Rashid.  Sankoh said they should carry the men to the front line.

Leader of Evidence:    Which front line was Rashid sent to?

Mustapha:    To Mano, Sierra Leone high way.

Leader of Evidence:    Was he sent to a front line headed by Mosquito?

Mustapha:    Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    As convoy commander you were linking between camp Zogoda and the front line.

Mustapha:    Yes

When those men went to the front line, their women had to be taken to Sankoh who fed them.  If we had salt and Maggie we took them to Zogoda.  We moved things to Zogoda, where Sankoh was.

Leader of Evidence:    You took captured civilians and any food items to camp Zogoda?

Mustapha:    We were not taking captured civilians to Zogoda.  The wives went in a convoy to see their husbands. 

Leader of Evidence:    If Foday Sankoh had food items to be taken to Zogoda how would you send them?

Mustapha:    He only spoke with the two front line commanders.  He would drive anybody around him.

Leader of Evidence:    Between 1991 and 1994, what were you doing?

Mustapha:    I was in Pujehun; I was with Patrick Lamin.  He was in-charge of the Pujehun area. 

Leader of Evidence:    Which area was under your command?

Mustapha:    I was a commander for Faroh town. 

Leader of Evidence:    How many troops did you have there?

Mustapha:    No troops.  I was like an administrator.

Leader of Evidence:    You were ground commander for three and half years?

Mustapha:    Yes, they scattered all of us in the bush.  All military police would move along with Mike Lamin.  We used thatched roofs in the jungle.  We spent seven months there.  I decided to come to Kailahun when they sent a message to Mike Lamin that he was not doing anything.

Leader of Evidence:    You were then made commander for Kailahun.  How long did you serve as commander?

Mustapha:    In July 2001 I was an executing commander and my duty was to inform the leaders about what happened on the ground. 

Leader of Evidence:    You took decisions.

Mustapha:    I did not take decisions.  I waited for command from the head.

Leader of Evidence:    What was your relationship with Tom sandy?

Mustapha:    I was the security commander.   Tom Sandy reported to his boss in Makeni. 

Leader of Evidence:    Why do people hate you in Kailahun?

Mustapha:    I was not here during the UN time; I came here three months before the disarmament. 

Leader of Evidence:    How do you want the Commission to help you?

Mustapha:    I am appealing to the commission, the war was not made by human beings: it was made by God.  God knows those who caused the atrocities.  I am appealing to the Commission to plead with the people of Kailahun for them to have mercy on me.

Leader of Evidence:    On Friday the commission will have to move to the slaughter house and we will like you to apologise before the people at the ceremony.  You will have to agree to certain things.  You have to come out forthright with what happened.  The commission needs to be sure that what you are saying is true.  We have to get a formal ceremony.

Who can we contact in Pakbat with regard to your relationship in the community?

Mustapha:    Major Agba.  The present 2IC and also a Susan Magaba.
I want to assure you that if I had caused any atrocities, I will say so.  I am ready to go to the ground and apologise to anybody I have done wrong to.

Leader of Evidence:    Are you ready to take any step to beg them on Friday for forgiveness.

Begging for forgiveness is the beginning.  But don’t expect people to forgive you on Friday when you refuse to accept what you have done.  What can also help is if you yourself say you are willing to reconcile. 

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    If you say you were going to apologise.  People will want to know what you are apologising for.

Mustapha:    I am apologising for what the war did.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    What kind of crime do you accept to have committed?

Mustapha:    I apologise for what the war has caused and as a member of the RUF, I apologise for what the RUF did during the war.  I am appealing to the government to assist us with education.  As you can see there is no electricity in Kailahun.  There is no good road to Kailahun and there are no health centres.  I am appealing to the government to assist us with all of these in Kailahun.

2nd – Witness – Morie Feika
Presiding Commissioner: Professor John Kamara
Bishop Joseph Humper
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Morie Feika.  The witness swore on the Koran.  The oath was administered by Commissioner Professor Kamara.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: You know why you are here and you know all what happened yesterday.  We want you to tell us everything you know about the war.

Leader of Evidence:    You are aware that you gave your testimony yesterday and we decided for you to appear at the closed hearings.   You disagreed with many points raised in our questions yesterday and people were telling us that you told lies.  The Commission is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, so you have to tell the truth.  You are expected to explain all that you know and all that you saw your colleagues do during the war so that people in Kailahun will forgive you.

Morie:    I am saying thanks to you. We were here in Kailahun, for 11years and if I leave anything behind please forgive me.  If there is anything left out you can bring it to my notice.

Leader of Evidence:    You were trained at the National Secondary School?

Morie:        No.

Leader of Evidence:    Where did they train you?

Morie:    From the office we were taken to the Buyama base and the training was called “ideology”

Leader of Evidence:    How long did it last?

Morie:        One and a half weeks.

Leader of Evidence:    Were you trained to use guns?

Morie:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    After the training, where were you sent?

Morie:        I was sent back to the office.

Leader of Evidence:    In which year?

Morie:        In 1996.

Leader of Evidence:    You were not in the RUF between 1991 and 1995?

Morie:        I was working with them but I went to the base in 1996.

Leader of Evidence:    You joined the RUF in 1991?

Morie:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    You were working as a clerk in 1996?

Morie:    I was first made the Adjutant in my village until 1993 before we were scattered.  Then we went to Ngiehun where I came in contact with Siaffa.  He asked me to work in the G5.

Leader of Evidence:    How many men were under your control?

Morie:    I was working with the village people.  I was a kind of liaison officer between the people and the Liberians. 

Leader of Evidence:    As town commander, you took care of security?

Morie:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    You also organized food for the soldiers assigned to you?

Morie:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    The soldiers who served under your command were looting and forcing people to go to the farm to work?  People hate you in Kailahun and they hate you because of what you did during those times.  The war is over and it is now time to reconcile.  You have to say the truth.  On Friday we have to call the whole town and you need to say the truth.  With the Commission anything you say to us is confidential.  If you tell us the truth we can help you.

Tell us what you actually did when you were a ground commander in Kailahun town that makes people in this place hate you so much.

Morie:    All what you said about my people not loving me does not come out of the war, but local politics.  We were supporting a candidate called Lamin.  I was one of the strong men behind Lamin.  All the other groups gathered against the man.  After the elections we the supporters of Lamin were pushed aside. They refused to confer with us on all matters.   I am telling you frankly, if there is any person who is to testify that I killed somebody and I had been found guilty of any allegation, let me be punished.  Some people went on to tell my mother that the TRC had arrested me.  We have been here for the past years and all the hatred stems from those elections.  I have been supporting a candidate who did not win so people did not like me for that.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    The two people who were candidates have now reconciled; the man you supported is speaker to the Paramount Chief.  So why are you treated like this?

Morie:    We have two Ngobehs who contested the elections.  We supported Lamin Gobeh and he is now in Freetown.
The two Ngobehs are from the same house.  The contest was between houses.  The two brothers are not on good terms at the moment.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    When were you commander in Kailahun?

Morie:        In 1997.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    How long were you commander?

Morie:    I was a commander for four years and I was in Kailahun right through.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Do you want to tell the Commission that your boys did not loot, kill or rape?

Morie:        I was controlling eight people in the town.  I also had agents.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Were your boys part of the RUF?

Morie:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    When they met with the civilians, they were feared like any other rebels;  did they commit any atrocities?

Morie:    When they came with goods to Kailahun, we assisted in distributing the goods.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Were you following your boys when they went around?  Did they ever tell you of the wrong things they did? 

Morie:        No.

Chairman Bishop Humper:   May we assume that you did not commit these wrongs yourself, but your boys did?

Morie:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you realise that in the interest of reconciliation we can look into other areas including the chieftaincy?  You have to come and admit what happened.  Are you prepared to tell us what you did so that you will leave this place and have a sound sleep?

Morie:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Apart from forcing people to carry loads, you and your boys also forced people to work on the farms?

Morie:    No, please allow me to explain.  We had an overall commander for the G5.  The deputy overall commander was also here plus the District G5 commander and the G5 Adjutant.  At the time I worked with the G5, Sankoh was not in Kailahun.  Sam Bockarie was here with us and he called the overall G5 commander and told him that he wanted 50 farms in the area.  Our own responsibility was to do the work.  We had to provide palm oil and agricultural products for the people.  The ‘WE’ in the context is not referring to me alone but everybody. 

We were mining diamonds and the diamonds were sent to the leaders.  I am bound to share the blame for all that happened for the very fact that I attended school here and happened to be the commander of the G5 unit.  I informed the people of what the rebels said.  The people had no option but to do what I said.  We were forcing people and taking them where we felt like.  The last farm was made at Pendembu.  People walked on foot to Pendembu and I took them to the farm the following morning.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Those who complained of being tired were beaten by your boys.

Morie:    The beating was a punishment we used.  If a piece of work was not completed, we were detained.  We did beat people.
Sam Koroma detained me for 15 days on one occasion.  He said I dictated to him.  We too went through molestations.  He was the commander by then and he was in charge of the whole of Kailahun.

I played a part in the detention of the UN Peace Keepers.  One evening Augustine called us and said they had orders from Makeni to arrest the UN people.  Augustine, Martin George and Jonathan Kposowa said we should disarm the foreign troops.  They sent me to the UN Peace Keepers.  If the UN knew that I was sent to disarm them, I would not have returned.  I went to call the UN, and they were happy.  When they came, Kposowa passed orders that they should not move.  Sankoh’s securities, the Black Guard unit, were armed and nobody could disarm them other than Sankoh.  About 62 armed men were in the queue.  All the UN people were arrested.  I went with the UN peace keepers to Ngiema.  We locked their house and the key was handed over to me.  Martin assigned fifteen people to take care of the house.  After fifteen minutes, he sent his boys to tell me to open the door for them.  The boys went to tell Martin that I refused to open the door.  They beat me up and afterwards entered the house and started looting.  The movement of the UN peace keepers was restricted.  They were Indians.  I was the only person who entered their camp to fetch water.  I was ordered not to go to them again.  The other day a helicopter gunship came, and we all went into the bush.  So many people were killed.  After that the UN Peace Keepers escaped.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Which part did Mustapha play in the Kamajor issue?

Morie:    He was an M.P. commander.  He was shut in the foot.  Tom sandy and Augustine Bayoh were then Lt. Colonels.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    We understand that you still have women in your custody.

Morie:        I have two women and I have married them.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    In which year did you marry them?

Morie:        In 1995 I have another one who was born Kenema.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you marry her during the war?

Morie:    We were in love during the war.  I have nobody under my control, I did not capture anybody.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    When did you release the last person you captured?

Morie:    People were coming here to collect their children.  The people were seeing me and my wives.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    How many children were under your control before they were finally released?

Morie:    When they captured the people we took them to the joint security office.  A group called IBU carried out the investigation.  There was another group that took care of the resettlement of the people.  In the end we asked for the list.  We used the list to know those who had earlier requested the release of their people.  After the people had done their work they went back to their various places.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did fighters sign and take people away?

Morie:    I did not allow any soldier to sign for anybody.  What happened was that a soldier went into the jungle and another man came and took his people away.  The soldiers then returned and started firing on the base saying that his people were missing.  He accused G5 of giving his people away.   I was held responsible and I was given 50 lashes. 

Leader of Evidence:    On Friday, the Commission wants to do a reconciliation process at the “slaughter house”.  It is left to you to tell your people all the atrocities you caused so that they will forgive you.  Forgiveness is not in one day.  We want you to live in peace and we wish the same for the people in Kailahun.   As a Commission, we want you to look at your people in their eyes on Friday and say you are willing to ask for forgiveness and you are prepared for reconciliation.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    The Leader of Evidence has said it all.  I believe in my mind that people don’t know what you have said.  We hope that you will cooperate with us on Friday.  We will send a message to the Paramount Chief and other elders in the chiefdom and we want you to cooperate with us and you will see the difference.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    We have come to the end.  All you have to do is to organize what you are going to say to your people on Friday.  You can tell the people a summary of what happened to you and your responsibilities, and the result of failing to perform that responsibility.  The question of enslavement and the humiliation that you also put people into including yourself.  That was why I said you need to organise yourself.  So when you say your apologies, they will accept you.  Is there anything else you want to say?

Morie:        I want the Commission to assist me with my education.

3rd Witness – James Morseray

Presiding Commissioner: Professor John Kamara
Bishop Joseph Humper
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is James Morseray.  The witness swore on the Bible.  Commissioner Professor Kamara administered the oath.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You know what you are here for.  This is not a court this is just a truth-finding Commission.  Don’t be afraid to tell us anything.  Please tell us your experience.


In 1991 three of us were arrested.  One of us was killed.  They asked us whether we were willing to go with them.  We went with them so that they would not kill us.   They took us to Pedembu at the training base.  We were at the training base for a month.  After the training, those who were born in the District were sent to work elsewhere.  They sent us to Zogoda.  At Zogoda the Kamajors attacked us and we came to Segbwema.    After the Peace Accord was signed, we used to meet the Kamajors at Mambolo.  There was another village close to where we met the Kamajors but I can’t remember the name of the village.  During that time there was a misunderstanding between the RUF and the Kamajors.  We stopped visiting each other.  We went to fight the Kamajors.  At a village called Burkina we arrested a pregnant woman and buried her alive.  After the burial we left.  We came to the Bunumbu Teacher’s College.   We were there when the Kamajors sent us a message that we should make peace.  All roads were then opened within that area.  They told us that they were the people who had visited first, so we were to visit them next.  We were afraid.  Whenever we paid those visits we usually took our guns along.  We were not sure of what would happen that was why we took our guns.  During that time, I saw my brother who was a Kamajor.  He asked if I would have killed him when I saw him wearing the combat.  After smiling to each other, he asked me to go and meet him, but I refused and I asked him to come and meet me.  After that they sent us to Tongo.  At Tongo our seniors asked us to go out in the mornings and search for food in the vicinity.  We seized any food we saw and took it to them.  They didn’t allow us to eat the food we brought.  In October 2001, the Indians came.  When the Indians were with us, I told my friend that we should find a way to escape.  When they realised that we were trying to escape, they used the bayonet on me.  There is a sore on my foot.  There was a commando called Manawah who arrested us.  The one with whom I was working was called Mr. Ishmael.  Ishmael asked me to move back to Segbema.  I was in Segbema when my father was appointed a chief.  During that time, the chief instructed everybody to clean the town. 

While in Segbema, I always told my friend that we should try to escape.  When we were leaving, I took my gun and ran away.  We travelled through Benguima where we met some Indians at the check point who disarmed us.  They searched us and took us to the check point.  The Indians told us that they were taking us to the DDR office.  They interviewed us.  They gave us some water to drink.  The day I entered DDR I was so happy.  I compared the two lives I had lived and I observed that being a rebel was not a good one.  The Indians usually left us to walk around.  I saw my uncle and I cried.  I was so surprised to see him.  I thought he was dead.  I asked for my mother and he told me that my father and mother were dead.  I asked him about my family members.  Since we separated, I don’t know where they had been.  At the DDR camp they treated us like children who should not be dealt with like the elders.  At Save the Children, they usually interviewed us.  They asked us what we wanted to do.  While with Save the Children I hated any encounter with a Kamajor, I was scared.  It was during that time they said they wanted to talk to the townspeople.  During the war, a lot of children left their parents.  They talked to the camp people to accept us as their own children.  The person who adopted me was a Mr. Amara.  On our way, I asked him whether he was going to take care of me like his own child.   He said yes.  After three days, I started thinking that I was not safe.  I decided that I should go back to the camp.  When I was in the camp, Save the Children went there and asked us to go back.  We were in the town and Save the Children sent me to learn tailoring.  I have finished my course and now I am asking Save the Children and the government to assist me in getting my own tools to do my job.  That was all I saw during the war.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    We thank you for coming and telling your story.  I am sure from the statement you had given to our staff before, you have not told us anything that you saw or experienced during the time you were associated with the RUF.  To get that information, we need to ask you a few questions.

Bishop Humper:    You have the same name as my son.  I take you as my son.  We are sorry that you found yourself in that situation.  We are asking you questions in order to create some conditions or atmosphere for you to feel free.  The questions I am asking are for clarification and they have to do with the statement as the commissioner has said.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Before you were captured, were you attending school?

James:    Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    What standard did you attain?

James:    Class 5.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    From all you have said and, as a child, I will treat you as a child.  Let me establish that you were forced to join the rebels and they trained you and gave you drugs.

James:    They used to inject us with cocaine.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    What was your experience when they injected you?

James:    After I was given the injection I didn’t fear anything, any human being you saw looked funny in your eyes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    You did a lot of killing which, under normal circumstances, you would not have done at all.

James:    Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    You have explained that you buried a pregnant woman.

James:    Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Can you name some of the commanders you were moving with?

James:    Ishmael, Manawah.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you remember Manawah?

James:    Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you remember Akim and Johnny Paul Koroma?

James:    Yes.  I also know Monkey Brown, these I can remember.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you know Sam Bockarie?

James:    Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you know Bayoh?

James:    Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you know Mike Lamin?

James:    I usually heard his name.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Which ones now can you remember?

James:    I will try to remember his name: he was a commando in Kailahun

Chairman Bishop Humper:    What kind of punishment did the rebels give to you?

James:    There was a hole; they hung a stick over a hole and you were asked to hang on the stick.  They used to punish us.  They had a cassette that they played and they would beat you until the cassette finished.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you see other people abducted; children, women and men?

James:    I saw them, they did the same thing to me.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did you personally kill anybody?

James:    When our bosses arrested people, they came with them and asked us to kill them.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:     How many times did you do that?

James:    Three times.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Were they all men?

James:    Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You spoke of Kamajors meeting you the rebels.

James:    Yes. 

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    The Kamajors joined the rebels to fight the soldiers?

James:    No.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    What was the friendship?

James:    It was during the time they wanted us to cease fire.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Were the RUF meeting with the soldiers?

James:    Most of the soldiers were with the rebels.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You said you had a quarrel with the Kamajors.  When you were friends of the Kamajors did you know Johnny Paul?

James:    It was during the time when Johnny Paul was in town that we used to meet with the Kamajors.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    I want to ask when were you in good terms with the Kamajors?

James:    When we went to attack Daru barracks, we did not succeed and later we made peace with the Kamajors.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    The pregnant woman that was buried alive, can you recall why it was done?

James:    It was a ceremony my boss asked me to perform.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Can you tell us the name of the commando that gave you this instruction?

James:    There were a lot of commandos by then, but Ishmael was there.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Does that result in killing the people you got the food from?

James:    We usually abducted them. 

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did those include children?

James:    We abducted men, women and children. 

Leader of Evidence:    You mentioned that Johnny Paul was one of your commanders.  Was it the Johnny Paul who was the head of the AFRC?

James:     Yes, it was that Johnny Paul.

Leader of Evidence:    When was Johnny Paul your commander?

James:    If I can remember, there were two peace accords.  When we came, we were all together.  That was the time he served as commander.

Leader of Evidence:    Were you with him in the bush?

James:    They visited us in different locations.

Leader of Evidence:    Did he join you to fight?

James:    Actually he did not come to fight.  He brought arms for our bosses and when he went to Freetown he joined our bosses to fight.

Leader of Evidence:    What did he say to you in the bush?

James:    He was telling us that we should fight for our land and we should fight to the end as Sankoh had said we would have a lot of benefit after the war.

Leader of Evidence:    When did they usually inject you?

James:    They injected us when we wanted to go to war.

Leader of Evidence:    If you captured children like yourself, what did you do with them?

James:    When we captured children, some were abducted and some we released.

Leader of Evidence:    How long did your training last?

James:    There were times when we spent less than a month.

Leader of Evidence:    Where were you trained?

James:          In Pendembu.  During the training our heads were shaved.  We did not spend much time.  They gave us boiled banana for food and our bosses and their wives ate rice.

Leader of Evidence:    Were girls trained as well?

James:    Some of them were forcefully made wives and some were trained.

Leader of Evidence:    How old were you when they captured you?

James:    14 years.

Leader of Evidence:    Give us an idea of the age of the children they captured.

James:    I cannot exactly say their ages, but there were smaller and bigger boys.  When they gave birth to children and those children grew up they sent them to the training base.

Leader of Evidence:    Were many of the girls who were captured raped?

James:    Yes they were raped and, in-fact, there was a time my boss forced me to have sex with a girl.  If I did not do it I would be killed.
Some were raped in their houses and some others were locked up in their houses and those houses were set ablaze.

Leader of Evidence:    Were you engaged in mining diamonds?

James:    Those who were abducted were forced to mine diamonds and our bosses took the pieces from them.

Leader of Evidence:    Do you know where they took those diamonds?

James:    They took the diamonds to the Sierra Leone and Guinea border in exchange for arms.

Leader of Evidence:    Did you participate in the attack on Freetown on January 6, 1999?

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  James, do you have questions to ask or recommendations to make?

James:     Now that you have interviewed me what is the proof that what we have said here will not be exposed?

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    If you want a tangible proof, we can’t give you, but I want to tell you that you are not the only person we have interviewed.  You have to have faith in us.   We’ve heard your story.  We know what you have gone through and even what you did was not something you decided to do.  So we will not like to make your life more difficult. Therefore, we will not go and tell anybody what you were forced to do.  Our responsibility to you is to protect you and to help you overcome the trauma you have suffered.  You lost your entire youth, your education was interrupted,  you now have no parents.  You must take the Commission as your parents and your friend.  We will try and do all we can to help you.  We will not add to your difficulties.

James:    Where I am currently, I go to work and live on my own.  I want to be under the care of somebody.  I have completed my training.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    So Save the Children is no longer responsible for you?

James:    No.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    With whom are you staying?

James:    The person who trained me.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Is he kind to you?

James:    Yes, he is in Daru, 16 Nayma Road; his name is Amara Koroma

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Is he a tailor himself?

James:    Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Has he employed you now?

James:    No.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Does he provide a  place for you to stay?

James:    Since I was taken out of the camp, he has been the person responsible for me.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:        Does he provide you with food?

James:    When he is able, he does it but there are other times when he does not.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    How many of you are with this man?

James:    Four of us.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Are the others also ex-RUF?

James:    They are relatives of Mr. Amara.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    How do they receive you;  do they make comments?

James:    Initially they used to make remarks but Mr. Amara usually gave them pieces of advice.  However, I want to leave his place.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Why do you want to leave?

James:    I want to go and stay in Kenema

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Is that your home town?

James:    No, if I go to my village, they will not accept me.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Where are you from?

James:    I am from Zandahu.  There was a time I was taken there by Save the Children who told the people that I was not my normal self when all this happened.  I really do not want to go and settle there because my brother was a Kamajor.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Is your brother there?

James:    Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Why don’t you want to go there?

James:    He said we will never come to terms because I allowed myself to be captured and used as a rebel.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Don’t make it known to Amara that you don’t want to stay there.  When you have somewhere to go, then you can leave.  Whatever the Commission can do, we will try to do.  The Commission has responsibility for all those like you.

 4th – Witness – Fudie Swarray

Presiding Commissioner: Professor John Kamara
Bishop Joseph Humper
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Fudie Swarray.  The witness swore on the Koran. I am a Muslim.  Commissioner Professor Kamara administered the oath.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:   Fudie we want you to tell us the truth of all what happened during the war.  I want you to remember that this is not a court, but it is just a fact- or truth-finding Commission.  When you say the truth here, you will not be prosecuted for anything you have done.  Don’t be afraid to say anything about what you or other persons did.  We are friends.  


My family went into the woods: We were a large family.    There were six boys, four wives, four men and six girls.  We were there when the rebels met us.  We moved and we met with the rebels at the same point.  When we went to the other point, the rebels met us there again and those of us who were boys were abducted.  The rebels took us away.  Our relatives did not agree and they put up some resistance.  When we arrived in a village, they asked us to carry their luggage.  As we were going, the rebels killed two of us simply because they said they were unable to carry the luggage.  We were in the town for four days and the rebels took us to the bush and shaved our heads.  We were there for six days after which we were taken out of the bush and brought to Kailahun.  They queued us up and they would send a gun to us and we were expected to catch it without allowing it to fall.  As they sent the guns, we caught them.   One of our colleagues allowed the gun to fall and immediately he was shot.  We were there for three days.  Having gone through the training we were assigned to man the check point.  One morning, we were asked to go to Koindu.  In the morning, we were attacked by Kamajors and our companions started shooting at them.  We were engaged in active combat until we were able to repel the Kamajors.  On arrival in Kailahun, they abducted some other men and took them to the village.  In the morning, there was no food and we went in search of food.  We harvested bananas, plantains and rice and put everything in a bag and walked around the terrain.  We realised that people were in bush camp and we captured them.  Those people carried our food that we had seized.   We went on another patrol towards Koindu.  We did not know that the route we used was where the Kamajors laid their ambush.  We exchanged firing.  We were outnumbered by them and they threatened us.  We dropped our guns and ran away.  The rebels asked why we dropped our guns and each one of us was given 100 strokes with a rod.  Having beaten us, they gave us rum.  We went into a cassava farm and there was a big stream.  When we crossed the stream, they asked us to go into an ambush in that area.  We were finding hiding places when the Kamajors came and opened fire on us.  We captured four Kamajors and brought them to Kailahun.  We took their guns and killed them.  I witnessed the chopping off of an enemy’s head which was placed on a stick.  I was given instructions to threaten people and remove their properties from them.  The following day, we were in this town.  Towards dusk, they attacked the town.  There was intense firing.  Three of us were very tight friends and did not betray one another.  We went into hiding and decided that we were going to Liberia.  We went towards Norman and crossed.  We met Liberian soldiers who said we were rebels.  We were beaten thoroughly.  They took us to their boss.  Their boss inspected our bodies for any rebel marks.  They released us and we crossed the river.

When we went to the village, we spent some time looking for our relatives.  We were in the town for 3 days and we decided to return to Pedembu.  There also we were captured.  It was the Kamajors that captured us.  They took us into a house. They did not know that the door to the room in which they had kept us was not good.  We spoilt the door and got out.  We went to Baima and spent five days there.  We learnt that Save the Children was there.  We went to Daru and they showed us where their office was.  Our names were written down and they gave us food.  They took us to the camp and they fed us and gave us clothing.  They asked us the kind of trade we wanted and I told them that I wanted to learn tailoring.  The others decided that they wanted to go to school.  We were there for some time and now I can do some work all by myself.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Thank you very much.
It is a short story but it contains a lot of information.  We are sorry for those bad experiences.   We will want to ask you a few questions.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    How old were you when you were captured?

Fudie:        9 years.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    During your training, how many of your companions died in the process?

Fudie:        Two of them.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    During your movement from place to place, what did they give you?

Fudie:    When we went to work, they gave us packets of cigarette and marijuana and we smoked very seriously before we left.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    What happened to you after smoking the marijuana?

Fudie:    When I smoked, I could not distinguish between grown ups and children; my eyes became very red.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Because of that you killed?

Fudie:    There were times when you were retreating and shooting at the same time, and you would have killed without knowing.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you capture boys, girls and men?

Fudie:        We used to capture civilians and bring them to town.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Were you going to school before you were captured?

Fudie:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    As you think back, what do you think is missing in your life?

Fudie:    When I sit back, I think of having my own materials and work tools and having my own house so that I will be independent.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    You were attending school and now you have learnt tailoring; was this your original intention?

Fudie:        This is not my intention.  I had an intention to study further.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    I want you to feel relaxed.  Where are you living now?

Fudie:        I live in the Paramount Chief’s compound in Daru.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Are you with your relatives.

Fudie:        My relatives are no more.  I am there, undergoing training.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You told us a number of unpleasant experiences.  You said your group captured three Kamajors and killed all of them,  is that correct?

Fudie:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did you see the killing yourself?

Fudie:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Was that the first time you saw people being killed?

Fudie:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You were then just about nine years?

Fudie:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    What was your reaction, how did you feel?

Fudie:    I was heavy laden and I was afraid that the same will be done to me.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    On that day, had you marijuana to smoke or was drug given to you?

Fudie:        On that day, I smoked marijuana.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Were you given any injections?

Fudie:        No.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Are you still taking marijuana?

Fudie:        Yes, I still smoke it

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You can’t do without it?

Fudie:        I can do without it.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Are you going to try to stop smoking?

Fudie:    It is about four months now, I have not smoked marijuana.  I will try to stop it.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You said you witnessed somebody’s head being cut off and put on a pole?

Fudie:    It was like coming in an encounter with an enemy.  So when the colleagues of the enemy came around, they would see the head on the pole.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did you at any time kill somebody?

Fudie:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    How many times?

Fudie:        Once.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Under what circumstances?

Fudie:        The person was also an enemy.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Were you in a battle?

Fudie:    We had exchange of firing when we went in search of food and we met the enemy on a tree.  I did not say anything and I passed him, but when my senior saw him he ordered me to kill him.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    So you killed him?

Fudie:        I did.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:        What did you do to the body?

Fudie:    There is a hole in the villages where they used to prepare palm oil.  We dropped the body in the hole and left it there.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Were you assigned to people going out on expeditions?

Fudie:        There were a lot of us in the town.  We worked on a shift basis.

Leader of Evidence:    Did you go through DDR?

Fudie:    They did not allow us to go through the process, we went into hiding.

Leader of Evidence:    What happened to your eyes by the time?

Fudie:        They took the guns from us,  we sneaked.

Leader of Evidence:    You sneaked away from Save the Children and where did you go?

Fudie:    We were with the rebels when we sneaked.  We heard about Save the Children and went to Daru.

Leader of Evidence:    Who was your commander in the RUF?

Fudie:        Mr. Banya.

Leader of Evidence:    What was his nick name?

Fudie:        That was the name he was called.

Leader of Evidence:    Did the RUF also give you a wife?

Fudie:    They did not give me a wife but when we went on raids we captured women and had sex with them.

Ozonnia:    How many times?

Fudie:        It happened once.

Leader of Evidence:    Would the commander tell you to have sex with them or did you all know you must have sex with them?

Fudie:    It was the commander that actually forced us to have sex with them; he advised that we should not negotiate.

Leader of Evidence:    How many of you to one woman?

Fudie:        One RUF to one woman.  The one I had sex with was of my age.

Leader of Evidence:    What happened to those young girls?

Fudie:        Some of them got married to the rebels.

Leader of Evidence:    Were they also trained as combatants?

Fudie:        Some were trained as combatants.

Leader of Evidence:    Were those female combatants respected?

Fudie:    They were respected because some of them were hot tempered and if you dared with them, they would kill you.

Leader of Evidence:    How long did your training last?

Fudie:        It lasted for five days.

Leader of Evidence:    I am sure some of you did not survive the training.  What kind of training did you do?  

Fudie:    If you missed any point during the training, you were killed especially if the gun was sent to you and you did not catch it.

Leader of Evidence:    Did you participate in the January 6 attack in 1999?

Fudie:    I was not there.  From here, I went straight to Liberia and then to Daru.  

Leader of Evidence:    From your statement, you said you saw rebels beating Kamajors at Pademba road.  Which Pademba road were you talking about?

Fudie:        I can’t  remember.

Leader of Evidence:    Did they inject you with cocaine or they just gave you marijuana?

Fudie:        I was given just marijuana.

Leader of Evidence:    Did they also show you films to teach you how to fight?

Fudie:        Once in a while we watched films.

Leader of Evidence:    Did they bring you all together to watch these films?

Fudie:    I did not witness a situation were all the combatants were brought together to watch movies.  There were only fifteen of us.

Leader of Evidence:    What kind of movies did you watch?

Fudie:    We viewed war movies by Rambo and learnt manoeuvring techniques.

Leader of Evidence:    How many times in a month did they show you these movies?

Fudie:        I can not remember, but it was done once in a while.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Did you know James Moseray?

Fudie:        Yes

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Were you in the same unit?

Fudie:        No, there were several units and I was not in his unit.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Have you got any questions to ask or recommendations to make to the Commission?

Fudie:    Now that you have asked us all these questions what is the reason for this?  Is it that you want to give some benefits to us?  Now our relatives can’t do anything for us.  We are fully dependent on Save the Children and we rely on them for tools to work with when we would have completed our training.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    As you would agree with me, part of your life has been shattered.  You wouldn’t like a repetition of that.  You wouldn’t like your children to do the same thing.  The Commission was set up to find out about what happened during the war and why it happened.  We will be able to advise the government and anybody to stop anything that looks like those things that caused the war.  For the victims, if we get to know how much they have suffered, we will be able to make recommendations on how they can be helped to make their lives better.  For children like you, you are so important in the country and yet this war has made you lose part of your youth.  Something has to be done to help you.  Telling us your story helps us make recommendations to the government.  That is the purpose of the commission.

Thank you very much.  Do you have any recommendations for the attention the government to do for you?

Fudie:    I am appealing to the government to ensure that we are helped with our training, especially with the tools to do our work.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did they give you anything to start the training?  

Fudie:    That was not given to us.  It was given to our boss.  I am still training and excelling.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: Keep it up Fudie.  We have heard your concerns and we shall include them in our report.  Thank you.


1st Witness- Alex Jusu Allieu
Presiding Commissioner: Mrs Aminata Jow
Chairman Bishop J Humper
Commissioner Professor John Kamara
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Alex Allieu.  The witness swore on the Koran.  Commissioner Jow administered the oath.

Commissioner Mrs. Jow:    Thank you for coming here this morning; we appreciate your presence.  We will like to assure you that the Commission is not a court.  We hope you will help us to fulfil our mandate. I will like to urge you to feel relaxed and share your experience with us as clearly and accurately as possible.  You may now begin.


I was in the village with my parents.  When we heard that the rebels had entered Bomaru.  We were in our village, Dodo.  We later heard that they had gone away. We continued to stay in Bomaru.  They told us they were thieves.  After one week we heard that they had entered Bomaru.  We were frightened.  We started packing our loads.  We took some of our properties into hiding in the bush.  In our absence, they entered the town.   We were then surrounded.  We had no way to go.  We decided to wait during the weekend.   We tuned to a radio station and we were informed that the war would last only for three months. This caused my father to tell me that we should wait after three months.  We then waited.  After about four days, we were sleeping in the morning at about 6:30 a.m. when we heard shouting in the town.   We were told that the rebels had entered our town.  We woke up and had no way to go. They attacked all the roads.  We met them everywhere we went.  We decided to use the route behind our house.  As we approached them, they arrested us and took us to town.  They told us that we were safe and that they had come for the soldiers because our country had been spoilt by the APC. In short, therefore, they came for the APC.  My father told me that we should sit down.  We were there for a week.   At one time, many of them came from Koindu, about sixty of them.   At night, we were sitting in our veranda when they ransacked the town. Some of them moved towards our house and took all of us outside.  Then our house was set on fire.  They then moved to another house.  Whilst they were looting our properties, we ran away into the bush.  Then I was separated from my parents.  We went to different directions.  The following day, I searched for my parents, but I did not see them.  I headed for the town.  Our house was situated by the bush.   I had wanted to pass through in order to look at the house when a rebel arrested me.  He captured me and asked me to tell him where I stayed.  I told him that I was looking for my parents.  He told me to follow him.  I said I won’t do that.   He fired two shots in front  of me and said if I did not join them he would kill me.  He took me to the centre of the town.  In the evening, we came to Kailahun and we were taken to the training base at the National school.  Our trainer was Madison Kanu, a Liberian.  After our training which lasted for three weeks, we were taken to Pendembu.  In Pendembu we were deployed together with Madison.  I was sent to the commander that I was supposed to be working with.  The commander who I was working with was called Jaffa massaquoi.   He was killed later.  

After that, it came to the time when Moriss Kallon told us that they were to make us Commanders.  Anybody who was detained in a cell received twenty-five lashes.  He then told us that he was taking us to the war front.  We were taken to Ronipele.  It was our first visit there.  On hearing gun shots, some of us started retreating.  The commander moved to the back of the group and said if we retreated, that would be the end of us.  When we arrived, the group which had the RPG man launched the fire.  The sound frightened us.  He was our own commander.  He started firing at us to go there.  Those you were fighting were in front of you.  You must go and fight he told us.  Whilst fighting, as it was my first time, I was injured.  As the soldiers started their advance, they took to their heels.  I was alone and I tried to get up.  I knew death was near me.  I fell down and started to crawl.  The soldiers moved to where I was.  Not knowing that they (Morris Kallon and his men) were around.  After the soldiers retreated, I took my stick and started walking.  I went to the bush and I met them there.  I was taken to Pendembu.  I was given medical attention.  I still feel the pain.  After that, I was made a commander.   When people committed offence and they brought them before me, I was supposed to beat them and that was exactly what I did.  When people were not around, I would take some of the abductees and set them free.  Some of the guards saw me at one time and reported me.  If they noticed that I released abductees they would give me worse punishment.  You had no way to run away from them.  I attempted on one or two occasions but I was caught.  They told me that if I ran away they would kill me.  At a time when I was still a commander, in 1993, the soldiers moved us from Pendembu.  They took us to Koindu and we settled there in the bush, in small groups.  Then Sankoh said the war was then jungle war and that he was going to join us; and the war should reach Freetown.  We were abandoned in one village.  The Head Quarters was towards Koindu.  We heard that Sankoh was in Guinea whilst in Guinea we heard that he had moved ahead together with Mosquito.  Later, after a long time, we were taken to Guinea and stayed there.  We were at Gama when some of our brothers were taken across the river.  We started the fight from Mano to Tongo.  They asked us to go and man the check points.  We were taken for that purpose to Sandehun.  

If you sat down and allowed anybody to escape, all the MPs there would be killed.  After that, the Kamajors attacked us.  We were there until we ran short of salt and Maggie.  We came together with Issa Sesay and planned to do something.  We called all the civilians and told them that we didn’t have salt, maggie, cigarette and we needed these items.   Every commander together with the civilians was told the number of bags they should produce.   If they asked your group to bring the quantity they needed and it was not done, you would be arrested; they would ask you to go to the MPs.  On arrival at our place the MPs, Issa’s body guard and Mosquito’s body guard would be around to flog the people who had failed to bring what they needed.  They would wait and see; if they were beaten, they took the message to their bosses.  If we failed they would flog us too.  They would still send them.  

In 1997, we were told that there was peace.  We went to Freetown in 1997.  They moved back and went to us.  They said ECOMOG troops drove them out of Freetown.  They started organising us.  They would call you and assign you to a commander.  The Commander should be the head, he should protect his people.  In Pendembu, in 1998, the commander was called Big Daddy.  At that time, if the civilians were asked to brush the town and they were not able, we the MPs would go and call the chiefs.  They would ask them why they refused to join the townspeople.  When they explained everything, we would flog them.  We did this because they were our seniors.  Any time we were instructed, we had to carry out our duties.  We were doing this in Pendembu until we organised them to farm between Gaba and Ngiehun.

The farm we made was a very big one.  Be you a soldier or civilian you would work on the farm.  If you failed to work on the farm, you would be punished.  The civilians were made to brush the farm and plough the land and if you failed to go there, you would be arrested.  No sooner had the Lower Bambara chief been arrested than people started to work.  We were doing this unto the time we heard of the signing of the Lome Peace Accord.  

We were then in Pendembu when we heard that the UN forces and the commanders on the ground including Col. Tom Sandy decided that the UN people should travel through the land.  We were at Pendembu when the UN officials were arrested.  We then said to ourselves why did they capture the UN troops.   Two to three days later at 6:30 we heard the sound of a plane in Kailahun.   When it came for the last time, it opened fire.  The firing lasted for some minutes and all of us went into the bush.  We were told that the Indians had been held hostage and they had come to collect them.  When the firing started on Sunday in the morning, it went on till 2:00 p.m. of the same day.  The houses were ablaze.  We reported that the UN had burnt the houses.  We came and we were now in town.  Even the house in which I was residing was burnt.

After that, what I personally did was to flog people who were to be put into the cell.  If I refused, they would do the same to me.  If I ever did any wrong to anybody, it was in my opinion the  beating that I gave them.  That is all I know.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    At the time you were captured.  How old were you?

Alex:        12 years.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    How old are you now?

Alex:        I am now 22 years old.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    I want to assure you that this commission is not a court.  Whoever you call by name will not have anything to do with me.  I am giving you this information so that you can feel free to tell us the truth.  I want to tell you what you do not know.  You were a victim and a perpetrator.  That is very serious.  

Prior to your abduction and arrest were you attending school?

Alex:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    What class were you in?

Alex:        I was in class 7.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    You rose up to the rank of a Commander it was as a result of your performance in your movement that gave you that right.  Tell us precisely what and what you did.

Alex:    I used to beat people.  Sometimes I detained them in cells.   I was not supposed to do that.  I did that because I was ordered to do so.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you feed them?

Alex:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    At all times?

Alex:        Yes

Chairman Bishop Humper:    You said that you had somebody who was given four dozen lashes.  Is that true?

Alex:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    From 1991 to 2000 did you and others capture boys and girls and bring them to you commanders?

Alex:        No.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you at any stage commit a rape?

Alex:        No.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you know of any instance were some of your people had bush wives.

Alex:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you have one?

Alex:        No.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Name some of the leaders (Key leaders)
Alex:    Jaffia Massaquoi, Augustine Gbao, Tom Sandy, Big Daddy.  Those were the key commanders I knew.
Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you ever see Mike Lamin?

Alex:        Yes.  He was introduced to us here.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you see Eldred Collins?

Alex:        Yes.

Alex has said that civilians were involved in the war and that Sierra Leoneans were all involved in the war;  those who survived the war have all played a part in the war.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You were caught?

Alex:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    What kind of drugs were you given?

Alex:        Hard liquor.
Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You took active part in the war.   Can you remember killing anybody?

Alex:    I went to the war front only once.  That was the time I captured somebody.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    As a commander responsible for the prison, you used to cramp people mercilessly.

Alex:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did any of them die.

Alex:        No.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You said after the training when you came to Pendembu you had a special training before you were promoted to Commander.

Alex:        Morris Kallon did not give us any special training.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You described to us a situation in which Morris Kallon asked you to manoeuvre in a shooting exercise.

Alex:    That was the time he urged us to be between him and the soldiers and if anybody tried to retreat he would be killed.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    When Sankoh told you that that was a jungle war, where did you go to near Koindu?

Alex:        I went to Soloko Bendu.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    You told us of your training at the National School.  Were you trained to use a gun?

Alex:        Yes.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    You stayed with the people?

Alex:        Yes.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Did you have cause to use a gun?

Alex:        No.

Commissioner Mrs. Jow:     But you carried the gun wherever you went?

Alex:        If I was called to move from place to place, I carried the gun.

Commissioner Mrs. Jow:     Did some of the boys who were abducted die during the training?

Alex:    By the time we received training at the National School a commander called Kongolie queued us up in a straight line and placed the gun on our shoulder.  If the gun was fired and you were not in a straight line, the bullet would hit you.  The bullet hit one boy on the head and he died.

Commissioner Mrs. Jow:  In your written testimony you said that those who committed rape were beaten, can you explain why it was so?

Alex:    Many a time we did not witness them.  We were only told that those people were involved in rape cases.  If it was so, we were told to give them heavy punishment.  We used to detain them for about a month.  Everyday, we would take them out and give them twenty-five lashes in the morning and evening.

Commissioner Mrs. Jow:  Did you take part in the DDR programme?

Alex:        Yes,   I have disarmed and surrendered the only gun I had.

Leader of Evidence:    The MP unit you belonged to was responsible for security.

Alex:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    You were also responsible for manning the check point from city to city

Alex:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    You also said that you took away personal property from civilians while you manned the checkpoints?

Alex:    Most of the time.  That kind of report was brought before me.  When civilians travelled and they crossed the checkpoint towards Pendembu, they used to take their properties from them.    We did all we could to find out who did such things, but we could not.

Leader of Evidence:    You were the one that was responsible for carrying produce from town to town.

Alex:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    In many cases, those who carried these produce fell down and died.

Alex:    That used to happen when we had the Gio fighters among us. They used to take people from here in Kailahun to Koindu with loads on their heads.

Leader of Evidence:    Who was the MP Commander here in kailahun?

Alex:        Tom Sandy.

Leader of Evidence:    Who was the town commander in Kailahun?

Alex:        Joe Fatoma.

Leader of Evidence:    Are you telling the Commission that people were not killed?

Alex:    That did not happen during the reign of the Sierra Leonean rebels: it happened during the time when the Gio fighters were here.

Leader of Evidence:    Did you smoke marijuana?

Alex:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    How many brothers and sisters do you have by the same mother?

Alex:        I am alone.   My mother used to have nine children.

Leader of Evidence:    Out of those nine what place were you?

Alex:        I am the last one.

Leader of Evidence:    How old was the eldest?

Alex:        I can’t tell.

Leader of Evidence:    Did you regret your membership of the RUF?

Alex:        Yes.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Alex do you have any questions to ask or recommendations to make?

Alex:    As I sit here, I am saying to my people and the entire country that I was under pressure when I committed all those atrocities. Those who stayed here during the war witnessed that it was not of my own making.  Those who joined us know it was not our fault.  I am now saying to you all that you are my people.  If I have ever forgotten to mention anything that I did,  I am asking that you kindly forgive me as it was not our fault.  Please forgive me for whatever wrong I have done and I have come today asking you to embrace me as there is no evil forest to throw away wicked children.  I want our mothers to talk to our fathers.  It is paining me right now as I sit here.  My mother is too old now.  I have no father.  I have no brother or sister.  Please forgive me and embrace me.  Do this for the sake of God who created us.  It was not my fault.  It was the fault of those who came and joined us in the rebel war.  If I was attending school up to this time, God must have answered my prayers.  That is all I have to tell the people of Kailahun

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    We thank you for your cooperation.  

Alex:    I am now asking the Commission and the government that they should embrace us and make skills training available to us in order to develop this country and our families.  The other people who have been left out should be given a helping hand.  I am saying that the commission should please provide us with that kind of help.   Having gone through my testimony does the Commission have any thing in mind to do to me?

Chairman Bishop Humper:    The Commission has responded to your questions positively.  I want you to be rest assured that this Commission is not going to put you in jail.  We have a final closing ceremony tomorrow and you, together with others, will have the opportunity to say exactly what you have said here to your people.  That will make your people accept you. It is not going to happen overnight.  You can bring your young people together.  You can be the spokesperson for the Commission.  We will expect you to be around till tomorrow.  

2nd Witness – Francis B. Tucker

Presiding Commissioner: Mrs Aminata Jow
Chairman Bishop J Humper
Commissioner Professor John Kamara
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Francis B. Tucker.  The witness swore on oath.  Commissioner Jow administered the oath.


Before I start I want to pray for myself.   I have not come to say much here.  I am just saying what my actions were.
I held onto a gun and I deployed here.  They told me that nobody could live in the area.  Everybody went in the bush were I was collected and brought to town.  We were doing that when I came in contact with people in the bush, at the Guinea border.  We reached a point where some of them demanded that we should be set free since they wanted to go and meet their people.   If they were allowed to go they would have returned to this country.  We left them to go.  I told a girl called Sarah that I was taking her to my base in order to marry her.  We went to the base.  At that time we had people who liaised between the fighters and civilians.  Any civilian that wanted to marry, we were responsible to fill the forms.  I never forced her into marriage.  They asked her to sign and I was also asked to sign and the writer and the IDU man also signed.  I did not know whether the girl was pregnant.  After we had gone through this process, we had sex that night.  Just after that, she miscarried.  I was worried and I found a nurse to attend to her.  Anywhere we deployed we had a medical team.  I explained to the nurse and she was taken care of until she recovered.  Her mother came from Guinea and took her away.  This continued onto the time they were moving from Guinea to Kialahun.  At that time, she met me with her problem.  She explained herself to me.  She never explained to me that she did not miscarry and she showed me the baby and we stayed there for about three weeks together with her sister and brother.  She told me she was going to prepare a place for her family and that she would come back to me.  I told her that I still had good intensions for her.  She said she would not be able to settle with me because her mother was in Guinea.  I waited till the end of the month then I said to myself that I was blind, I had to find another person.  By the time she came, I had got married.  She was annoyed.  I tried, but I could not get her again.  I talked to her, but it was in vain; she went back to her village.  After that, I did not say anything until the TRC went to me.  I narrated the story to Mr. Prince.  He then asked me whether I could narrate the same thing at a public hearing and I said yes.  He asked me series of questions.  I told him I would go down on my knees and beg for what I have done wrong.  I told him I would not allow anybody to tell the TRC about me.  I will ask the people to forgive me.  That is still what I have to do

Commissioner Mrs. Jow:  We thank you very much for coming to testify.  From your written statement, you told us you were abducted by the RUF in 1991.

Francis:    Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    We thank you for coming here as the presiding Commissioner has said.  You were taking the lead from the time you joined the army in 1991 to what date?  From 1991 to 2000.

Francis:    Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    When did you have this accident?

Francis:      In 1997.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Where did you come from before you came around here?  Where is your home town?

Francis:      I am from the Bonthe District.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Where was your area of operation?

Francis:  Koindu.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    From 1991 to 2000?

Francis:      We were deployed in different places.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Can you name some of the key players from 1991 – 2000?

Francis:    Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Name them.

Francis:     Foday Sankoh
       Sam Bockarie
       Issa Sesay
       Morrison Kallon
       Augustine Gbao
       Big Daddy
       They are many and most of them are not alive today.
Chairman Bishop Humper:    You came across all of these?  Where did you get your training from?

Francis:   At Kissidugu

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you go to Zogoda for advanced training?

Francis:     No.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    You have prayed for God to forgive you.  Could you tell us what you did from 1991 to the time you had that accident;  Whether you killed, raped,  looted or abducted?

Francis:    I cannot tell you that I have ever killed somebody facially.  However, I must accept that I killed; that was when I fought my first war.  Even at that, we did not fight in town; we fought in an ambush.  We ambushed the Guinean soldiers.  At that time, if you were a good fighter the Liberian rebels would not release you.   I was made an ambush commander.  I used to take food to the arm bush scenes.  I did it three times a day.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    So the RPG you fired hit you back and that brought you to how you are today?

Francis:      It made me to become discouraged.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    At the time of your abduction you were under age;  you were not more than 18 years old.

Francis:   I was fifteen years old.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You were made to commit all those atrocities in the country.

Francis:      We had different roles.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You took part in all these atrocities listed here?

Francis:    I cannot be forced to say yes or no.  There were series of atrocities and we did not commit all of them.  In 1996 when I was deployed I did not abduct anybody.  I will not answer to what I did not do.  I will answer to what I did and I will apologise for it.  If you accept it, fine; if you do not accept it it is up to you.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did you also take part in looting people’s property?

Francis:   I can’t deny that, yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did you force people to carry loads and force them to work against their will?

Francis:   I did not do that.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Not you personally, but you were in a group?

Francis:      Yes. 

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    What was your occupation before the war?

Francis:   I was training as a mechanic.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    At what level did you leave school?

Francis:   I stopped at class 7.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Did you join drugs taking groups?

Francis:   No.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Can you tell us what the RUF leadership said to you in order that you would continue staying with them?

Francis:    They first asked if we were students and then interviewed us one after the other.  We said we were not going to school then because of poverty, education at that time was a privilege.  They told us that they had come to give us free education.  They also asked us to tell them where, in any district we had seen a medical centre; they said that was why they had come.  These are some of the encouraging words they told us.  However, as we moved on, we were discouraged but we were unable to escape from them.

Leader of Evidence:    At one point in the movement, you were a sergeant.

Francis:  The promotion was called “Belleh Sergeant”

Leader of Evidence:   Where were you getting the food from?

Francis:   I used to collect it from our Head Quarters.

Leader of Evidence:    Was it part of your strategy that you went to the community and started shooting to scare people away and then take their food?

Francis:      No.

Ozonnia:   In your statement you said that you scared people away and took their food.

Francis:      Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Civilians left their community because they were afraid.

Francis:      Yes, that was the reason.

Leader of Evidence:   This will mean that there was no reason for the civilians to leave but that the RUF scared them away.

Francis:      Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    You were responsible for mobilising civilians to take the food to the war front?

Francis:       No.  They didn’t go to the war front.

Leader of Evidence:   Civilians were told that if they escaped they would be shot and killed.

Francis:  Yes

Leader of Evidence:    Does it mean that you were shooting in the air to scare civilians away?

Francis:   I did not witness it, but it used to happen.

Leader of Evidence:    In your statement, you told the Commission about two children who were captured.

Francis:      Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    How old was the girl at that time?

Francis:  3 years.

Leader of Evidence:    What’s her name?

Francis:      Sia

Leader of Evidence:    In your statement, you said you were going to train her to become your wife.

Francis:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    What kind of work did she do while in your custody?

Francis:    She was not doing any work.  I used to even wash her.  When she stayed with us till she was in class three, she fetched water with us.

Leader of Evidence:    Do you also think that Sia would have followed you if you didn’t have a gun?

Francis:      No.

Leader of Evidence:    Did you see your colleagues take women in other conditions?

Francis:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    How long did those women normally stay with them?

Francis:      Some are still with them.

Leader of Evidence:    Why have you not gone home and you are still in Kailahun?

Francis:   Nothing

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   Francis, we have asked you questions, do you have any questions or recommendations to make to the Commission?

Francis:   My first question is that I want to know if Sia is in this hall.

Leader of Evidence:    She is not here.

Francis:      So many times people say a lot of things that TRC has in mind for us.  What exactly do you have for us?

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    The main mandate of the TRC is to look into what happened during the 10 years war.  The violations and human rights abuses caused during the war.   The TRC will impartially record such happenings in order to prevent the outbreak of another war.  Do you have any more questions to ask?

Francis:    No.

Commissioner Mrs. Jow:    Thank you very much Francis, you can step down

3rd – Witness –Susan Kolugbonda

Presiding Commissioner: Mrs Aminata Jow
Chairman Bishop J Humper
Commissioner Professor John Kamara
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Susan Kolugbonda.  The witness swore on the Koran.  Commissioner Jow administered the oath.


I was not in kailahun when the war started.  I was doing my practicals.  I was in Mende Kamagu when the people attacked the town.  I went under the bed so I didn’t see most of the activities.  I was under the bed when they removed others and killed them.  There was a student in form 3.

I was listening to all what they were saying.  They asked others to cook for them.  I was worried.  I was in the village doing some work.  The house I stayed in was by the bush.  At night I walked to a village nearby.  In the morning I thought of my family and I returned.  As soon as I reached the town they started firing.  The soldier that abducted me took me to Garuband.  When I entered Kenema those who knew me before were happy to see me.  I was there when the chief asked me to work with the Red Cross.  I consented to work with the Red Cross.  The soldiers accused us of being rebels anytime we went for meeting.  I was staying with a woman but later on had to move out with the view of returning when sanity returns. Upon my return to this town, I was subjected to harassment and threats.  As a result I went to another village where I started processing palm oil, harvesting groundnut, and selling salt and some other foodstuff.  I went to a village and went into the bush processing palm oil.  I used to harvest groundnut.  I sold salt and other foodstuff.  Whenever they needed palm oil they came to me.  When I heard that the rebels had arrested the UN Peace Keepers I became unhappy.  Throughout that day I heard the sound of firing.  Later on we were told that some Kamajors were killed.    All was just hearsay.  The presence of Tom Sandy, Martin George, Joe Fatoma and Morie Feika was conspicuous that day.  We heard that Mosquito had guns.  I was in the village when I saw people coming down to Kailahun.  Being a civilian I decided to stay to see what was going to happen.  I am telling you about what happened during the time I was in the village.  There was no chief, and this really troubled us.  It was the Grace of God that saved me.  I was not afraid of any commander because if you are part of an organisation you will not be afraid of those in it.

I had a dispute with one of the commanders because of my farm.  On that very day I went to see Mosquito.  I told Mosquito that I was now home and if he chose to kill me he should go ahead.  I am a farmer here.  There is nowhere I can get food.  I told Mosquito to talk to his children so that they could stop what they were doing.  I was blamed for everything that happened in the village.  Now there is peace and I have a house in Kailahun.  I was in my house and I told everybody that I wanted peace.  All the chiefs during that time were interested in peace.  Everyone in Kailahun knew that I went to Daru to negotiate for peace.  I was sitting down when I heard that the Kamajors wanted peace.  All the young ladies decided that we should have our own organisation.  I refused to be the chairman.  So we had to vote but I still won.   Whenever they summoned a meeting, I hid myself and went to Daru.  We held a meeting with KARDIF.  We were happy to accept the peace.  They decided that I should be the chairman.  I told them outright that once I had become the chairman of this town all guns must go silent, and along with that there should not be any destruction.  When I returned from the meeting I was invited by Issa Sesay.  He said that he made my husband to work in Daru and therefore he was going to order the destruction of our properties.   After they had burnt all our houses they began to remove the steel windows.  I informed the people concerned that they were removing our properties.  I ordered that the things should be brought back to Kailahun.    The person in charge of the windows was Moriba Koroma.  Tom Sandy instructed that people to go.  We started chasing the vehicle.  We stopped the vehicle at a junction.  Mustapha Koroma was in Makeni.  When I came back I reported to the chief that that was what the people were doing.  I said I was going to follow the last one till they killed me.  Mustapha told Tom Sandy that he was wrong.  Tom Sandy and Mustapha were not on speaking terms.  I came back here.  I was here when my mother got sick and I went to Freetown.  As soon as I arrived I greeted everybody.  Tom Sandy said, “You have settled down in Freetown”.  He said that over and over.  I went to CPO Komba and the UNAMSIL officers and reported the matter to them.  I am now saying this to inform the Commission that I brought the peace that was in this town.  I also brought UNAMSIL into this town.  I also brought KARDIF to this town.   I had to work like a horse.  I did a lot of work. I will prepare food.  Moriba Koroma, James and Fatoma attacked me at my house.  When they collected me they threw stones at the vehicle.  When I went there Mustapha Koroma went to me and took all my property.  That was what they did to me.  A lot of people know about that.  I am not going to say anything in camera.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    We thank you for your testimony and also your role in the peace process.  We need to ask you questions to get important information.

Bishop Humper:  Your story is a bit complex.  The Commission has categories of witnesses.  We have victims, perpetrators and witnesses.  As we moved along your story we found out that you are a victim, a perpetrator and a witness.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    When did you return home?

Susan:    I returned to Kailahun after NPRC took over power.
Chairman Bishop Humper:   When did they appoint you women’s leader?

Susan:    When they told us that the organisation had become a political party.  It was that time I was made the chairman.  There was a Mammy queen.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you ever witness the rape of women?

Susan:    I never saw those things.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you know some other key soldiers of the RUF?

Susan:    Like Tom Sandy I have a daughter going to school and Tom Sandy tampered with her and she became a dropout.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you have any experience of RUF appointing their own chiefs.

Susan:    Yes.  Like one Mr. Sellu and Papa Do.   Mammy Massaquoi was a Mammy queen.  There was another section chief.  They were working together.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Who was the chief commander at that time?

Susan:    Morie Feika was the chief commander.  Any number of men they wanted at that time must be provided by the chief commander.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you know any leader who was in charge?
Susan:    Tom Sandy, Joe Fatoma and Morie Feika were in charge.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Why?

Susan:    I told them that they were holding leadership positions before me.  I could not just claim to be a chairman.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You took the appointment because you wanted to protect the town?

Susan:    Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Don’t you not think it was a big risk?  If you took that position it means that you supported the rebels.

Susan:    Initially they thought that if I was the chairman I would be silent over what they did.  That was the reason why I stood against whatever they did.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    When you saw these people doing this did you go to the administration?

Susan:    Yes.  At that time I was moving to Daru making reports to the CPO and DO

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Can you tell us the names of the CPO and DO you reported to?

Susan:    The DO was Sulaiman Koroma and the CPO was Kombah.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did they take any action?

Susan:    They took action.  They condemned their behaviour.  They warned these men to heed my word as a child of the town.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did the police make any effort to recover these properties?

Susan:    At the time the properties were taken away, the people concerned were not staying there.  They were supposed to have taken the action by the time I left the town for the meeting.  If you don’t do so they will kill you.  Anytime they see you moving they will accuse you of being on the other side.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    What you are telling me is that although officials were here law and order had not been restored.

Susan:    We were serving another government.

Commissioner Mrs. Jow:  In your effort to bring peace you never knew Foday Sankoh?

Susan:    No.

Commissioner Mrs. Jow:        Can you explain what you mean to us?

Susan:    It was not with Issa Sesay.  We were meeting all the time in Daru.

Leader of Evidence:    Would it be right to describe you before you became a chairman that you were a member of the RUF?

Susan:    I was not a collaborator.  I was in Kenema.  That was the time NPRC took over.

Leader of Evidence:    How many years did you stay there?

Susan:    I spent about one year six months in the village.

Leader of Evidence:    Who was the commander then?

Susan:    I can’t remember his name.

Leader of Evidence:    Who were these men who worked on your farm?

Susan:    They were my children.  They suffered a lot and they fled away.  I said I was not going anywhere. 

Leader of Evidence:    In 1999 you became Mammy Queen of the RUF?

Susan:    I met the Mammy Queen leader.  I was only the chairman?

Leader of Evidence:    Why did you decide to become a chairman of the RUF?

Susan:    I knew all the atrocities they committed and I rejected the position initially.  I accepted the position to protect the people of Kailahun.  I saw a lot of things people did and I can explain some of them.
Leader of Evidence:    As chairman from 1999 can you take responsibility for the atrocities they committed?

Susan:    I can say all those crimes they were committing were bad.  People knew that I was not supporting them.  I accepted the position that if anything went wrong during the war I will tell my people.

Ozionna:    With all the violations they committed you still believed in them as a group?

Susan:    I had accepted the position before that time.

Leader of Evidence:    What do you think is needed to bring real reconciliation among the people of Kailahun?

Susan:    I was called upon to be their chairman.  I am thinking that my people can testify that I did not do any atrocities here.  If there is anything I need to say to appease my people, I shall be pleased to say them.  People like Chief can testify that I did not commit any atrocities.  There are people here that still do nurture malice against others.

Leader of Evidence:    Some of the commanders you said caused the atrocities were here a couple of days ago and they apologised to the people. Do you think it is well meant?

Susan:    Many of those commanders are not on speaking terms with me.  Indeed many of them have apologised.

Leader of Evidence:    The Commission is organising a reconciliation programme tomorrow.

Susan:    I am willing to go there if I am invited.  If today God has inspired you to bring peace here I will do whatever you say.  All the time you have been asking me why I accepted the chairmanship.  I am a sensible person.  I am afraid of trouble.  Nobody led me here.  I came here by myself.  That is why I did not go for a closed door hearing.  I forgot to mention one incident I want to explain here.  I witnessed shootings and killings in this town.

4th Witness – Alex M. Jusu

Presiding Commissioner: Mrs Aminata Jow
Chairman Bishop J Humper
Commissioner Professor John Kamara
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Alex M. Jusu.  The Witness swore on the Bible.    Commissioner Jow administered the oath.

In 1991 when the war started I was small and 5 yrs old.  The rebels captured us and I lived with them until 1999.  Most of them dressed in rags.  One of our grandfathers Pa James was captured and killed.  Our mother was shielding our father.  The rebels asked us to prepare food for them.  They told us that they were doing us good.   We prepared the food for them.  The war turned against them and they formed Tap 20.  We were sitting in our hut in the farm on a certain day when we heard their voices and people raised the alarm that the rebels were coming.  We had one of our grandmas who was not able to run.  She moved for a shot distance and kept quiet.  They fired into the air for long.  Most of us were around.  Our grandma did not wait for long then she was arrested.  We looked at them until they went away.  In 1992 during the faming season they came to our village one afternoon and met our father and they captured him.  They demanded that all young men should go into the bush.  My father was made to look at the sun.  A guy called Tapor was the leader of the group.  They arrested my father and ordered some other people to assemble all the people in the village.  They asked people to carry loads for them.  They took them towards Koya for two or three days.  We all decided to go through Liberia into Guinea.  We went and stayed in the refugee camp in Guinea.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Where were you staying?

Alex:        I was in a village called Patama.

Chairman Bishop Humper:   What do you know about operation spare no soul?

Alex:    That kind of operation is the kind of operation where no living thing is spared. They will kill whatever they see.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    You were forced to carry heavy loads?

Alex:        Yes.  Nothing happened to me I only carried the load to Canyama.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Tell us a little bit more about your parents.  How they died as a result of mistreatment.

Alex:    They killed Mama Nyema, Pa James, and my father himself Pa Jusu.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did the rebels do you any harm?

Alex:        No, they did not do me any harm.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Did you say you were 5 or 9 years old?
Alex:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:   So I believe you should be 17 now and not 21.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You were taken from Foya and you moved your family into the bush?

Alex:    It was my elder brother who was taken to Foya and when he returned he said the war had entered our town and he took us away.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You and your elder brother?

Alex:         Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    How many of your family members did you lose?

Alex:        They killed two of my grandmas and my father was severely beaten.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    The rebels were abducting young boys and girls, not so?

Alex:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Can you tell us why you and your brother were not abducted?

Alex:    Anytime the rebels come around we always hid ourselves.  That was how we quickly crossed into Liberia.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    But they took you to Liberia.

Alex:    That happened in 1991 to 1992.  I was captured and taken up to Kangama and they released me.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:   Apart from that single incident of your carrying load for the rebels your family did not encounter any rebel attack.

Alex:    We were always in the bush and most often they told us that the rebels looted our properties and whenever we came we would see their handy works.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Do you know how many young boys or young men were abducted in your camp?

Alex:        I am not in a position to know anybody who was abducted. 

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    Where are your people now?

Alex:        I was with them in Guinea but I have left some of them behind.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    What year was that?

Alex:        That was in March 2002

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    How long?

Alex:        The period between 1991 and 1992

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Did you receive any training?

Alex:    They did not capture me and they moved along with me.  We used to be in our town and they gathered everybody together.  At that time we the smaller boys could just stand and look at them.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Did they take you anywhere when you moved with them?   
Alex:        They did not carry me anywhere so as to stay with them.  Initially when we were caught they told us that they were taking us to Liberia and one junior Commando promised to make a way escape for us.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    What was the name of the junior Commando?

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    He was called Amara.

Leader of Evidence:    For these rebel atrocities you witnessed have you received any counselling?

Alex:        No.

Leader of Evidence:    Do you dream about them?

Alex:        No, that has not happened in any way.

Leader of Evidence:    You said you left Sierra Leone in 1992 and came back in 1999?

Alex:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Do you feel like a foreigner in your own country?

Alex:        No.

Leader of Evidence:    Are you going to school now?

Alex:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    What class are you in now?

Alex:        Form 2 at the National Secondary School.  I am saying that those who brought the war committed all these atrocities  but as we are living in this world, we always blame God even when we caused them ourselves.  So those who committed these atrocities should be exposed to peace training facilities that will enable them to build what they have destroyed.

Leader of Evidence:    What kind of Sierra Leone do you want to see for people like yourself?

Alex:    I would love to see each and every young man in the country engaged in some useful activity.  As I speak here now, my father still suffers from pains he got from the flogging.  Even though he is working we still noticed that he is not ok.  Even within these few days they have been asking us for school fees.  That is one side effect of separation. 

Leader of Evidence:    Have you ever sat to discuss this incident with anybody?

Alex:        I have done that with my friends, we sit and chat.

Leader of Evidence:    What were your friends telling you?

Alex:    It was a terrible act for some of them.  Some will talk and laugh over it.

Leader of Evidence:    Will you like the Commission to refer you to some NGO?

Alex:        Yes.  I want to ask the Commission to help provide assistance for our education.  Most of our brothers are in the village and most of them are sick especially the girls.  I want the Commission to assist with medial facilities.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    It is good to note that as a young man you are aware of the need for education for all.  We will also ensure that there is education for girls.  All the same for the Commission to make any recommendations to government and international bodies in their report, your recommendations among others will have to be incorporated in our report.

5th Witness – Sellu Ensah Gobeh

Presiding Commissioner:
Mrs Aminata Jow
Chairman Bishop J Humper
Commissioner Professor John Kamara
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Sellu Ensah Ngobeh.  The witness swore on the Koran.  Commissioner Jow administered the oath.


I was a chief in this country particularly in Luawa chiefdom and was made chief in 1996.   Whilst I was in power the rebels used to tell us to look for food for them.  They used me as a kind of intermediary on behalf of my people as I was supposed to get my people to gather their produce and give it to them.  We gave them rice, coffee, cocoa and palm oil.  That was what we used to do.  Everybody in the chiefdom used to come together for a general cleaning of the town.  The fighters did not participate in that kind of exercise.  The time the Gio fighters left the country we took charge of our country again.  Things got better for us when they left.  They use to warn us that their work was a military matter and not our business.  The Indians that stayed there were very kind to us.  One morning I was surprised to learn that they had been arrested.  But then I said to myself that it was a political matter and not my business.  Personally I felt bad that they had been arrested.  In my opinion, the Kenyans were the first offenders when they arrested the people.   

I visited them and promised to take them back to Kailahun that very day.  The commander CSO told me that before that could happen we must make some agreement committing me to bring the people back.  I was concerned that if anything happened to them the RUF were to blame.  I took them to Kailahun.  By that time Issa was back from Monrovia.  I was arrested and taken to Foya.  I declared before Issa that I signed the document taking responsibility to bring those people back to Kailahun.  He said a lot to me and said it was an international affair.  I was a civilian and according to him I was not supposed to have any hand in that.  We returned to town.   There was a big problem in Kailahun at the time of disarmament.  They disarmed everybody in Kono and Makeni but they told us that we should not disarm here.  I heard it in a radio message.  I went to the station and asked why.  I told him that I will order the boys to disarm. He came and argued with us a lot but he certainly understood what we were telling him.  There is a lot to be said about this war but I want to stop here.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  I want to thank you for coming here today.  I want to know the role you played and the problems you encountered during the rebel war.       When did you become paramount chief for these people?

Sellu:       In 1996.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Was there a Paramount Chief before you?

Sellu:   Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Who was the Paramount Chief before you?

Sellu:    Initially when the war entered here the Paramount Chief I knew was Senesie Makpa.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    When was he elected Paramount Chief?

Sellu:        In 1991.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Who elected him Paramount Chief?

Sellu:        It was the Gio fighters.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Who was the Paramount Chief before Senesie?

Sellu:        It was Chief Sama Banya Bala.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  That was the Paramount Chief that was elected by the Chiefdom people?

Sellu:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    But Senesie was appointed by the RUF?

Sellu:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    And you were also appointed by the RUF in 1996?

Sellu:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you contest in an election?

Sellu:        Five of us contested in that election.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Who were the chiefdom counsellors?

Sellu:        There were no counsellors.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Can you say whether your election was legal or illegal?

Sellu:        It was illegal.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Did you have your own chiefdom counsellors.

Sellu:        Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Who appointed those counsellors?

Sellu:    They organised themselves and selected one person who appointed the counsellors.   When we to do field work in Koidu I was asked to take the labourers along.  A message was sent asking if I had gathered the men for the work.    I was arrested I was unable to do it.  It took days before the men were gathered and then I was released.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    As PC would your subjects go anywhere with out your consent?

Sellu:        No, I had to give my consent.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    It was by your consent that people worked for the RUF?

Sellu:        Whether I consented or not they had to do it.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Do you know a place in this town called the “slaughter house”?

Sellu:        No.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    How many Kamajors were killed by the rebels in this town?

Sellu:        I can’t tell the number as I was not in this town.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    How can you convince the people of this town and Kailahun that you were not only a collaborator but also a chief architect for the rebels?

Sellu:    If ever I committed any crime in this chiefdom it was only because I was urging my people to come for work.  They did not even take me seriously when I scolded them.  They only feared those who carried guns.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Thank you for the information
You said the Paramount Chief before Senesie was PC Sama Banya.  You were fairly an old person.  Can you tell your people if you were crowned the same way as the first Paramount Chief?

Sellu:        No, mine was an illegal election.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Did you think you did a good thing for chieftaincy in this chiefdom?

Sellu:        No.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:   Do you regret it now?

Sellu:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You said one of your responsibilities was to go out and let the people give up their produce.

Sellu:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You were asked to produce a quantity of food or a quantity of produce.

Sellu:        Yes.  They gave me a quota which I had to bring by force.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Can you tell us what happened to you when you failed to get the quantity.

Sellu:        I was detained.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  What do you tell your people to bring in order to free you from your detention?

Sellu:    I used to tell my people to bring the things that were asked for in order to secure my freedom.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You were asked to collect 200 people for work.  When you failed to collect them you were punished.

Sellu:        Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Did you not resort to punishing people who refused to participate.

Sellu:        I did not.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You have never touched anybody?

Sellu:        No.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:   You seem to have a measure of authority or control over the RUF.  Issa refused to disarm.
Sellu:    Yes.    I ordered the boys to break the stores open and take the guns to go and disarm. Where I had the strength they were just left by themselves.  I often threatened to instigate my people to disobey them.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You want to tell everybody that people were happy to give away their produce?

Sellu:        They were not happy to do that.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Why did you not stop it?

Sellu:        I did.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You stopped it?

Sellu:    Yes, I stopped it.  The only thing ensured was the involvement of the people in the cleaning of the town.   My force was to see that the town was clean.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Can you tell us what  work the people did?

Sellu:    Farm work.  We used to do farm work, clean the town and make the roads. From construction to agriculture to cleaning, every duty had its own team and team leaders. Alpha Musa was the team leader for Construction work.  
Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Were they all rebels?

Sellu:        No, they were civilians.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   As a member of a committee you got them to carry out their duties?

Sellu:    I used to do it but some were not working.  Sometimes they waited for me to travel elsewhere and they did what they liked.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Do you know that you are responsible for all these atrocities?

Sellu:        I will not agree to all of them.  I was a civilian without a gun.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Did you come in contact with any other rebel leader apart from Issa Sesay?

Sellu:   Yes, they were here.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Can you name them?

Sellu:           Augustine Bayoh
       Vandy Kosia
       Denis Lansana
       Mike Lamin
       Peter Vandy
Leader of Evidence:    Can you tell the Commission why you came forward to testify today?

Sellu:    Yes.  We who stayed behind during the war we did not stay for our property.  We were trapped by the war at that time.  If we had gone to Liberia they would have killed us and if we had gone to Guinea they were going to kill us too.  After staying in the country and everything came to an end one had the opportunity to address his people.  Some of us did not commit crimes.  Those of us who committed atrocities, must ask for forgiveness.

Leader of Evidence:    Can you tell this Commission how Sala became your wife.

Sellu:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Go on and tell us.

Sellu:    Sala was in Sembehu, a small village and I proposed love to her and she agreed.  It took me six months without seeing her.  We went to Pendembu and there she met me.  I asked her if she got my messages.  That was where we started arranging our marriage.

Ozonnia:    Sala was not abducted by you.

Sellu:        I was a civilian and she was a fighter, so how could I have abducted her?

Leader of Evidence:    She finally became a fighter after you betrayed her.

Sellu:        She was in the movement when I met her.

Leader of Evidence:    Do you also have a wife named Baindu?

Sellu:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Was she disarmed?

Sellu:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Were you also disarmed in Kailahun?

Sellu:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Will you be honest to say to your people the wrongs you did to them so that they can listen to you?

Sellu:        I want to tell my people to forgive me for the wrongs I committed against them. 

Leader of Evidence:    You forcibly let people do farm work.

Sellu:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    You worked very closely with the commanders here against your people.

Sellu:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    The people were beaten and maltreated, is that correct?

Sellu:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Can you tell the Commission about the “slaughter house”?

Sellu:    The one I know about was the killing of the Kamajors. At the time they were arrested I was not in town.  I met them on the ground when I returned.  I asked and they told me everything.  But all the people here now are citizens of this chiefdom.  They pleaded with me, “Please don’t arm them, let us free them”.  Then I left to go in search of food again.  On my way to Gama I met people the by the riverside and they told me that they had killed all those people. I asked who killed them and they said it was Mosquito.  I was so discouraged because I had brothers among them.  People used to ask if I was able to let them release those people.   I said yes.  But when I heard of this I was surprised.  The next day they told me to remove the dead bodies and I told them I wasn’t going to.  But they had guns.

Leader of Evidence:    Apart from the Kamajors many people were killed?

Sellu:        I don’t know the house you are talking about.

Leader of Evidence:    Why do you think people of this town dislike you so much?   You were a member of a court where Patrick Banda served as chairman.

Sellu:    Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    You were a member of that court.

Sellu:        No.

Leader of Evidence:    In your statement you said you presided over several cases. 

Sellu:    I did not preside over any case.  Patrick Banda was the head in Koindu and he was responsible for cases.  I was just doing my work as a chief.

Leader of Evidence:    The Commission will finish this work tomorrow.  The Commission does not harass any person.  We insist on promoting peace in this country.  The Commission is your opportunity to come to your people and reconcile but people feel insulted when those who violated their rights do not speak the truth.  I am now asking you to apologise and ask for forgiveness.  The work of the Commission is to help facilitate that process.  If you want the Commission to help you, now is your opportunity or otherwise it will take a long time to do so.  Do you have anything to tell the people of Kailahun? 

Sellu:    In Kailahun here at this centre on this big day, I am now telling all my people men and women that it was not our fault Sankoh’s.  If it was not him it would not have happened this way.  I am asking all my people to kindly forgive me for the things that happened in this country so that from now on we will be able to live like children from one mother to promote this country.

Leader of Evidence:    You remember the court with Patrick Banda.  So you then presided over your own court in Kailahun?

Sellu:        Any time our brother committed any crime we will talked it over.

Leader of Evidence:    What kind of punishment did you give to those found guilty?

Sellu:        We fined some people a bag of rice or flogged them.

Leader of Evidence:    It is a law that they should be flogged, is that correct?

Sellu:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Some will be locked in cells for days?

Sellu:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    There are several mass graves in the town?

Sellu:    Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Do you know about some of those mass graves?

Sellu:        Yes, behind the police station.

Leader of Evidence:    Where you there when those people were killed?

Sellu:        No, at that time I was not in power. 

Leader of Evidence:    When you were in power were you there when others were killed?

Sellu:        No.

Leader of Evidence:    Some people were sentenced to death for crimes.  Is that correct?

Sellu:        We don’t have that kind of crime in our court.

Leader of Evidence:    Some of those beaten died because of the beating they received?

Sellu:        That never happened.

Leader of Evidence:    Some were beaten in this town.

Sellu:        It used to happen in Guama.

Leader of Evidence:    What effort did you make to find out who killed those people?

Sellu:    Isaac a Liberian soldier brought these people and the people complained that they were tired.  The people died.  I reported to the commander what his fighters were doing.

Leader of Evidence:    Do you regret what you did in collaboration with the RUF?

Sellu:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Are you prepared to participate in the reconciliation process tomorrow.

Sellu:        Yes.

6th – Witness –Fomba Kanneh

Presiding Commissioner: Mrs Aminata Jow
Chairman Bishop J Humper
Commissioner Professor John Kamara
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Fomba Kanneh.  I am a Muslim.  Commissioner Jow administered the oath.


On the 28 day of fasting, during one season of Ramadan, on a Saturday, we were in our village when we heard gun shots.  The rebels brought in by Foday Sankoh launched an attack. The following Monday, I moved from our village and came back to see the extent of the war brought to our country.  I went to my house and the fighters went there with their guns.  The police barracks had been closed and the police had run away.  The rebels went in and looted all the properties.  They also went to a woman’s place where they stole rice.  I started seeing loads on people’s head moving all about.  A boy told me that I should go and collect my own rice as a store had been opened.  I refused.  It was clear from the look of things that they had come to steal.  The guy that brought the war, Foday Sankoh, held a meeting at the court barray.  While addressing the people he said that he had no money to prosecute them and that natives of the land should fight and not expect to be paid.  Anyone who fought in the war was to consider anything he got as a profit.  That went on and the destruction continued onto Baima.  Sankoh said that the war was a means of bringing changes.  The change he was talking about was to destroy any sober person in this land.  After the rebels had left our children were not part of the movement.  Some of us had thought that if the war was in the hands of our children it would speedily come to an end.  However, when the country was in our own hands they were breaking houses and killing people.  It came to a time when we didn’t have anything to eat.  There were five of us from the same mother.  All of my brothers and sisters were killed.  I built a concrete house in this town and people know about it.  That house was destroyed.  They were here and they did whatever they wanted.  Last year, I left this place for Bo.  My brother took my wife to Bo.  I found he had died.  He went to Freetown for medication at the Connaught hospital and there he was admitted though he died later.  After his death a lot of things happened. He had two children overseas and we told them about his death.  They came to Freetown and buried their father.  Like I said, Sankoh had come to change us.  I am not saying I was a rich man, but at first I was able to feed myself and my family.  I lost everything.  UNAMSIL is currently occupying my house and they are not making any improvement on it.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    We thank you for coming here to testify.  As I listen to your testimony, I feel sad because of your age.  One would expect that at your age, you should have settled to enjoy the little you have.  We hope you will continue to hold on to what you have at this point in time will you agree with me that if we were to give a title to this revolution of Sankoh we will say that it was a “Pay yourself Revolution”?

Fomba:  Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Will you say that the pay yourself strategy moved your children to join the rebels?

Fomba:  Yes.  Everybody paid themselves.

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Why did one Alhaji put a grenade in your pocket?

Fomba:    He asked me to go with him to Daru.   I asked whether he was travelling with people and he said no.  Then I told him that I would not be able to walk to Daru.  I had my t-shirt.  He took out the grenade and put it in my pocket.  I still insisted that I was not going.  He went into my house and started firing and bore holes in the ceiling. He did all he could but I refused to go. 

Chairman Bishop Humper:    Can you remember the names of some of the commanders around here?

Fomba:     Yes, I remember Massaquoi he was the leader of all the soldiers.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    You said Foday Sankoh was making promises to change things around?

Fomba:     Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    What was your opinion about those changes?

Fomba:    I thought about the changes as the war progressed and I realised that they were meant for those who were hopeful about the outcome of the war.  I cannot say I was rich, but I had 15 family members that I took care of.  Now I cannot take care of them.  

Commissioner Professor Kamara:    On the basis of those experiences what advice will you give to the people of this country both young and old about changes in government?

Fomba:   I cannot give any piece of advice.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    At the point where Foday Sankoh spoke to you were you convinced?

Fomba:    Whilst he was talking I entered the hall to ask him, then one of my children held me back and told me not to ask questions.  I did not defy my child.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   Did any of your children join the RUF?

Fomba:    My child joined the RUF out of his own wish but right now he is dead.  I was in Guinea and he was flogged to death.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Was it by junior commandos or the RUF?

Fomba:    I can’t tell the kind of group he belonged to, but they referred to him as a commando.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Did you give him over to the RUF yourself?

Fomba:   I did not.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:    Did they abduct them?

Fomba:    They did not abduct them, they opted for themselves.  No sooner had Sankoh declared the pay yourself strategy than they opted to join the movement.

Leader of Evidence:    Can you describe the size of the house in terms of the number of rooms?

Fomba:      Seven bedrooms, one shop and two verandas

Leader of Evidence:    Where is this house located?

Fomba:      On the way to Koindu.

Leader of Evidence:    Are they paying rent to you?

Fomba:   I have not received a cent from them.

Leader of Evidence:    When did they start occupying this house?

Fomba:   Last year.

Leader of Evidence:    Have you complained to the Paramount Chief?

Fomba:   No.

Leader of Evidence:    Why?

Fomba:   At the time of my return, we had no resident Paramount Chief.

Leader of Evidence:    The commission will try to help you.  We will write a letter to the Representative of the UN Secretary General here to see what they can do.  The Commission wants to know how to phrase the letter.  Do you want the house or do you want them to pay you rent?

Fomba:   I want to rent the house.

Commissioner Mrs. Jow: We have asked you questions, do you have any questions to ask or recommendations to make?

Fomba:    What I have to say to this commission is that if I were a woman I would have cried as I am going through hard times.  I was not a rich man, but I was happy.  As I am talking now, I can’t afford to feed myself.  I had so many wives, but they all fled because of the

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   We are very sorry for what you went through.  We thank you very much for the support.



1st Witness – Peter Bagorie

Presiding Commissioner: Chairman Bishop J Humper
Mrs Aminata Jow
Commissioner Professor John Kamara
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Peter Bagorie.   The witness swore on the Bible.   The oath was administered by Bishop Humper.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  You are one of the important people in Sierra Leone.  You will be helping us to know what went wrong in Sierra Leone.  You will be contributing toward the building of Sierra Leone.  I give you this opportunity to tell us your experience.


I am a worker at the Ministry of Health.  I am the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in Kailahun.  We went to a series of meetings with the RUF in Kingtom so that they could allow us to enter the territory.  Some of the people present at the meeting were Koto, Kaibanja and all their medical personnel.  This meeting was organised by UNICEF, WHO and the Sierra Leone Government.

We came to a conclusion that we should enter Kailahun.  We were to conduct an NID programme in Kailahun.  On 6th October, we packed all our logistics to enter Kailahun.  We were intercepted at Sebuya and taken to Segbwema.   On arrival in Segbwema, we came in contact with the following:

Colonel Momoh Rogers
Colonel. Amara (Ambush Commander)
and one  M.P. Daboh. 

They said we had no right to enter their territory.

The following day we were brought to their office to wait until they received orders from Sam Bockarie.  We stayed there for days.  On 10th October, at 6:30 p.m., we received a message that they were taking us to Buedu.  I am grateful to Samedu because she cried when we were about to be taken away.  She made the comment that we were going to a place we knew not, and if we came back alive, fine; but if we died also, fine.  We were four in number and four gun men.  They told us that there was one of us in the bush and that we should join them.  That was when I thought that we were going to die.  We met the man on the way.  We arrived at Bunumbu by Midnight.  Those rebels were so powerful; they had all kinds of communication sets.  No sooner had they moved from one point than they communicated with their colleagues.  At Bunumbu, we took a canoe and crossed the river to Gaima.  We went to Gaima and slept there. The following day, we slept at Pendembu.  The other day we went to Buedu, towards Pendembu.  We went to Bulawa and we did not see any street because it was dark.   We travelled in the jungle unto Dodo Kortuma.  That was where we first saw light.  On arrival in the town continued to a place called Oni Lusi where it was raining then.   We waited for the rain to cease before continuing our journey.  When we went to Buedu the first person we came in contact with was called Alhaji Kuyateh 2121, he was the step father of Maskita.   We were not told that they had juju men who would know if people did not speak the truth and that such persons would die.  He served us food.  Mr. Vandy (commonly called Boss Boss) and I ate the food.  He took us to the MP’s office and took all our properties from us and signed for them.  The following day, we were arraigned before the court at a place called “the Dungeon”, a very deep place where they locked people up.   From among the four of us they took the youngest man, Paul Baimba.  His uncle asked him to say that Boss Boss was a Kamajor and that he was the brain behind the movement.  I was a photographer and a journalist.  Alhaji Kuyateh 2121 was a very powerful man.  Our fate lay in his hands.  After beating Baimba to their satisfaction, they called me outside with the hope of getting some kind of information from me.  I said, “I want to tell you the composition of the NID.  It is not meant for the health workers, but for the population and our children”. I told them that our National Coordinator for NID was S.U. M. Jah and the Social Mobilisation Coordinator was A.O.D George.  “If you say it was wrong for us to have followed Boss Boss, I would like you to know that we did so because we felt we needed an opinion leader like him for the programme to succeed”.  I told them that if they wished to have any information from us they should call us one by one to get the facts.  Then Mosquito asked what I meant by the adducing of evidence.  I said “if you want to investigate.”  To my greatest surprise, a soldier that was paid by the government, Lt. Batiloh said that everybody should go inside for Peter to talk to us.  Then Mosquito said I should say that our coordinator was a Kamajor.  I said I had not been trained to lie.  If I lied my people would disown me and the government would also disown me.   He asked which government.  I said the government of the day.  Then he said he was going to kill Pa Kabba and wash his hands in his blood.  We went and he gave me cigarette to smoke and asked me to say the truth.  I said the same thing.  He said I was stubborn.  He said once I did not say the truth, he gave command to people with rubbers to flog me.  I was beaten.  Then all of a sudden, he ordered them to stop.  He said I was blessed and that I had covered all the others.   He said that he received a message from Foday Sankoh to release us.  I saw eight masks and soko bana devils; they cut their tongues and removed their eyes.  They had their own empire and they had divided the country into two.  When Sankoh came, we were not able to come outside.  He came with two helicopters and some international people.  I tried to force my way so that if anything happened I could find my way out there.   When I thought of the dungeon, I thought he would put me there so that the international people would not know about me.  That was the first time I met Fayia Musa, Palmer and Deen Jalloh.   We were asked whether we were given food to eat.  I said we were given rice and okra. We were given food at 7:00 p.m. and they said if we wanted to eat we could.   It started to rain and I asked what had happened; Faiya Musa said I had been called by the Pa.  They sat on the ground.  At night, I was sleeping and heard Fayia Musa, Deen Jalloh and Dr. Barrie.  It was not long after they went that one MP soldier came to us and said they had been freed.  The Pa said we should forget about the organisation and that he was prepared to sponsor us to any they want to go.  They came and shouted, “Boss Boss the Pa wants to see you.”  I said we should all go but they said that Sankoh wanted to see only one person and that was Boss Boss.  Then Boss Boss told me to wait for him and after a while he returned.  Before he went there, he was shouting.  I told them that Sankoh and I were in Segbwema.  He said we had been freed.  I said we could not move in the night.  I told them that the rebels had tactics and Mosquito would order his boys to kill us.  I said these boys have all types of tricks.  In the morning, Sankoh came to do his rounds and stopped by the hospital and then visited the office where we were.  He said henceforth whoever had committed rape or killing should be freed.  He said, “My people, the people of Sierra Leone freed me when I was in prison.  There I used to pump.  Now I am going to free everybody.  I want to show you what you should do”.  He ordered everybody to pump.  After that everybody was asked to come out of the court.  If you stayed there, he would be killed.  He took out money and Tom Sandy went and grabbed it.  We were given a letter of release which, unfortunately, I do not have here.   I have forgotten it. The day Foday Sankoh arrived when they were changing shift he said he lost Le1 million.  One Captain was arrested and stripped naked.  They suspended him over fire while they beat him up.  All the persons I am naming now molested me and I suffered greatly at their hands.

Major Gen. Sam Bockarie (Mosquito)
Mr. Coomber
Mr. Momoh Rogers
Mr. Tom Sandy
Lt.  Batiloi; he is still in the army and he is now a Captain.  I want the Commission to note that if we want to have sustainable peace these people should be brought to justice.

S.S Williams (Liaison Officer);
Alhaji Kuyateh;
Col. Amara.

People were afraid to mention their names.  When talking of those who organised something, think of the Chief Security of the RUF, the people who used to tell us about security consciousness; he knows of all what I went through  (Sam Koroma)

Chairman Bishop Humper:   Thank you for being so clear and to the point, I would ask my colleagues if they have any questions for clarification.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  When you were proceeding to Buedu on your way to Dodo Kortuma you listed a number of persons you met, Dr. Barrie and who else?

Peter:  Sam Bockarie,  Mr. Coomber, Momoh Rogers, Tom Sandy, Lt. Batiloh (SLA), S. S Williams, Alhaji Kuyateh, Col. Amara.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: You were working for the NID?

Peter: Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: You were trying to tell us that you were unable to carry out your job?

Peter: It was not successful because of their interruption. It did not work.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: Since those times do you know of any follow up to immunise the children?

Peter:  We came back in November when we realised that nothing had been done and so we started moving in the District to do the jobs. 

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  How did you get to know about the dungeon?

Peter:  The dungeon was behind the cell and we saw how they manipulated their affairs.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You gave us a story which indicates that your opinion was respected.

Peter:   He was trying to brainwash me but I was able to read between the lines.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: What happened after he released you?

Peter:   We were given a letter of release.  Before that the four men who escorted us from Buedo the day Mosquito sent for us from the court sent word to us that within 12 hours we should return to Buedo at night.  That was the time Foday Sankoh was to travel.  Someone is here who is related to Paul Baimba who gave us 2 Liberian boys to take us on the road.  We passed through Kailahun and went to Gaama where we slept.  We went through Flawahun unto Pendembu.  On arrival, Boss Boss asked us to go by canoe but then I refused.  I said “over my dead body”.  I said if we entered the canoe, Mosquito would tell his boys to dump us.  I told them that I had my passport which said anybody who molested us would face the consequences of the RUF.  At that point we were free to go back to Segbwema if we so wished.  I went through Pendembu to Beudo.  We walked and passed through Kwiva.  We had wanted to use another road, but we were afraid of the landmines.  As we reached Daru, we presented ourselves to Ecomog.  We were taken to Maj. Okwonko.  He said he was going to Freetown.  I said I wont go because our feet were swollen and if we were taken to Freetown they would televise us.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: You escaped the RUF?

Peter:  Yes.

Commissioner Mrs. Jow:  Were you travelling from Freetown to Kailahun for the NID exercise?

Peter:   We were told that they had sent a message to the RUF.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Did they give you a copy of the letter?

Peter: No.  When we reached at Mano junction they asked us to continue.

Chairman Bishop Humper:   Where do you stay?

Peter:   I am staying in Kailahun.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  Do you know where the dungeon is in Buedu?

Peter:   Very well.

Chairman Bishop Humper: Do you know Lt. Batiloh?

Peter:  Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  You had a pass when you were intercepted did you show the pass?

Peter:  Yes Sir, we started showing it from Tombola.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  Do you know if the people whose names you mentioned are still alive?

Peter: I cannot delve into that.  If they are alive I can identify them.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  The Commission will pursue this.  We will take it very seriously as these people are very important to us.  For the four days you spent in Daru did they give you food to eat?

Peter: Yes, we were given food in every village.   We started suffering when we met Maskita.

Chairman Bishop Humper: You said the war was divided into two, do you want to tell me that Foday Sankoh had his and the RUF had theirs?  What do you mean by two divisions? 

Peter: You heard me.  I said it was the first time I saw 8 masked devils and “soko bana”  cutting their tongues and  removing their eyes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  Let us leave that.  What are you trying to tell me and the audience after going through this experience?

Peter: It is difficult, the heart can easily forget, but the memory always remains.  If you wronged me and you did not tell me openly that you have wronged me, honestly I will never forgive you.  They have caused me some disability, my neck has some problems. 

Leader of Evidence: I have one point for clarification.  You said that when you saw the dungeon there was somebody near the hall of the dungeon, can you explain what the person was doing?

Peter:  He was an RUF soldier and one of the architects.  The person is Paul Baimba’s uncle. 

Leader of Evidence:  Was he carrying a gun?

Peter:  I did not see a gun with him.

Leader of Evidence: You saw the person interacting with the RUF?

Peter: He was a member of the RUF and he is here.

Leader of Evidence:  Will you like to give the Commission the person’s name?

Peter:  Yes. His name is Senesie.

Leader of Evidence: For the benefit of the Commission, when last did you see these people?  I am asking you to tell the people to come and give evidence to the people in Kailahun or Freetown.

Peter:   C.O. Coomber.

Leader of Evidence:   When last did you see him or hear about him?

Peter: Since I left that place, I have never enquired about him. Momoh Rogers is in Pademba Road; Tom Sandy used to live in this town; S. S.  Williams, I understand, is now in Kono; Alhaji Kuyateh 2121, I was told, went to Freetown but he normally stays in Kono; Col. Amara is in a village along the road leading to Buedu. 

Leader of Evidence:   Was it the duty of Ambush Commander to plan all the ambushes?

Peter: As I understand it, an ambush Commander plans ambushes.

Leader of Evidence: I am saying thank you and begging you to tell the people that had been named to give their evidence.

Chairman Bishop Humper: It is your turn to ask questions.

Peter:  Before I start, I want to inform you that I had left one name out that is the Chief Security.

Chairman Bishop Humper: We have already got him at the closed hearing.

Peter: In as much as I had earlier defined the objectives and aims of this Commission, if I have the power I will support the Commission to stand strong.  This country has turned into a place as one lady said “we are all cows in woreh”.  In the first place I am appealing for my health.  The rebels destabilised me.  In any country, when you talk about a government, you have organs that are responsible for the government.  We have the legislative, the judiciary and so forth.   The (Security) people that are going to guide us should be sober minded.  I want the Commission to go all out to see that the stages of anarchy that we had gone through are wiped out of this country.  Let the Commission ensure that nobody is above the law.  Let the ex-combatants know that we swallowed bitter pills for peace in this country.  Let them have this realisation.  That is all I have to say.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  We appreciate your coming and your contribution.  You have helped the Commission to have some vital information.  We hope that this recommendation will be taken seriously.

2nd Witness – Eric Koi Senesi   (S.O. B)

Presiding Commissioner: Chairman Bishop J Humper
Mrs Aminata Jow
Commissioner Professor John Kamara
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

Chairman Bishop Humper:  We want to welcome you to this session today.  I want you to know that you are one of the important persons we have here this morning.
My name is Emeric Koi Senesi.  I am a Christian. The witness swore on the Bible. The oath was administered by Bishop Humper.


I am saying thank you to the Commission.   It pleases me so much that I have been called to come and tell you what were my own activities and what I saw.  Before the war, I was serving in my capacity as a Treasury Clerk.  In 1991, on 23 March, we were in Mobai when we heard that the war had entered Bomaru.  On that day, we were in a court proceeding.  The court was adjourned.  Chief Bunduka told us that he once heard that there was an organisation headed by Foday Sankoh which was coming to the country.  We were in Mobai.  After 2 days on the 3rd day the war was serious at Mobai.  We saw government soldiers moving to Mobai.  They said they were unable to withstand the rebels and they retreated.  As they were repelled, they went to Mobai.  On that particular day, some people were packing to move when the rebels attacked at Daru.  Some people were telling us that they had started killing people at Daru.  We saw people moving from Kailahun, they said the rebels had entered Kailahun.  In the evening, I collected all my children and wife and we went into the bush.  My first son called Fred and I came back to collect our mattresses.  We came across rebels moving in large numbers.  My son was captured and taken to town.  We were in the bush for one week.  My son went to inform us about a ruling that had been passed by the Chief that if we did not go to town they would kill us.  We went to town and they asked for the educated people among us.  The man I was assisting stood up and raised his hand and he was appointed as the speaker.  They took them away and we later heard gun shots.   We were asked to go back to our houses.  They went and arrested the Paramount Chief, J.B.  Bunduka.  We were all gathered again and he was asked to present the chiefdom money.  He said he did not have money.  He was arrested.  They continued beating him together with his policeman.    We saw them lying.  Jiffa Massaquoi, Rambo and C.O. Mohamed Tarawally were the commandos at that time.   That evening, they met me in my veranda and had my beard shaved. I was beaten up as they accused me of being a Government soldier.  My son who was conscripted came and pleaded for me that I was not a soldier, and told them that I was a  good artist. He told them that I could design for them if they wanted me to do it.   They asked me if I was a good artist, I said yes.  They asked me to go home. We stayed in Mobai for three months.  They started looting Government properties and taking them to Foya. Dr. Kobba’s properties and many others were looted.  One morning, Government troops attacked us.  I went to Sakama and I was there with my family for six months.  Three soldiers came and asked for me and they said Sankoh was at home.  My son and my wife cried but I told them to stop as we were being trapped.   I decided to go.  They were so worried that if I did not go I would be dead.  I was taken before Sankoh.  Sankoh brought a logo which represented their symbol.  He wanted to get his logo drawn, a lion.  Those in the office tried to design the lion, but they were unable. He asked whether I could draw the lion and I said yes.  I asked him if he wanted me to draw a lion.  He said sometime ago, a white man called Pedro da Cintra came to Sierra Leone in 1462 and he said Sierra Leone was a Lion Mountain and that was why they were using lion as their symbol.   I told him that I was hungry and they gave me food.  He said, “Young man, go ahead and when you are through, draw the lion”.  I can show the Commission the lion which I drew.  I asked him why the war was brought.   He said the war was brought so as to take people out of poverty.  I told him that the war was too much for us, they were just killing our people.  I had been listening to the radio and they had been talking about Top 20.  When the Gio fighters came, they were asking our people to make juju for them so that they would not be hit by a bullet.  At the war front, they looted freezers, tapes, etc.  When the Gios were here; they were raping and committing all kinds of atrocities.  They ate everything and the food got finished.  After transporting everything, an announcement was made one day, in the morning hours about all those working for us.   Mohamed Sankoh was fired and we were all afraid.   No sooner had we ran away than all our properties were looted.  They killed all Muslims there.  That disturbed our people and they went to Sankoh and told him that they did not want those people.  Then Sankoh asked whether they were able to confront them in battle and they said yes.  It took about a month for the rebels to fight against those people.  The Mende people got together and fought at night with help from the Poro Devil; they used a password to identify themselves.  The Gios were unable to say the password.  Anybody who said the wrong word was shot.  Those who said the right word were embraced.  I was living in Sakamo when NPRC took power.  They started fighting against our people very seriously.  We were then seeing our brothers running away from the war front.  I collected my children and we moved to Yandehun.  The people who brought the war to the country, Issa and Mosquito, were not educated.  The   educated ones were Rashid, Mohamed and others.  We heard that one man called Janka had made arrangements to overthrow Sankoh.  They were all killed. There were two men and they killed all of them at Gahun.  They killed people who were from Gahun.  That was the time when NPRC announced a cease fire and called the rebels out of the bush.  The chief, the soldiers and Mosquito were in the bush. They planned that if the fighting was serious, they would send some people there.  The testimonies people gave from Gahun were not a lies.  They called about 75 of them and they were killed.  The civilians had their children killed and some were held hostages while some were killed.  They came and explained to us and advised me not to go.  After they had kill them, in 1993, we heard that Sankoh and his boys had moved to Garma along with Mosquito and Mohamed Tarawally.  Sankoh ordered them to fight the soldiers so that they could find their way through.  Sankoh was taken to Zogoda and people used to carry food for them.  I used to see them, but I did not go there.  In 1994 and 1995, at the time they killed most of our brothers in Buedu, our brothers attacked the soldiers and repelled them to Buedu.  After that, my people and I went to a town called Baama.  Fayiah Musa, Basah, Din Jalloh and Philip Palmer were all national delegates.  My family moved to Buedu. It was at that time that the movement was called to sign a peace treaty.  Whilst in the bush, those of our brothers who represented us connived with the SLPP and Philip had announced that he was then the RUF leader, not Sankoh.  There and then they sent a message for Philip to come and organise the movement in order to remove Sankoh.  When they came back, they arrested them.  My colleague mentioned a place called the dungeon.  After those brothers came from Freetown that was the time Mosquito ordered me to dig a hole which was very deep.  They put a long ladder in it.  There was a cell in it.  On top of it, was a house.  That house which was built over the hole was referred to as Cell no. 1.  If anyone was caught stealing he was sent to jail 1.  If anyone committed any crime that demanded killing, they were sent down the hole. If they committed any serious offence, they were put in the jungle.   They were charged first with the offence of sabotage.  We were among them as we were educated.  Those men were in the dungeon for a long time.  We who were educated people got together and pleaded on their behalf and mosquito consented.  They were not killed.  By the time Sankoh was coming somebody mentioned that I was an architect but I was not.  The person who was actually the architect was called Mohamed Tarawally.  I am a very good artist.  If you say look at this and draw this I will do it.  I moved to Panguma that was the time AFRC took power, on Sunday, 25 May 1997.  I was then in Panguma.  At that time Sankoh ordered that the SLA and the RUF should live as one people then he was in Nigeria.  We were all moving together with the SLA.  I heard people saying that the Kamajors had arrived.  They told us that me, the artist, and our judge who were not trained as fighters would be given an ideology training.   They trained us and the training comprised pieces of advice.  Now that everything had come to an end this document contains what we were trained on. (Submits document.)  The tuition included the way we should interact with the soldiers.  After that when the Kamajors were in Kailahun and those were arrested, I saw Mosquito together with Issa and their boys.    We heard one morning that Mosquito had ordered the killing of the Kamajors.  On 15th December, 1999, I heard that Sam Bockarie had left this country, but what actually prompted his trip?  I will explain to the Commission.   Before he left, that was the time when Sankoh was released and made Minister of Natural Resources in the country.  At that time, when the RUF were driven, Sankoh ordered Mosquito to disarm to Ecomog.  The attacked they launched to drive the Ecomog was led by Issa Sesay.  At the time he went he had got a piece of land in Kono.  Then Sankoh ordered Mosquito that we should disarm to Ecomog.  Issa trained a lot of his people.  When Sankoh ordered Mosquito to disarm, he refused and said the Ecomog are their enemies. Issa then wanting power, told Sankoh that he would go and get Mosquito’s head.  Since they had signed the peace if Issa said he was going to fight against us, it would not be possible.  He said good bye to us and went to Liberia.  When he was going he swore that he was going and that the person who had struggled most. If I stay here to fight among ourselves it will be like the war in Liberia.  He said that after he would have gone, anybody who continued to fight would never benefit out of the war.  We had a radio station called Radio Freedom.  Mosquito took along that radio station.  All those things we had at that time that we should benefit from, he took them away.  At that time, the MSF people brought medicines and he took them away.  I had it in mind that if you live in a country with war, your people will ask you what you went through.  I was really a humble servant under them.  Any time they bought T-shirts, I did the designs on them.  I do not think that anybody in this district will ever say I held a gun to go to the war front.  Let nobody deny that any adult living here was given a gun for enemies.  We were not sent to the war front.  Before the Indians came, Sankoh gathered everybody in Pendembu and said we should then have peace.  Sankoh said the war was over and, for that reason we were to form political parties in the country. They said we should look amongst our children for an educated person to be the chairman.  Two of my sisters and three chiefs said that I had observed this for a long time.  “You have never punished anybody and so we want you to be our Chairman”.  One of them proposed   George Mansaray who in turn spoke to me.  “You are saying I should be the leader do you have money to pursue it”, I asked.  By then Mosquito had taken the money away and I did not think Issa would be able to disburse money.  They said for the sake of peace, I should accept it.  My daughter was in the bush and she was not educated.  Those Gio fighters asked my eldest son to carry loads for them and he was drowned in a river.  They said I should be the party chairman and I consented.  Three of us contested that position and the chiefs got together and talked to the others to step down for me.  I am working in the party for the sake of peace.    We and the UN officials (Indians) were best of friends.  Anytime we played foot ball they gave us plenty of items.  Then we heard that Morrison Kallon and Bayo had been attacked. The CSO at that time was called Martin George. Everybody, including the chiefs told us that we should arrest the Indians.  We had two command structures; the political wing and the military wing.  When they fought at the other end we in Kailahun did not fight.  One morning, they just flared up in the town.  All factions took up arms.  I and others went to them to apologise and told them not to fight but they drove us away.  At that time, all those beautiful items the Indians had, they wanted to loot them.  I was standing and witnessing them as they took the Indians away.  They took them to a house and said we had plans for peace in the country.  They asked all their commanders to come forward and they did.  As they arrived, Martin George stood up and said they were all under arrest.  We went away and were very discouraged because the Indians had a lot of weapons and we thought they would fight back.  Martin George arranged for them to be taken to Ngiema.  They were drinking water and lying on the floor.  Then I went to Martin George and said the organisation, UN, is not a national issue.  They said I should move off the site.  They were moving with their vehicles up and down, playing music.  They also arrested a helicopter.  We pleaded and they released the helicopter.  They looted all their properties.  They brought them to Kailahun again.  Their commander thanked me for making efforts to bring them to Kailahun.  They were staying at the barracks and were not allowed to move.  I wrote a letter and signed it.  When it was given to Martin George he refused to sign it.  This was the letter I wrote at that time but it was not signed by Martin George. (Submits letter.)  After that, a letter was written against me to Issa that I had told the fighters not to fight.  Issa ordered us to report to him in Makeni.  That night my brother told me that I was going to be killed because I refused to fight.  That night I escaped and stayed in Makeni for two weeks.  One morning, I heard that they had taken my brother to the war front and he had been killed.  I moved with my chairman and went to Freetown.  No money was there to campaign for the elections.   We sold a cow and the money we had at that time was used to hire one vehicle.  When we were coming from Freetown, I asked him for the manifesto and the constitution. He said “young man just go and arrange whatever you want to”.   I told the chairman that those people had just disturbed our people.  We had been here and my people asked me to switch over to the SLPP.  All of us are fully aware that we are SLPP.  To end it all, if you do anything you must be able to explain it.  There is no civilian in this District that can say I looted his goods from him or her.  If there is any one let the person come and say it.  The time I joined the war, I was a sober person.  I do not drink or smoke.  If there is anything that I did and did not explain, please ask me and I will explain.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  You  agree that you are a witness and perpetrator and victim?

Mr. Senesie:   Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  You are the Chairman of the RUF. 
You give us the reason for doing that.  Do you agree?

Mr. Senesie:  Yes.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  You did say that you were educated.  I want to know your level of education.

Mr. Senesie:  GCE, A Level and external examinations.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   During your studies, did you do History?

Mr. Senesie: Yes, I did history.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Did you read the Green book of Ghadafi?

Mr. Senesi:  I used to hear about it.  I read the book during the war.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  What was your rank in the army?

Mr. Senesie: If you are an elder and you were working for the Revolution, there were ranks they referred to as local Commission and we were given that and I was called captain.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Apart from designing the logo, what else did you do for the RUF?

Mr Senesie:  That was my only work.  They were only calling me to draw or give advice.

Commissioner Mrs Jow: You never stayed in a camp?

Mr. Senesie:  No. 

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   You explained a number of atrocities by the RUF; did you yourself commit any?

Mr. Senesie: No, I did not commit any.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   As an educated person, did you try to stop them.

Mr. Senesie:  Yes, we used to say it at meetings, but they were not prepared to listen.  They were drug addicts. 

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   You said you were taken to a base for ideology training; how long were you there?

Mr. Senesie:  We spent two weeks there and then they gave us a paper and we trained the others.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   This is my final question; you should pay for whatever you take.  You did not destroy houses, but you had a gun?

Mr. Senesie:  I had a gun, but did not fire the gun.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  I join my colleagues to welcome you for coming and sharing your experiences with us and I really do not have many questions for you; only one or two.  Looking back now on the whole period from the time you met Foday Sankoh and now, do you say that you were forced to stay with the RUF.

Mr. Senesie:   Yes, I was forced.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  After the approval of your first drawing and the compliment given by Sankoh himself, did you not decide that this was an opportunity for making up your mind about working for Sankoh or RUF? 

Mr. Senesie:  I took it to be a kind of opportunity for me because we had nowhere to go.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: Are you trying to deceive us from your explanation?

Mr. Senesie:  No.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: The people will not forgive you if you do not say the truth.  Do you look forward to a permanent relationship?

Mr. Senesie:  Initially, it was by force but with conditions offered to me, I accepted it.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: You were advised by your Paramount Chief and relatives to take up appointment with the RUF.

Mr. Senesie: Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  What was the motive behind that?

Mr. Senesie:  I accepted the offer for the sake of peace because I knew that if I was in power I would bring peace to my people.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: Do you not term yourself as over ambitious?

Mr. Senesie: You said I should speak the truth, I was hoping to rob them off.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:   Did you mention that you got a certificate from Madam T-shop.  Do you know the history?

Mr. Senesie:  I have not been there.  It was a correspondence course.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  Thank you very much, you are along the path; I want us to go straight.   Have you heard of the expression in Mende “Tongbo”?  Where do you live?

Mr. Senesie:  I live in Kailahun.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  Do you want to be at peace in Kailahun?

Mr. Senesie: Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  Do you know that your people know you more than you know yourself?

Mr. Senesie:  Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper: You were forced to become a rebel, a perpetrator, now listen to me, do you know ashobi, you are RUF and part of the ashobi?

Mr. Senesie: Yes, thank you very much.

Chairman Bishop Humper: You know and want to tell us that you and your brothers did atrocities in this country?

Mr. Senesie: Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  Are you happy that you lost your educational opportunity.

Mr. Senesie:  No.

Leader of Evidence:  You were RUF Commander in Pandaru?

Mr. Senesie: Yes

Leader of Evidence:  As MP Commander, you were responsible for military section?

Mr. Senesie:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence: You were also involved in the civilian community and you sent people to work in your farm?

Mr. Senessie:  No, I did not send people to work in my farm.  I have my sisters and children with me.

Leader of Evidence:  As a Commander, you had a cell for detention?

Mr. Senessie:  No.

Leader of Evidence:  Pandaru is a small village, there was an MP there who takes them to Kailahun.

Mr. Senesie:  I was not a Commander in charge of Pandaru, there was an MP in charge of the area.

Leader of Evidence:  People were punished under your command.  Is that correct?

Mr. Senesie: I did not witness that happening to anybody and did not allow that at all.

Leader of Evidence:  How old is your daughter whom you introduced to the Commission?

Mr. Senesie: 1982 – 21 years.

Leader of Evidence:  So she is 21 years.

Mr. Senessie:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Tell the people of Kailahun where you got the roofing materials from.

Mr. Senessie: I got the materials when we were in the political party.  I got them from Kenema.

Leader of Evidence:  Did you not get the materials from the people?

Mr. Senessie:  No.

Leader of Evidence: Do you know Col.  Peter Vandy?

Mr. Senessie:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:   He is your son-in-law?

Mr. Senesie:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  When did he marry your daughter?

Mr. Senesie:  He married her in 1997.

Leader of Evidence:  How old was your daughter when she got married?

Mr. Senesie:  She was 15yrs old when she got married.

Leader of Evidence:  What was Peter Vandy’s position in 1997?

Mr. Senesie:  He was a vanguard.

Leader of Evidence:  Do you want to say that because of promotion you gave your daughter in marriage at an under age?

Mr. Senesie:  That was not it.  Those people we are referring to as vanguards were very powerful.

Leader of Evidence:  If there were threats, did it not apply to you?

Mr. Senesie:  Yes the dungeon was free for everybody to go.  The marriage between Peter Vandy and my daughter emanated from love.

Leader of Evidence: Somebody accused you in public that you took materials from them to construct your home and I refer you to Conduct 2 of your Code of Conduct, are you ready to pay for these things?  Tell your people.

Mr. Senesie:  If anybody could come out to say I took their roofing materials, I am prepared to pay for it, but I did not take any roofing materials.  I did not take any material from Panderu to build my house.

Leader of Evidence: Were they under your control?

Mr. Senesie:   No.

Leader of Evidence: The chiefs who begged you to become the Chairman, were RUF Chiefs, not so?

Mr. Senesie: Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  You said there were arms given to people in Kailahun to defend themselves?

Mr. Senesie:   Like the PC said, they did not give them guns.

Leader of Evidence:   Only those who were prominent were given guns?

Mr. Senesie:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence: These principles of leadership, are they in your hands now? 

Mr. Senesie:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:   In which year did you draft them?

Mr. Senesie:  In 1994.

Leader of Evidence:  Because you had a prominent position that was why Sankoh trusted you to draft this?

Mr. Senesie: It was not Sankoh,  it was Augustine Gbao who had those rules and I copied them from him.

Leader of Evidence:  Tell your people of Kailahun the Commission has a meeting with the  Paramount Chiefs and these chiefs will  accept the people in the community.  Those people were to be expelled from the community.  The chiefs are saying that people should tell them the truth and they have assured the Commission that he who speaks the truth will be welcomed with open hands.  For you and everybody else testifying today, this is a wonderful day to come with an open mind to say the truth.  Your people know the truth so I cannot protect you.  It is your choice.  If you want to tell them anything this is your chance.

Mr. Senesie:  They are our parents since the time when we were not rebels.  It was nobody’s intention to have war in Sierra Leone.  If it has happened this way, and they escaped, we want them to have mercy on us.  We have now stood firm to see that never again would we have war in this country.  They are our people, let them have mercy on us.  It was not our fault that we were captured by rebels.  I am asking them to accept us as their own children and we will cooperate with them.  They knew that some of us had never committed any crime against them.  If any crime should come to this country because of war, let them forgive us.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  What we are expecting from you is for you to name your atrocities one after the other in order to free your mind.

Mr. Senesie: I am telling my people that all the atrocities done in this town were caused by us; we have burnt down our peoples houses, we killed them and people were beaten.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  What recommendations can you give us?

Mr. Senesie:  All what had happen in the country is beyond expression.   It has happened, let them help us as we have started.  Let them think about the children, they are not educated.  If they accept us again and we have employment facilities we will help support our people better.  Please think of us.

3rd Witness – Saffa Kpulun Ngobeh

Presiding Commissioner: Chairman Bishop J Humper
Mrs Aminata Jow
Commissioner Professor John Kamara
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Saffa Ngobeh.  I am a Muslim.  The witness swore on the Koran.  The oath was administered by Bishop Humper.


I used to be a business man.  In the first place, we saw soldiers from Freetown coming to the border.  We asked them what had happened.  I went to Batoma and cleared my store.  I had 150 bags of rice in the store.  I had 15 drums of palm oil and I gave 12 drums to my wife to take to Freetown.  After she had left I came to Mogopa and told him that the price of coffee had dropped.  We closed down the store.  When I arrived, the soldiers in the Banya compound invited me and said they had sent to call me.  We received a letter saying that we brought the rebels.  I asked them what rebels were.  They arrested me and tied me.  They got a vehicle, moved to my store and looted my rice.  This was the kind of thing the rebels did.  I told them that I was a business man.  Whilst I was tied up, they ask me for Mogopa and Iye Gbao.  These soldiers boarded the vehicle and they had information that Iye was tied up for the rest of the day and night and was released at four o’clock.  They then freed me and had one soldier called Batoma who used to come to my store.  They asked them why they had tied me up and the soldiers said we had been feeding the rebels.  “Since we are here he has been feeding us” one of them said.  I will show the mark to the Commission.  When they loosed me, they ordered me to go home.  All the soldiers withdrew and the town was in the hands of civilians.  After they had looted all my rice and palm oil, at 5:30 we had gun shots in the town.  My wife was not here.  I had seven small children and they locked them up and fired through out the night.  As soon as we opened the door I ran into a rebel and they arrested me and tied me.  I was taken to the District Council and I stayed there for some time.  They asked if I was employed by the government and I said no. They asked for the soldiers and I said I did not know their whereabouts.  I saw my children moving towards the street and I called them and they told me that they had looted everything in the house.  I took them to the village.  One of my sons, Abu, went and untied me.  He is dead now.  I led them to Sembeyam.  They told us that the person who brought the war had come and he had a message for us.  I did not attend the meeting.  After some time we saw people come to our village and surround us all.  They said they had come to protect and defend us.  “Our leader is Sankoh and is a citizen of the country”, they said.  They allayed our fears.  That was what I suffered through out the war.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  Your statement is very short and very rich.  According to me, it seems as if you are coming from a ruling house.

Mr. Ngobeh:  Yes.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   Can you tell the Commission whether you were active? 

Mr. Ngobeh:   In what way?   Yes we were to work for them or serve them.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   You were with them from 1991 to 2000?

Mr. Ngobeh:  Yes.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Can you tell us what you did for them?

Mr. Ngobeh:  I was made the chief hunter in this town.  We were hunting animals for them.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Apart from hunting, did they give you loads to carry for them?

Mr.  Ngobeh:  We were not able to loot anything for them.  They used to ask us for what they wanted.  We got coffee and other items for them.  We were here without medicines.  Two of my children died because of lack of medication.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  We want to know how you acquired the produce.

Mr. Ngobeh: There are so many produce farms.  We were going into peoples produce farms and harvesting.  If you could not fulfill their request, it was problem.  We had suffered once in their hands, we could not sit by and allow them to punish us again.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  I want to know Peter Vandy and Augustine Gbao, were you in some committees?

Mr. Ngobeh:   Yes.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Can you tell us some of the committees?

Mr. Ngobeh:  The Chiefdom Committee – collected palm oil.  We got together to tell Mosquito that those things they requested were not easy to come by.  I was the chairman of the committee.  Any time we met we were tasked to collect palm oil.  We usually sat and organised that among ourselves.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Did you ever meet Sankoh?

Mr. Ngobeh:   Yes.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Did he give you any position?

Mr. Ngobeh:   No.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   Did you advise him on certain issues?

Mr. Ngobeh:  I did not sit with him for any conversation.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Can you tell us the kind of advice you gave the rebels?

Mr. Ngobeh:  We were advising our children the junior commandoes and others.   We used to tell them that they should try to escape. It reached a time when they observed that our children did not go to the war front and we were detained.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Did you stay in Kailahun here throughout the period?

Mr. Ngobeh:   No.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Were you aware of the story of the Kamajors?

Mr. Ngobeh: The time Sankoh came here and said the war was over, we were on the other side, and we went to brush our farms.  We used to meet one another and talk.  They used to go and sleep with me in my village.   In two days’ time, we heard that all the people who had entered should go back to Kailahun.  I met my brother and asked him why and he told me we had been called by the MP.  He said they were interviewing people and we could not tell the reason for the interview.  They were asking to know whether we were Kamajors.  They detained all of them.  I went to Mike Sellu and Sankoh told us that the war was over.  I was equally a commander and had not been called.  Pa Sellu went to his own village.  A man called Bayo called us and Sellu asked him why.  “Those of your people that are here are Kamajors.  They have answered that they are Kamajors,” he said.  I told him that he was not a rebel.  We went into bitter quarrel.  After 2 o’clock, we heard news that Bayo had moved to Mosquito and told him that all the people were rebels.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Did you establish courts?

Mr. Ngobeh:  They had one with the MPs we used to call it war court.

Chairman Bishop Humper: You admitted that you are coming from a ruling house?

Mr. Ngobeh:   Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper: From your explanation, we sympathize with you that you were a victim and later you became a perpetrator.  You used to go hunting?

Mr. Ngobeh: Yes.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  If you did not catch any animal, what happened?

Mr. Ngobeh:  We were punished.

Chairman Bishop Humper: It is obvious that you harassed people to produce their coffee, etc.  If not you were beaten.

Mr. Ngobeh:  Because they were giving us quotas that was why we came together to form a committee.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  In order to defend your life you became a rebel?

Mr. Ngobeh :  Yes.

Leader of Evidence: Can you tell your people and the Commission why you decided to give testimony here today?

Mr. Ngobeh:  I have come to speak the truth.

Leader of Evidence:  How old are you?

Mr. Ngobeh: I am 60 years old.

Leader of Evidence:  Was the Second World War finished before you were born?

Mr. Ngobeh:  I was a little child when my uncle was sent to the Burma war.

Leader of Evidence:  When did your uncle return from Burma?

Mr. Ngobeh: By the time my uncle went to fight in the Burma war we had white people as District officers.

Leader of Evidence:  I want you to look at the people of Kailahun what do you want them to remember?

Mr. Ngobeh:   My goodness.

Leader of Evidence:   Do you want them to attend your funeral?

Mr. Ngobeh:  Yes, that is why I am still doing well.

Leader of Evidence:  You were abducted by the RUF, but you later became a member of the movement?

Mr. Ngobeh:  No, we were not part of the movement we were on the civilian side because we were captured.

Leader of Evidence:  Even though you were on the civilian side you were a member of the RUF.

Mr. Ngobeh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  You said there was a chiefdom committee in the movement?

Mr. Ngobeh: Yes. 

Leader of Evidence:  Which other committee was there?

Mr. Ngobeh:  Besides the chiefdom community, we had no other committee.

Leader of Evidence: You remember when the Indians were captured.  The helicopter was there, did you enter the helicopter?

Mr. Ngobeh:  No.

Leader of Evidence:   Did you enter the helicopter?

Mr. Ngobeh:  No, I did not enter the helicopter?

Leader of Evidence:  This building we are using now what was it used for by the movement?

Mr. Ngobeh:  We came here when Sankoh came to address us to tell us that the war was over.

Leader of Evidence:  Where did he stay when he came here?

Mr. Ngobeh:  I do not know.

Leader of Evidence:  Do you in your innermost heart want to reconcile with your people?

Mr. Ngobeh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Now tell them the truth.

Mr. Ngobeh:  I had no way of escape.  We were asked to contribute coffee, etc. and we were not the owners of the plantation.  If you refused to give them, you would be punished.  I am appealing to the owners of the plantations if we are now alive today we used your plantation to save our lives.  I am appealing to you, I am your brother.  I am asking for forgiveness.  I am telling the Commission that nobody here would say this or that is the kind of punishment I gave him or her.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  I consider you as my father.  I told you that you are a victim of the war.  You suffered and because you wanted to save your life you had no option but to join the rebels.  Nobody will come up here to say this is what Saffa did.   You opted to talk in public and the Commission wants you to tell us the truth.  I believe that you have something to tell all of us to help the Commission.  Under normal circumstances, if such people were brought to you what would you do to them?

Mr. Ngobeh:  We would tell the person who committed the crime to confess and we would forgive him.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  Do you have any recommendations to make?

Mr. Ngobeh:  I want to tell the commission that what has been done, cannot be undone. This has happened in Sierra Leone.  I am talking for the hearing of the government, to help talk to the people for the kind of destruction that took place so that they can forgive us.  We have children.  Even my house was unroofed.  I used to be a business man, but now I have nothing.  The things that we went through some of our brothers did not live to tell the story.  For the little children, we need education.   Let government assist us.

4th Witness – Jemba Ngobeh

Presiding Commissioner: Chairman Bishop J Humper
Mrs Aminata Jow
Commissioner Professor John Kamara
Leader of Evidence: Ozonnia Ojielo

My name is Jemba Ngobeh.  I am a Christian.  The witness swore on the Bible.  The oath was administered by Bishop Humper.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  We are glad that you have the courage to come and make a statement.  So take your time to give your statement.


Before the war in 1991 I was working in the Ministry of Education with the PRO called M.S Kamara who is currently in Freetown.  I was working with him up to the time I started work for ACF; they were working under the Ministry of Education.  I was the centre supervisor.  We were moving round going to places like Daru collecting children.  The white man I worked with was called Bruno he was the supervisor.  My friend and I decided to move to Freetown.  I was still attached to the Ministry.  We came in contact with Alfred Sandi, Dr. Tongu and Justine Bangura at NACSA.  We became friends.  We were then moving and NASMUSS came up.  We were sent to Kenema to serve there.  We were sent to SAPA and the people got together and asked us to write a project.   This was because our area was affected by the war.  Alfred Sandy wrote the project and SAPA approved it.  I moved and settled in Bamayo where they used to have Chromites.  I had 300 children whom I looked after.  Rebels came and attacked the village.  We moved to Kenema.  I had those children with me.  After SAPA had supported us and Dr Ganda had left Kenema, the kids were in my care.  We were at No.8 Kombema Road.  Dr Ganda’s brother John, left the keys with me. I was working and SAPA gave us 40 million Leones to buy beds and furnish the house.  CRS and IRC started coming to our aid.  Everybody knew about us then.  My position was Chief Major of the Benhirsh.  I was one of the pioneers.  I registered it with the Ministry of Local Government under Fomba in Freetown.  This chief passed away.  We were then working and one day my friend told me that we should get a chairman.  I told her that Dr. Demby was there with us and he never assisted the children, when they realised that money was coming in, they wanted to take over the project.  We had a lot of quarrels, and then the election came up.  I told them that even though my people are supporters of SLPP, I was not.  They started accusing me in the street.  After they had won, I came to John Benjamin in Freetown.  We had a quarrel with Demby on the grounds that the SLPP had won, and as such he should wash his hands off the orphanage.   When they went, I was present when those people wrote their project.  I became frustrated.  I had two children.  It was difficult for me to get a job because they said I had insulted the President.  I then made up my mind and went back to Kailahun. I heard that one of my sisters was killed in the war.  I told her I wanted to go to Kailahun because we had no other option; we were eating bulgur.  When we came, I was arrested and they accused me of being a spy.  I went to explain to Mosquito in Kenema and Mosquito sent a message that if anybody touched me, he/she would be in trouble.  I said I was to meet Boss Boss in Kailahun.   I left my family in Kailahun.  Then everybody had retreated and came here.  I was here and I opened schools.  I brought a lot of materials and books in 1999.  I was then working and Mosquito became impressed with my work and he decided to elevate me and gave me a paper promoting me to the rank of Coordinator of Schools.  I was here with educated people.   They had no respect for people.   I told Mosquito that as the country was a bit quiet, I really wanted the school business to go on.  I told him that I would like those who were interested in education to start and that they should be disarmed.  Any time they wrote their applications, even if they had guns, I used to put it to them that they should learn.  At the time the war intensified, we opened schools in the bush.  Any child below the age of 16 should not be a gun bearer.  If I set eyes on them I would bring them to school.  I said to him that I would like my teachers to go anywhere and be respected.  He went and asked Issa and Hassan   to sit together and make laws so that if any teacher or student was abused the perpetrators were liable to punishment.  I proceeded to Kono and opened schools there.  I also went to Makeni and moved back to Kono.  The first commanders Daniel Opande did the roofing for us.  Those schools were working under the community in Makeni.  I started working with the UN.  When the Bangladeshi troops entered there I received them in Kono.  When the Pakistani troops entered Kono, I was working with them.   I brought them to this town and they can attest to that.  The two of us entered here with a UN flight to talk to the people so that what they did to the Indians would not be repeated. I was in Kono when the first disarmament started. On that day, I stood with some Paramount Chiefs and we were disarmed.   Issa and I were staying together.  One night, whilst we were in a meeting, he said the people should not disarm in Kailahun.  I said that people had disarmed in all parts of Kono; he wanted Kailahun to have a war agenda.  I went to the Pakistanis and told them, (Pakbat 2.); I ordered them to go and deploy in Kailahun.  At that time, messages had been sent all over the place.  My bothers sent messages to the meeting we held that night and I told them that we would never fight a war.  When we entered there, things were ok.  Many things happened that were good.  I attended the Peace Accord in Nigeria.  That statement made my brother to be confused.  Obasanjo said that we should wait because we had refused to sign the Peace Accord.  At his house, I told him that he did not know what had caused the war in the country.  “As I have said here, we must sign the peace accord and we are going to sign it,” I told Sankoh.  We came and passed through Liberia.  On arrival, we were not told to sign any cease fire.  When we went to Gibril Massaquoi (we were seven in number) and we entered Monrovia.  When the document was brought, he was cross with it but I had to talk to him because our people were suffering.  There is one part in that document which says that Sankoh should stay outside the country until he was tried.

The first thing I witnessed was the incident in which Kini K. Kallon was asked to go and call the SLA soldiers.  When he went, they could only see him in Monrovia.  He was brought here and I witnessed when they fired him.  

I also witnessed when Kennie Kamal was killed.
A group of SLA soldiers came and they said we should fight together.   They also said that people had spoken to the Kamajors;  they were killed.

The orders were given by the four people.  We had the vanguards and those people, we were told, brought the war.   We had our radio station here and if you wanted anything to be done in Kailahun, they gave orders. If you failed to do it you will be punished.  I use to tell them that all what they were doing was because they were not sensible and that a day would come when they would declare it.  When they were doing those bad things, people were afraid of Mosquito.  I used to tell them.  

When the Indians came they said they wanted my house.  I said I had my brother in Freetown, Mana Ngobeh, who was the owner and I would give them his address so that they could bring him here.  I gave them the address the people went and brought my brother in a UN flight.  The house was handed over to the Indians.  The person in whose care the house was was Mana Ngobeh.  Mana Ngobeh told them that he would give them the house.  They started rehabilitating the house.  The Indians came and were occupying the hospital and District Office.  They actually came to disarm, but they had development programmes too.  Issa Sesay had given instructions to arrest the Kenyans and Zambians in Makeni.   Martin George called us at night and told us that he had received orders for these people to be arrested.  I said that was not possible.  He threw a challenge as to who had power.   I used to stay with UN officials for the entire day, but I kept myself away from them on that day.  They invited them to that IMC House.  As they came, they arrested them.  That annoyed me so much, they had guns. All their properties were looted.  I used to quarrel with them, not knowing that they were going to be zealous.  At 11:45, I was in my room and I heard them going upstairs, I was lying down looking at them.  They arrested them all and tied up their hands.  They were taken to Ngiehun.  They came and looted all their properties.  I told my people to move out as they were coming to fight.  I told them that UN was not here to fight. At times I bought cigarettes which I sent to them.  They had no beds, no clothes and they were just sitting there.  The commander was called DWI.  They sent one to go for a vehicle. In the morning, a message came from Makeni that they should gather all the people arrested and take them to Charles Taylor.  The Indians started building their own trenches. They were packed like cows in there vehicle and taken to Martin George.  As we moved, they were loaded in the vehicle.  Alhassan Sesay said the people said we should take those people from Kailahun. I alerted Eric Senesie, late Mayaneh, late Boneh and S.K. Ngobeh.   I boarded the vehicle and Eric had a bike; he was afraid and chased them unto the border.  I met Issa there.  As we met them they asked to go and pack up our luggage.  I told him that those commanders that had looted those properties had made a lot of money.   I was transferred to Kono because they used to say that I usually gave them hard time there.  They rented a house for me from one Mr. Jalloh.  I stayed there until the election issue came up.  We realised that everybody had changed.  I went back to Makeni to pack my luggage to go back to Kailahun.  My brother gave me diamonds about 32 pieces.  They used to strip us and check us.  It was Gbao who did this.  I opened my father’s grave and put the diamonds there.  Sankoh and I went to Freetown.  We moved round the schools.  Joan Vangerpan brought them there.  I later had to give the pieces of diamonds to them.  My brother has still not forgiven me for that.   

Chairman Bishop Humper:  You said Sankoh took you to the Ministry and the Ministry helped you?

Ms. Ngobeh:   The ministry tried, they trained the teachers in this town through UNICEF.  I only said to the ministry that I wanted to open a project for children and they accepted.  If the Commission would like to see the place I will show them there.  I want to open a day care primary centre.  UN also had given me project proposals.  That is the kind of work I am doing now.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  When did you get in contact with the RUF rebels?
Ms. Ngobeh:  In 1998 in Kenema.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  What you have said here is that out of frustration you joined the RUF.

Ms. Ngobeh:  Yes.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   I want to know whether you were aware of the sufferings inflicted on the people before 1998.

Ms Ngobeh:  Yes.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Can you tell us what you were doing before 1998?

Ms. Ngobeh:   At the time I was moving the children to Daru, a lot of them were injured. They explained to us the kind of suffering they went through at the hands of the rebels?

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Did any of your relatives suffer any violations?

Ms. Ngobeh:  We are too many in our family and most of them have died.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   Apart from your frustration, can you tell us why you joined the RUF?

Ms. Ngobeh:  It was because of the atrocities committed, there was nowhere to go to.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Apart from school what other thing were you engaged in?

Ms. Ngobeh:  Journalists used to come from abroad, strangers I used to cook food and entertain them.  I was on the humanitarian side.  Anything they wanted to do, they had regard for me.  The civilians I met in this town were the people that had authority, especially Gbao he was a very wicked man.  Anything they requested from the people, they made sure they were handed over.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Can you tell us how your school was financed?

Ms. Ngobeh:  We were not paid salaries.  Every child who went to school carried 1 cup of rice and 1 pint of palm oil and those were given to the teachers.  If the teacher had a farm, the community would work for that teacher.  We did not build any schools here.  We used to build them in the middle of the bush.  In Kono, the Pakistanis built the school for us.

Commissioner Mrs Jow: Dedication and wealth took your profession?

Ms. Ngobeh:  I dedicated myself to the children.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:   From the document from the RUF, they were praising you for what you did.

Ms. Ngobeh: I was not dedicated to the RUF I was dedicated to the children.

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  Do you know about the operations of the RUF (diamonds in Kono)?

Ms. Ngobeh:  They had a mining office in Kono.  They had a mining commander.  Nobody was allowed to set eyes on diamonds.  If you tampered with diamonds they would kill you.  

Commissioner Mrs Jow:  I am interested in the situation of women and girls during the war.  Can you tell us about the atrocities caused by the RUF on women?

Ms. Ngobeh:  It used to happen before we were here.   When we came, we had political parties and they never did it again.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You accepted the RUF? Do you want to tell us that the former VP Demby was responsible for what you suffered?

Ms. Ngobeh:  He has made my children not to be educated.  I divorced my husband.  We met at the Peace Accord and I was not afraid to tell him.  I went to talk to him just for him to see me.  I again told the President of Nigeria.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  You have known Dr Demby and you objected  for him to be Chairman.  Before you objected was there not something between you and the former Vice President?

Ms. Ngobeh: I was in the same street with Demby.  He saw me with those kids and he never gave help but when he noticed that money was coming in, he wanted to be Chairman.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Were you part of the RUF delegation to Nigeria?

Ms. Ngobeh:  Yes.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: If you had not been fully admitted to the organisation, would they put you in the delegation?

Ms. Ngobeh:  RUF noticed the way I worked and because of my popularity with the children recommended me.  They said if the team did not comprise of any female representative it would not be complete.  I knew where I was coming from and where I was going.

Commissioner Professor Kamara: You accepted to be with them for some personal gain?

Ms. Ngobeh:  No, this was my home and they said that the war was over.  That was why I came here to do my project.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:  Do you want to tell me that you will enter into relationship with somebody who is dangerous to you?

Ms. Ngobeh:  They used to arrest me and take me to prison.  The war was a little bit civilised then and for them to grab somebody to say they would kill him/her would not have been easy.

Commissioner Professor Kamara:   If you see thieves and you know that if you join them you will all be punished will you go there?

Ms. Ngobeh: No.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  It is important that you have come to us.  I will ask you a few questions.  In 1996 when Dr Demby was VP, what were the issues raised between both of you?

Ms. Ngobeh:   The issues between the VP and myself took place before he became VP.

Chairman Bishop Humper: Did you receive any personal protection from any of these key people in the RUF?

Ms. Ngobeh:  When they realised that this area was my area all of them protected me and when they explained the good things I did, he grew to love me so much and developed interest in me.   We had no other relationship.  The commanders usually said that I was the papay’s wife.  He proposed love to me, but I refused because he had so many girl friends and I am very jealous.

Chairman Bishop Humper:  Are you saying he loved you and the people welcomed you everywhere you went?

Ms. Ngobeh:  My people love me so much.  If they had not loved me, I would not have been here

Leader of Evidence:  You said you opened schools in areas controlled by the RUF.  Will it be right to say you believed in the RUF?

Ms. Ngobeh:  This is not a matter of belief.  I came to my town and I came along with a project.

Leader of Evidence:   So all these  projects were implemented in RUF controlled areas?

Ms. Ngobeh:    I was driven from the place where I first started.

Leader of Evidence:  Will it be right to say that you were saying that you are willing to die with the RUF in Mr. Combay’s bar?  I am talking about last night?

Ms. Ngobeh:  RUF has disappointed me already, because the leaders that were left behind could not do anything.  If they had not killed and the leaders were mature enough I would have supported them.

Leader of Evidence:   What party did you campaign for in the last elections?

Ms. Ngobeh:  I did not campaign.  My brothers came and told me to leave the RUF party.  When election day came my brothers refused to let me vote.

Leader of Evidence:  Which of the prominent people in Kailahun joined the RUF and were not members?

Ms. Ngobeh:   I have not been attending RUF meetings any more.  If I was, I would have known.

Leader of Evidence: We understand that you say you were in RUFP because you were a member of the RUF?

Ms. Ngobeh:   You cannot say because I was a member of the RUF I am in the party.  

Leader of Evidence:   You told the Commission that you came to Kailahun because there was a cease fire?

Ms. Ngobeh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    Which cease fire were you referring to here?

Ms. Ngobeh:   The Lome Peace Accord.

Leader of Evidence:   Who was the RUF commander in the North after the Lome Peace Accord?

Ms. Ngobeh:   I cannot say much on that because I was in Kailahun.

Leader of Evidence:   Who was the commander in the East?

Ms. Ngobeh:  Sam Bockarie.

Leader of Evidence:   Before the Lome Peace Accord, where were you staying?

Ms. Ngobeh:  I was in Kenema.

Leader of Evidence:   Can you look at the appointment letter and tell the Commission what date is on it?

Ms. Ngobeh:  Yes, 2nd July 1999.

Leader of Evidence:   Was the Lome Peace Accord signed by then?

Ms. Ngobeh:  7th July 1999.

Leader of Evidence:  Before the Lome Accord, the RUF was rewarding you as Coordinator of Schools for services rendered?

Ms. Ngobeh:  When they said everything was over, we went back.  When I came to Kenema, I had no way, so I returned.  

Leader of Evidence:  The war has ended, but you need to say the truth to your people What led to that?  By the time they went to the war front civilian commanders were here and the soldiers molested them.  What were civilians doing at the war front if they were not gaining from that?

Ms. Ngobeh:  Everybody had his own problem.  If you try to hide and you are caught you would be punished.

Leader of Evidence:   Do you assume that you were collaborating with the RUF?  Because of all what you did you were made a Colonel of the RUF.  Is that right?

Ms. Ngobeh:  No.

Leader of Evidence:   Do you know Patrick Banya?

Ms. Ngobeh: Yes.

Leader of Evidence:   What was the role of Patrick Banya?

Ms. Ngobeh:  When I came here I was told that he was the High Court Judge.  

Leader of Evidence:  Who sewed the robes that Patrick (the red gown and cap) used to wear in court?

Ms. Ngobeh:  I did not see Patrick preside over any case here.

Leader of Evidence:  Is it true that you took people from Kailahun to Kono to disarm?

Ms. Ngobeh:  No, the UN carried me to witness the disarmament.

Leader of Evidence:   Can you tell the Commission what happened to your brother in Kono?  Who was responsible for his arrest?

Ms. Ngobeh:  I found him in prison.  Out here, I took care of him.  They wanted to kill him, but they were afraid when they saw me.  He was maltreated and he said he wanted to go to his mother.  He went to the mother and he died there.

Leader of Evidence:   Can you tell the Commission your relationship with S.N. Ngobeh?

Ms. Ngobeh:   He is my brother

Leader of Evidence:   Was he not an adviser to Sankoh?

Ms. Ngobeh:   He was not an adviser, but he used to talk to them as chiefdom adviser.

Leader of Evidence:   Did your brother get close to Sankoh because of your relationship with Sankoh?

Ms. Ngobeh:  I met him here in a committee looking after civilians.  He was born here.  His relationship with the RUF was even more established than mine.  They were protecting the civilians.

Leader of Evidence:   Was he in the committee working with the Kamajors?

Ms. Ngobeh:  I was not here at that time.

Leader of Evidence:   Did you have any involvement in the seizure of the NID programme’s T-shirts and caps?

Ms. Ngobeh:  I was sleeping when they told me that they had brought vaccinators.  I went there and asked them their mission and they told me they had been arrested  in Segbwema.  They gave me his clothes to keep.  We went and told mosquito that the fellow was our brother, but he did not listen to us.  The following day, we went to Sankoh.  They told us that Sankoh had gone to Liberia.  When he came, they went and told him that Yawo was in prison.  He ordered his release and I was taking care of him until he came back.

Leader of Evidence:   Looking at the people, do you think you are ready for reconciliation?

Ms. Ngobeh:   I know within my heart that with all this wrong doing in this war, nobody will say I had done anything to him or her.

Chairman Bishop Humper:   We do not want to leave this place without you saying what you should say and without doing what you should do. I have a message for you but I want you to give a message to your people for the sake of the children.  You did wrongs like all others, but you must acknowledge or accept.  We are not forcing you to do so.   Your people are just waiting for you to confess and say “I am sorry”.  As chairman, if I see you miss this opportunity you will never get it again.  

Ms. Ngobeh:  One thing I want to say is that when the war entered here, you should have come here to see. I fought for my people because my people had no power to do anything.  I did not commit any crime.  I know that at the end of it all, all will come to light.  That was why I kept quiet so that people will praise me and I know that I have not committed any crime.  

Chairman Bishop Humper: We thank you for your statement.
The Commission will be inviting people who did wrong to make a statement at the slaughter house, but you will not be invited.  There will be a group of people who will continue the Commission’s work. 


DATE:  12th May 2003.


Commissioners Present
1. Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones (Presiding)
2. Commissioner SylvanusCommissioner Torto

Leaders of Evidence
1. Martien Schotsmann
2. Abdulai Charm

Rev. Osman Fornah(Regional Coordinator, North): Good morning to you all. We want to start this very important ceremony now that the Commission is here in Koinadugu. We want to have an official opening ceremony so that we can launch the hearings in the District. We also want to start by asking the presence of God. We are calling on Elder Santos to lead us in Christian prayers and that will be followed by Sheik Munnir Sesay who will be leading us in Muslim prayers. (Prayers were offered) We will now go to the statements. We want to begin with the First Gentleman of the Distirct, the District Officer or his Representative. If he is not here, we will now get a statement from Rev. Alie Kargbo, Co-Secretary for the Inter-Religious Council, Koinadugu branch.

Rev. Alie Kargbo: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and all protocols observed, it is with great joy for me to make a statement on behalf of the Koinadugu Branch of the Inter Religious Council, Sierra Leone(IRCSL). The IRCSL right at the beginning of this eleven years war, have been serving as a safe bridge to restore peace in the country and also in the sub-region. The Council fully participated in all negotiations, in and out of the country. Religious leaders prayed, fasted, offered couselling and conducted trauma healing workshops for the restoration of peace and law and order. Today the IRCSL has enhanced the TRC to promote and sustain lasting peace in Sierra Leone. I therefore crave the indulgence of the International Community, traditional rulers, religious leaders and all other Sierra Leoneans to fully cooperate with the TRC and IRCSL maintain this lasting peace in our beloved country, Sierra Leone. I am also calling on the Koinadugu community to support and cooperate with the TRC and the IRCSL. Thank you and may God Bless you. 

Rev. Osman Fornah: Thank you very much Rev. Kargbo and the IRCSL. we may now call on Madam Yeabu Mansaray, to make a statement on behalf of the women of Koinadugu.

Madam Yeabu Mansaray: Commissioners and staff of the Commission, Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Ladies and Gentlemen good morning. All of us know that when God created the universe, he created man and woman. And as women, we are the ones who are responsible for the multiplication of the human race. During the past ten or more years of conflict, we the women who gave birth to the good and bad children, suffered most. We saw during the war that most times when there was an attack, we the women are abandoned by the men to suffer with the children. Today, we the women of Koinadugu are happy and we heartily welcome and appreciate the coming of the TRC to this District. In order for the TRC to achieve it mandate, we are ready to fully cooperate and work with the TRC. We are going to do this by talking to our children, brothers and sisters, to come and testify to the Commission. We welcome you and we want thank you for the good work you are doing and we wish you success in your endeavours.

Rev. Osman Fornah: Thank you very much Madam Yeabu. I will now like to call on the Resident Paramount Chief, who is the Paramount Chief of Wara Wara Yagala Chiefdom, to make a statement.

Paramount Chief: Commissioners, Ladies and Gentlemen. Koinadugu formally and firmly supprot the work of the TRC as it is in accordance with wishes and expectations of the majority of this nation. I thank the President, Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabba, Inter Religious Council, Britain, The United Nations and all those who helped in the restoration of peace in Sierra Leone. Koinadugu is one the Districts most affected with over seventeen attacks on its Headquarter Town, resulting to a lot of atrocities. Sierra Leoneans therefore, deserve to know why and how the war came and how to deal with it consequences and move forward into a reconciled and peaceful nation. I am convinced and confident that the TRC will go a long way to setting the records straight. I thank you all for coming and welcome you all to Koinadugu District and Kabala in particular. I thank you all.

Rev. Osman Fornah:  Thank you very much sir. I want to assure that the TRC will live up to expectation and we will not disappoint you and the people of Sierra Leone. We now call on representatives from the two leading political parties in the country. First, I will like to call on Mr. Sheku Ibrahim Mansaray to make statement on behalf of the All Peoples Congress (APC).

Mr. Sheku Ibrahim Mansaray: Members of the high table and all other protocols observed; I say good morning to you all. The APC is one of the oppsition parties and we are working inpartnership with the ruling party the SLPP. As we are today to listen to the TRC, we have experienced a lot of sufferings and atrocities, particularly on our children. They country was destroyed and even Koinadugu District was not left untouched. As a responsible political party, we welcome the TRC and we pledge our support and cooperation with the TRC. We welcome you and we thank you for the good work you are doing to bring everlasting peace to Sierra Leone.

Rev. Osman Fornah: It is good to know that the opposition party is in support of the TRC and is working hand hand in hand with the Government to bring about lasting peace. Thank you very much Mr. Mansaray. I now call on the representative of the SLPP, Mr. Mustapha Sesay to make a statement.

Mr. Mustapha Sesay: Good morning everyone. I am happy to stand in front of you today. I say thanks to the APC, the Paramount Chief and to the TRC. I happy for this Commission and especially for coming to Koinadugu District to hold it hearings because they have come to let us understand more about what trnspire during the conflict. I want to wholeheartedly pledge the support of the SLPP in Koinadugu to ensure that the TRC achieve the goal it was created for. I thank you all.

Rev. Osman Fornah: Thank you for the support ou have pledged. The TRC have been working in close collaboration with the NGOs and they have been helping us in diverse ways. I therefore call on a representative from NaCSA to make a statement on behalf of the NGO community, Mr. Phillip Tondoneh.

Mr. Phillip Tondoneh: Good morning all. I take this singular honour to talk on the activities of the NGO community with respect to the TRC. The activities of the NGOs within this District is commendable towards the attainment of peace and reconciliation. Three months ago when the Commissioners came on the first sensitization visit, they met with NaCSA and other related agencies and we collaborated with them   
and today as I say this stage, it means they've been working very hard. One thing I want to bring to the notice of the Commission is that Koinadugu District is so unique in terms of everything. There are alot of risky groups and NGOs like the NCDDR, have held several workshops on peace promotion and reconciliation. We are happy that you are to see that justice is really step down in this District. The people are not opportuned with safe drinking water and most of of those who suffered during the, nothing has been done for them. A lot of destruction was done to this District and also there a lot of youths here who participated in the war but they have not gone through the reintegration process. Now that you are here, we believe your presence will have a positive impact on the Distrcit. I thank you.

Rev. Osman Fornah:  For the those of you who don't know about the workings of the Commission, I will like to tell you that there seven Commissioners; three internationals and four nationals representing the four regions in the country; North, South, East and West. As a result of the contingency of time and taking into consideration the mandated life-span of the Commission, the Commission have been split into two teams so as to be able to cover all the twelve districts in time. As one team is here, the other team is in Kailahun and that is why we are having two Commissioners here at present but the other Commissioner will be joining us tomorrow or there about to make it three. I want to take this opportunity to present to you the two Commissioners that are present in this hall today; the first is the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Commissioner Justice Laura Marcu-Jones. Next to her is the Commissioner that is responsible for the Eastern Region and he is Commissioner Sylvanus Torto. Having said this, it pleases me to hand over the microphone to the Deputy Chairperson, who is also the Chairman for this occasion.

Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones: Paramount Chiefs, Religious leaders, Colonel and other UNAMSIL officers, CPO and other police officers, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen; I bring you all greetings from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As you've been told a while ago, with me here is Commissioner Torto and our Chairman of the Commission is Bishop J. C. Humper and I am his Deputy. We have here with us in this Commission, our staff comprising the secretaries, the Transcriber, the interpreters and we have working with us as well Red Cross and nurses; all together will form the Commission here in Koinadugu where we are going to spend the next five days. I will like to mention also the media, they  media have been nice with us and they have been mooving around with us. I am asking you to be a little bit patient as I try to explain a little about the TRC because we are quite aware that even though we did sensitization, there are quite a number of people who don't know about the TRC.

This Commission is a child of the Lome Peace Agreement; you will remember that it was after the Lome Peace Agreement that we had peace in Sierra Leone and it was said there that there was to be a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Act setting up the TRC was passed by our Parliament on the 22nd February 2000. The main purpose of the TRC is to bring about peace and reconciliation. Our mandate is to create an impartial, historical account of all the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during the conflict, from 1991 when the war started to 1999. That means that we are to write down and record all the violations that took place during the conflict. Also we are to address impunity and that means we are to bring to the fore, before people all the atrocities done so that people who committed them cannot just go away without being asked anything at all about their wrongs. We are asked also to respond to needs of victims, to find out what can be done about them and I must make it very clear at the very beginning here that we are not going to give money to those victims; but thre will be other recommendations made to help the situations of the victims, to help their communities, to help thier children in the future. Also we are asked to bring about healing and reconciliation. After the war, our minds are disturbed through all the sufferings and hardship; and what to do is to bring people together. People who committed wrongdoings and people who suffered; we are to bring about this healing and reconciliation not only on our own but also with the help of religious and traditional leaders. Also we are to prevent the human right violations and abuses experienced by the people of Sierra Leone. We are to try to bring about  the situation where the war that took place will never happen again, again in Sierra Leone. The TRC will bring witnesses to tell their stories and when they have recounted all what happened to them, people in Sierra Leone will start talking about all thesuffering and the hardship and they will have dialogue amongst themselves and then we hope that as reasonable people, Sierra Leoneans will then decide that never again should we have such a war in Sierra Leone. That is what the TRC is set to do.

The Commissioners were sworn in on the 5th of July 2002 and as the Coordinator told you, there are seven Commissioners. The seven are comprised of four nationals and three internationals. The three internationals; you have one from South Africa because in South Africa, there had been before a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and she [Commissioner Yasmine Sooka] is coming to help us with her experience from the South African TRC. Also we ahve another Commissioner who is a Canadian and he[Commissioner William Schabas] is skilled in human rights and he will be helping us in that area. And then we have a lady from The Gambia and she [Commissioner Satang Jow] has been a Minister of Education before in her country and she is coming too with her own expertise.
I want to make it clear that this TRC is quite diferent from the Special Court which I am sure some of you have heard of. The Special Court is here to bring about justice and they will indict just the very important people who've responsible for all the trouble and suffering in the country. Those people they will try, will not be many at all. Those people may be because of their leadership roles in the conflict or they themselves committed atrocities and they will be tried and tyhey will be punished; they may be about 20 or 30. But our Commission, has nothing to do with punishment, we are not going to imprison anyone and I want you to get that clear. All we want is to hear the story, your experiences during the war so that the country will be able to find a path out of all it problems and a path which will lead to lasting peace.
If you have not made a statement before to the TRC and you want to make a statement, you can still do so in this building. There will be statement takers here who will take your statemnets, eventhough what we are here for now is for the hearing phase.

There are two teams doing hearings. While we are here now, another team is in Kailahun. When we finished this week here in Koinadugu, we're back to Freetown to do one week of Institutional and Thematic Hearings; i.e. institutions like the Army, Police or ministries or the SLPP or APC, they will come and make statement to the TRC. After our week in Freetown, we'll come back to the provinces. That is how we are going to operate; one week in the provinces and one week in Freetown. When we leave Koinadugu, we're going to Kenema and then to Moyamba, Kono and Bonthe, that is how we hope to cover all the provinces. Now I will tell about the procedure of the hearing when we shall have come to it proper. When come for the hearing, the hearingsare going to be solemn occasions; that is, we do not want any clapping, laughing, booing, we just want you to listen. The witnesses who'll be coming to give their testimonies will be treated with respect; its a victim or a perpetrator. We're going to have public hearings in this same hall; later on today will start with the witnesses and this will go on for Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. But then there will be time when we'll have closed hearing and it will not be open to people. For the closed hearing, we'll be having women and children; people who suffered sexual abuses during the war. We'll listen to those people in private and we'll only do summaries of what the told us in a press briefing for the media because they may want to transmit what is going on for their various bodies.

When the witness comes here to give testimony, the witness will take an oath to tell the truth and nothing but the truth and then will give testimony. After that Commissioners here will ask questions if they have any and the Leaders of Evidence, will ask questions too. After all those questions, if the witness has a question or questions for the TRC, the witness will allowed to ask and if the he/she has recommendations to make then he/she will make them. I must tell you that our closing ceremony will take place on Friday but will tell you the time depending on how close the hearings last. After our hearings on Friday, we'll have our closing ceremony and on Saturday, we'll be back  on our way to Freetown. I want to thank all of you very much for coming and forbeing patient and for listening so quietly and I want to appeal to you to be as the hearings progress and help support the work of the TRC. The TRC belongs to all of you and what we all want is lasting peace in this country. We have now come to the end of this ceremony and we will go for one hour break and after that we'll start the hearings proper. Thank you.        


WITNESS NAME:   Mamusu Mansaray

The witness was sworn on oath on the Bible by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones.


During the attack in 1999, I was in Forienaya Town.   My father and brother were in the house whilst I was behind the house.  My father asked me to get some rice for cooking. I was   that when the rebels placed me under gun point.  My father who was in front of the house, escaped.  After I haeadeve been placed under gun point.  I was raped, I was a virgin at that time, after the rape, they took all our belongings.  They asked me to carry their luggage; others were captured alongside with me.  They took all of us to  Koinadugu. We were chained like slaves, we were taken to their base, upon our arrival, we saw lots of people, and some other girls were also raped. 

The Commanders, who captured me were Super Man, Captain Bai Bureh, CO Kai, Capay and OK al right.  OK al right took me as his bush wife.  I was with them for six months.  They looted people’s properties and they raped the other girls who were captured.  I was shot on my foot and they gave me some medication and I felt a little better.  They traveled with us on to Freetown through Jui for the January 6 1999 invasion. 

Luckily I met one of my aunts in Freetwon, I told her that I wanted to see my parents.  I asked her whether my parents were alive.  I finally escaped with the help of my aunt.  I was with my aunt for few days.  After the situation had calmed a bit, I came back to my parents.  I was pregnant; during the process of delivery I encountered a lot of problem.  The child I gave birth to was a devil child. The child died.   When I returned to Koinadugu I was suffered a lot, I then came in contact with a man and who impregnated me and he abandoned me; living the child with me.  I am at present in serious constraint.  I was a student in Loma Secondary School,  I was in form 2 but  I was unable  to continue my education.  I don’t know what to do now.  I am staying with my parents in Kabala. 

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - I thank you for sharing your experience with us, and for coming to help the TRC, to bring lasting peace in Sierra Leone.  You say you are a little bit confused about the future.   You have a lovely baby sitting on that table.  If you are able to stand on your feet, and be your self,  you will be able to take care of your child in the future.  I am asking the Commissioners if they have any question for you?

Commissioner Torto - Thank you for coming, I believe your ordeal was painful but don’t give up.  I just want to make a few clarifications. Do you know your attackers?

Mamusu Mansaray  - They were  Super Man,  Captain Bai Bureh,  Komba Gundamah, OK al right,  CO Kai  and Capay.
Commissioner Torto  - Do you know where they are?

Mamusu Mansaray  - No.

Commissioner Torto - On your way to Freetown were there any other attack? Were other people abducted?

Mamusu Mansaray  -  Yes

Commissioner Torto  - What language do they speak?

Mamusu Mansaray  - They were speaking in Liberian Pidgin English.    

Commissioner Torto - What group did they belong to?

Mamusu Mansaray  -  They were RUF rebels.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - What happened to your house?

Mamusu Mansaray - On our way to Bambukoroh, I found out that my house at Forienaya was burnt.

 Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Where there people in the house?

Mamusu Mansaray - I was not around.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Are you the owner of the house?

Mamusu Mansaray - My father owns the house.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Where is he now?

Mamusu Mansaray  - He is in Forienaya.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - You said that you were a bush wife,  what happened to you when you were in the bush?

Mamusu Mansaray -  We were there to satisfy their sexual desires.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - How did you escape from the bush?

Mamusu Mansaray  -  I escaped in Freetown with the help of my aunt.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Was your bush husband with you  in town?

Mamusu Mansaray  - Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones -  Where is he now?

Mamusu Mansaray  - I don’t know his whereabouts.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Why were you abandoned by the other man in Kabala?

Mamusu Mansaray - He said that he was not responsible for my pregnancy.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - How many of you were in the bush?

Mamusu Mansaray - We were about 20 in number.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Where is your aunt now?

Mamusu Mansaray - She is in  Kono.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Who are you staying with?

Mamusu Mansaray - I am staying with my mother and father here in Kabala.

Marcus Hones  - Have you made any effort to enroll in any institution?

Mamusu Mansaray - Yes I did attempt once  at CES.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - What was the result?

Mamusu Mansaray - I was trained in Gara Tie dyeing.

Marcush Jones - Why can't you pursue in that trade?

Mamusu Mansaray  - I don’t have the capital.  We were given a loan after the training.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - What did you do with the money?

Mamusu Mansaray - I was pregnant by then, after the process, I later credited the Gara, but people refused to pay the money.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Have you paid back the loan?

Mamusu Mansaray  - I have paid some of the loan, and we were told to form a group to continue the Gara Dyeing.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones -   That’s good. I cannot understand why you said you were worried, having formed this group and you have your parents with you, you can continue with it to sustain your child. You can live without a man.

Leader of Evidence  -  I am very sorry for the sufferings.  How long have you been with the rebels?

Mamusu Mansaray - I spent one year five months.

Leader of Evidence - I can understand that you were in Koinadugu camp, why then did you go to Freetown?

Mamusu Mansaray  - I spent six months in Koinadugu and then I was taken to Freetown.

Leader of Evidence - Can you tell us how it was like when you were in the bush as a bush wife?

Mamusu Mansaray - I was not comfortable. I was always worried about my life and that of my parents.

Leader of Evidence - Were you beaten when you were in the bush?

Mamusu Mansaray - We were always punished when we refused to have intercourse with them.

Leader of Evidence  -  How many of them did you marry to?

Mamusu Mansaray - Only by one man.

Leader of Evidence  - You sustained injury, was it during the fight?

Mamusu Mansaray - Yes.

Leader of Evidence - Which other group was your captors engaged in battle with?

Mamusu Mansaray - I cannot tell.

Leader of Evidence  - Was it a group of RUF, SLA, Kamajors, Donsos or ECOMOG.

Mamusu Mansaray  -  I cannot tell, it was a matter of survival.

Leader of Evidence - What happened to the other girls that were abducted with you?

Mamusu Mansaray - Some were killed.   Others had their feet amputated.

Leader of Evidence - Where the other girls taken as bush wives?

Mamusu Mansaray  - Yes.

Leader of Evidence - How big was the rebel group?

Mamusu Mansaray  -  It was a very large group.

Leader of Evidence - Were young boys and girls involved in the fighting?

Mamusu Mansaray - Yes.

Leader of Evidence - Did you join the rebels when they go on attacks?

Mamusu Mansaray - We were always in the camp, when the rebels went on the offensive.

Leader of Evidence - Were children among the group?

Mamusu Mansaray - They were all adults.

Leader of Evidence  - Were there women amongst the rebels?

Mamusu Mansaray - There were no women.

Leader of Evidence - Were they taking drugs?

Mamusu Mansaray - Yes it was obvious as it gives them the zeal to commit atrocities.

Leader of Evidence - After taking drugs what did they do?

Mamusu Mansaray - They did harmful things like - killing, raping and looting.

Leader of Evidence - Did you witness all these?

Mamusu Mansaray - Yes, I witnessed these atrocities when we were in Freetown.

Leader of Evidence  - Can you tell us your present situation?

Mamusu Mansaray - I have pains all over my body and in my vagina.

Leader of Evidence - Did you seek medical attention?

Mamusu Mansaray  - No I was taken care of by my parents at home.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - What do you mean that your child was a devil child?

Mamusu Mansaray  - The way the child was formed, she had lumps  all over her head.

I was afraid after giving birth to the child, and asked that they take her away from me.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Did a Doctor examine the child?

Mamusu Mansaray - She died after birth.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - There was no one to tell you the reasons for the lumps all over her body.

Mamusu Mansaray  - Somebody told me that it was because I was in the bush.

Commissioner Torto  - You said that your bush husband, Gundama was a foreigner, what other languages were they speaking.

Mamusu Mansaray  - They  all spoke Liberian dialect.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Do you have any question for the commission?

Mamusu Mansaray  - I am asking for help from the government or from any kind Sierra Leonean.  I  suffered during the war, I am appealing for help to further  my education,  and also for my house to be rehabilitated.
Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Mamusu Mansaray now that you’ve formed this group, you should try to pay back your loan, and if you wish, you may contact NacSA, and they could refer you to a group that may help you.  We are going to include your questions in our record.  Have you any recommendation to make to the government?

Mamusu Mansaray  -  I have said it all.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Thank you very much for coming,  you are much brave to come out and tell your story,  people are listening,  and they have heard your story. 


WITNESS NAME:  Foday Jawara

The witness was sworn on oath by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones.


In 1994 when the rebels attacked Kabala. I was in bed sleeping, they knocked at the door and asked us to open the door.  We were asked to come outside.  They threatened to burn my house.  My younger sister was there with me, the commando was a Kono.  So they spoke in Kono.  She was pleading to them that they must not burn our house; she told them that she has lost her husband and that she has so many children.  Later one commander, by the name of Squirrel, took my valise; emptied the contents on the mattress and poured petrol and burnt them.  At that time we were sitting at the verandah with my aunt and her husband.

Squirrel placed a gun on my sisters’ shoulder and shot at her, she fell down half-naked.  Now she is deaf.  A woman gave her her wrapper to cover herself and the commander ordered us to leave but we should not use the Makeni Highway.  He advised that we used the swamp road, as the main road was not safe.  At about that time, the Commander saw a small girl standing and he asked "whose child she is?"  The woman he was talking to, claimed ownership of the child.  He said that the woman was going to be her wife.  But the mother of the girl pleaded that  she was the one taking care of the domestic work in the house and she is the only daughter to her mother, the rebel said if they refused to let go of the girl he would kill  them.   He then took Le6,000 and one torch light as a dowry for the girl.   He is taking her with him, and promised that nothing will happen to her.  He gave the money to the sister of the girl.  When they left us, we went as far as Makakura and then to Kamayimbo.  That was on the third day.  My aunt had the sum of Le1, 000,000 which she had wanted to take to her daughter in Freetown, the money was in the house and everything was burnt down. 

After my daughter had traveled for some distant, she realized that she had not seen her brother, so she came back to collect her younger brother.  After that we all went to the Imam it was at night.  By the time we came back home it was already daylight.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.  We are sorry that you have suffered so much.  We are going to ask you a few questions. You said the rebels burnt your house.   Who owned the house?

Foday Jawara - I owned houses which were burnt.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Who owned the Le1, 000,000 that was missing?

Foday Jawara - My aunt, she is presently in the house. She is suffering from deafness.  It was as a result of gunshots.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Where are you living now?

Foday Jawara - I am in Kabala, I managed some burnt zinc to restructure my house.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Do you know Squirrel’s real name?

Foday Jawara  -  I can’t tell his real name.  He is called Squirrel and he is a born of Kabala.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Where is he now?

Foday Jawara - I heard that he is dead.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - So you’ve never seen him since after the war?

Foday Jawara - I don’t know his whereabouts.

Commissioner Torto - Thank you for coming, I want you to clarify some issues both in your verbal and written statements.  Do you actually know the names of your attackers although you were attacked at night?

Foday Jawara  -  I cannot tell their names, it was at night.

Commissioner Torto - Does the name Sgt. Musa means anything to you?

Foday Jawara - Not Sgt. Musa alone, they were many.

Commissioner Torto - Was Sgt. Musa the group leader?

Foday Jawara  - I can’t tell.

Commissioner Torto - Your sister was raped before you or did she report the matter to you?

Foday Jawara  -  I was informed. 

Commissioner Torto - Did she receive any treatment?

Foday Jawara  -  There was no hospital at the time.

Commissioner Torto  - I mean now.

Foday Jawara  - After the war we took her to the hospital, and she is gradually responding to treatment.

Commissioner Torto - Can you identify the fighting group that attacked you, Kamajors, Donsu, ECOMOG, CDF, RUF etc.

Commissioner Torto - We have heard testimonies from people who were able to recognize their attackers.

Foday Jawara - It was in 1994. I don’t know them, they spoke Kono.

Commissioner Torto - Thank you.

Leader of Evidence - When the rebels attacked Kabala, was there any Government force?

Foday Foday Jawara - The CDF was around.

Leader of Evidence - Which particular CDF group was around?

Foday Jawara - The Tamaborroh was around.

Leader of Evidence  - You mentioned one man Dembaso who was the head of the group, where is he now?

Foday Jawara  -  He was killed.

Leader of Evidence  -  We heard that Kabala was attacked 17 times, was it during one of those attacks that he was killed?

Foday Jawara - He was killed in 1994.

Leader of Evidence - You said that Squirrel is from Kabala, have you known him before this incident?

Foday Jawara - I know the family of Squirrel very well but he had changed his name; everybody was calling him Squirrel in this Town.

Leader of Evidence - Has there been any quarrel between your family and Squirrel’s family?

Foday Jawara  -  No, there was no quarrel between us.

Leader of Evidence - Have you met with his family after the war to explain this?

Foday Jawara  - When I met them they said that Squirrel was a rebel, they don’t have any business with him, they have disowned him.

Leader of Evidence - You said that they paid dowry of Le6,000 for your sister, how long was she with them?

Foday Jawara  - She never went with them.  She was with them for a short time, after which she was released.  She came home crying.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - We’ve been asking you a number of questions, do you have any question to ask the commission?

Foday Jawara - I am now an old man, my house had been burnt down, I have so many children, therefore I need some assistance from the government.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - How many children have you?

Foday Jawara  - I have sixteen children.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - I am talking about your own children.

Foday Jawara  -  I have sixteen children.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Born by your wife or  wives?

Foday Jawara - I have three wives.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - How many of them are grown ups?

Foday Jawara  -  I am an old man now.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - How many of them are adults,  who are now working and are not school  going children?

Foday Jawara  - Some of them are still going to school, some are married.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - How many are married and how many are going to school?

Foday Jawara - Five are married, Six of them are going to school.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - What about the remaining five?

Foday Jawara  - They are very small.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - As we have told you before, TRC does not give money to victims, but your recommendations will be included in our report, and  victims will be able to benefit in the future. Do you have any recommendations to make to the Commission?

Foday Jawara  - What I am saying is that I need help, I am an old man, my houses were all burnt down. I have no strength to rebuild my life.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - We are very sorry for the elderly people and all those that have suffered in the war.  By October we would have finished our report, and you will be able to benefit from whatever recommendations are made.  I advised that you asked the older children to help with the burden of the younger ones.  I thank you.


WITNESS NAME:  Hawa Marrah

The witness was sworn on oath by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones.


I was attending School here in Kabala, when I was captured.  When they   attacked, my mother gave me all her money. We ran into the bush, where we all separated, it was raining.  The rebels met us and put us under gun point. And they asked that someone amongst us follow them to carry their loads, since there were so many old women, and I was the youngest, I was chosen. I got up and carried their load.  They took us to Bilmaia and detained us in a room for two days.  Later we were released and taken to Koinadugu and after which we went to their base in Kono through Kurubonla.  Whilst we were in the camp they usually leave us behind when they go out on attacks.  They normally brought food for us to eat which were mostly not good.  They brought yam, raw banana etc..  We were there for sometime and my aunts who were also abducted told me that my people were anxious to see me.  The rebel I was with, said that he is not going to release me and he is taking me to where he came from.  My aunt pleaded on my behalf.  One of them said that instead of arguing they should kill me.  My aunt said that they should have patience with me.  A boy was killed, after his death I eventually escaped to Kono.  I was collected by my parents, and taken to Freetown feeling sick and I was admitted, after the admission, I finally returned  to Kabala.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - I thank you very much for coming.  The commissioners will ask you some questions.

Commissioner Torto - Who was your actual captor?  

Hawa Marah - He was a Liberian, called CO Kai.

Commissioner Torto  -Where you the only one captured?

Hawa Marah -  We were in a group.

Commissioner Torto  - During the time you were captured, did they kill or injure people?

Hawa Marah  - I can’t tell because I was small.

Commissioner Torto - Do you have a child for your bush husband?

Hawa Marah  - Yes, look at him.

Commissioner Torto  - Has he attempted to look out for you?

Hawa Marah  - He is dead.

Commissioner Torto  -  How do you know?

Hawa Marah - I was around when they left for an attack but he was killed.

Commissioner Torto - Can you tell the fighting group that killed  him?

Hawa Marah  - No, I don’t know the group.  I was very small.

Commissioner Torto  - Can you identify your attackers? Were they RUF,SLA, or Kamajors, which of them?

Hawa Marah - It was Superman’s group.

Commissioner Torto  - Did you really see Super Man.

Hawa Marah  - Yes.

Leader of Evidence - I have few questions for you.  How long did you spent with the rebels in the bush?

Hawa Marah - I was captured during the five days attack and I was with them for about four months.

Leader of Evidence - After the three months.  What happened?

Hawa Marah  -  I was twelve years old.

Leader of Evidence  - How old are you now?

Hawa Marah  - I am twenty years old.

Leader of Evidence  - In what year were you captured?

Hawa Marah  - I cannot recall.

Leader of Evidence  - How many people were abducted with you during the attack?

Hawa Marah  - They were very large.

Leader of Evidence  -  Were there other girls of your age?

Hawa Marah - Yes.

Leader of Evidence  - What happened to the other girls who were captured?

Hawa Marah  -We were in the same camp with their bush husbands.

Leader of Evidence  - Where are they now?

Hawa Marah  - They are now in Kono.

Leader of Evidence - Didn't they all come back from Kono?

Hawa Marah - I can’t tell.

Leader of Evidence  - What was your daily life like as a bush wife to the rebels?

Hawa Marah  - I used to prepare their food.

Leader of Evidence  - Did you join them when they went on attacks?

Hawa Marah  -  No.

Leader of Evidence  -  Were other abducted children trained to fight?

Hawa Marah  -  No, there were no training going on in the camp.

Leader of Evidence  - Were there adults in the group?

Hawa Marah - Yes.

Leader of Evidence  -Were there young boys and girls among the rebels?

Hawa Marah  -  Yes.

Leader of Evidence  -  Were they all involved in combat?

Hawa Marah  - I cannot tell because we were left behind in the camp.

Leader of Evidence  -  Were there men and women in the group?

Hawa Marah  - There was a mixture of men and women.

Leader of Evidence - How were you treated?

Hawa Marah  - I was not treated badly.

Leader of Evidence  - Were you beaten by other rebels apart from your bush husband?

Hawa Marah  - Yes.

Leader of Evidence  - Why did they beat you?

Hawa Marah  - At times when we were sent for food and didn’t come back early we were beaten.

Leader of Evidence  -  Did they use drugs?

Hawa Marah  - I can’t tell.

Leader of Evidence - You said you were a bush wife to one of the rebels, what was his name?

Hawa Marah - Kailondo.

Leader of Evidence  - He got killed after the fight?

Hawa Marah  -  Yes.

Leader of Evidence  - Who is Col Issa?

Hawa Marah  - I don’t know much about him.

Leader of Evidence  - But you mentioned his name in your written statement.

Hawa Marah - I overheard his name, but I did not see him.

Leader of Evidence - Did you sustain injuries whilst you were in the bush.  How is your health now?

Hawa Marah  - Yes.  I felt pain all over my side, I am suffering from cold.

Leader of Evidence  - Have you seek medical attention when you came back?

Hawa Marah  -  Yes.

Leader of Evidence  - Where are you staying, is it with your family?

Hawa Marah  - Yes, I am staying with my family.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - We have been asking you questions, do you have any questions for the commission.

Hawa Marah  - I want the Commission to help me with capital because I wanted to start business so that I would be able to take care of my child.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - The Commission is referring you to NaCSA for assistance.  Have you any recommendation  for the Commission, that can be included in its report?

Hawa Marah - I would like the Commission to create job facilities, and to build schools for my community.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - When you said job facilities are you thinking particularly of women?  

Hawa Marah  -  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Do you have any other question?

Hawa Marah   - No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - I thank you very much for coming and I hope you will be able to take care of your child.


WITNESS NAME:  Jeremaiah Kamara

The witness was sworn on oath by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones.


At about 5 in the evening, we heard firing all over the town,  at that time I have never heard about rebels.   We got up; my mother, brother and I went into the house and shut the door.  The firing was heavy and it continued until night.  At about 12 to 1a.m we heard somebody knocking at our door.  My mother started crying that we are going to be killed.  I attempted to open but before I could open the door somebody kicked the door and we were ordered to come outside.  My mother, nephew, my child and I came out and all our belongings were looted.  One of them said that they are going to burn our house.  They did set the house on fire.  One of them tied and started flogging me with sticks, my mother was crying. He later untied me and I helped them to carry their luggage.   On our way going I met a woman by the name of Adama, who was killed but I couldn’t say anything because the rebel was pushing me.  We went to Koinadugu and spent two days, after which they started to complain that they are hungry. I was sent to fetch water, and I took the opportunity to escape.  On my way I met another set of rebels who ordered me to dig a grave.  However, their attention was diverted when they heard that Government troops were around.  So I escaped.  I was worried of my mother and children.  I went in search of them and I finally met them at Yataya.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - How did you manage to escape?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - After I have been given the shovel to dig, when they were informed of the presence of government troops,   I escaped.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  -  Have you seen Captain Marah?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - Since I escaped I haven’t set eyes on him.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  -What about Sergeant Musa, have you heard about him?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  I understood he’s dead.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - What language did they spoke?

Jeremaiah Kamara -  They spoke Mende, Temne and Limba.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - What were the looted items you carried?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  I carried tapes, rice and other items.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Do you know were they got those looted items from?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - They collected some from my house before setting the house on fire and some from other houses.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  -  Where were these people killed and who were they?

Jeremaiah Kamara - I saw dead bodies, but I don’t know who killed them.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - How many of them, were there men or women?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - One woman was among them but majority were men.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones -  Did you dug the grave yourself?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - Yes, but when they escaped,  I fled.

Commissioner Torto  -  My questions are coming from both your statement and your verbal testimony.  Marah was a very popular man.  Did you happen to know him before?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - I  heard about him but I have not met him.

Commissioner Torto  - Have you been in touch with him?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  No.

Commissioner Torto  -  What part of Kono did you carry the items to?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  We were heading for Kono.  I have never been to Kono, so I cannot describe the names of the villages, but we met another group.

Commissioner Torto  - Sgt. Musa and Captain Marah were the leaders of your attackers?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  Yes.

Commissioner Torto - Why didn’t you escape when you were sent to fetch water?  

Jeremaiah Kamara - I was always given an escort to guard me.

Commissioner Torto  - If you see Marah and Musa would you be able to identify them?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - I can identify Musa but I cannot identify Marah.

Commissioner Torto  -  Did you escape before they went to Kono?

Jeremaiah Kamara -  I escaped after two days.

Commissioner Torto - Which means you did not go to Kono?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  Yes.

Commissioner Torto  - According to your written statement you mentioned  RUF, then you are now talking about Sgt Musa and Marah.  Can you clarify that?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - The reasons being that they had red cloth round their heads.

Commissioner Torto - So it was only Sgt. Musa’s group that tied red cloth?

Jeremaiah Kamara - Yes.

Commissioner Torto - You came across a group with white?

Jeremaiah Kamara -  No.

Commissioner Torto  - After the attack, what are you doing now?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - I am a farmer.

Leader of Evidence  - You mentioned one Mr Momoh Sesay, who is he? Did anything happened to him?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  We came from the same village, we were captured together but he escaped.

Leader of Evidence  - Can you tell whether other people were killed in that attack?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - I only saw the corpse of Adama, it was late in the night, and I was carrying heavy load.

Leader of Evidence - In reaction to the Deputy Chairman’s question, you said you were digging graves, where was that?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - I cannot tell the name of the village.

Leader of Evidence  - Can you tell the number of people captured.

Jeremaiah Kamara - We were over 15.

Leader of Evidence - Can you tell whether the group was a  composition of boys and girls?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  Yes, it was a mixture of men and women but majority were men.

Leader of Evidence  -  Can you tell what happened to girls that were captured?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  They took them as bush wives.

Leader of Evidence  - Did you witness such?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - They deflowered a  child in front of me.

Leader of Evidence  - Can you tell me the age of that child?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - She was about 10 years old.

Leader of Evidence - What about the boys?  Can you tell their ages?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - They were about 10 to 15 years.

Leader of Evidence - Where other towns attacked?

Jeremaiah Kamara -  They burnt down villages and towns as they moved along.

Leader of Evidence - Do you know whether they were under the influence of anything?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - They were smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol.

Leader of Evidence - Were these drugs given to the captors?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - Some of the girls did prepare these drugs for them.

Leader of Evidence - Were they willing to take the drugs?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - They were forced to take the drugs.

Leader of Evidence  -  The boys who were abducted, did they give them drugs when they wanted to go on an attack?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - We have asked you a number of questions, have you any questions for the Commission?

Jeremaiah Kamara  - I want them to rebuild my house and to educate my children.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Actually when we asked for questions we are not asking for what you want, we want to know about your view about the Commission’s mandate may be when it comes to recommendations, you would tell what you would like for your community.

Jeremaiah Kamara  - My only question is whether they would create job opportunity for our community.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  -  That is a good question.  A number of people are just lying around practically doing nothing.  We'll recommend that something should be done about your community to make it more vibrant, and the people more active with jobs.   We will include that in our report.  As a Commission I would not be able to say we can provide such.  If people want jobs, we will look around for NGOs.  Have you any recommendations?

Jeremaiah Kamara  -  I take what you said to start as one, e.g you have mentioned that you would like Government  to create job facilities, and build schools for our community.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - I thank you very much for coming, we hope that your testimony would create a lot of dialogue for people here present.  I thank you.



DATE:       13TH May 2003

Commissioners Present
Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones
Commissioner Sylvanus Torto

Leaders of Evidence
Martien Schotsmann
Abdulai Charm


WITNESS NAME:     Kadiatu Sawaneh
CHRISTIAN PRAYER:      Rev. J. S. Fornah

MUSLIM PRAYER:     The Al fatia was generally offered.

The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Slyvanus Torto.


I was with my grandmother, assisting her with her farm work when I was captured by the rebels. I tried to escape but I was recaptured and they shot my right hand and inscribed RUF on my chest. They traveled with us at night so that we could not identify the routes we passed through. Things were difficult and food was hard to get. We were taken to Makeni but I tried to escape to come to my mother who was almost mad because of me. They killed my uncle and my father’s house and grandfather’s houses and properties were destroyed.

My captor said that I could not sit without being married so he became my bush husband. He latter went to Kono and left me in Makeni. I entered into a relationship with a young man who left because I refused to have a child for him. Later, I met another man, whom I had this child for. I had wanted to come to my parent but I was afraid that people would accuse me of being a spy because of the RUF inscription. I was with them until when the disarmament started but they didn’t give me a gun because I was not married to one of them. One day I met a man who took me to Magburaka to disarm but the Commander who trained me was dead. That is my story.

Commissioner Torto: Thank you very much are you Kadie Kadiatu Sawaneh.

Kadiatu Sawaneh: Yes.

Commissioner Torto: This is a pathetic story you have explained, I don’t know how far down the RUF marked you on your chest because we don’t want to strip you.

Kadiatu Sawaneh: (Then shows mark on chest)

Commissioner Torto:  Is it visible enough?

Kadiatu Sawaneh: Yes it is.

Commissioner Torto: Can you identify the man who marked you on your chest?

Kadiatu Sawaneh: I don’t know the man because they were plenty in number.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Can you come forward for the Commissioners to see the inscription on your chest? (Shows inscription to Commissioners)

Commissioner Torto:  Who shot you?

Kadiatu Sawaneh :  The rebels.

Commissioner Torto: Do you know the person who shot you?

Kadiatu Sawaneh : No

Commissioner Torto: What group did your captors belong to?

Kadiatu Sawaneh :  RUF

Commissioner Torto: During your captivity were you engaged in any fighting?

Kadiatu Sawaneh : No

Commissioner Torto: Have you been disarmed?  Did you benefit out of the Disarmament process?

Kadiatu Sawaneh : Yes, I was given Le150, 000.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   What of your husband, where is he at present?  

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  He is here in Kabala with me.  

Commissioner Torto: Are you staying together?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Yes.

Commissioner Torto:  Is he RUF?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  No, he is a civilian.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: We are sorry for what happened to you.  You sound as someone with hope and ready to continue with life.  How many men were you a bush wife to?

Kadiatu Sawaneh :  Only one man.   I was raped but I was not married to any of them  in the bush.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Where were you married?

Kadiatu Sawaneh :  In Makeni

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: By one of the men who captured you?

Kadiatu Sawaneh : Yes

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where you raped a number of times?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  No

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How many times were you raped?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Four times.  

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where you raped by different men?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Only one man.

Commissioner Torto:  Kumba Gbudema, Mohamed.  What do they remind you of?

Kadiatu Sawaneh: We were living together.  

Commissioner Torto:  What languages were they speaking?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Mende.

Leader of Evidence:   I  am sorry for what happened to you. Can you tell how long you stayed with your captors?  

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  I stayed with them for 4 years.

Leader of Evidence:  Did you try to escape and what happened?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Yes, I tried to escape but I was recaptured.

Leader of Evidence:   How old where you at the time the rebels captured you?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  I was small and my breast was not fully developed.

Leader of Evidence:  Can you tell the name of the rebel who took you as a bush wife?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  His name was Mohamed.

Leader of Evidence:  Can you tell where he is it at present?  

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  I can’t tell.

Leader of Evidence:  Where other girls captured and treated in the same way you were treated?  

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Yes, I met them there.

Leader of Evidence:  Were they also bush wives?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Have you seen any of the girls since you left the bush?

Kadiatu Sawaneh: No

Leader of Evidence:  You mentioned that your uncle was also killed, what was the name of your uncle?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Amadu Kamara.

Leader of Evidence:  Where other people killed?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  My grandfather.

Leader of Evidence:  What was his name?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Mohamed Kamara.

Leader of Evidence: Were there other people killed in your family?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Yes, my younger Sister Temeh Sesay.

Leader of Evidence:  Who is Ibrahim Sesay?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  My uncle.

Leader of Evidence:  So two of your uncles were killed?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Did they kill other people apart from members of your family.

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  No

Leader of Evidence:  Did they abduct other people from your village?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Yes

Leader of Evidence:  Those who were abducted, did they come back?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Some of them came back.

Leader of Evidence:  In the bush, where there also captured young boys and girls?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Did the boys receive military training?  

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Did the boys go out to attack villages.

Kadiatu Sawaneh: Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Did the boys do it voluntarily or were they conscripted?  

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  They did not doing it voluntarily they were forced to join.

Leader of Evidence:  Did the rebels use drugs?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Plenty.

Leader of Evidence:  What type of drugs did they use?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Cigarette, marijuana palm wine, man pekin.

Leader of Evidence:  Did they give it to the young boys and girls?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Did they give it to all the boys and girls who were captured or only to those who go fighting with them.  

Kadiatu Sawaneh:    Only those who went  to fight with them.

Leader of Evidence:  Those who went to fight with them, did  they use guns?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  No.

Leader of Evidence:  The rebel Commanders where they adults or young people?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  They were adults.

Leader of Evidence:  Where they men and women?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  There were also women with them.  

Commissioner Torto:  During your four years of captivity did they ever tell you what they were fighting for?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  No.

Commissioner Torto:  Did they mention who sent them to fight?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:  No

Commissioner Torto: Do you have any question for the Commission?

Kadiatu Sawaneh:   Yes, did you bring me here for good or bad.

Commissioner Torto: The Commission cares about you and wants to know what happened to you and those who did it and why they did it.   After the hearings, the Commission will make recommendations to government based on what you have suggested. So that is why you are here.

Kadiatu Sawaneh : My house was burnt, the house of my father was burnt they can not rehabilitate my house and give me back all that I have lost. I want them to assist me.

Commisssioner Torto: What you went through is not strange. It happened all over the country. In any case, our leaders of evidence could talk to you and give you advice as to how you may be able to access the micro-credit loan. We are here to ensure that what happened to you is forestalled. Your appearance before this Commission is not a waste of time.

Commissioner Torto: Do you have any recommendation to make to the government?

Kadiatu Sawaneh : I have learnt a job, soap making but there is no material to continue so I will want government to assist me with capital and materials.

Commissioner Torto: Our staff will help you with technical advice. Thank you very much for coming.

WITNESS NAME:     Mohamed Mansaray


The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Slyvanus Torto.


I was in the farm one day when one woman ran to tell me that the rebels had attacked. I decided to go to town. As I got closer to the town, they followed us. We ran deeper into the bush to hide. One day I was going to our hiding place in the bush from town, when I heard gun shot and I fell on the ground. A small boy called "Small Pepper", came to me and said that I should go to Tejan Kabah for treatment. At about that time, my wife was carrying our four weeks old child. As I lie on the ground, I heard the crying of a child but it was raining. After a while the crying stopped and my wife who had earlier been captured came to me and informed me that she met our child lying dead. She then left me to go to town, so that she would inform my relatives. In the evening she came with my brother and they took me to another place. I was there for two weeks and my body has started to rot. The highway to Kabala and Freetown was not safe. So we used a bye pass and walked on foot  to Kabala where I was treated. Later I was taken to my village and I built a hut for me and my family. However things are difficult with me.

Commissioner Torto: Thank you very much for coming.  Your appearance here is not a waste of time. Do you know the group who attacked you?

Mohamed Mansaray : Actually when they attacked the village, we ran away and the rebels chased us.  When they hit me with a gun, I fell down. I can ‘t  tell.

Commissioner Torto:  What was the name of the small boy?

Mohamed Mansaray :  "Small Pepper."

Commissioner Torto:  Do you know what fighting group they belonged to?

Mohamed Mansaray :  They belonged to Superman’s group.

Commissioner Torto:  Do you know under what circumstances your baby was killed?

Mohamed Mansaray :  No.

Commissioner Torto: So your wife just met the child dead.

Mohamed Mansaray : They threw the child away and then took the mother away.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: There are certain points I would like to rectify.  Who was the person who saved you and took you away when you were lying on the ground wounded?  

Mohamed Mansaray :  At that time there was no body.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: How did you get back to your house when you find out you child was dead.

Mohamed Mansaray : I was lying down on the ground when my wife told me that they have killed my son

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where is your wife at present?

Mohamed Mansaray :  She is at home

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Did your wife tell you about her experience when she was captured.

Mohamed Mansaray : She was raped, that was what she told me.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did she tell you how she managed to escape?

Mohamed Mansaray : According to her, she was able to escape at night.

Leader of Evidence : Before the attack, you mentioned that you were living in your farm house why were you living in your farm instead of the village?

Mohamed Mansaray :  It was almost harvest time so I had to stay in the farm house to tend to the farm.  By the time I got the news, it was difficult for me to go to the village.  

Leader of Evidence :  Was it the same time they attacked you in the farm that they attacked the village?  

Mohamed Mansaray :  Somebody ran to tell me in the farm that the village had been attacked.  

Leader of Evidence :  Did anything happen to your house in the village?

Mohamed Mansaray :  The town was completely destroyed.  

Commissioner Torto: Do you have any question for the Commission?

Mohamed Mansaray : I have nothing to say. I want to believe, I am in this condition because of the government if I had my way you would not believe in Kabala when you go to Freetown. I want to go to Freetown to talk to the government.

Commissioner Torto: We understand how you feel but the Commission do not have the mandate/resources to do as you wish.  If we had, we would have perform wonders in order to assist you.  I will recommend that you speak to the Government representatives in the persons of the District Officer, Police Personnel (CPO) through you can convey messages through that means.  Yesterday the District Chairman of SLPP was here, I suggest you try to contact him.  Technical advice would only be given by our personnel.  Do you have any other question?

Mohamed Mansaray : Now that I am in Kabala, I did not know that the TRC was here, I have no house and I’m staying with friends.  I want to go back to the village.  What can the Commission do for me?  

Commissioner Torto: Do not think that it is your fault that you are in this condition. It happened all over the country. If you need help there are NGOs that can help you. Don’t think that you are finished on earth. Thank you very much for coming.

Commissioner Torto: Do you have any recommendation to make that we can pass on to the Government?

Mohamed Mansaray : I would like our houses to be rehabilitated; I am at present a beggar.

Commissioner Torto: However your recommendation will be included in our report.

WITNESS NAME:     Feremusu Janneh


The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Slyvanus Torto.


The rebels met me in the bush and I was captured and raped. I was then taken to another village where I was tied up and striped naked and they raped me again. They took us to Kamadu Sokuralla. They had wanted to give us guns but we refused, since we’ve not used to it. They raped us frequently and we were threatened that if we attempted to escape, we’ll be killed.

One day rebels from Koinadugu came and asked us about our captors. We were told that they’ve gone out to find food. One of the rebels called George Bucher, came to me and took me inside a room where he raped me. They went out and captured more people and looted properties from our village and other villages. My father also was given serious beatings. We were able to escape under a heavy down pour of rain. When we came to our village, I was naked. As my father was coming for me, he was captured and beaten. However, we eventually came to Kabala.
Commissioner Torto: Who actually was your bush husband?

Feremusu Janneh: George Bucher.

Commissioner Torto: How old were you when you were captured by the rebels?

Feremusu Janneh: I can't tell.

Commissioner Torto: You said in your first statement that Tee boy raped you and another called Bucher?

Feremusu Janneh: No, it was only Bucher.

Commissioner Torto: When you were in the bush did the rebels made mention of who sent them?

Feremusu Janneh: No.

Commissioner Torto: Do you know the group that captured you?

Feremusu Janneh: They were RUF but they had no central command. They were on their own.

Commissioner Torto: In your statement, you said you were raped three times a day. Is that true?

Feremusu Janneh: Yes.

Commissioner Torto: If you see them now can you remember them?

Feremusu Janneh: The man who captured me, if I see him I can remember him.

Commissioner Torto:  After having done this to you and you heard that the man is dead what will you do?

Feremusu Janneh: I will dance.

Commissioner Torto: Did you dance when you heard that Bucher was killed.

Feremusu Janneh: I have not heard about his death.

Commissioner Torto: What happened to the other abductees?

Feremusu Janneh: I don’t know.

Commissioner Torto: And you have not seen them since?

Feremusu Janneh: No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Have you any child as the result of what happened to you?

Feremusu Janneh: No.

Commissioner Marcus- Jones: What is the state of your health now?

Feremusu Janneh: I have pains in stomach.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Have you been able to see a doctor?

Feremusu Janneh: Yes but there is no money for proper treatment.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Have you reported to any NGO?

Feremusu Janneh: No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Well after your testimony you will talk to some of our staff and they will be able to direct you to people that will help you.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How are you living? Do you do any trade?

Feremusu Janneh: I go in search of firewood and sell.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: It is good you are doing something.

Commissioner Torto: Are you desirous to learn any trade?

Feremusu Janneh:  I want to learn gara tie dyeing.

Leader of Evidence: Thank you for your experience I am very sorry for what happened to you. You mentioned that you were captured with your friend, what happened to her?

Feremusu Janneh: She was also raped.

Leader of Evidence: During the attack where there other people killed?

Feremusu Janneh: No.

Leader of Evidence:  In your statement you said you were 12years at the time of the attack, do you know your age now?

Feremusu Janneh: I don’t know.

Leader of Evidence: Are you married now?

Feremusu Janneh: Yes.

Commissioner Torto:  Have you any question to ask?

Feremusu Janneh: What you will do for me so that I will have peace of mind?

Commissioner Torto: The purpose of the Commission is for people like you. We want to know what they did to you and if you know the names of the people that did all that to you.

Commissioner Torto: Do you have any recommendation for the government?

Feremusu Janneh: I want my house to be rehabilitated, and my husband is an old man he has nothing.

Commissioner Torto: what is the health of you father now.

Feremusu Janneh:  He is sick.

Commissioner Torto: Any other recommendation.

Feremusu Janneh: No, that is all I have.

Commissioner Torto: I want to assure you that what you have said will form part of our recommendation to the government. Thank you for coming.


WITNESS NAME:     Fatmata Kamara


The witness was sworn on oath the Bible by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Slyvanus Torto.


One day at about 3-4p.m., we heard that the rebels were five miles away from the place we were. Little did I know that they were in town.  We were parking our utensils and my sister left to ease her self, unfortunately she saw them and a shot was fired which was a signal calling the  others. They were all over and I was captured. They asked who owned the house. They ask for the house owner I told them that they have gone to the farm. They captured us but I was carrying my child on my back. I pleaded with them since I was a suckling mother. My child was taken and sent in front. The commander took my clothes off and dragged me with only my pants on.

They took us to a junction and returned to the village where they looted and burnt houses. I didn’t see my suckling child until after 3days. The rebels later took me to a farm where my child was, but the child was week and it collapsed.

I later became pregnant and I fell sick. They usually sent us out to search for food and if you refused, you will be beaten. One day whilst we were out searching for food, I told my sister who was with me to hold my child since my head was reeling. We decided to escape; when we noticed that our companions were not looking. We hid for three days in the bush. When they went to attack a nearby village, they didn’t see us. My sister wanted to fetch water, so she gave me my child. However, a stray bullet caught her and she died. I left the area and traveled through the foot path to a village, where I met a man who applied some medicine on me and assured me that I was safe to go any where. When I eventually reached my house, I met everything destroyed and burnt. I later found my husband and my parents in the farm. My husband had erected a hut where we stayed, and we engaged in gardening.

Commissioner Torto: Thank you Fatmata, thank God you survive to tell the story I am very sorry for the loss of your sister. The man who actually slept with you did you know him?

Fatmata Kamara : Yes.

Commissioner Torto:  His name.

Fatmata Kamara : His name was blood.

Commissioner Torto: Do you know him before the incident?

Fatmata Kamara : No.

Commissioner Torto: What happened to the child after all the problem. Is she still alive?

Fatmata Kamara : She is still alive because she was taken to the hospital and she was given native medicine.

Commissioner Torto: Blood and savage are they the same people or they are two different people?

Fatmata Kamara : Blood was in savage’s group.

Commissioner Torto: The group that arrested you, what fighting group did they belong to?

Fatmata Kamara : They were RUF.

Commissioner Torto: Where is your father now?

Fatmata Kamara : My father was killed by the rebel and my mother is also dead

Commissioner Torto: What are you doing now?

Fatmata Kamara : I am a gardener.

Commissioner Torto: Would you like to do any thing?

Fatmata Kamara : Yes if there is the opportunity.

Commissioner Torto: Where is your husband?

Fatmata Kamara : He is here with me.

Commissioner Torto: Are you staying together?

Fatmata Kamara : Yes.

Commissioner Torto:  If you are to see Blood, can you recognize him?

Fatmata Kamara : He was killed.

Commissioner Torto: Who killed him?

Fatmata Kamara : He was killed by his colleagues.

Commissioner Torto: Why?

Fatmata Kamara : I don’t know.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Thank you very much for the courage you have to come and share you experience with us. Did you tell your husband you were raped?

Fatmata Kamara : Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: What was his attitude?

Fatmata Kamara : He felt bad but took courage in the fact that I came back alive.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: So he has been very cooperative with you?

Fatmata Kamara : Yes.

Leader of Evidence: Can you tell me the name of your sister?

Fatmata Kamara : Tenneh Kamara.

Leader of Evidence: You said your father was killed by the rebels?

Fatmata Kamara : Yes.

Leader of Evidence: Was he killed by the RUF or another group?

Fatmata Kamara : He was killed by the RUF.

Leader of Evidence: What is the name of your father?

Fatmata Kamara : Brima Kamara.

Leader of Evidence: What about your mother, was she killed by the rebels?

Fatmata Kamara : She died naturally.

Leader of Evidence: Were other members of your family killed?

Fatmata Kamara : No. Only my father and sister.

Commissioner Torto: We have asked you questions, do you have questions to ask the Commission?

Fatmata Kamara : Yes. I want to know what you have to give to me.

Commissioner Torto: Thank you very much. Do you have any other question?

Fatmata Kamara : Yes, I don’t know the meaning of TRC.

Commissioner Torto: I will tell you the meaning of TRC. I was among the group that went to Kondebaia to tell you all about The Truth and Reconciliation Commission where you aware about that?

Fatmata Kamara : I was hearing about the TRC but I didn’t pay attention to it.

Commissioner Torto: At Kondebaia did you remember this face talking to you?

Fatmata Kamara : No.

Commissioner Torto: In any case I was in your town, talking to you about the TRC. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission have aims and objectives and in short we don’t have time to go all over all this again. As the name implies it is to find out the truth of what happened and to identify victims like you. We will listen to your recommendation and pass on the message to the Government to ensure that what happened will not happen again.

Commissioner Torto: Any recommendation?

Fatmata Kamara : My husband is not working and I have three children so I want they government to help me educate my children.

Commissioner Torto: I am not the government but there is a programme that will help your children to be educated and the Ministry of education is talking about free education except for registration fee. It will be okay if you can start from there.

Thank you very much for coming and we encourage you to take care of your self and your children. There are thousands of people who went through this kind of situation.

WITNESS NAME:         Sieh Mansaray


The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Slyvanus Torto.


May God bless us all. I was in Kondebaia. We were running helter skelter as a result of the numerous attacks. We survived on yams. One day people were to go to the farm to work for me. I decided to come to town to buy some food stuffs because I felt the town was safe as ECOMOG was around. I met an ECOMOG check point in front of my house. I went into the house and took money to go out to buy these things. Not too long after, I heard firing and I felt it was ECOMOG that was shooting but it became persistence. I passed through the school and I came across the rebels who halted me. They said they are Foday Sankoh rebels and I was given a load to carry. The rebels put on uniforms which they had taken from the ECOMOG with some ammunition. They took out a mattress that was filled with air and they told me to deflate it. Another group came and asked that I should come down and one of them ordered me to come forward and he told his colleagues to give way so that a stray bullet would not meet them. He fired at me twice with a bullet but I was not hit. He ordered that they should tie me and cut my throat. They took me to the cotton tree where I met Nfagie.  The person who seems to be the Commando was not talking. He had a T. Shirt and a cap on. One man called Abass whom they had chained was resisting, he was shot twice with a pistol. They told us to bow our heads so that we would not be able to identify them.

The commando took out a paper and called a man by the name of “Junta” and handed a paper to him. Reading form the paper, the man said the rights hand of men should be cut and the women, the left hand. A six years old girl was killed and then one man’s hand was cut and put on top of the corpse. They cut Nfagie's hand and pushed him apart. They called me and persistently hit my hand with machetes until it fell out.

Four men and five women were amputated. They told us to go and tell Tejan Kabbah the war will not end until ECOMOG leave. They said we voted for Tejan Kabbah, so he should provide hands for us and that we are to inform the people of Kabala that they are coming. We went to the town but my house was on fire. We traveled for some distance and met Aminata but we were so thirsty and tied that I told Nfagie that I cannot go further but he said he is going to Kabala. I told him I wanted to go back so that our people would know that I am alive. Nfagie left and I came across a stream that was running I used my mouth to drink. I eventually met my relatives and they started weeping but I told them not to cry and that we must go along. My vein which was hanging out was hurting whenever it touches the grass. I told my wife and two sons to assist me find a place where I could be treated. We then left for Kabala. At Makakura, I met a Fullah who had a vehicle that traveled between Fadugu and Kabala. He brought me to my sister Tenneh who is a trader in the market.

When people saw me they were panicked. At the hospital there was no medicine only a cup of iodine. It was poured on my hand. At about 4-5, a man called “Peace maker” of CES came to me and consoled me and said that the road is not accessible but he told me that he has spoken to MSF and they are sending a helicopter for us to be taken to Freetown. On sat at 1p.m the helicopter arrived and they asked my relatives to sign an authorization for them to take me to Freetown. I was taken to Freetown and my hand was beginning to decay. It was operated on and after 2 months, I was taken to Waterloo. Two months later, my hand started swelling and a  lady, Elias from ICRC took me to the Conaught hospital. She said there were bone particles in my hand and that the big vein was not properly fixed, thus I needed one more operation. I was sent to Netland Hospital where my hand was operated on again. There was problem in fixing the bone because it was cracked. I still feel pain in the hand and I can not use artificial limbs because it is more painful. From Netland I was sent back to waterloo and after 11 days we heard of an attack at Sumbuya. I met a brother and he assisted me with transport to Freetown with my family. On the 4th of January we were registered at the Aberdeen camp for artificial limbs. On the 5th we were sent to Old wharf for bulgur wheat supply.

On the 6th January, the rebels attacked and the first  house that was burnt in the city of Freetown was the CID building. I was broken hearted for 11 days, especially when we heard that they are looking for amputees. I hid my hand so that they could not see it. I covered my hand with a towel and I passed through Circular Road, Pademba Road through backyards unto my Uncle Sayoh Conteh’s place in Congo town. Later we went to the National Stadium and we were later sent to the Murray Town Amputee Camp where they took care of us and gave us Physiotherapy. After sometime, Melissa from the Norwegian Refugee Council interviewed us to build houses for us. I am happy now, because a land was provided for me here and a house was built here. I am also happy because I am seeing my family.

Commissioner Torto: Thank you very much, on hearing your testimony we know that you went through difficulties. You have gone through an ordeal but as a man of courage you are able to survive to tell the story. Your testimony is straight forward, you are not a stranger to the TRC. We met you at the Aberdeen Camp and I believe you are very much aware of the activities of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Do you know who the boss of the attackers were?

Sieh Mansaray: No I don’t know the people, eyewitness and hearsay are two different things. I was not able to identify who was the leader but I can identify the person who gave the papers to the rebel to carry out the operations.

Commissioner Torto: What fighting group did your captors belong to?

Sieh Mansaray: They identify themselves as being Foday Sankoh's rebels.

Commissioner Torto: Did they also tell you why they were fighting?

Sieh Mansaray: I do not know why they were fighting. They did not tell me and I have no way of explaining that.

Commissioner Torto: Do you know the number of people killed; even names if possible?

Sieh Mansaray: I do not know all of them but I know some.

Commissioner Torto: Name them.

Sieh Mansaray: Abass, Salifu, Mohamed, John Bai a police officer, Makkah - a very fat man, Aminata who was married to Kemoh and the father called Sandi. The other person that was killed was an ECOMOG Officer i am not sure about his name and there was a police officer called Kai he was abducted I don’t know whether they released him later.

Commissioner Torto: Who gave the order that the right hand of the men should be cut off ?

Sieh Mansaray: I do not know the person who gave the command except for the person who wrote on the paper he was a “Junta two”. He was the man who carried out the amputations. Indeed we later discovered that all those whose right hands were cut off were male and left hands were female.

Commissioner Torto: How many people have there limbs cut off?

Sieh Mansaray: There were four males and five females. One of them was Musu Sesay, she was eight month pregnant  but she died in Freetown after giving birth.

Commissioner Torto: You said when they captured you, they gave you a bag to carry what was in that bag?

Sieh Mansaray: I can not  tell the content of the bag.

Commissioner Torto: The pistol that was fired was it a threat or it did not hit you because there was no bullet inside the gun?

Sieh Mansaray: There is no way I can interpret the mind of somebody. I know those people were killers and if they had a gun in their hand, it is possible they had wanted to kill me. It is also possible that they ran out of ammunition. I am not sure whether it was a threat or they really meant to kill me.

Commissioner Torto: Have you been able to see any of the people who captured you although you said you were placed in a way that you could not see their faces. Were you able to identify any and even now, have you been able to see any one of them?

Sieh Mansaray: one day I was sitting somewhere here in Kabala and one of them was sitting opposite me. He was continuously looking at me. He eventually got up and approached me. After a hand shake, he asked if I knew the people who amputate my hand. I had wanted to tell him but when I looked around, I saw my relatives and knowing the strong feelings they had over my amputation, I answered him in parables. I told him that my hand was cut in broad day light and that I am not a kid. I told him that in any case, the person who did this to me has a conscience and if he is to see me, he would know me. I told him that I have left every thing in God’s hand and that what happened is now history. I also told him that I have faith in God and he will provide me with my daily needs. Upon saying that, he left me for his seat and shortly he disappeared. I’ve not seen him since then.

Commissioner Torto: Do you think that person was a born of Kabala?

Sieh Mansaray: No he was a stranger.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: We are grateful for the work you have done. Did the doctor tell you whether your hand is going to be less sensitive?

Sieh Mansaray: I did not have an opportunity to talk with the doctor because he intended to split my hand. I told him that if he did that, my family are going to be hard on him so he didn’t  and he did not give me any additional information.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: I want to encourage you to seek medical aid so that you will have chance to use the artificial hands your colleagues are using.

Leader of Evidence: Do you know when this happened?

Sieh Mansaray: This happened on a Thursday in May 1998 at about 3pm. But I am not sure about the exact date.

Leader of Evidence: These five women who were amputated do you know where they are now?

Sieh Mansaray: Yes. The one is dead. Damba has gone abroad. Finda Daboh has a house here in Kabala and she is here with us, Serah is here with us but Musu is dead. For the men; I am here, Nfagie is right there sitting. Lamin Jeremaiah Kamara is living at Masiaka. The old man is dead; he did not survive the pain. He died in the bush because he was stabbed with a bayonet before he was amputated.

Leader of Evidence: So can we get the name?

Sieh Mansaray: He was with the army before. He was commonly known as Sgt. Major Kalawa.

Leader of Evidence: You said there were ECOMOG in the village when the rebels attacked was there any exchange of firing?

Sieh Mansaray: There were only 15 Ecomog soldiers in the village. They others had left for Kabala to receive ammunition. The 15 soldiers who were in Kondebaia could not stand the rebels; they took off their uniforms and ran away.

Commissioner Torto: Have you any question to ask they Commission?

Sieh Mansaray: Yes. The question I have for the Commission, as you all know me, I don’t know the work of the Commission; many organization were making money out of us that was why when I first heard that there was another Organization that is coming to take statement from us and that they are working in our interest, I did not believe. I was very happy when they send one of our sister’s(Martien Schotsman) sitting there. She came to our camp and had series of meeting with us. We were convinced to come here to testify together with the help of Commissioner Torto who was with the team that went to talk to us. The question that I have for the Commission is, firstly I have lost my house and my property how can I be able to recover those things that I have lost?

Commissioner Torto: I must make an attempt to answer your question I have a lot of respect for your honesty when you started giving your testimony. You said that you have been given house that you are living in now and you are very thankful for that. I don’t know whether you want another house to add to that.

Sieh Mansaray: Yes. That is just the starting point and I will need more. Question number two, the work that I was doing, I am not able to do it again. Now I have been trained I am happy. I have my certificate, but I don’t think the certificate is useful because there is no way I can implement what I’ve been taught. I trained under Cause Canada to bake bread and I was able to train other sixteen people on how to bake bread.

Commissioner Torto: Thank you very much Mr. Mansaray, you are so far one of the most successful victim because you already have a place to rest and you have learnt a skill that will be with you till God take your life back. I will suggest to you if you don’t have people to train, you can take a bag of flour and start baking bread on you own. If any body can employ you now he will never pay you what you want. I think that is your best bet. Before you give a man a fish, teach him to fish. I will suggest you start a trade on your own even if it is through credit or by any means. Since you have already learnt the act of teaching, you can open a school to teach people how to bake bread. If you have somebody to write a project for you that will help you go on with life. We have NGOs that will be ready to help you with that.

Sieh Mansaray: I have a doubt in what you have said. Since I came to Kabala, I have been hearing about so many organizations in Kabala for the past eight months. I find it difficult to understand what’s happening. In fact, since I came it was only on the fifth month when NaCSA supplied us a bag of bulgur wheat. When I traveled to Makeni and Freetown I am seeing a lot of organizations working in close collaboration with the amputees. I am asking any NGOs representative sitting here to raise up his hand and challenge what I am saying.

Commissioner Torto: Let me begin with the supply system you are talking about. Most NGOs have working schedule and they have their time frame on how they make supply to various categories of victim. When the time is finished, it is difficult for them to restart. Now that the war has ended, some of them have scale down their activities. That is how they work, not that I am talking for them but that is how they work. About the availability of helping people, may be they are not here in Kabala but the only way you could find ways and means to locate them, is by going to Makeni and you even have NGOs like NaCSA. You can meet these people and talk to them, but they only thing you have to do is to make use of what you have learnt; it will pay you more than any other supply.

There are people around the community who have suffered like you but don’t have skills you have. They want it but they don’t have it so please make use of it. At the end of Commission we will be happy to know that you will be one of the richest man because we have heard that you are a very prosperous man.

Sieh Mansaray: I don’t thing I would be a prosperous business man the reason is that I have a title. I  am the Chairman of the Amputee Association; so when I see my colleagues suffering, I take care of them using my own money. There have been two cases that I have taken to Freetown for cure so I wonder whether I would be a prosperous business man. Also they have brought a small girl whose arms were amputated  and the child is with me. What kind of organization that will assist me with this child and the father of this child is a blind man and there is no way I can educate this child.

Commissioner Torto: Do you have any recommendation to tell the Government to do for you or your community.

Sieh Mansaray: You have come here and meet with my colleagues. They don’t have the opportunity to go to Freetown, so I am appealing to government to help them learn skills and provide job opportunities for them. I want government to open a skill training school here in Kabala and its environs.

Secondly, I want the government to help with the education system in our community so that our children can be educated as we all know children are the future leaders and education is the back bone to every society.

Commissioner Torto: Thank you very much for coming and continue to do what you have been doing as a Chairman of this community.

Sieh Mansaray: The Commissioner, "tortoise I will want to shake his body but it can not because of it hard skin." How can I start to be a prosperous man, when I don’t have the means to start. I love the job but I can not start it now. There is an other proverb saying, "even if a knife is sharpen you just have to sharp it again before using it" so I want Government to assist us.

Commissioner Torto: I can not have the right answer to give you but I want to share with you one experience. I have an uncle who has a bakery and he too didn’t have any thing and in fact don’t know where to start. You know what he did, he went to a friend who was a baker, they work together in the friend’s bakery until he was able to get money to build his own bakery. He is now supplying the whole village with bread. This is just to tell you that with effort you can succeed. Thank you for coming.

WITNESS NAME:     Moseray Koroma

The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Slyvanus Torto.


I was in my village called Koroma town and I was a trader. We saw people coming from a direction to our town but at that time they have not started chopping out limbs. When the rebel entered any village, their target was business people because of the money. When we heard the news that they were coming, I was confused. I had a lot of items in my shop and I don’t have the opportunity to escape with any of my property. I had plenty of rice, palm oil and groundnut in my store; I was very confused when we heard the news about the coming of the rebels in the town.  I had 10 goats. They shot them one after the other. When that happened,  I ordered my relative to go to the bush to hide. My uncle and I used to exchange in turns of three nights in sleeping with the family in the bush.

At a point in time, we ran short of salt and Maggie. So I told my uncle to stay with the family in the bush, whilst I go into town to look for the items. I told him to come to check on me in the morning as I was to travel to Sinkunia the following morning. I was to go there to a woman who owed me some money. Little did I know that the rebels had attacked there. The following morning, whilst I was waiting, a lady came from another village to buy caustic soda. I told her I have some but it will be difficult for me to sell to her because of the prevailing condition. After some pleas, I agreed to sell and I sold a packet of caustic soda to her. I was trying to close my store when I heard heavy footsteps from the backyard. Within a short time, the woman who bought the soda came running and behind her was a man dressed in military uniform. He asked for money. I told him I have no money but at about that time, I saw one of them hit this woman with a machete and she died.

I then resolved that whatever they do, I am prepared to die. In my presence, my pregnant sister’s head was split into two with an axe. Upon seeing this, I became confused and I gave them the money. They eventually went in and looted my store and they took away the sum of Le 1,000,000 million in my store. They then gave me some of the loads to carry. One said that I would escape if they give me any breathing space but I told him, that I would never be afraid of my fellow man. They also looted properties in other houses, they asked me to join the other abductees but I refused so one took a machete to hit me but he was restrained by the other who hit me on the left and right shoulders. I was also stabbed on the back. I started to roll on the ground; I was also bayoneted on my face, between my eyes and nose and on my right hand. I fell on the ground unconscious and they covered me with grass to get fire but he was restrained by another who told him that I would die eventually. He said if I did not die, then I should go to Tejan Kabbah for treatment. When they started burning houses and knowing that petrol had been poured on me I decided to go toward the bush where my relatives were hiding. I met an old man whom I sent and later he came with them to where I was.

They took me to a hut in the bush but I had no treatment for five days; I told my uncle to look at my family since I was going to Kabala to sought treatment and it is possible I might die on the road. I showed him my debtors and I told him where all my properties and good where kept. In the event I die, it will enable him take care of my family. After some argument since my uncle was reluctant to allow me go alone, we eventually left for Kabala and we came across one Pastor Sayoh who was looking for his relatives. He brought me on his bike to Makakura and then we boarded the vehicle from there to Kabala. Later Pastor Sayoh explain to one man who was working for CES called Peace Maker and he arranged for me to be conveyed to Freetown. I was admitted at the Connaught Hospital for three months and I was later taken to waterloo. When they rebels attacked Four Mile, my brother was captured and his arms amputated. We where later taken to Old Warf on January 6th 1999 they rebel brought us out in the streets to dance for peace. However, I must state that nothing was done to me in Freetown. This is what I went through.

Commissioner Torto: Thank you for coming to share your experiences with us; we are sorry for the agony you went through. Do you know your attackers?

Moseray Koroma:  Those who captured me were dressed in military fatigue.

Commissioner Torto: So your attackers were SLA?

Moseray Koroma: Yes they were SLA.

Commissioner Torto: What happened to the other members of your Family? Were you the only one attacked and who suffered in that house?

Moseray Koroma: The beat my father until he died.

Commissioner Torto: What was the name of your father?

Moseray Koroma: His name was Bockarie Koroma.

Commissioner Torto: Was he killed at the same time they did this to you?

Moseray Koroma:  Yes it was in the same village and at the same time.

Commissioner Torto: Do you know of any other person who might have been killed?

Moseray Koroma:  I have told you before that when they entered the town, they killed my sister who was pregnant. They used an axe to split her head.

Commissioner Torto: You said when they attacked your village they shot the goats. Did they do it the same day or they were doing it one after the other?

Moseray Koroma: They killed them at the same time.

Commissioner Torto: They asked you to show the whereabouts of the young boys did you show them?

Moseray Koroma: No I did not.

Commissioner Torto: Are you married?

Moseray Koroma: Yes.

Commissioner Torto: Where was your wife and children at the time of the incident?

Moseray Koroma: I have told you before that my relatives were in the bush.

Commissioner Torto: During the time of the attack, you did not hear any name and you can not remember any or face?

Moseray Koroma: The people that captured me disguised their faces. They didn’t call their names.

Commissioner Torto: What languages were they speaking?

Moseray Koroma: They were speaking Krio.

Commissioner Torto: You were 23 years old while making your statement, how old were you at the time of the attack?

Moseray Koroma: I can not tell you exactly because in our village, it is the elders who determine when people were born based upon their farming calendar.

Commissioner Torto: What happened to the woman who was buying the caustic soda from you?

Moseray Koroma: She was abandoned after being stabbed. She is in the village.
Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How is life like in the bush? Do people live the normal lives? Do they eat the usual food in the bush?

Moseray Koroma:  No. Life in the bush is very miserable.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Where do you get the food from?

Moseray Koroma: When we live in the villages, we do farming and when we harvest the farm we don’t take the rice immediately to the town, my family were eating the rice stored in the farm. Also as a businessman, I was able to go with foodstuffs when my family went to the bush.

 Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Who is Issa Bangura?

Moseray Koroma: We were all captured; they put his hand on an orange tree and chopped it off.

Commissioner Torto: Where is he now?

Moseray Koroma: He is in Makeni fully recovered.

Leader of Evidence: When did this incident happen?

Moseray Koroma: I could not remember.
Leader of Evidence: Will you tell us how many times your village was attacked?

Moseray Koroma: Once.

Commissioner Torto: Have you any question to ask the commission?

Moseray Koroma:  Yes. My question is in the form of an appeal. Now as I am talking to you, I am sick and frustrated and I am therefore appealing to you, not to forget  us so that our children will go to school.

Commissioner Torto: We will take your appeal in good part and that is why we are here. I don’t want you to be afraid. It is the work of the Commission to ensure that the ordeal you went through does not happen again.

Commissioner Torto: TRC does not have the needs to give micro credit. All we have to do is to listen to your recommendation and write it in our report. Thank you very much for coming.



DATE: 4th May 2003

Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones

Martien Schotsmann - Leader of Evidence

WITNESS NAME:        Mariama Mansaray


The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones.  


One Saturday night, I was sleeping, when the rebels attacked Bafodia about 6.30 am, they surrounded the village. They knocked on our door. Our uncle came out and asked them what they wanted.  The rebels asked for the children and my uncle told them we were sleeping.  They forced the door open and captured eight of us.  We were taken to another house where we were raped.  In the morning they took us to another house were they inscribed RUF on our bodies.  They gave us their luggage to carry to Fadugu.  On the way, they flogged us.  Upon our arrival, we were distributed to different rebels as wives.  When we refused, they flogged us.  We were raped by two or three men daily.  When we fought back, they threatened to kill us.  We eventually got married to them.  They gave us drugs like marijuana to smoke.   When the roads were free, we pleaded for them to release us to go back to our relatives but they refused.    Commander Sofila pleaded with them to released us but they threatened to kill us if we tried to escape.  Commander CO Ray inscribed RUF on our bodies.   They looted properties whilst we carried their ammunitions.  My aunt came to the rebel base and pleaded with them to released us, but they refused.    I escaped and went to Bafodia.  During the disarmament we went to Kabala.  We were given documents to sign, and we were asked to surrender our ammunitions.  We told them that we do not have any ammunition but showed them the marks and a snap shot was taken.  We were taken to Lungi to wipe out the scar.  We spent five months in Lungi.  On the six month, we were taken to Port Loko there we spent two months; then we eventually returned to Bafodia.  We were supplied with non-food items (blanket).  Some secretaries of TRC met us at Bafodia, were our statements were taken.  That is all.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Thank you Mariama, we are sorry for your terrible experience which you have shared with us.   You mentioned 8 of you were captured that morning. 

Mariama Mansaray:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where you all sisters/cousins?

Mariama Mansaray:  We were all sisters.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How old were you all? Who was the oldest and how old was she?

Mariama Mansaray:   I don’t know.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Was the eldest sister married before she was captured?

Mariama Mansaray:   Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  What about the youngest sister, was she going to school?

Mariama Mansaray:   She was going to school.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  What class was she in?

Mariama Mansaray:   she was in class 5.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Was your youngest sister also raped?

Mariama Mansaray:   Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where was the base you were taken to?

Mariama Mansaray:   In Fadugu.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Your youngest sister, was she also given to man ?

Mariama Mansaray:   yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Did you all survive at that base and return back to your village?

Mariama Mansaray:  No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: How many of you returned?

Mariama Mansaray:    Five of us returned, still could not see the other three.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did they ask all 8 of you to disarm? 

Mariama Mansaray:   No, we were not having ammunitions.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How did the rebels allow you to go?  Was it in twos, fours, or one by one?

Mariama Mansaray:   We left one by one.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How long did it take the others to return? 

Mariama Mansaray:   It took a long time, I was the first to be released.  It took about 2 weeks for the others to return. 

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  You mentioned your aunt came to collect you from your base.

Mariama Mansaray:  While she was at Bafodia, she learnt that her children were at Fadugu, that was why she came to collect us.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  When your aunt came to the base, did the rebels receive her well.  Why didn’t they capture her? 

Mariama Mansaray:  They told her that if she goes to the base again, they would kill her and that they wanted the children.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How did you fair at the camp?  Where you all well, especially your younger sister?

Mariama Mansaray:  We were all sick.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  - What type of illness did you suffer? 

Mariama Mansaray:    Side pains, severe stomach ache and pains all over our body.

Commissioner Marcus- Jones:  How old are you now?

Mariama Mansaray:    I am sixteen years.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Were you ever pregnant while you were with the rebels?

Mariama Mansaray:  No.

Commissioner Marcus- Jones:   Did anyone of you get pregnant?

Mariama Mansaray:  One was pregnant and gave birth.

Commissioner Marcus- Jones:  Did she return with the child? 

Mariama Mansaray:  Yes, the child is at Bafodia.

Commissioner Marcus- Jones:  When you carried the rebels’ ammunitions and they went to loot, what did you see?

Mariama Mansaray:  I can’t tell we were always behind.

Commissioner Marcus- Jones:  Did you see them kill anybody.

Mariama Mansaray:    No, we were not on the scene, but we met corpses on the way.

Commissioner Marcus- Jones:  Since you left the Commanders, have you ever seen or heard about them? 

Mariama Mansaray:    I have not seen them.

Commissioner Marcus- Jones:   - What was your bush husband like?  Was he old or young?

Mariama Mansaray:   He was a young man.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Was he a combatant? 

Mariama Mansaray:  He was RUF.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did you approve of what they were doing to you whilst you were at their base? 

Mariama Mansaray:    No

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  What was the name of  you bush husband?

Mariama Mansaray:  "Lean you loss".

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where is he now?

Mariama Mansaray:   I don’t know.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did he beat you?

Mariama Mansaray:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Whilst you were at their base, did you get proper food?

Mariama Mansaray:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where did you get the material for cooking?

Mariama Mansaray:  I don’t know they always brought food to cook.
Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Who are you presently staying with?
Mariama Mansaray:  I am staying with my aunt.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Are you going to school, institution or doing any skill training? 

Mariama Mansaray:  I am a student.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  What form are you in?

Mariama Mansaray:  I am in class five.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  That means you will be taking the NPSE exams next year.

Mariama Mansaray:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Do you have any health problem?

Mariama Mansaray:  Yes, severe stomach ache.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did you get any medical attention?

Mariama Mansaray:    I was treated once at Bafodia.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where you treated in the hospital or given native treatment?

Mariama Mansaray:   I was treated in the hospital.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did you receive regular treatment.

Mariama Mansaray:  No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Your colleagues in school, do they know about your ordeal?

Mariama Mansaray:   Some of them know, we were together. 

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How many of you abducted were in school?

Mariama Mansaray:  We are three.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How do they treat you in school?

Mariama Mansaray:    I have no problem.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:    How do they treat you at home?

Mariama Mansaray:  I have no problem.

Leader of Evidence: I would like you to make some clarifications, were you the youngest or have you younger sisters with you?

Mariama Mansaray:  I was the youngest one.

Leader of Evidence:  When abducted, had you started your menstrual cycle? 

Mariama Mansaray:   No.

Leader of Evidence:  When did you start your menstrual cycle? Was it during your stay with the rebels or after your captivity?

Mariama Mansaray:  It was after my captivity and after some medical treatment.

Leader of Evidence:  You mentioned all 8 sisters abducted, were you all from the same mother and father  or where related?

Mariama Mansaray:   We were related.

Leader of Evidence:  Was any of your brothers abducted?

Mariama Mansaray:   Yes, one of them was killed?

Leader of Evidence:  What is his name? 

Mariama Mansaray:   His name is Bala.

Leader of Evidence:  Where you present when your brother was killed?

Mariama Mansaray:   No.

Leader of Evidence:  How long did you stay with the rebels?

Mariama Mansaray:   2 years.

Leader of Evidence:  Did they teach you to use guns?

Mariama Mansaray:  Yes, but I was unable to learn.

Leader of Evidence:  Did they teach you to fight?

Mariama Mansaray:    Yes, but I did not pay attention.

Leader of Evidence: Did any of the abducted children join the rebels to attack villages?

Mariama Mansaray:  No, but I don’t know about others. 

Leader of Evidence:  Is your mother still alive?

Mariama Mansaray:  No, she was killed.

Leader of Evidence: By whom?

Mariama Mansaray:   The rebels.

Leader of Evidence:  Did you see her killed? Or were you told on your return to the village?

Mariama Mansaray:  I was not around.

Leader of Evidence:  You knew when you returned.

Mariama Mansaray:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  I am sorry for what happened to you and thank you for coming. 

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  We have been asking you lots of questions, have you any questions for the Commission about our work, or how we do our work. 

Mariama Mansaray:   No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   As you are quite young, do you have any opinion and views, any recommendations you would want the Government to do for your village, school or yourself? 

Mariama Mansaray:  Yes, I would want the government to assist in education.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Do you have any other recommendation?

Mariama Mansaray:   I want the Government to assist me seek medical attention. 

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  You don’t have to wait for the government before you seek medical attention.  Our staff will refer you to a doctor, who will be able to advice you.  Your other recommendations would be included in our report.

Thank you very much for coming.  We hope you will do well in your school work and wish you success when you take your NPSE next year. 

Leader of Evidence:  Commissioner, the witness have scar of RUF on chest, can you show to Commissioner.  (Shows scar and Leader of Evidence takes photo of scar).

WITNESS NAME:        Fatu Seh Mansaray


The witness was sworn on oath on the Bible by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones.


In 1998, my husband left me at Bafodia and went to Pendembu.  Upon his arrival in Pendembu he was killed.  I received message of his death and that his corpse could not be located.  The day I received the message, rebels (Col. Blood’s Group) attacked Bafodia and I was captured.  I was raped publicly on a veranda by one of his boys.  That same night, another boy raped me.  There was no food to eat, so I had to breast feed my child. I was a suckling mother then.    The child became sick and died. The same day I lost my child; I was captured again by another group and was violently raped and wounded on my head and arm (shows scars).      Until now I experience frequent discharges.  Col. Steven from Waldama captured me and took me to a place called Kakolobi where I spent about a week.    My mother who was blind was  left behind.  I was raped by six men.  If I refused they  will flog me.   Since I lost my child, I am unable to bear children.  I spent another week with them.  After my release, I was captured by Col. Savage's group, he raped me and Col. Snake also raped me.  My stepmother was around, she had  swollen feet. She was killed by the rebels. The rebels took us to a village called Kalawa and I spent two terrible weeks with them.  About 100 women were captured, the captured boys escaped.  They dug a big pit for us and threatened to bury us alive accusing us that we sent for the RUF.    They raped us violently, when we refused they flogged us. The UN enabled us to be released and we were taken to Kabala.  Since then I had  not been able to seek medical attention and no one to has taken care of me.  When we came to Kabala, I was  recaptured by the RUF.  A rebel by the name of Upside Down captured me and raped me in the bush.  At that time,  a law had been passed “No Raping”.  Upside Down ordered me to fetch wood in the bush.  He followed me in the bush and raped me violently.  During the fight, he squeezes my mouth in order to prevent me from shouting. Until now I am still still experiencing the pain in  my mouth.  I am now suffering from serious mouth ache.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: I sympathize with you for such terrible experiences; one after another.  When your husband left for Pendembu, who else was with you in the house.

Fatu Seh Mansaray:   I was with my mother, who is blind.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Had you known Col.  Blood before?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:   No. I came across him during the war.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Do you know where he came from?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:   Makeni.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   After one of his boys had raped you, did they go away?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:   No, they stayed in my house for a week.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  When did they capture you?  

Fatu Seh Mansaray:   It was on a Friday at 2 pm.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Was it after they had  raped you  that they wounded you?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  No, it was when they wanted to rape me and I was fighting them.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: With what did they wound you with?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:    A knife.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did they go away.

Fatu Seh Mansaray: No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How long did they stay?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  They stayed for one month.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where did the rebels come from?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  They came from Waldala.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  You mentioned they took you to Kakolobi is that correct?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes, Kakolobi is five miles from Bafodia.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did you say you left your mother for a week?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How old is your mother?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  50 years and she was blind during the war.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Her blindness is it a natural course or was it as a result of some attack.

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  It was a natural course.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where is she now?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  At Bafodia.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  In your testimony, you mentioned you were raped very often is that so?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes. I was roughly raped.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Was it when you returned to Bafodia that you were captured by , Col. Snake and Savage?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  You did not know all these Cols. Before?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  After a week had passed when you had returned, why did you not leave this village as it seems you were vulnerable?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  The rebels were everywhere and I was the only one to take care of my mother.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  According to you, your stepmother was with you?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Why did they kill her?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  She was seriously sick and unable to run.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Why didn’t they kill your mother as she was blind?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  I don’t know but they did not kill her.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  You mentioned you were taken to Kalawa, what were your observations and the activities of the rebels?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  They dug a big hole and told us that was where they were going to bury us because we were the once who called the rebels to attack.  They killed two men in the hole.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  The Cols. that you mentioned, what group do they belong to?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  They were SLA Junta.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  When the UN came, they were able to take you to Kabala, were you then at the junta base?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did the UN repel the junta?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  No, they pleaded with them to lay down their arms and Col. Savage was captured by the UN.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  When you came to Kabala, did the rebels attack again?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes. the RUF captured us and took us to Bafodia.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Upside Down was he the Commanding Officer?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  No, it was Col. Ronso.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Why was he called Upside Down?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  I don’t know.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where you raped in the bush?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did he return with you to the village?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How long did he stay?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  He stayed for a month in another house.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did he come to rape you in your house.

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Only once.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  What is your present health condition?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Severe stomach ache and frequent discharges even now that I’m here testifying.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Why didn’t you seek medical attention?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  I had no money.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  In the general hospital, did they ask for a lot of money?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes, no money no medical attention.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How do you earn your living?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  At first I fetch firewood and sell, now I am selling fried cake.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Our staff will be able to direct you to seek medical attention.  How old are you now.

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  I am 29 years old.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  I don’t want you to be too depressed about not having children, even if it comes to the worst and you are unable to bear children, that is not the end of the world.  You can adopt children and they can even do better than if you are having your own children.  Do you sleep well?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Is it because you are worried?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes, when I think of what happened to me in the past, I become very worried.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  I hope that your coming here to testify and your talking to us will give you some relief.  I advise you to share your problems with others and that will even make you feel better.  Did your mother talk to you?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  No, because after bathing and feeding her in the morning, I had to go out to fetch wood to sell to enable us eat food.  I do not return till the evening hours.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Do you have a husband?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  No, I have a boyfriend.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Leader of Evidence, do you have any question to ask the witness?

Leader of Evidence:  Commissioner, I have no question to ask the witness.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Fatu Seh Mansaray, we’ve been asking you a lot of questions, do you have any question to ask the Commission?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes, now that I have come to testify, what can the Commission do to appease me?

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  The Commission has to make a report on all that happened during the war and we are worried about women and children.  So stories like yours will be put in our report and from our recommendations, government will know what to do to help women, particularly those who suffered during the war.  We hope that after having spoken to the Commission and our staff, we hope you would be able to feel better.  Your case is not peculiar, it happened all over the world where there is war.  What you do now is to take care of your self, seek medical attention and continue with your life.  Do you have any other question?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Have you got any recommendations to make to the Government?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  Yes, I want the Government to assist us with education or skill training (gara tye dying).

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Do you have any other recommendations?

Fatu Seh Mansaray:  I would like the Government to also assist other girls captured together to further their education.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Our staff will be able to refer you to NaCSA or other agencies that will engage you in skill training.  At the same time, the Commission will include your recommendations in our report for government to implement. Fatu Seh Mansaray, I thank you for coming.

Fatu Seh Mansaray:    I thank you too.

 WITNESS NAME:        Fatu Conteh


The witness was sworn on oath on the Bible Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones the Presiding Commissioner.   


When the rebels attacked our village, I was asleep with my sister.  The rebels  knocked on our door.  We refused to open but they forced the door open and captured us.  On the way, a rebel by the name of “Born Trouble” raped me violently.  My elder sister was heavily pregnant about 9 months and she was left behind as she was in labour.  The rebels ordered her to walk infront of them saying that they did not impregnate her.  I was locked in a room and I was watching secretly through the window to see what the rebels were doing to her.  She was struggling to give birth, eventually she gave birth.

They ordered us to continue the journey.  We were raped violently.  My father was captured and tied, they hit him with a gun and broke his collar bone.  We spent three months with the rebels in the bush.   The child my sister gave birth to is partially  blind as he could not see anything after 5pm.   I was deflowered by them.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   Thank you for sharing  your experiences with us.  I’ll ask you a few questions.    Where you the only two people in the house when the rebels attacked?

Fatu Conteh: Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Where was your elder sister’s husband?

Fatu Conteh:   He was in the village.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Is your elder sister back with you?

Fatu Conteh:   She returned, but she died thereafter and we are now taking care of the child.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Why did your sister died?  Is it a  natural course or as a result of what she suffered in the hands of the rebels or did the rebels kill her?

Fatu Conteh:   She died as a result of what she suffered in the hands of the rebels.  

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: How old were you when you were captured?

Fatu Conteh:  I was 10 years old.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  What are you doing now?

Fatu Conteh:   I am a student.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  What class are you in?

Fatu Conteh:   JSS1.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: So you passed your NPSE?

Fatu Conteh:   Yes.  

Leader of Evidence:  Sorry for your experience, I would like to ask you a few questions.  You mentioned that your sister was almost 9 months pregnant, did the rebels raped her?

Fatu Conteh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:    When abducted, where there other boys and girls with you?

Fatu Conteh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence: How many?

Fatu Conteh:  3, Mary, my elder sister and myself

Leader of Evidence:  Your elder sister who was captured, was she left behind?

Fatu Conteh:  She was left behind as she was in labour.

Leader of Evidence:  What was the name of your elder sister?

Fatu Conteh:   She is called Sasa.

Leader of Evidence:  What was the name of the other girls abducted?

Fatu Conteh:   Mary, we were captured together.

Leader of Evidence:  Can you tell  what happened to the other girls that were captured with you?

Fatu Conteh:   I can’t tell.

Leader of Evidence:  Do you know whether they were raped?

Fatu Conteh:   Yes, they raped all of us.

Leader of Evidence: Had you started your menstrual cycle when you were a captive?  

Fatu Conteh:   No.

Leader of Evidence:  Where other boys captured?

Fatu Conteh:   Yes, they were captured on the way  after we had been captured.  

Leader of Evidence:  Some of the boys and girls captured did they receive military training?

Fatu Conteh:   Yes, some were trained.

Leader of Evidence:  Did you receive any  training?

Fatu Conteh -   No, because I was confused and did not pay attention.

Leader of Evidence:   Those who received training did they go with the rebels to attack villages?

Fatu Conteh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Did the girls go with the rebels to attack?

Fatu Conteh: No, we stayed behind to cook.

Leader of Evidence:    -  When the rebels attack the villages, did you go to the village after the attack?
Fatu Conteh:   Yes, after they had attacked, we collect food and return to their base.

Leader of Evidence:  What did you see in the village after the attack?

Fatu Conteh:  Corpses.

Leader of Evidence:  Where they men, women and children?

Fatu Conteh:  Yes, my aunt and step mother was also killed.

Leader of Evidence:    Did you see their bodies?

Fatu Conteh:  No.

Leader of Evidence  -  You mentioned that your father was beaten, is he still alive ?

Fatu Conteh:  Yes, he is unable to do farm work or any other work.
Leader of Evidence:  How long did you stay with the rebels.

Fatu Conteh:    Three months.

Leader of Evidence:  Did the rebels take drugs?

Fatu Conteh:  Yes, the smoked marijuana.

Leader of Evidence:  Did the rebels give drugs to the children?

Fatu Conteh:  Yes, but I did not smoke.

Leader of Evidence  - How did you manage to escape?

Fatu Conteh:    When we went to Fadugu, the rebels left us behind to cook, when we did not see them return, we used that opportunity to escape.
Leader of Evidence: Did you escape alone.

Fatu Conteh:  No, I escaped with others.

Leader of Evidence:  Did Mary escape with you.

Fatu Conteh:   Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Where there any other children from your family who were abducted?

Fatu Conteh:  Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  Who?

Fatu Conteh:  My younger brother.

Leader of Evidence:  What happended to him?

Fatu Conteh:   We could not see him until now.

Leader of Evidence:  Where there any other captives from your family?

Fatu Conteh:   Yes.

Leader of Evidence:  What happened to them?

Fatu Conteh:   I cannot explain now, if I do I have a lot to say.

Leader of Evidence:  All those who were abducted, did they all return?

Fatu Conteh:  No.

Leader of Evidence:   Did some died or you don’t know where they are?

Fatu Conteh:   Some died.

Leader of Evidence:   Those who died, did they die of natural causes.

Fatu Conteh:  They were killed in attacks.

Leader of Evidence:  In your village, a lot of children were captured is that so?

Fatu Conteh:  Many killed and most were captured.

Leader of Evidence:  Where you captured together with the other girls present here?

Fatu Conteh:  No.

Leader of Evidence:    Rebels, what group do they belong to?

Fatu Conteh:    Water Bottle's Group (Junta).

Leader of Evidence:    How did you escape?

Fatu Conteh:    I stayed behind cooking and we escaped.

Leader of Evidence:    You mentioned you were captured with Mary and Sasa, what happened with Mary?

Fatu Conteh:  We escaped together.

Leader of Evidence:  How was your escape like?

Fatu Conteh:   We were in Fadugu, cooking when we escaped?

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Thank you very much, you have seen the TRC at work. Do you have any question about our work or how  we do things?  

Fatu Conteh:   I would like the Commission to assist my mother, assist me with education as  my father cannot work as he is partially disable.  My mother has no capital to start business. My sister is dead and we are now taking care of her child.  I am the only child.  After school I go to buy palm wine and fetch wood to sell in order to sustain my family.  I would appreciate it if you could offer micro credit to my mother.  After my release I have been suffering from heart burns, severe stomach ache and pains all over my body.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  We realize that you have all these immediate needs, but the TRC do not give money to people.  All what we are ask to do is to make a report so that in the end the Government would be able to know what to do.    But our staff will refer you to some agencies who might be able to help until the Government can do something for communities suffered during the war  At the same time, you ought to seek medical attention in the hospital around or talk to your school authorities.  They might be able to give you medical help in your school.  
Have you any recommendation to make for onward transmission to the Government for improvement in the future?

Fatu Conteh: I would like to have the Government assist in education, rehabilitate houses in our village and to assist my sister’s child with eye treatment.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Thank you for sharing your experience and recommendation to put forward.  I hope you feel better about things and you would be able to concentrate in your school work.  You have the opportunity, others do not.  I wish you well in your school work.



DATE: 15TH May, 2003.

Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones
Commissioner William Schabas (Presiding)
Commissioner Sylvanus Torto

Martien Schotsmann - Leader of Evidence
Abdulai Charm - Leader of Evidence

WITNESS NAME:      Coker Aiah Swarray


Prayers:  Muslim - Abdulai Charm
                Christian - Rev. J. S. Fornah    

The witness was sworn on oath on the Bible by Commissioner William Schabas, the Presiding Commissioner.


I was born in Kailahun, when I first heard of the rebels, I fled toGandorhun and then to Koidu. Later I met a woman from Bafodia and she took me there. In 1998, “Water Bottle” came with his group and he told us that they are juntas. We fled but my in-law was shot and killed with a single-barrel. They looted all our properties. We fled in to the bush to hide. They went to look out for us but they were unable to see us because they were not familiar with the terrain. Whilst in the bush, we ran out of food so I decided to go out to look for food. I was able to get a bag of rice. I was carrying the bag when somebody halted me, although I did not understand the meaning of 'halt'. In front of me, a man was killed and later “Blood” took me to a house where they held some girls. He accused me of being the person who wrote a letter to Freetown asking for help so that they will be driven from Bafodia. I denied; he gave me some slaps and then ordered me to lie down. He brought out a machete and gave me fifty lashes with it. Bobby then gave me a bag of rice to take to Katawia where Savage was. I told him it was heavy but he told me that he will put me to a long sleep. I eventually took it to Savage and later he told me and other abductees to dig a big hole where we will be buried after killing us. In the evening the rebels attacked and drove Savage from Katawia. I came to Kabala and then to Bafodia. I urinated blood for a month although I took some herbs which had helped, I still experience it sometimes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Thanks you for coming and for sharing your experiences with us.  Were you a member of any group?

Coker Aiah Swarray:  No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Do you know why you were suspected of having written to Freetown?

Coker Aiah Swarray:  The  woman with whom I stayed, was the Paramount Chief’s daughter.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   - Is the Paramount Chief the same person in Freetown?

Coker Aiah Swarray:  He was in Freetown at that time.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  What is the name of the Paramount Chief?

Coker Aiah Swarray:  PC Alimamy Amidu the First.

Commissioner Torto:    What group does your attackers belonged to?

Coker Aiah Swarray:   They belonged to Savage’s group.

Commissioner Torto:    How do you categorize the group? Do they belong to RUF, Junta, SLA, Kamajor?

Coker Aiah Swarray:  They were AFRC.

Leader of Evidence:    You said, you started experiencing attacks while you were in Kono.  Did anything happen to you when you were in Kono?

Coker Aiah Swarray:  The man in charge of Kono was Islika.  We ran to Bumpe.  There were  a lot of soldiers in Bumpe.  All the women were allowed to go but all the men were captured and tied.  I still have the marks.   My arms were tied behind my back and my legs were tied.  I was stripped naked. Cigarettes stubs were put out on my penis.  A woman by the name of Mariama Jabba helped me escape.  I ran till I reached Bafodia.  

Leader of Evidence:   In 1998 you said the SLA were based in Bafodia, did the rebels attack the SLA? Was there actually a fight between the SLA and the rebels?

Coker Aiah Swarray:  In Bafodia, there were Juntas not SLA.  Rebels came from Makeni to attack the Juntas in Bafodia.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  I have one question for you.  What happened to Islika?  Did you hear that he was dead?  

Coker Aiah Swarray:  No.

Commissioner Torto:  Do you know where Savage, S.S.Jah and Blood are now?

Coker Aiah Swarray:   - I met Col. Jah in Freetown at Youyi Building, others I can’t tell.  

Commissioner Torto:   Do you know if Col. Jah is still in the army?

Coker Aiah Swarray:  I can’t tell because I saw him in civilian clothes.

Commissioner Schabas:   Do you have any questions for the Commission?

Coker Aiah Swarray:  No.

Commissioner Schabas:  The Commission will be making recommendations to the Government, do you have any recommendation?

Coker Aiah Swarray: At present, I am not very healthy, I want the Commission to tell the Government to assist me get medical attention.  Secondly, I want the government to help me educate my children and to resettle me so that I will be able to take care of my family.  

Commissioner Schabas:    Your recommendations sound reasonable and will be included in our report.    I thank you for coming to share your testimony with the Commission.

WITNESS NAME :  Sullay Conteh


The witness was sworn on oath on the Bible by Presiding Commissioner Schabas.

I am a born at Wara Wara Bafodia. When I heard that SAJ Musa was coming, I took my family and when they came they looted all my properties, including my radio. My first son was captured but he escaped and returned to Bafodia. Later, Water Bottle and his group came to Bafodia. A woman advised that we went into hiding as one Lansana had been killed. After two weeks in the bush, Savage came and told us that he was there to help us and that we should provide lodging for him since he is a good stranger. We gave him a room in the house and we were staying together.

Morning I was giving four gallons of palm oil to take to Katawia. I was unable to carry it but they forced me to. They beat me with gun and threatened to kill me. I fell on the ground helpless. One said he would kill me but the others advised him not to and so they left me in the bush. I was in the bush for two days and my relatives where searching for me. I reached a village where I met Pa Sullay Conteh searching for me. I went to Bafodia and later my brother in Kabala went to collect me. We used a bye pass road onto Kabala and I was taken to a pharmacy for treatment. I am experiencing back ache. I was a farmer but due to the back ache I am unable to farm. My children are going to school but I can not support my family. This is my experience in Bafodia.

Commissioner Schabas:  Thank you for coming to share your experience with us. 

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Thank you for coming.  You were lucky to escape with your life and you should be thankful for that.  How old was your son when he was captured?

Sullay Conteh:  He was 15 years old.

Commissioner Torto:  Thank you for coming.  During your captivity, were people killed?

Sullay Conteh:  I did not see anybody killed, but Lansana was killed in Bafodia, he was killed by Water Bottle. We saw one corpse, Lansana.

Commissioner Torto:  Lansana what? 

Sullay Conteh:  Lansana Kamara

Commissioner Torto:  Did you see them commit atrocities like raping, amputation etc?

Sullay Conteh:   No.  As soon as we heard gun shots, we ran into the bush.

Commissioner Torto:  Do you know which group attacked your village? 

Sullay Conteh:  It was Savage’s group. I saw them in military uniforms but I could not identity the group.

Leader of Evidence:   You mentioned that your son was abducted.  On his return, did he narrate his ordeal? 

Sullay Conteh:  Yes the rebels wanted him to join them but he refused.  He was in form two (2) at the time and he managed to escape.

Leader of Evidence:  Apart from your son, were other children abducted?

Sullay Conteh:    I don’t know about other children.

Commissioner Schabas:   - At present what does your son do? 

Sullay Conteh:   He is going to school.

Commissioner Schabas: Have you any question for the Commission?

Sullay Conteh:   I would like the Government to assist my children with education. As I have severe backache and cannot do any farm work to support my family, I would like the government to help educate my children so that in the future, they would be able to care for their parents. 

Commissioner Schabas:   Do you have any recommendation for the Commission for onward transmission to the Government?

Sullay Conteh:  What the rebels did was very terrible. I would like the Government to take action against those perpetrators in order to prevent such things happening in the future.

Commissioner Schabas:  - I thank you for coming and we sympathize with you for all that you suffered.

WITNESS NAME:  Madam Yeliba Mansaray


The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by th Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner William Schabas.


Please forgive me.  Fabala town was attacked, when you are under attack you will not look back.  My properties and families were in Fabala.  They told me that the rebels were coming.  I said no, I want to stay to take care of my cattle.  Whatever happens I will not know.  They captured me and I stay with them for a long time.  Everybody had his job.  If I explained leaving behind something from my written statement,   I had one of my relative who gave her daughter to my son to marry, that girl's limb was amputated.  She came crying, that Falaba was destroyed.  It was very difficult indeed because there were no grass, the cattle all went back to Falaba.  I went back to Falaba, when the rebel group lead by Saj Musa came.  I saw them with torch light it was late in the night.  I woke all of my children that something was wrong.  They took all our belongings, our cattles, and defecate in my house.  They took my cow and returned it; they said the cow was a suckling mother.  They said that I should give them Le 20,000; I credited from my neighbour.  That same moment the colonel told me that they said I have a lot of valuable things.  I told them that I am a farmer and I acquired all these things from the proceeds I got from farming.  I asked them who told them all these things.  I told them I had relative.  They started to search my house. I was ordered out of my house.  My son was not around, he is Lahai Samura, and they asked him for me, his hands were tied behind his back.  He was very huge.  I said that it is not worth living.   He was stripped naked right in front of his wife.  I was also stripped and my daughters. I told them that they should kill me.  They said that they are going to marry my daughter.  I told them she is a small girl.  they said that they are going with me as well.  I have contact with big people. I told them that if they like they must do anything there is no sin for that.  They said that it is between me and Tejan Kabba.  I told them that I have never known Tejan Kabba.  I told them one of the children is not my biological child. The child was taken away from us.  They took all our belongings untie the cattle, my hands were tied.

My father left a document with me, the time that he was getting old.  The village plan; the document was brought by some white people.  I took the document and placed it in my bag.  I told them that the paper was handed to us by our ancestors.  I was in the hands of the CDF, I spent one month with them.  They sent three to find me, but I was not there.  The commander sent 10 more people to capture me; at that time I had just finished cooking.  They said that they had been sent by Pa Demba who was the commander of the CDF.  I told them that I did not know him.  I informed my husband that they had sent some people to call me.  I don’t want to leave my children behind. 

Upon my arrival, I was told by Pa Demba that he had sent for me, I heard that you have a war. That I am a Yalunka. I told them that I heard all that.  I told them if there is somebody to help, it is with God.  If you are the cause, there are people who want us to kill all your cattle.  I told them that I am not a stranger.  I was related to the chief in that he is my sisters’ husband.  "What I wanted you to do we have arrange for CDF, but there are other people are among us.   If your cattle were killed they will blame me."  He sent his men, to count the cattles, he told them not to take my properties because I am woman.

My husband said that it was fine.  We had planted rice.  We will take care of our selves.  They told us they are there to help us.  For the same of Pa Demba.  There was no common understanding between them.  My husband wanted to go back to his house, I told him that I want to escort him but he said no.  I would not be able to pay the chief.

During the month of Ramadan, he bought a lot of things and said that I should carry it to my husband for the fasting to receive some blessings.  He did not destroy anything.  Col Bobby and his men went for me.  He claimed that I am Pa Demba’s wife.  I told him that they had collected rice from everybody in Falaba.  My husband took the rice, at that time we were attacked, the document I had at that time, I knew the quarrel between my father and Pa Demba was because of that document.  I produced the photo of Pa Demba.  They said I am a brave woman.  I took the document and hid it under my bed. Unfortunately for me my house was burnt.

When we went to a village nearby, they raped my child Salamatu; the man who raped her told his colleagues that she was a virgin.  I told her that we were helpless and whatever they wanted to do they must do it.  They us to a place wherewe were tied and hung,  at that time they had done so many bad thins top us.

At that time a man called G5 came and ask for the cattle, I greeted him for him to know that I have heard him.  They took two of my cattle away,  they were unable to get somebody to buy it so they took the cattle to Kailahun.  They attacked our town, it was rapid firing.  They left my eldest child behind, they said that she should not enter the town.   There were a lot of them.  They threatened to kill me.  I told them that one of my children was left behind.  They took me to their chief  and I was detained there.  My daughter was made wife, and said that I was lucky to have a beautiful child as my daughter.  They ordered for two people to kill and bury me.  I told them I had a tie and I wanted to tie my head.  A lot of them came  the two people who were appointed to bury me. 

There was another man who was a rebel, he interrogated them and they said that they were going to kill me.  He appealed to them to have mercy on me that he was going to sign for me.  There was a man called CO and I saw him talking on the phone.  He said that my children were very young.  It will not be possible for them to walk on feet.  He said that one day the war will definitely come to an end.  I told them I was an ulcer patient , I was unable to walk for a long distance.    He said he had become a rebel because of the war, he promised to save my life.  Based on the prevailing circumstances, I will be totally free. Wherever we go one of my cattle was killed.  They said if I deny the fact that Pa Demba was my husband, they will kill me.  I denied.  A lot of them came and they were asking me lots of questions.  So I was silent, they asked the reasons why?  I told them that I had to because if I said anything that will go against them they will deal because it was a soldier’s world.  

The man told them to release me, they must let go of me because they had killed all my cattles and my daughter had been raped.  I had not made any false statement.  It was at that time that they made up their mind to release me.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  - Yeliba Mansaray, you’ve told us your story in such detail but we would want to ask you some questions, so that we can understand clearly what you have said.  Was Demba Mansary one of the CDF?

Yeliba: Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did he try to keep your cattle safe?

Yeliba:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  How long did you stay with him?

Yeliba:  One month.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did you become a bush wife to him?

Yeliba:  He was a fighter.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  That is not quiet clear.  My question is did you become a bush wife to him?

Yeliba:  Initially, there was no relationship but I later become a bush wife to him.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   As a true warrior he sent you back to you husband?

Yeliba:  Yes.
Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   What happened to your son when the rebels captured him?

Yeliba:  They tied him, beat him in the shoulders as he was very huge.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: But they did not kill him?

Yeliba:   No, but he is unable to do carpentry work. 

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:    How many daughters have you?

Yeliba:   Six.
Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did the rebels share all six children amongst themselves. 

Yeliba:  Yes, but the seventh daughter is in Kabala.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Did they rape you?

Yeliba:  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: How long did you stay with the rebels?

Yeliba:  I would say five months.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:    Did you see what they were doing, how they were fighting? 

Yeliba:   Yes, I saw some.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  Can you tell us a bit about what you saw?

Yeliba:  My house was burnt , one of my nephews was killed, 3 others killed.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   Can you tell the names of the people who were killed?

Yeliba:    I am not able to tell but it was the rebels. 

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:  I want to know the names of the people killed not attackers. 

Yeliba:    Sheriff, Sheriff, Idrissa, Maneka.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   When you were finally released were you able to find any of your cattle?

Yeliba:   -  They took all my cattle only one was left.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   How many cows had you initially. 

Yeliba:   15.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones:   As a result of your suffering with the rebels and  your sad experiences, what is your present health condition? 

Yeliba:  Heart trouble.  My status then was different from my present status.  If I continue to think about the past, I will die and leave my children to suffer. 

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: What about your daughters, are they all in good health.

Yeliba:  Yes, but they sometimes complain of pains. 

Commissioner Torto  -  We thank you very much for coming before the Commission.  I just have very few questions to ask.  Have you heard of the existence of any of your attackers?

Yeliba  -  I have not heard about them, I went back to the village after my release.

Commissioner Torto  - If you see them can you identify them?

Yeliba   -  Yes.

Commissioner Schabas   - Have you any question to ask the Commission?

Yeliba   -  No.

Commissioner Schabas   -  We will be making recommendations to the Government of Sierra Leone.  Do you have any recommendations to make to the Government

Yeliba   - What I want the Government to do for me, I am not the only person in Falaba everybody fell victim of what happened in our Town.  All that we had and what we inherited from our fathers had been destroyed.  I would not ask the Government to help me personally, we would be very happy if the Government will assist us in rebuilding our community.  We you feed a hungry man today and tomorrow you have nothing for him it will be a problem.

Commissioner Schabas - We thank you, your recommendations would be included in our report.  I thank you.

WITNESS NAME:  Sanie Kamara


The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by the Presiding Commissioner William Schabas.


I was asleep on a Thursday night, when we heard gunshot; before I could get up my house was ablaze.  My elder brother was killed, the other one was killed in his house, his house was set on fire,  in the morning we took him to bush.  He was receiving some medication when he died.  We ran away to Guinea.  My condition in Guinea was not favourable.  I had many children.  There was no food, I had to go around begging.  We heard that the Guineans were in our village so we had to return.   The rebels came and collected papers from us, they promised not to disturb us.  Everyday, there were threats from rebels we were running up and down.  The group of Col. Bobby came to us.  Everyday we were asked to contribute two pounds of rice.  We carry their luggage  for them.  We were there until  the end of the war.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Thank you for coming, and we are sorry about the loss of your brother, where you able to give him a fitting funeral?

Sanie Kamara  - Two of them were buried in a single grave, mass burial.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Where?

Sanie Kamara - In Falaba.

Commissioner Torto - Thank you for coming, your story is short and interesting.  Who were your attackers?

Sanie Kamara - It was during the night, I was not at home.

Commissioner Torto - Can you say anything about Saj Musa and Sgt. Yayah?

Sanie Kamara - I don’t know anything about them.

Commissioner Torto - Apart from your brother , can you tell if any body else was killed?

Sanie Kamara  -  Yes,  Fatmata, Lansana he was a stranger, was burnt in his house.  There was also Momodu Turay.

Commissioner Torto  - When you ran away to Guinea, you heard that Guinean troops were in Falaba.  You said that the rebels gave you papers; what did you do with those papers?

Sanie Kamara  - That we should not be afraid to stay with them.

Commissioner Torto  - If you see any of the rebels, can you identify them?

Sanie Kamara  - I can recognize Col. Bobby.
Commissioner Torto  - Do you know whether he is alive?

Sanie Kamara  - I don’t know.

Commissioner Torto  - In your written statement you said they looted your cattle.

Sanie Kamara   -  When we ran away to the bush, that was the time the looted our cattle.

Commissioner Torto  - Who was Sgt. Burn House?

Sanie Kamara   - I heard about him, but I don’t know him.

Commissioner Schabas   - What are you doing for your living?

Sanie Kamara   - I am a farmer.

Commissioner Schabas   - Are you still a Farmer?

Sanie Kamara   - Yes.

Leader of Evidence  - Do you know how long the rebels stayed in Falaba?

Sanie Kamara   - For a long time.

Leader of Evidence - During their stay where you treated badly?

Sanie Kamara   -  Yes.

Leader of Evidence  - Can you tell us some of the things that they did to you?

Sanie Kamara   - We did everything for them, we pound their rice.

Leader of Evidence  - Did they beat you?

Sanie Kamara   - No. 

Leader of Evidence - If you refused to give them rice, what will they do to you?

Sanie Kamara   - If they ask you to do something for them and you did not they will punish.  You will contribute so that you will not be punished.

Leader of Evidence  - Your two brothers were killed in the attack?

Sanie Kamara   -  Yes.

Commissioner Schabas   - Have you any question to ask the Commission?

Sanie Kamara  -  No.

Commissioner Schabas   - We will be making our recommendation to the Government.  Have you any recommendations to make to the Commission for onward transmission to the Government?

Sanie Kamara: I would like the Government to assist in my chidren’s education.  My houses were all burnt down.  This is the only help I want from the Government.

Commissioner Schabas   - Thank you very much.  This is a reasonable recommendation you have made.  We extend our heart felt  sympathy to you for the loss of your two brothers.  We appreciate your courage to come and testify before this Commission.

WITNESS NAME:      Yereh Samura


The witness was sworn on oath on Koran by Commissioner Schabas, the Presiding Commissioner.


I am happy to be with you all.  I pray that it will  never happen again.  We are very happy for this Commission.   On the 27th of March 1998 at about 11.30p.m. in Falaba, we heard sporadic firing; we have been told by ECOMOG that whenever we heard gun shots we must stay indoors.  When I heard the firing, I was about to open the door, when somebody told me not to open.  I said "why haven’t you told me this before?"  I told him that he would have the final sleep that day.  I tried to open the back door and I called my entire family.  We were 17 in number and I was behind. I was in the toilet, when an RPG was launched on my house and it went ablaze; I ran across the street. It was firing all over the town.  They were calling Col. Foday, saying that they should advance in two directions and they should do so in hundred’s, they were carrying torch.  The firing lasted until 5 in the morning. After they had left, we came back to our town.  We found out that our houses were all burnt down.  My child was captured.  I searched for my son for about 12 hours before I saw him coming,  he is presently with me.  We went to Guinea where we spent 1 month and fifteen days and we returned back to Falaba.  What we were used to eating in our town, was not in Guinea.  Seventeen of us returned from Guinea to our village.  When we arrived, a document was given to us that we must all be one.  We should be providing them food.  They promised that they would not loot our properties again.  We saw 48 of them who said that they have come to loot.  We told them that we had nothing left.  Our houses were burnt down,  after that,  in the year 2000 we were hungry and I sent my wife to Kabala.  Upon her arrival - it was on a Saturday and she should have returned on the next Friday, she passed to her sister in nearby village.  She met a man called Sheku Bah.  He asked them were they were going.  He asked what were they going to do at Falaba.  My wife asked "don’t you know me?"  He said no and that he wanted to see blood.  My wife was with his son.  Sheku Bah returned back and took his gun, whilst he was very closed to my wife he cocked his gun.  My son said that he was not joking.  My son asked what have we done to you?  He said that he is going to kill my son.  My wife pleaded.  He cocked his gun for the second time.  My son was about to remove the magazine from his gun, when he fired my wife, she fell down and died.  The soldiers who were at Kabala brought her corpse to Kabala, and she was buried.
I sent my other wife to Kabala, and at that time Kabala was attacked, they were climbing a hill when  a bullet hit her and she died after.  If I wanted to explain everything, it will be a long story.  I had eight children with my wife.  All the things that I had lost, beginning from the cattles, all my properties lost, I will not bring them back again.  I had four houses,  2 in Falaba and two in another village; they were all burnt. That is my story.

Commissioner Schabas   - Thank you very much.  I sympathise with you for your personal loss.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones   -  Thank you for coming, I am sorry for the death of your wife and all your properties and houses, but I see you are a religious man  because you started off with a prayer,  you can still go on in faith.  I have a few questions.  What is your occupation now?

Yereh Samura - At present, I am embarking on gardening.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones   - What were you doing before?

Yereh Samura  - I was working at PWD, I started work in 1961.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones   - Where you involved in mining?

Yereh Samura  -  No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - In your written statement, you mentioned about the loss of some gold.

Yereh Samura  - Yes, it was my wife’s property.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - How many houses were burnt?

Yereh Samura   - Four.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - You were not able to gather some of those burnt zinc to put up a structure?

Yereh Samura  - I was unable to gather them, because I ran to Guinea.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Can you give us the names of the seven people who were killed?

Yereh Samura  - Sheriff Samura,  Momodu Kamara II, Small Mummy, Big Mummy, Pa Sana who was burnt down, and Sarif , his head was chopped off and placed at a check point.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - You said that they were buried in a mass grave?

Yereh Samura  -  No,  some were buried in a mass grave whilst others were buried individually.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones   - If we decide to go to the village , will we be able to see the mass grave?

Yereh Samura  -  Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones   - In Falaba?

Yereh Samura  - Sorie and another were buried in the same cemetry, one was buried in his garden and the other behind the Chief’s compound.

Commissioner Torto  - Thank you for coming,  where is Sheku Ba?

Yereh Samura - He was captured and taken to Mongo.

Commissioner Torto   - So you have not heard about him?

Yereh Samura  -  The former speaker son, saw him at Kaliere.

Commissioner Torto  - Who was he, was he a soldier or RUF?

Yereh Samura   - We heard that he was a CDF.

Commissioner Torto   - When you traveled to Guinea, on your return you said you were given a paper, who were they?

Yereh Samura  -  The rebels.

Commissioner Torto  - But you left soldiers in Falaba?

Yereh Samura  - They were rebels. We were afraid to come back,  they rebels asked us to join them, they gave a week to join them.  They looted all our properties.  They gave us documents again.  Till when it was peace.  We were like slaves,  our children did not belong to us. Our children did not belong to us.  If I had wanted to explain everything we will be here till tomorrow morning.

Commissioner Torto  - I understand your plight.  Where is you son now?

Yereh Samura  - Which one?

Commissioner Torto  - The boy that wrestled with the rebels.

Yereh Samura  -  He is in Makeni.

Commissioner Torto  - What is he doing in Makeni?

Yereh Samura  -  He is a soldier.

Commissioner Torto  - When did he join the Army.

Yereh Samura  - 2 years ago.

Commissioner Torto  - What does the name Lt. Yayah means to you.

Yereh Samura  -  While the operations were on,  the rebels were shouting Lt. Yayah's name.

Commissioner Torto  - Thank you.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones   - What did you mean by Pademba, is it the Prison?

Yereh Samura  -  Yes.

Leader of Evidence  - I want to make some clarifications, can you tell us the name of your wife that had been killed?

Yereh Samura  - Her name is Finda Turay.

Leader of Evidence  - You also lost your child.

Yereh Samura   - Yes,  Salifu Samura.

Leader of Evidence - He was one year six month?

Yereh Samura  -  Yes.

Leader of Evidence  - The time the rebels attacked Falaba, was there ECOMOG around.

Yereh Samura  -  Yes.

Leader of Evidence - I thank you. 

Commissioner Schabas   - Have you any questions for the Commission?

Yereh Samura  -  We are in line with all that you have said.  If I think of the past, I will not be happy.  I am listening to you after everything I have explained. The time of the war, what I have lost, will never be able regain.  I recommend to the Government that there are no schools  and houses in Falaba.  I have six of my children that are going to school; three of them are in Arabic schools, there are no teachers to teach them.  If you can help us to rehabilitate our houses, free education for our children; if you have rest of mind, you will have reward from God.  Please help us.  Thanks be to God.

Commissioner Schabas  - We will prepare our report, what you have said will be included in our report.  I thank you for coming here and sympathise with you for the loss of your wife and child. 

WITNESS NAME:  Saidu Turay


The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by the Presiding Commissioner, Commissioner William Schabas.


One day we were in Falaba and we were asleep;  I have children and my parents who are very old with my two wives.  We were leaving in continuous fear.  One night we were asleep when information reached us that one of our uncle’s sons was killed, his head was chopped off. It was on the 8th March.  There was flames all over the town.  We were confused;  I took my children, wife and carried my mother on my back, I took them to a big cotton tree, one of my wife was selling palm wine, the other one was selling groundnut;  all these goods were in the house.  All we heard that night was "advance, advance."  I went into the toilet to hide; one of my brothers Mohamed Turay was shot, he fell down and one of them stabbed him with a bayonet.  One of my neighours house was burnt down with her children in it.  One also had a daughter who was matured was also sent into the fire.  We were all confused,  it was God who saved me.  My house was set ablaze , they came from one direction and we were in the centre.  I witnessed all these killings and all the houses were set ablaze, I hid myself and after they had passed, I met my people in the bush.  I carried my mother; my children and wife continued the journey and we went into the bush.  While we were in the bush, one man by the name of the Col. Bobby asked us to come to town  to collect papers so that we would not be distured by anyone.  Because we were hunted in the bush, all were properties were taken from us.  They asked us to carry their loads.  After we received those passes, we were asked to take care of them.  They little we had for our feeding was given to them.  As for me I am totally finished.  Some of the loads were so big that motor cycle would not carry. Four people were asked to carry a whole engine for them.  If you refused they will beat you.  I sometimes find banana for my children.  We were leaving in this situation until finally peace came.

Commissioner Torto  -  During the attack, Mr Turay, did anybody die?

Saidu Turay - yes.

Commissioner Torto  - Where?

Saidu Turay   -  In Falaba.

Commmissioner Torto  - Can you tell me the name of the person who was killed?

Saidu Turay  -  Karomoko Sheku, Salifu, Mohamed, Amara, Mama Fudia, almost eighteen people were killed.

Commissioner Torto  - So you cannot remember all their names?

Saidu Turay  - Yes.

Commissioner Torto  - Did they all die on the 27th of March?

Saidu Turay  -  Yes.

Commissioner Torto  - Did you see them rape any woman apart from the forced labour they subjected you to?

Saidu Turay   -  All the women were raped?

Commissioner Torto  - What do you mean that  your wives were not your wives?

Saidu Turay  - They would come and take your wife without your consent.

Commissioner Torto  - Do you remember any of your attackers?

Saidu Turay  -  Col. Bobby was with us.

Commissioner Torto  - Col. Bobby, which group did he belong to?

Saidu Turay   -  I cannot tell.

Commissioner Schabas  - Do you have any questions for the Commission?

Saidu Turay   -  No.

Commissioner Schabas  - Have you any recommendations for the Commission for onward transmission to the Government?

Saidu Turay   - My wives were helping me to take care of my children.  We had no houses, we are still  in the bush.  If there is any help that Government can give to help us educate our children in the community.  Because we all suffered the same loss. 

Commissioner Schabas: Thanks very much for coming. We have now come to the end of today's hearing.



DATE:   16TH May 2003

Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones (Presiding)
Commissioner Sylvanus Torto
Commissioner William Schabas

Martien Schotsmann - Leader of Evidence
Abdulai Charm - Leader of Evidence 

WITNESS NAME:    Fatmata Sillah


General Christian and Muslim were offered.

The witness was sworn on oath on the Bible by the Presiding Copmmissioner, Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones.


I was in my house after coming from work on a Monday at about 5p.m. Initially the Rev. Sisters I was working with to go and check for my children as she had been informed by the Americans of the movement of a large group of people.  On my way coming for my children, there was sporadic firing.  I finally joined my children and my husband in the house.  We all hid ourselves in the house.  We have been told that no body should go out.   A man knocked on our door, but we refused to open. He break the door and we were placed under gun point.  All that we had in the house were looted.  They gave us loads to carry.  Various items were looted from different houses.  My husband was given a bag of rice to carry to their base.  The rice had been looted from a neighbor’s house.  He carried it for some distance but became tired and he was unable to continue.  When I started to cry, they threatened to kill me and my eldest son was killed because he refused to continue after his Father was shot.  We continued on to a Farming site around Farawah, where we spent two weeks.  I later collected my children and left for Kabala, after the rebels had abandoned us.  We later went to Freetown.  As I am talking, I’ve still not seen my other son who was abducted.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - We are sorry for the loss of your son and husband, we want to ask you some questions for clarifications. 

Commissioner Schabas  - Thank you for coming to the TRC to give your testimony.  When did this happen?

Fatmata Sillah - It took place on November 27th, 1994.

Commissioner Schabas - What did your husband do?

Fatmata Sillah - He did nothing.

Commissioner Schabas  - How old was your son who was killed by the rebels?

Fatmata Sillah  -  15 years.

Commissioner Schabas  - Do you know the people who attacked you?

Fatmata Sillah - No,  I cannot identify them.

Commissioner Schabas  - What language  they spoke?

Fatmata Sillah  - A language similar to Mende, and Liberian pidgin.

Commissioner Schabas  - They were not from Kabala?

Fatmata Sillah -  No.

Commissioner Schabas  -  How many people attacked your village? 

Fatmata Sillah - Initially, it was a man and after that a lot of them came.

Commissioner Schabas  - How was your son killed?

Fatmata Sillah  - He was shot with a gun.

Commissioner Schabas  -  Thank you very much, I sympathise with you for your loss.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - When you hid in the farm house, was your son with you?

Fatmata Sillah - No, I was there with my daughters.

Leader of Evidence  - Fatmata , was your family the only family abducted?

Fatmata Sillah - They abducted some of my neighbours.

Leader of Evidence  - Did anything happen to them?

Fatmata Sillah - When we were going nothing happened, but when the jet came we were all scattered.

Leader of Evidence  -  Whilst they were going to Farawah, did they attack other towns and villages?

Fatmata Sillah - The villages were deserted.

Leader of Evidence  - Did the rebels burnt down your house?

Fatmata Sillah -  Yes, it was burnt down.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Who buried your husband and son?

Fatmata Sillah - I don’t know.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - So there was no sign of burial when you returned?

Fatmata Sillah - I don’t know, it was a very long distance; we abandoned the corpse .

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  -  Have you any question for the Commission? 

Fatmata Sillah -  I want to thank the Commission because they are teaching us to forgive and forget.  I believe God is with us, we are gradually putting the past behind us.  I want to know how best the Commission can help us rehabilitate our community and help with  the education of our children.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - We’ve heard these questions repeatedly by witnesses.  The Commission cannot give money for education but the Commission will include in its report recommendation to help different people in their communities.  Emphasis would be put on numerous children who were unable to go to school and don’t have enough resources.  The Commission will finish its work by the end of this year.  Within a short time people will be able to benefit.  Have you any other question?

Fatmata Sillah -  We as elders can manage, but  my concern is for our children.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Have you any recommendations for the Commission for inclusion in our report? 

Fatmata Sillah -  I want them to help us resuscitate our vocational training institute.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Your recommendations would be included in our report.  Our staff will help with technical advice as to which NGOs that will help resuscitate your institute.  You seem strong and very active, and you certainly would be able to carry on with your life.  I hope you feel a little bit relieved now. Thank you for coming.

WITNESS NAME:    Musa Mansaray


The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by Commissioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones, the Presiding Commissioner.


I do not understand much krio.  The rebel chased us out of our village; we acted on advice to stay away from town. We hid in caves, and constructed some farm houses.  The rebels were coming in and out of the village, so we had to be going back and forth.  We went to our village and found out that they had looted all our belongings. My sister’s husband was old and couldn’t run; we left him in the house at about 5p.m.   We went to the bush; we were there when we had sporadic firing.  I was confused because I did not see my in-law until 6p.m.  After 6p.m I decided to check for him, I was advised not to go, I was still worried.  I insisted and passed through the bush path to the main road, I used the back door, I saw blood and my sister’s husband was lying down, he was groaning, I wept.  He said that he is dying, and that I should take care of his children, and they were four in number.  I went back to the bush and informed my sister that her husband was severely damaged, he couldn’t survive the pain.  In the morning five of us went to check for him, we found him dead.  We cut off some sticks placed him on top and took him to the bush for burial.  The next day I came back to the house and realized that all my properties and creatures were carted away.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Thank you Musa, We are sorry you’ve lost your brother-in-law in such a brutal way.   We are going to ask you some questions.

Commissioner Schabas :  When did this incident took place?

Musa Mansaray  - I don’t know but it was around  August.

Commissioner Schabas   -  How many years now?

Musa Mansaray  - About 7 years.

Commissioner Torto  - Do you know the people who killed you brother in law?

Musa Mansaray  - I don’t know, I met him almost dead.

Commissioner Torto  - Do you know the group they belonged to; CDF, Junta, Kamajor, Donsu etc?

Musa Mansaray  - I  heard they were rebels.

Commissioner Torto  - So you cannot identify them?

Musa Mansaray  -  No.

Commissioner Torto  - Was your brother-in-law the only victim?

Musa Mansaray  - A woman Tida Mansary was killed, also her son Shekubah Mansaray.

Commissioner Torto  - So they were the only victims in that attack?

Musa Mansaray  - Yes.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Have you any question for the Commission?

Musa Mansaray   -  Yes, I am in doubt as to how  our children will continue their education.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - If you have not been able to earn a living to take care of your children, I suppose that primary education is free.  Nevertheless, your recommendations will be included in our report.  Government will assist in the rehabilitation in your community. Have you any other question for the commission?

Musa Mansaray  -  Yes, we would like government to rehabilitate our houses.  My brother-in-law who was killed left behind his four children and I want the government to help me rebuild my house

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - The Government in due course will help develop various communities. I don’t think Government neither the Commission will be able to build individual houses for people.  Any more.

Musa Mansaray -  Let us all pray that it does not happen again.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones   - That is what we are praying for.  That is the mandate of the Commission. So that it will never happen.  Any more

Musa Mansaray - We want the government to ensure that we get lasting peace in Sierra Leone and bring about rapid development that will benefit all.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones: Thank you for coming.

WITNESS NAME:    Finnah Daboh


The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by the Presiding Commissioner, Commisssioner Justice Laura Marcus-Jones.


I was in my village when we saw lots of people coming towards Kabala. My husband advised that we go to Kabala.  Later he said that we should go back. Although I was reluctant, we eventually went.  The following day, My husband took his other wife and they went to the farm to collect food.  When the rebels attacked, we went into our house to hid but they broke the door and abducted us.  We were taken to the town centre and made to sit under a large cotton tree.  Whilst there, my husband’s nephew was shot and killed with a pistol.  His name was Abass.  Also a Police Officer was shot.  They threatened to kill all of us and they refused to listen to my plea that I have small children.  There was a girl called Aminata who had been tied, her child Damba was shot and killed.  One of them said that they should amputate us because they had killed so many people in the other villages.

We were lined up and the first  one was called, Nfagie, then Lamin, Serah Sesay, Musu a pregnant woman, Finnah Kamara, Adamsay’s mother then it was my turn, they chopped off our hands. When they left us, I carried my younger child and the one I held by the hand.  We left the village. On our way going I met a man called,  Makkah who was shot dead and was hanging on his window.  I met one of them on the way who asked whether they have finished with me and he said that I should go to Tejan Kabba for hands.  I decided to travel by the main road, having it in mind that if I was to fall dead somebody would see me and take care of my children.  I met Mammy Sarah whose hands were amputated, and a man, he said we should follow him.  As we were climbing the hill, I was bleeding profusely, the man decided to help me with my children.  I spent four days with the man hoping to see my husband, but they have told him if he dares to come the rebels will kill him.  There was no medication so I decided to come back to Kabala. I gave the man Le1, 000 to accompany me; he refused and said he cannot venture that risk even for his mother.   I decided to go alone carrying my baby on my back.  I came up to Makakura and I saw a helicopter going to Freetown.  I later saw a vehicle, initially I was afraid, but it was the vehicle that was sent  to collect the Police Officer, who was killed. They told me to wait, and on their return they brought me to Kabala where I spent four days.  I was collected and taken to Freetown.  I met all the other amputees at the Connaught Hospital.  My child was taken away from me because of the severe pain I was going through.  I was later taken to Waterloo, where I saw other wounded people coming from a village.  I left and decided to join my relatives in Wellington.    

When the rebels attacked Freetown, I had wanted to take the children to Sackville Street to my other relatives because they were in Wellington. While we were finding our way, I was recaptured by the rebels and my husband got missing with the other children.  The child I was carrying on my back, fell down as I was trying to enter a house.  One of the rebels pleaded for my release because I had already sustained injuries.  As soon as I was released, I went back to check for my child, I  found his cloth and the wrapper I was carrying him with, but I could not find my child.  We were taken to Stadium, were statement was obtained from me.  Eventually, we were taken to Aberdeen, where we spent two years.  Later, I got the information from a woman in Wilberforce that she saw my child at Bamakonta.  My husband by then had returned to our village to build a house.  A Reverend father gave me the sum of Le50, 000 to search for my child, but the woman said that the money would not be enough.  I sold all that I had, making it a total of Le100, 000.  We went on the journey  to Bamakonta and the woman she was with accepted that the child was with her, but she will not release the child until my husband is back.  

I met a man who is currently helping me to get my child, each time they prepare a document I had to pay.  The woman advised me to come back to Kabala; when I came back to Kabala I found out that my husband had nothing on him. When I came to Kabala, my husband visited once, he said he had no money, claiming that I dropped the child with me.  I had no way of getting my child back because I have no money.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones   - Your story is a sad one.  I really feel sorry that you went through such trauma.  When you went to this woman who has your child, did you see the child?

Finnah Daboh  -  Yes, I spent three days with them.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  -  You saw the child and identify him?

Finnah Daboh  -  Yes,  his name has been changed to Mohamed.

Commissioner Torto  - Finnah Daboh your explanation is quite pathetic,  since you have now recovered the child.  Did the people refused to give you the child or is it because of transportation?

Finnah Daboh  -   My husband said he had nothing.   I don’t have any means to go for my child.

Commissioner Torto  - If you have the means, will you be able to get the child.

Finnah Daboh  -  Yes,  when I went in search of  him, they said that the woman had gone to Kono.

Commissioner Torto  - Where is the child now?

Finnah Daboh - We met the child in Bamakonta and the woman in charge of him is in Kono.

Commissioner Torto  -  Which area in Kono?

Finnah Daboh  - I don’t know.

Commissioner Torto -  Is she threatening to take the child away from you?

Finnah Daboh -  Maybe.

Commissioner Torto  -  Was it during peace time?

Finnah Daboh  -  Yes.

Commissioner Torto  - Were there Police Officer’s  in that village?

Finnah Daboh  -  I don’t know,  it is a small village,  however, her in-law told her to released the child but she refused.

Commissioner Torto  - Why didn’t  you alerted the chief?

Finnah Daboh - I was a stranger, she told me that we should not go to the Police or the Chiefs as they had different customs.  I should go to my husband.

Commissioner Torto  - Your husband is refusing because the child was with you?

Finnah Daboh  - Yes.

Commissioner Torto - Where is your husband now?

Finnah Daboh  - He is in Kondebaia.
Commissioner Torto - What is he doing in Kondebaia.

Finah - He is undertaking some building projects.

Commissioner Torto  -  Who stopped you from breastfeeding your child?

Finnah Daboh  -  I was stopped by the doctors and nurses for medical reasons.

Leader of Evidence  - I want you to go back to the first event.  You said that at one time the rebels had not wanted to kill you because they had killed many people in one of the villages, is that correct?

Finnah Daboh  -  Yes.

Leader of Evidence  - How many of you were amputated?

Finnah Daboh  -  10 of us were amputated.

Leader of Evidence  - Were you the only woman?

Finnah Daboh  - No, four of us.

Leader of Evidence  -  Your left hand was chopped,  was it a policy that they should cut off your left hand.

Finnah Daboh  -  They said they are cutting the right limbs of men because they are farmers.

Leader of Evidence  - Did they give you reasons for that?

Finnah Daboh  - After they had chopped off my hand, one of them said that I should go to Tejan Kabba.

Leader of Evidence  -  Those of you whose hands were chopped off, did all of you survive?

Finnah Daboh  -  No, My husband’s Uncle died and one Samuel Farawah.

Leader of Evidence-  Some people were also killed?

Finnah Daboh  -  Yes, Abass Sesay and Makkah Sesay

Leader of Evidence  - Makkah, was he the Police Officer?

Finnah Daboh  -  No, he was a cook for the Police and ECOMOG, I don’t know the name of the police officer who was killed.

Leader of Evidence  -  You said a child was killed?

Finnah Daboh - No, a suckling mother Aminata  was killed.

Leader of Evidence  - What happened to the child?

Finnah Daboh  -  The child is alive.

Leader of Evidence  -  Your first child is with your husband.

Finnah Daboh  -  Yes.

Leader of Evidence - You showed us a letter from a tracing agency were you able to see them?

Finnah Daboh  -  No.

Leader of Evidence  - Were you able to meet with them yourself?

Finnah Daboh  -  No, Sieh Mansaray was helping me.

Leader of Evidence  - What did they do?

Finnah Daboh  -  He wrote a letter and gave me a copy.

Leader of Evidence  -  You had never received any result?

Finnah Daboh  - No, I distributed the letters to different agencies, but to no avail.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  -  Thank you Finnah Daboh for coming to share your experiences,  we are sorry that you are distressed.  We noticed that the Chairman of the Amputee Association is doing his best to help you.  We hope that not long, you will be able to get your child.  We have heard many stories, of how people have been reunited with their children. Continue to have hope and determination.  After here our staff will talk to you.  Have you questions for the Commission?

Finnah Daboh  -  No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Have you any recommendations for the Commission?

Finnah Daboh  -  No, I would like to get assistance from the Commission because I am on my own and my husband has left me.

Commissioner Marcus - Jones   - How old is your eldest child?

Finnah Daboh  - The eldest is 6, the one missing was 2 years six months by then and the one with me now is 3 years.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  -  We have been looking at your letter, and the Commissioner has a question for you.

Commissioner Torto  - The letter is address to the Director of  ICRC, when you took it to him,  what did he say?

Finnah Daboh  -I was prevented by his security to see him, all the attempts I made were unsuccessful.

Commissioner Torto  -From that time, have you been able to see him?

Finnah Daboh  -  No.

Commissioner Torto  - Did you report back to the Chairman of your Association? What did he say?

Finnah Daboh  - Yes, he too has his problems, but he has been making moves.

Commissioner Torto  -  The letter was also copied to NaCSA, they have a representative here, have you made effort to contact NaCSA?

Finnah Daboh  -  No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Thank you for coming.

WITNESS NAME:    Balla Koroma


The witness was sworn on oath on the Koran by Commissioner Justice Commissioner Marcus-Jones, the Presiding Commissioner.


Praise be to God. I was in my village, Luro.  I went for food as there was no food.  When I came back, I realized that rebels had occupied the village.  All my relatives were captured by the rebels.  I could not find them, there were four soldiers around, as I moved forward I was halted and the civilians arrested me and handed me over to the soldiers, they told me that nothing is wrong with my family, a man by the name of Pa Saio was ordered to tie me, one of the civilian said that they should not tie me but to kill me.

I told him to allow me take off my boot so that my relatives will see it and know that I have been killed.  He fired me on my chest.  I cried, his colleague who was much closer to him fired, I ran and another shot hit me on my hand.  

Whilst I was running, I tried to remove the bullet from my chest; there was one on top of my eye.  There were bullets all over my body.  I went into the bush and there was sporadic firing.  Pa Seseykay and two others were killed.  My two houses and all the other houses were burnt.  A man was captured and asked to carry five gallons of palm oil.  I spent the night in the bush.

My wife followed me to the ECOMOG base, but there were no drugs, we were advised to go to Alkalia and from there I returned to Kabala, we spent three nights and eventually we went to Freetown and I was admitted at the Government Hospital.  At present, we have nothing, unless you help us to educate our children.  What we were able to do before the war we can’t do now.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - Thank you. We sympathize with you for your injuries.  What village did all this took place?

Balla Koroma -  Luro.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - How far is it from Kabala?

Balla Koroma  - It  is a very long distant.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - How many fingers have you on your right hand,  did you loose one of your fingers completely?

Balla Koroma  -  There are four but two are not working properly.

Commissioner Torto  - I sympathize with you for what happened,  after all the strains you went through you are still alive.  It is a lot of courage.  What was the position of your hand before you were shot?

Balla Koroma  - When I was shot the first time, I was carrying my other hand on top of my head.  There are fragments all over my body.

Commissioner Torto - Where you the only one attacked?

Balla Koroma - There were three old men and one woman.

Commissioner Torto - What happened to them?

Balla Koroma - The men were killed and the woman was released.

Commissioner Torto  - What were their names?

Balla Koroma - Pa Kabba, Pa Sesaykie and Pa Brima.

Commissioner Torto  - You traveled from your village to Kabala. How were you able to accomplish that, what kind of assistance did you receive?

Balla Koroma - My wife accompanied me from the village to Kabala, the first person to assist me was one CES worker, Manso.

Commissioner Torto - Were you taken care of in Kabala Hospital?

Balla Koroma - No, I was treated at Connaught Hospital.

Commissioner Torto - What is your present situation?

Balla Koroma - I have pains all over my body.

Commissioner Torto  - Did they advise you to go to the hospital?

Balla Koroma - Yes, an MSF Staff in Freetown was helping me to get medical treatment.

Commissioner Torto  - I advise you to continue to seek medical treatment in the Government Hospital here in Kabala, or MSF Hospital in Kabala.

Balla Koroma  - I have visited the hospital here in Kabala, but they are asking for money.

Commissioner Torto  - Have you been able to continue your farming?

Balla Koroma  -  No.

Commissioner Torto  -What are you doing now?

Balla Koroma  - I am not doing anything, I have no money.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  -  You have hearing problem as a result of the firing?

Balla Koroma  -  Yes,  I  also have problem with my speech.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones - What about your sight?

Balla Koroma   - Yes, I have eye sight problem also.

Leader of Evidence  - I would like to know how many times you were shot?

Balla Koroma  - One on my chest the other two on my hands.

Leader of Evidence  - Was it on the same day?

Balla Koroma  -  Yes.

Leader of Evidence  - How many people?

Balla Koroma  -  Three different people.

Leader of Evidence - Do you know the group the civilians belonged to?

Balla Koroma  - I cannot tell.

Leader of Evidence  - Do you think they belonged to the same group?

Balla Koroma   - I don’t know.

Leader of Evidence  - They were not fighting each other, but attacking the civilians in the village?

Balla Koroma   - They did not abduct people in the village.

Leader of Evidence  - Can you remember the time this happened?

Balla Koroma   - May 15, I cannot tell the year, I spent five years in hospital in Freetown.

Leader of Evidence -Were other people abducted or amputated, or houses burnt or properties looted?

Balla Koroma   - No, there purpose was just to kill.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - Have you any question for the Commission?

Balla Koroma  - We are appealing for your assistance, to educate our children, we sell fire wood to sustain ourselves.  

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  - have you ever been in touch with any NGO?

Balla Koroma   - Yes, series of letters written by the Chairman and was sent to them, only the NGOs in Freetown supplied us.  I have a family of six, it is only a bag of corn mill that was supplied.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones  -  You talk to our staff.   They would be able to refer you so that you can get some medical attention.  Unfortunately, TRC had no money.    It is not the mandate of TRC to give assistance.  At the same time your recommendation will be included in our report.  Do you have any recommendation for the Government?

Balla Koroma -  No.

Commissioner Marcus-Jones -  Thank you, keep your courage, you are meant to live, if not with all those bullets you would have been dead by now.  Thank you. We have now come to the end hearings here in Kabala and the Koinadugu District. I want to thank all of you who had been assisting us in various ways during our stay here. I thank you all.



General Muslim and Christian prayers were offered.

The Resident Paramount Chief presented a welcome address.  He welcomed all present and reminded us of what the TRC is all about and said that the TRC is for the people.  He stressed the need for reconciliation for sustainable peace in the country.

Mr. Raymond Tholley, a representative of the Civil Society Movement, also made a statement.  He welcomed all to the Hearing stage of the Commission.  He said that the Civil Society movement is in support of the Commission’s quest for lasting peace in this country.  He said that the Public, the Northern Region and the Bombali District are very much appreciative of efforts of the TRC.

Bishop G. Bigguzi made a statement on behalf of the Inter-Religious Council. Bishop Bigguzi said that the Inter-Religious Council is one of the groups that have contributed greatly and  has remained committed to the peace process in this country since 1996 when it was formed.  He said that healing is a spiritual process and, therefore, the religious people are needed.According to him:  “The TRC will help us to deal with the past in a different way.  The war must be prevented from happening again and it is necessary to find out the causes of the war so that it will not be repeated.”  He said that no one should be afraid to speak the truth and look for the truth. 

Mr F.B. Kamara made a statement on behalf of the SLPP-Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party.  He said the lamentation during the APC( All Peoples’ Congress) rule made youths to join the rebels to bring the war. 
Mr. Koya Kamara made a statement on behalf of the APC party. 
Sister Rugiatu Kanu made a statement on behalf of the Women.  She said that women were terrorized because they have no strength to fight back.  Women, she said, suffered a lot during the rebel war.  They were used as sex slaves and so forth.  She encouraged all women to come forward and give their testimonies; for so doing, will start to heal the wounds. She made an appeal for the TRC to pay special attention to the sexually abused.

Peter Abass Bundu made a statement on behalf of the NGO Committee. He commends the TRC as a commission that complements the work of the humanitarian agencies.  He thanked the Commission for its work in the Bombali District and the Northern Region.
The Provincial Secretary of the Northern Region also made a statement.

The Chairman, Bishop J.C. Humper, made a statement on behalf of the commission. He stated the mandate of the TRC.  He said: “Today the Bombali District will experience a change. The commission during the hearing will open the wounds and also heal the wounds.” He encouraged people to come forward to give their testimonies.  He said TRC is not a court but a family gathering where people come to say what they have done wrong or where they have been wronged.  He thanked the people of Bombali and the NGO community.     

The vote of thanks was given by Miss Charlris Browne.

1st Witness – Isatu Jalloh

My name is Isatu Jalloh.  I am a Muslim.   The oath was administered by Bishop Humper.

Bishop J. C. Humper - The Commission is ready to give you any support when giving your testimony.  The Commission only wants the truth.  You are now given the chance to make your testimony.


I hail from Sanda.  The rebels met me at Sanda. In the first place, I saw a woman coming without clothes on.  I asked her what happened. The woman told me: “Don’t sit down, the rebels are in our village and are chopping the hands of people.”  We ran away to hide.  That night the rebels came upon us as they attacked  Bendembu that night.  It happened at 2:00a.m.  We were not able to run.  The gun shot woke us up.  We locked ourselves in the house.  They fired gun shots until we heard someone blowing a whistle.  We taught they had gone.  They started burning houses.  We decided to come out instead of being burnt in the house.  A woman called Mariatu ;a suckling mother, was the first person to come out.  She did not go too far and she was shot down.  We heard her child crying and her husband went to pick up the child.  As soon as the husband wanted to pick up the child he was shot and killed.  We stood there for 10 minutes and I opened the door.  When I moved out, I saw a rebel coming with a gun.  I retreated in to the room and the rebel came and pushed the door.    As I continued to push the door, he fired at the door and the bullet entered into my vagina and passed out through my anus.  He called me a bastard because I shouted that I have been killed.  I have three children; the youngest of them is eleven years ,the other is twelve and, the eldest is thirteen years .   My husband then escaped and I told the children to do the same.  The one that is 13 years old took refuge in the mosque and later came back and asked me to go into the mosque. I told the child that I was not going anywhere.  The child persuaded me to come out and took me to the mosque.  We slept in the mosque.  In the morning ECOMOG came and they wanted to take me to their base.  I told them to give me water to drink but they refused.  The child who had taken me to the mosque,went to fetch some water for me. While waiting,I fainted.ECOMOG took me to their base and told me that I will die.  I was not given any medical treatment.  I was waiting for a vehicle to take me to Makeni.  I was there till 6:00pm before I was eventually taken to Makeni.  In Makeni I was taken to the government hospital but I was not treated for three days because they thought I would die.  My younger brother came and told the people that since I was talking I would not die and he took me to Magbeseneh hospital at Lunsar.  Dr Ferrnado did two operations on me.  I was there and the rebels attacked again after my 9th day.  I was brought back to the Makeni hospital.  When they saw that it had taken nine days and I was still alive; they accepted to give me treatment.The rebels then attacked Makeni again.  I spent eleven days there.   There was no way I could be treated; I was taken back to the village because all the roads were blocked.   There was no treatment in the village.   My condition was deteriorating and maggots were coming out of my vagina.  What I did was to boil water with salt in a bowl and sat on it; the maggots stopped coming out.  I was there for two years and I came across a man called Ibrahim Kamara. He took me out of the village and brought me to Connaught hospital.  I was taken to MSF and they refused to do the operation until they get a report from Dr. Fernando.  When we went to Dr. Fernando, he told us that he has no report because all his reports were burnt down.  We came back to Freetown.  We went again to Dr. Fernando for him to write a report to take to Freetown to the MSF Doctor.  Dr. Fernando advised that we should notify the doctor of the kind of operation that was done on me.  If the doctor does not know how to do the operation, then, he should not do it.  When the doctor saw the paper he said he could do the operation.  He then performed the operation.  After the operation, I was taken to Grafton Camp and was there when the problem started again.  I went again to the hospital but they refused to do another operation but they referred me Mercy Ship.  The Mercy Ship people could not do the operation.  I went again to Connaught hospital and they charged me Le 500,000 for the operation.  Up till now I have done the operation because I have no money. They built a camp for us in Makeni; but I have no furniture, water or cooking utensil for the house.  These are the problems that are affecting me now.

Bishop Humper: I want to thank you for sharing with us your bitter experience.  The Commission will ask some questions for clarification.

Prof. Kamara:        I am sorry for your sad experience.  From your story you are not only a victim of the war.  The Commission should send a message to the medical profession in this country who on their graduation takes the oath of working to save lives.  I am sure their colleagues in other countries will regret and condemn them severely when they hear such a story.  They treated you like a piece of wood without any life.  I don’t think I have any questions for you because your testimony was clear.  I can only say that the Commission itself will see what it can do to help you solve your problem.  I am sorry.

Commissioner Sooka:    You mentioned that you still suffer from the medical problem.  I want you to tell us the state of your health now.  Are you getting any medical attention?

Isatu Jalloh:    The problem I have now is I have no medicine and I need  treatment.  The problem is difficult to solve except an operation is done.  The problem is urine passes through my Vagina uncontrollably.

Commissioner Sooka:    What happened to your family?

Isatu Jalloh:    My family is around and safe nothing happened to them.  I am the only person affected

Commissioner Jow:    I join the Commissioners to sympathize with you. What happened to you gives an insight into what happened to women and children.  It is a very moving testimony.  I am happy to note that your family is still intact.  You are trying to build your life again.

Can you tell me when did this incident happen to you?

Isatu Jalloh:        In 1998

Commissioner Jow:    Do you have any idea of  the faction that did this?

Isatu Jalloh:        I do not know.

Commissioner Jow:      Where they in combat uniform ?

Isatu Jalloh:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us that ECOMOG was in the village at the time that this incident happened.

Isatu Jalloh:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us if there was any fight between the group and ECOMOG?

Isatu Jalloh:        No.  There was no fighting between them.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us that you have had no treatment.  How then do you cope?

Isatu Jalloh:        Whenever I feel the pain I go for some drugs  for pain relief.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us that your husband escaped during the attack

Isatu Jalloh:    He came back but we have separated and I am alone now.  I heard he is in Tongo.

Commissioner Jow:    Why did he leave you?

Isatu Jalloh:    Following this problem there  developed these incessant quarrels  between us. 

Commissioner Jow:    Your child was 13years then. What is he doing right now?

Isatu Jalloh:        He is going to school.

Commissioner Jow:    What sort of support do you have for your son’s education?

Isatu Jalloh:        I have no support, I try for myself.

Commissioner Jow:    What do you do to support yourself?

Isatu Jalloh:        I do petty trading like selling cigarettes at home.

Bishop Humper:            We just want to get the story straight that is why we are asking these questions.

Bishop Humper:        When the rebels attacked what did ECOMOG do?

Isatu Jalloh:    The rebels attacked them unexpectedly.  The ECOMOG force retreated for about 30 minutes and then came back and drove the rebels out.

Bishop Humper:        Whenever you hear about ECOMOG what comes to your mind?

Isatu Jalloh:        I am scared and the fear is still in me?

Bishop Humper:    Do you remember the doctor’s name who said you should pay Le 500,000 before he did the operation

Isatu Jalloh:        I cannot remember the name of the doctor but he was an MSF Doctor.

Bishop Humper:        Do you know of any women organization in this country?

Isatu Jalloh:        No.

Bishop Jalloh:    Have you ever attempted to take this your problem to any government hospital and tell them your condition?

Isatu Jalloh:    When I was in Makeni I did not do that.  I tried in Freetown but there was no way

Mr. Charm  :         I am sorry about what happened to you. You mentioned that one Mariatu was killed together with her husband.  Can you tell us their names?

Isatu Jalloh:    Yes, Osman Sesay and Mariatu.  I cannot tell the surname of the woman.

Mr. Charm:        Apart from the two people that were killed, did they kill other people.

Isatu Jalloh:        I know some and I do not know some.  A lot of people were killed.

Mr. Charm:    You said you had to run from your house was your house finally burnt down.

Isatu Jalloh:        Yes.

Bishop Humper:     We have been asking questions on clarifications.
                                    It is now your turn to ask us questions

Isatu Jalloh:    We the victims are suffering but the perpetrators are taken care of.  Why is this happening?

Bishop Jalloh:    You are not the only person asking that question.  We have to look at the whole problem from different angles.  There are two groups the victims and the perpetrators.  I do not know the rationale but what I know is this:The international community and the government are working together to achieve peace.  The implication here is that the government takes guns from the perpetrators by giving them incentives.  I must say that if the government have not done this we will not be sitting here.  The Commission knows that the Lome Peace Agreement in Article 29 says the government should set up the War Victims’ Fund.  The Commission is victim focused.  What ever the Commission will come out with, the ultimate goal is that the victims’ needs must be addressed. 

Isatu Jalloh:    We see different things happening in our camp.  We see that they bring something for the amputees.  We the war wounded suffered the same but we are not taken care of.  Is this the peace?

Bishop Jalloh:    The peace should not work that way.  What is happening is that we see that the amputee and the war wounded are all victims.  The Commission is working to bridge the gap between the amputees and war wounded.  The Commission is trying to say whether you are an amputee or war wounded the Commission is looking at all those who suffered during the war.  They should be addressed.

Isatu Jalloh:    This problem that I have now is very difficult for me to solve.  I want you to tell me how I can solve the problem.

Bishop Humper:    That is a very good question.  The Counsellor will talk to you at the end of this session.

Isatu Jalloh:        Let me stop so far, so that I can give chance to other people.

2nd Witness – Ya Alimamy Kogba

My name is Ya Alimamy Kogba.  I am a Muslim.  The oath was administered by Bishop Humper.

Bishop: We hope your contribution will give us an insight of what caused the war.
I repeat that the Commission is not a court.  Please relax and give your testimony


I am Ya Alimamy Kogba and I am a chief.  I was married to Chief Kanada Borie II. We were resident   Freetown.  At the initial time that Freetown began to feel  the wind of the crisis,  I was pregnant .  In view of the panic in town and in respect  of my pregnancy we ran for safety to our village Madina, in Tonko Limba chiefdom. While there I  began to feel the labour pains .  I am a native of Kambia.  I went to my relations for delivery.  After delivery, my husband came and collected me and we went to Freetown.  Because of the high level of  the general feeling of insecurity  ,we went back to Madina.Now,  seven days after my delivery my husband was telling me that he was not feeling well.  He was observing his fast.  He had asked me to light the lamp.  My child needed some attention so I did not have the chance to light the lamp at once. Although by then we were using a generator but since the moon was shining we did not put it on. Now,two boys came to ask for my husband and I told them my husband had gone for prayers.  My husband asked me, “I told you to go and call one Pa Alimamy, have you done that ?”  I told him Pa Alimamy came but he was not around.  Whenever he wanted to break a fast he used grape fruit first. So I gave it to him.  My child was still crying.  My mate was fasting too.  My husband sat on the chair after returning from prayers.  I was trying to dress my child when I heard gunshots.  I ran and went behind the kitchen.  The gunshots continued.I went and sought refuge in the shade of one banana tree.  Then people started running in different directions. I asked the people were was my husband and they told me that my husband had fled.  I left my child and went to the bush.  In the bush I told my husband’s friend to collect my child for me.  By then I had sustained a foot injury.I said to myself “where should I go.”  One of my husband’s brothers took me to my mother-in-law’s village at Mabane.  When the old woman saw me, she asked for her son.  I said, “I don’t know your child’s whereabouts”.  One man told me that he was fired.    I wanted to go and see for myself.  I was locked into a room and they refused to let me go.  They told me that the rebels are looking for me.  I pretended that I wanted to ease myself.  I then went into the bush.  I met some people with bundles on their heads.   I met my husband in a pool of blood.  I said to him….  It was that from that moment they took me to my village in Kambia.  By then my foot was swollen.  My mate was screaming because she too was shot.  They brought me to Kambia and I stayed there for a while.  I told them that my man was not dead but had a broken leg.  I was fooled until I was taken to Freetown. I was in Freetown when the ECOMOG intervention force came in.Later on I was at Calaba Town and the rebels entered again.  One day the rebels told us that today we are “going to put our last decision”.  We saw people whose hands were chopped off.  They started burning houses.  Wherever we turned, we saw houses set ablaze.I took my children,put my luggage on my head and we continued.  On our way, we saw them.  We went to the National stadium.  I was there until my husband’s friend said I should go to Guinea.  I said I should go back to Tonko to clarify something.  My relations told me that I should not go to Tonko.  After that, my brother-in-law took me to Tonko.  There,my late husband’s burial rite was done.  My relations insisted that I shall not stay there.  I went to Kambia because I lost my father a long ago.  The man taking care of me was my uncle.    The rebels came back and attacked at night.  We ran and passed through a stream because there was nothing we could do for they had surrounded the town.  I was with my younger sister.  When we were going my child fell into the water and almost drowned.   I was just screaming.  One man took my child out of the stream.   The old man helped me until we reached the safe shores.  I had sustained much injury to my body and, whatever was as at then left of my property ,because it the first time that I had to run for dear life through a stream.The child was having difficulty breathing and he was taken to MSF.  The child later died.  They took us to Pamlap.  We were there for six months. I was mourning for my late husband and the rebels attacked us again.  The rebels held my younger sister’s husband and told him to carry load for them.  When he said resisted, he was tied and shot dead. After that time,I had an injury on my head which I sustained through a stray bullet.  One Doctor Balla helped me and I did not pay him.  MSF did a lot without any payment.  We were there and the rebels promised to attack again. We went to Conakry and later they said all Sierra Leoneans should leave Conakry.  We joined the boat and went back to Freetown.  That is all I have.

Bishop Humper:        We will want to ask you questions for clarifications. 

Commissioner Jow:    We want to join the Chairman to thank you for coming here.  We are sorry for what happened to you.  Not that we have any doubt about your testimony but we need to make some clarifications.Can you tell us where you lived at the time of the incident?

 Ya A. Kogba:        Yes.  I was in my husband’s village, in Madina in Tonko Limba Chiefdom.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you remember the full name of your husband?

Ya A. Kogba:        Yes. 

Commissioner Jow:    In your testimony you said he was killed by two rebel boys.

Ya A.Kogba:    No I did not see anybody because I was in the room with my child.  I heard only the gun shots.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you have any reason why they came straight to your house?

Ya A. Kogba:    I do not know of any reason. And by then everybody was trying to escape.

Prof.Kamara:    I say thanks to you for your testimony.  Like other women you suffered a lot during the war.  You also mentioned an old man who helped you with your child.  Do you know the fate of that old man?

Ya A.Kogba:        I used to see him.  He is still alive.

Prof.Kamara:        Where is he?

Ya A.Kogba:        He is in Kambia

Prof.Kamara:        You mentioned of your other children.  What happened to them?

Ya A.Kogba:    I lost the one that fell into the river because of the difficulties the child went through downing a lot of water when he fell into the stream.  We went late to the village.   The child could not make it and he died.

Prof.Kamara:        You said your sister’s husband was shot.  Was he killed?

Ya A. Kogba:        Her husband was killed?

Prof.Kamara:        Where is your sister now?

Ya A. Kogba:        She is with me; but she has gone to the village.

Prof.Kamara:        Where do you stay now?

Ya A. Kogba:        I am staying with my friend.

Prof.Kamara:        Who supports your living?

Ya A.Kogba:    There is no means of survival.  I do it myself because that is the only way I support my children?

Prof.Kamara:        You said you were shot on the leg what is the state of the leg?

Ya A. Kogba:        I was not shot, but I sustained serious leg injuries.

Prof.Kamara:        Do you still feel the pain ?

Ya A. Kogba:        No. I used strong ointment to ease the pain.

Prof.Kamara:        Have you seen anyone to treat you?

Ya A. Kogba:    For now the only thing I do is that I take tetanus treatment every three months.

Prof.Kamara:        I am really sorry for what happened to you.

Bishop Humper:    It is a pity and you have my sincere sympathy  for what happened to you.You said your husband was a chief.  It is our understanding that the chiefs were targeted for some reason or another.  Can you tell us the relationship that existed between your late husband and the people  prior to the war?

Ya A. Kogba:    I was staying in Freetown. I was not staying there.  I do not actually know about it.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Can you please tell us the name of your sister’s husband that was shot dead ?

Ya A. Kogba:        Yes.  He is O’Foday.

Bishop Humper:    This is your opportunity to ask questions or make recommendations to the Commission.

Ya A. Kogba:        I will want to know why they set up the TRC.

Bishop Humper:    It will take me one hour to answer the question.  The TRC was established on the negotiating table at the Lome Peace Talks. In Article 9 of that document it has a blanket amnesty for the war.  The UN realized the implications of a blanket amnesty and suggested that a body be set up to look into the testimony of perpetrators and victims.  It was decided that a body be formed to look into the causes and effects of the war as the war would not have occurred without causes.  In Article 26 in the Lome Accord, it has the formation of the TRC.  On February 2000 the Act was passed in Parliament.Its primary purpose is to ensure healing and reconciliation without which there could be a repeat of what happened.  Because of what happened in South Africa, Yasmin Sooka was sent to work with us.   The TRC stands for the truth, bringing together victims and perpetrators to move the process ahead.

Ya A. Kogba:    I want to appeal to government for the education of my children.  Our people are home less and some live in the camps.  I appeal to the government to build  houses for them.

3rd Witness – Adama Koroma

My name is Adama Koroma. I am a Muslim.  Bishop Humper administered the oath.

Bishop Humper:    Adama we are glad you are here to talk to us.  I believe that you have been wondering why this should happen to you.  You have now the opportunity to come before the Commission.   Please be calm and relax to tell us your experience.


We were sitting in the veranda.  It was dawn at that time and we heard gunshots.  We ran and went into the bush.  We walked till morning and we reached a village called Babafora.  We were there for two months and we ran again.  We entered inside the bush.  We took a week in the bush and my husband said we have to go back to town.  We went to town.  This time we went to Babafora ;as were unable to go to where we came from.  We stayed there till 11:00pm.  As we shut the door we heard the rebels.  They were hitting the door.  They used such as “bastards open.”  My husband was afraid.  I opened the door and they held me.  They asked me for my husband.  I told them that my husband was not around.  By then my husband was under the bed.  They went in and brought him out.  They got a lot of us.  They had twenty-six of us and I was the only the woman.  They told me to put my hand forward and I did that.  They chopped off the hand.  They said I should put the other hand.  I said, “can’t you leave the other hand with me as I am a woman.”  They said “no.”  They chopped the other hand.  They hit me with the machete and they said “go you bastard.”  They lined up the men and they chopped off there two hands. My husband’s two hands and ears were chopped off.  I went into the bush.  I was there until ECOMOG came.  They took me and brought me to Freetown.   I took one week in Freetown.  I did not know that my husband’s two hands were chopped off.  They chopped off the two hands and the two ears.  We were there till we got better.  He told me that he was not going to live longer.  On January 6th I was at the Aberdeen Road Camp; after two months my husband died.    Before his death he told me that he will not be able to bear the pain because nobody will assist each other.   I stayed in that camp with my children.  I was there and then they built a camp for us.  They brought us to Matamatma Camp where houses were built for us.  We are there but we are still struggling.   When I was with my two hands I worked for myself;s but now that I have one hand I have nothing to do.  If you ask me today this is what happened to me because as I explained I am feeling it.  My husband who used to help me had been killed.  I wouldn’t have explained if it were not for the Commission.  As I am explaining it is all coming back to me.  I still feel the pain.  This is my story. 

Bishop Humper:     We want to thank you for your cooperation.  This morning I said it is painful to recall these experiences.  I want you to know that the whole world is listening to what we are doing here. 

Commissioner Jow:    I say thanks to you for coming here.  We admire you for your courage and bravery.  As the Chairman had said you speak for all the women.  We sympathize with you and we hope that you continue to liveIn your written testimony you spoke about the group called AFRC.

Adama Koroma:    I do not know the people because they attacked us at night.  They were putting on combat uniform.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you remember the period

Adama Koroma:        In 1998

Commissioner Jow:    You said 25 men were captured.  Were all the men captured at the same place?

Adama Koroma:        There were some strangers amongst those that were captured.

Commissioner Jow:    Did they also suffer amputations?

Adama Koroma:        Some of them, their two hands were chopped off and some one hand.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you remember what they said to you when they did this horrible act?

Adama Koroma:        They did not say anything.

Commissioner Jow:    You made mention of somebody helping you when your husband died.

Adama Koroma:        He is Alpha Kanu.  He is also an amputee.

Commissioner Jow:    What help did he render to you?

Adama Koroma:        He was assisting me till he decided to marry me.

Commissioner Jow:    Are you still together ?

Adama Koroma:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    You told me you have three children; where are they?

Adama Koroma:        They are all alive.  Mohamed Kanu, Fatmata and Adama

Commissioner Jow:    Are they going to school?

Adama Koroma:    Yes.  The girl is five years.  The Seven- Year old, I lost his father following the unfortunate incident and, the other is two and a half years.

Commissioner Jow:    How do you support these children?

Adama Koroma:    When I was at Aberdeen Camp, I begged for alms but now in Makeni they do not go to school because I have nothing.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you have any instructional materials in the camp?

Adama Koroma:        Yes. 

Commissioner Yasmin Sooka: Thank you for sharing with us your experience.  I know it is painful to take you back to this horrible incident.

Commissioner Sooka:    Can you tell us what language the rebels spoke?

Adama Koroma:        They were speaking krio.

Commissioner Sooka:    They caught you and the 25 men; did they come with a specific intension to amputate you  ?

Adama Koroma:        They did not say it but they had machetes in their hands. 

Commissioner Sooka:    After your hand was amputated, you went into the bush , did you find out about the others through your husband or you saw the others amputated ?

Adama Koroma:    When they brought us out we were counted first.  Some of them died because they could not bear the pains. I can call their names:Musa Marah  -  my husband ;Alpha kargbo,Mohamed Turay ,and Seray Dankay.These are all I know.  We used know each other.

Commissioner Jow:    In your statement you said you were given a message when your hand was chopped off?

Adama Koroma:    Yes, it was a message.  Even without saying anything when they see you they will know that the rebels chopped off your hand.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you still remember those who did that to you?

Adama Koroma:        I did not see them; because, we were attacked at night.

Commissioner Professor John Kamara: Adama we sympathize with you but we are happy that you are here to tell us your experience.  You have answered many questions.

Prof.Kamara:    You said that they cut off your left hand first and later told you to stretch out your right hand ?

Adama Koroma:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:    From what I see it was not completely chopped off.  How did you manage to get medical help and how do you use the hand?

Adama Koroma:    I am feeling the pain.  With the two hands you still have constraints.  Let alone one hand.  This is not a hand.  It is half hand.  I cannot do my own work.  When I ask for help,even my colleagues may not assist.  That is why I go to the room and talk to myself and I say: “what have I done in this world that they should chop my hand off.  I have been in my village working for myself.  I did nothing wrong to any one.  I don’t know what I have done to deserve this.  The work that you were doing for yourself you cannot do again”. 

Bishop Joseph C. Humper: I want you to use this opportunity again to share with this audience your experience.  Our work is to get the fact, the truth and to record nothing but the truth. 

Bishop Humper:    The rebels that chopped off your left hand and told you to go and see Tejan Kabba and get another hand from him  ?

Adama Koroma:        Yes.

Bishop Humper:    You said that a house has been built for you, but there are still complaints.

Adama Koroma:    Yes.  The house is not enough.  We can’t go into the house with empty stomach.  They give us bulgur.The perpetrators that did this to us are given bags of rice but, we are given only bulgur as if we are animals.

Bishop Humper:    Did I hear you say you are the chair person of the camp.  If it is true what kind of work are you doing?

Adama Koroma:    The work I am doing there is this kind of work.   I lead the women’s wing and anything that concerns the women in camp, I represent them.
Leader of Evidence  : Ms.   Lydia  Apori-Nkansah

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    I have no question

Bishop Humper:        Adama it is your own turn to ask questions

Adama Koroma:    We the amputees, how are we in this world now ?  I am not speaking for myself here.  The government should not leave our case behind.  It is not for us, it is for our children.  If my child  grows up and asks me who chopped off my hand, I will say : These people did it to me.  That will bring the war again.  If you say peace should come, we the amputees should bring the peace.  I can not be struggling and say that I am living in peace.  That is why our case should be pushed forward.  If our problem is left behind, the war will not end.  We the amputees we all have children.

Bishop Humper:    What kind of recommendation would you want to have so that we can incorporate it in our report.

Adama Koroma:      This is all I have to say.  We have no hands.  We should be assisted.  If we are assisted we will have peace of mind.  All our children can think for themselves now.  They ask us who chopped our hands and feet.  We have to make our children reconcile their mind. 

Bishop Humper:    The Commission is not silent with the problems of amputees in this country.   This Commission will make sure that things work straight for you in this country.  The Commission will put modalities in place in addressing amputees.I say thanks to you for all you have said.

4th Witness – Kadiatu Koroma

My name is Kadiatu Koroma.  I am a Christian.  The oath was administered by Bishop J. C. Humper.


On January 6, I left my garden.  I used to be a gardener.  I left my husband who was partially blind; he was with the children.Initially, he used to be the one involved in this business;but times have changed. Old age and sickness have taken their toll on him .So , on Monday of the week  leading to the week of the rebel attack ,while about my business, I heard this rumour of impending rebel attack.But we did not take it seriously. We all went about our business  .  I bought garri for my family .    At night the rebels attacked  Kissy, Kassel Farm, Old Road.  The rebels attacked  at night. Then they spent the whole of the day there.  There were  rebels in military uniform all over.  We were confused because people moved from one place to another.  People were carrying  machetes, guns, clubs etc.   There were gunshots all over.  People ran helter-skelter.

We went to the house of a woman named Bamba.  We went there to seek refuge.  We heard them shouting that they were going to set  the house on fire.  I said to my child, “if you have anywhere to go, please go.”  All my children were scattered.  I could not see anybody because we were surrounded and confused.  Where I went to hide, there was something like a stone that hit me under the tree.  I felt something piercing me on my shoulder.  I thought it was a mango fruit or may be a branch that got shattered and I started removing the mango or so I thought, not knowing it was my bone.  Then I cried, “Lord what have I done?  My husband what have I done?”  I know nobody what have I done?  I tried to walk but they started firing gunshots continuously.  I managed to get into a toilet and there I lost consciousness.  An old man met me in the toilet.  I was with one pair of pants and one cloth.   They said: go to Pa Kabba and he will give you a hand.  In the morning they started chopping people’s hands.  When they reached to me they told me to close my eyes.  After three days, ECOMOG told us that Calaba Town and Wellington people should leave the area.
They told us that they want to clear the areas.  I fell down where I was sitting.  A man coming from Wellington held my hand but I fell down again.  I fell down again at Kissy Road.  As we reached Fourah Bay Road, we were told that there were doctors at cottage.  I wanted to drink water but they refused to give me because I will die.  When I reached cottage, a woman called me and called Mohamed and told him to take me to her child at Will Street.   He was a doctor.  The doctor said he will not be able to do anything.  He advised that I should be taken to Connaught.  They brought me back.  The woman who wanted to assist me put me on a push cart and I was taken to 34 Hospital.  I was unconscious at 34 Hospital.  I did not know what was going on.  Later I was loaded in a Jeep and taken to Connaught hospital.  I wanted to drink water but I was told that I will die if I drank water.  I was given drip on the other hand.  I removed the drip from my hand because I was thirsty.  Then blood started oozing and maggots started coming out of my hand.  The other morning, my son came to Connaught hospital and told me that the house was completely burnt.  He told me that his father was not at home and the place was surrounded by ECOMOG soldiers.  I was at Connaught hospital and treated but they had to do skin grafting.  I cannot use the other hand as it does not function well.You may ask :Is this all I have?  This is all I have.   I do not have much.

Bishop Humper : We have heard what you have said.  I can only imagine the atrocities that you  have gone through.

Prof.Kamara:    We need to ask questions to get a clear idea of what transpired and who took part in the war.Did you say; you were told or that you were informed one week before the rebel attack?

Mrs. K. Koroma:    It took one week after I had gone to the garden, when I was told that the rebels were going to attack the town.

Prof.Kamara:    When you heard that the rebels are coming did anybody go and tell ECOMOG that rebels were coming?

Mrs. K.Koroma:    ECOMOG had not yet come  to our own area at that time.  They came after the rebels had entered.

Prof.Kamara:        Did anybody go and tell the police that rebels were coming?

Mrs. K. Koroma:        No

Prof.Kamara:    When you said that your hand was chopped off and it took three days before ECOMOG came,is that correct?

Mrs. K. Koroma:        Yes, it is true.

Prof.kamara:   When ECOMOG realized that you were wounded, did they assist you ?

Mrs. K. Koroma:        When I reached cottage ECOMOG managed to take me to Hospital.

Prof.Kamara:        How did you get to cottage?

Mrs. K. Koroma:    I walked,though with the support of certain individuals.There was no vehicle.  I fell severally on my way.  There were lots of people.

Commissioner Sooka:    You mentioned in your testimony that the rebels attacked at night but you also said you did not know the difference because they were all in combat uniforms.  My question is, do you not know the difference between them?

Mrs. K. Koroma:    I do not know anything.  I know only rebels.  I do not even know Freetown.I was only taken there by my husband. 

Commissioner Sooka:    What language did they speak?

Mrs. K. Koroma:    I could not even look at them.  I do not know the language they were speaking.  In Limba country we do not know about this.

Commissioner Jow:    We have listened to what you have said.  It is a moving testimony.When this thing happened to you, were other people there or were you alone?

Mrs. K. Koroma:    We were many.  There were many other people. It was at night and I can remember  when my hand was chopped off and how I got to the Cottage Hospital

Commissioner Jow:    What happened to your children?

Mrs. K. Koroma:        Nothing happened to them but their father was  killed.

Commissioner Jow:    Did your children know of what happened to you.

Mrs. K. Koroma:    They came to know about this when they got to Connaught.  One of them said: “This is not my mother.  My mother is not like that.”

Commissioner Jow:    Are you still staying at Grafton ?

Mrs. K. Koroma:        I  now stay at Teko Road where a camp has been built for us.

Commissioner Jow:    How are you feeling now?

Mrs. K. Koroma:    I feel the pain.  Even for the whole of today I have continued to feel the pain.

Bishop Humper:    Is it true according to your records that your husband was burnt alive in the house.

Mrs. K. Koroma:        He was burnt alive in the house with all our properties.

Bishop Humper:        Where are you children now

Mrs. K. Koroma:        They are in Freetown now since I do not have anything.

Bishop Humper:        Who are they leaving with now?

Mrs. K. Koroma:        They are with their uncle.

Bishop Humper:        How many of them?

Mrs.K.Koroma:        Three.

Bishop Humper:        How old are they

Mrs. K.Koroma:        I am not sure of their ages.  All the documents were burnt.

Bishop Humper:        Who is helping you to pay their fees?

Mrs. K. Koroma:        Their uncle is paying their fees.

Leader of Evidence  :  Abdulai   Charm

Mr.Charm:        Can you tell us the name of your late husband?

Mrs. K. Koroma:        Bockarie Sesay.

Bishop Humper:        Kadiatu, do you have any questions ?

Mrs. K. Koroma:    What I want you to do for me is that I want you to assist me and my children.  The camp where I stay there is no water, no sufficient food.  When I was in Freetown I usually begged for alms; but now I know nobody here. 

Bishop Humper:    Thank you for spending this afternoon with us. All your recommendations will be included in the document.

5th Witness – Alex Santigie Kamara

My name is Alex S. Kamara.  I am a Christian.  The oath was administered by Bishop J. C. Humper.

Bishop Humper:           I wish to welcome you on behalf the commission.You will be the last witness for today.  We believe you and other people who have given testimonies are helping this Commission in pushing its work forward.  We know it is painful giving these statements but it is good in order to bring us together.  In this vein we encourage you all to give your testimony.


On the 3rd march 1999, I was in Freetown when I received a serious message that my child has been killed at Port Loko.  On the following day the 4th I passed through Lungi and went to Port Loko. By the time I got there, he had already been buried.  I asked my brother who is working at the Port Loko Teachers’ College how my child died.  He said my child was trying to travel to Makeni .When he reached  the lorry park some CDF called him.  They built a hut outside Bai Bureh hall.  They called the child and asked him where he was going.  They said “we are not going to release you.  You are one of the rebels from Makeni and you are trying to go back.”  They undressed him, tied him and took him to the back of the hall at Port Loko.  He was beaten with sticks until he died.  At the back of the hall along barracks road, they dug the gutter and buried him there.  When I asked my brother who sent the message to him that my child was killed?  He told me: “people themselves came and told me that one rebel was killed.”  My brother went to look at the body.  He then said that it was his brother’s child that was killed.  

When I reached Port Loko I was not able to identify anybody, all of them had left.  In Makeni I investigated matters concerning my son’s death.  I understood that in Makeni my son and one of his school mates Kayimbo had a conflict.  Kayimbo was at Port Loko heading the CDF squad.  He and my son had a conflict because of a woman and it was this Kayimbo who ordered his men to call my child. When he came, he ordered his men to tie the boy and he was the first to hit my son. It is painful.  My son was attending a secondary school and he was in form 2.  Now, I have lost him.

Bishop Humper:  This is a short but moving experience.As parents we know what that means.

Prof.Kamara:    Thank you very much for sharing that experience.  This story is one that is different.  It is not one that happened in the conflict itself.  So it is one that needs to be examined. 

Did you say the name of the man you suspected for the crime is Mohamed Kayimbo?  

Alex.S. Kamara:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:    You said you investigated for your self; why did you think it was Kayimbo?

Alex. S. Kamara:    Kayimbo was the one who went and told my brother that my son was dead. He was the leader of the CDF group  that  killed my son.

Prof.Kamara:         Was that the reason why you suspected him?

Alex. S. Kamara:    Yes.  The other thing is; he fought with my son  over a woman. 

Prof.Kamara:        What was Kayimbo’s position in the CDF?

Alex.S. Kamara:        He was a commando of the CDF in Port Loko.

Prof.Kamara:        Was your son going to school in Makeni here?

Alex. S. Kamara :    Yes.

Prof.Kamara:        What happened when they fought?

Alex. S. Kamara:    My son was very healthy.  During the fight he beat kayimbo.

Prof.Kamara:    Because your son and Kayimbo fought he went to Port Loko and heads the CDF and when your son went to Port Loko, he pointed your son out as a rebel?

Alex.S.Kamara:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:       We are going to contact Kayimbo and tell him that you have called his name. Let him come and clarify issues.

Alex.S. Kamara:        I do not know the actual address.  But I know his area.

Commissioner Sooka:     How old was your son at the time.

Alex. S.Kamara:        27 years

Commissioner Sooka:      To your knowledge was he before his death a member of any armed group  ?

Alex. S. Kamara:    He was also a CDF member at Makeni.  When the rebels entered he came to Freetown to meet me.

Commissioner Sooka:    When you found out that Kayimbo killed your son, did you approach your son’s commander of the CDF unit here in Makeni?

Alex. S. Kamara:    By that time my son was no longer a member of the CDF.  He was in Freetown.  I gave him some money to take to his mother who lived in Makeni.  He passed through Port Loko and there he was killed by Kayimbo.

Commissioner Sooka:      Did you ever meet Kayimbo and ask him questions about your son’s death?

Alex. S. Kamara:    When I reached Port Loko, Kayimbo heard about my arrival and he ran away with his group. 

Commissioner Jow:    Did you say your son was a student?

Alex. S. Kamara:    Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    In your same testimony you said he was going to school and he was 27 years old.

Alex. S. Kamara:    Yes

Commissioner Jow:      Can you tell us if he was in high school

Alex. S. Kamara:      He was in form 2

Commissioner Jow:      Was he going to school in Makeni

Alex. S. Kamara:    Yes.

Commissioner Jow:      What was he doing in Port Loko at that time?

Alex. S. Kamara:       We were in Freetown I sent and him to bring money to his mother in  Makeni .  He passed through Port Loko

Commissioner Jow:      Are you ready to reconcile with Kayimbo ?

Alex. S. Kamara:      That is why I gave my testimony.  Other than that I would have kept quiet.

Commissioner Jow:      Were you able to give your son a befitting burial?

Alex. S. Kamara:      I performed all the ceremony.  I prayed for him to prepare a way for me.

Bishop Humper:    We will ask our Regional Coordinator to try by all possible means to find Kayimbo.  You have said your own version but we will try by all possible means for you to reconcile with Kayimbo.  Do you want us to make the peace in public or behind closed door?

Alex S. Kamara:      Which ever way you want it.

Bishop Humper :    We know how you feel.  We feel sorry for you.  We hope that by the time you leave here you will have peace of mind.  We want to thank you for cooperating with us.  You will be contacted by us before we leave here.  We want to thank you.

Alex. S. Kamara:    I am asking this Commission to look into my condition.  I am a poor teacher.  I want the Commission to look into everything; so that those who have been left behind will be educated.

Bishop Humper:    We thank you.  It is one of the recommendations we have been getting from people.  We assure you we will take it into consideration. 


1st – Witness – Pa Kapri N’jai

My name is Pa Kapri N’jai.  I am a Muslim. Commissioner  Prof. J. Kamara administered the oath.

Prof.Kamara:  Pa Kapri you have come here voluntarily.  We know that it was not an easy decision to make but having come we want to assure you that this is not a court.  It is a peace commission that is likely to bring about reconciliation.  Therefore, we will like you to relax and tell us your experience.  Go ahead and tell us your experience.


In the name of Allah.  At the time when the rebels were in the bush they came and burnt our town.  They came and burnt Bendembu and we were in Bendembu for three days.  They left there and burnt Matebo.  We were in the bush.  We were there and they came out and stayed at Kabala.  We were in the bush for four months.  They sent for us that we should return.  We were with the rebels and we did things in common.  They punished us and took our property.  I was crowned in 1964 along with other paramount chiefs.  All we worked for from the time we were crowned was burnt and looted.   We were tasked to feed them.  If you did not do it, they would beat you or you would be killed.  We were forced to feed them.  One man, whose name was Tyson a native of Makeni, sent for me at round 9:00am one morning.  He said I was close to the Paramount Chief.  He said I should give him three hundred and forty thousand Leones.  I said I do not have it and he said we were the ones killing the rebels.  He ordered me to take off my shirt and to sit on the floor; he poured water on the floor.  I sat there and he took a G3 gun and placed it into my mouth and passed it on to my throat.   When I was shouting my elder daughter named Eba Sesay and my wife Iye Conteh, she is dead now, came and gave Tyson Le50,000.  Tyson then released me.  He asked me to show him my old name before I was crowned.Since it has been a long time and with so much happening in a man’s life ,I could not recollect. He took out a knife and pressed it on my chest.  He said tome, “get up” and, he asked me to “lie down”.  In the morning he invited me.  Tyson, War bus and his wife told me to forgive them as they have come to fight the rebel war.

As things are now, if I eat an orange ,blood will stain the orange.  If the beef is not well cooked, I will not be able to chew it.  The poison of that gun has spread all over my body.  If I am asked here today; this is what I have to say!

Prof.John Kamara: You are courageous enough to reveal that area in telling us your story.  You have given us your experience and we need to ask you some questions so that we can fully understand.  We will ask you questions so that we can fully understand what happened.

Bishop Humper:    We want to thank you for coming here.  We want to start of by putting your experience in a context.  According to our record you said this happened in 1999.

Pa K.N’jai:        I am not an educated man.  I cannot recall exactly when it happened.

Bishop Humper:        When did it happen to you?

Pa K. N’Jai:    It was before the “cease fire”.  That was why I said if after the “cease fire”  am asked, I will explain what happened.

Bishop Humper:        What group did this to you?

Pa K. N’jai:    The rebels.  The commander was called War Bus.  Tyson was the second in command.

Bishop Humper:    You said somebody told you that Sgt. Musa’s group burnt your house.  Who was that somebody?

Pa K. N’jai:    My brother that was captured, Abdul N’jai, told me.  His hand was chopped off.

Bishop Humper:    You said you were crowned a ceremonial chief and you were asked to do so many things and if you did not perform they will come back to you.  Is that correct?

Pa K. N’jai:        Yes.

Bishop Humper:        What were some of those things that you did?

Pa K. N’jai:        They were asking us for food and I was tasking people.

Bishop Humper:    Do you know that because they did bad things to you that is why you are here?

Pa K.N’jai:        Yes.

Bishop Humper:        Do you know that you are a perpetrator?

Pa K. Njai:        I am not sure about that.

Commissioner Jow:    We thank you for coming here today.  You came of your own free will.  This shows that you are ready to join hands with the Commission.  The questions we ask are to make some clarification on your testimonyYou spoke about burning of houses and you were not around when your house was burnt.  You also said Sgt. Musa’s group burnt your house.  Can you tell us about Sgt. Musa?

Pa K. N’jai:    Now, I am of the Loko ethnic origin,and speaking in the Loko language would allow me more detail  and expression. I do not know who Sgt. Musa was.

Commissioner Jow:    According to what you said you said the rebels stayed in your village and they tasked you to feed them.  You also said you did not refuse because you will be punished.  How long did the rebels stay in the village and what were the things they made you do as a Paramount Chief?

Pa K. N’jai:    The first rebel that came was called Spider and he took three months and they removed him and War Bus came and he took two months.  Then they were driven away.  They said it was the cease fire.

Commissioner Jow:    I want you to tell me the things they made you do as Paramount Chief?

Pa K. N’jai:    The contribution they asked for was that I should be with them and if I refused they will beat me.  They said I was not cooperating for their feeding.  If I go underground the people will desert the village.I was the man that gave the people the courage to stay.

Commissioner Jow:    Did you force the people to give you food and money?

Pa k. N’jai:    I was asking them and there were other people working with me to go and collect food from the people.  Those who refuse we send rebels there and asked them to pay.

CommissionerJow:    Did they ask you to give your strong boys to join them?

Pa K. N’jai:        No.

Commissioner Sooka:    We could gather from your testimony that you were asked to do many things that you would not like to do.  My colleague has asked you whether you forced people to give you food.  Were you compelled to join them in any of the operations?

Pa K. N’jai:    They nearly killed me at one time.  It means that if I refused I would be killed.  That was why they gave me rebels to accompany me to force the people to comply.  At times I did not go with them. They went themselves and forced the people.  The rebels went into the houses of people and took their properties.  If you refused you would be tied and beaten .It was their moment ;there was nowhere to seek redress.

Commissioner Sooka:    “Did you see when they burnt down houses?

Pa K. N’jai:    I did not see them.The time they were coming, people told us that the rebels were coming and on our return;we met the houses  all burnt down.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did they kill or punish anybody in your presence?

Pa K. N’jai:    We saw an old woman lying dead on the ground.  Her name was Ya Fatu.  As we were going we also saw an old man dead.  His name was Pa Santigie.  It  is against  custom for me to see corpses.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you know that the people in your village think that you were with the rebels?

Prof. Kamara:       We want to know about some of the people you have named.  Do you know    what happened to Tyson?  Is he still alive?

Pa K. N’jai:        I heard that he is in Freetown

Prof. Kamara:           Will you be able to identify him?

Pa K. N’jai:        If he is here now, I will identify him.

Prof. Kamara:         What about Sgt. Musa?

Pa K. N’jai:    I did not see him with my eyes.  The ones I saw were Tyson and War Bus.

Prof. Kamara :         What was the other name of War Bus?

Pa K. N’jai:        He was Major War bus.

Prof. Kamara:         Are your family members all with you?

Pa K. N’jai:        Yes; but my wife is dead.

Prof. Kamara:         Not in the hands of rebels.

Pa K. N’jai:        No.

Prof. Kamara:     In 1999 when CDF was established all over the country, did you have them to protect you?

Pa K. N’jai:    Except when Kamajors were sent to Kalamba.  I left Makeni for kalamba.  The first people sent there were Pa Foday and Pa Johnson.

Prof. Kamara:         Did they help to drive the rebels?

Pa K. N’jai :        When they heard that  the SLA had taken Makeni, they pulled out.

Prof. Kamara:         The CDF did not engage the rebels at all in Kalamba?

Pa K. N’jai:        No 

Commissioner Sooka:    You told us that Tyson is in Makeni now .Have you  seen him?

Pa K. N’jai:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    Where and when?

Pa K. N’jai:    I saw Tyson about 4 months ago.  He told me to buy him rum.  I abused him.  He said “a pa” and then he left.  Since that time I have not seen him.  At that time the cease fire was clearly in place ;so I had the chance to say anything I cared to him.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us why Tyson did not succeed when he tried to kill you?

Pa K. N’jai:        Divine intervention!

Commissioner Jow:    Is that why he left you?

Pa K. N’jai:        He told me to go and lie down.

Prof.Kamara:    Now that you have told us that Tyson is around will you be willing to reconcile with him?

Pa K. N’jai:        Since you have come with peace I will do it.  We too want peace.

Leader of  Evidence :      Ms. Lydia  Apori-Nkansah

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    You have mentioned to us that your town was burnt down.  Can you tell us the extent of damage done to your town?

Pa K. N’jai:    86 houses were burnt to the ground at Kalamba.  All I know when Kalamba was burnt more houses were burnt at Bendembu.Bendembu was better than what they did at Mateboya.  I cannot give you the precise  number of houses burnt in the other villages.

Commissioner Jow:    What would you recommend to  the Commission in order to foster peace in your village ?

Pa K. N’jai:    What I want to say is  that the gun that was put into my mouth the poison scattered within my body.  They burnt down our town: school, barrie2 and office were all burnt down.  My appeal to the government is to assist in building these again for us.As I am presently sick I want to ask if you can help me.  I want you to assist our chiefdom.  I am pleading  your  help .

Prof.Kamara:    We can not say anything to say to you now unless you make your requests specific.  Once we have that then we will know what to say.

Pa K. N’jai:    I have said it all.  As I sit here I am sick.But we are all here for peace. Otherwise,why should I be reconciled with a man like Tyson when every single orange that I eat and the blood stains on it rudely reminds me of him?  So I want you to help rebuild my chiefdom; so that it can be what it was before.  The Paramount Chief is sick and cannot walk.  The speaker is also sick and I am the youngest.

Prof.Kamara:    As you have said you are the Pa Kapri in the chiefdom. The recommendations that you have made are not different from what other people have said.  We will do our best as a result of your present condition to have a counsellor to talk to you.  Our staff will talk to you later on in the course of our duty.I want to say thanks and wish you the very best in your endeavour.

2nd – Witness – Zainab Kanu
My name is Zainab Kanu.  I am a Muslim.Commissioner  Prof. Kamara administered the oath.

What you have come to say here is done voluntarily, having considered all the circumstances. I want you to know that this is not a court and any thing you say here will not be taken to court.  What we expect is to reconcile you with whoever you have any dispute with.  Please relax and tell us what you have to say.


My people, good afternoon.  I am about to say what RUF did to me.  I hail from Bendembu Nuwahun Chiefdom.  When the RUF went to Bendembu, they were training men at that time.   We went in search of food.  We were not aware that rebels were in town.  When returning in the afternoon, we fell into an ambush.  We were held.  They asked us to cook for them.  We did as we were told.  As we were serving the food, a helicopter gunship came and passed by and we all scattered. I tried , unfortunately, I was unable to run away and  was captured again.  One boy came and said he loves me.  The other one said no. He said forcefully she is mine.  He held me and I was with him.  At night he took me to a room and asked me to go to bed with him.  I refused.  He forced me and put me on the ground.  At that time my family were in the bush.  There was no way my family could come to town.  I was with them for a while until after the training.  At that time I was pregnant.  We moved to Kono and slept at YSS* compound.  We were there till my pregnancy was 9 months and I was delivered.  As I delivered, my father went to Kono to look for me.  He went to another man called Fambulleh. He was the commander of the man who held me.  He met Fambulleh about my affairs and said he wanted to see me.  Fambulleh told him that he was not the owner of me.  The owner is here.  My father and his brother went to him.  They went to Alhaji.  As my father was talking to Alhaji they told him to lower his voice.  He was asked if I was a captured.  My father said yes.  He said: “Praise God your daughter was not killed.  The one she is staying with if he is willing to release your daughter she is yours”.  My father went to Fambulleh.  As Fambulleh saw my dad he went away.    My father was given food to eat.  After eating he asked for me.  He was asked to go and speak with them.   My father told them that “this man captured my daughter at Bendembu and brought my daughter to Kono and he did not pay any bride price.  What I want is my daughter and let this man stay with his own child.”  I told my father that we should sit together and talk.  I asked the man what “you are going to give me if my father decides to leave me here for a month?”  My father said  that the man should not worry about the transportation costs  as he would take care of it.  My father said I was too young.  My father said, “I don’t want to know anything about your own child, I only want my daughter.  They said my father should ask me what my opinion was.

Then my father asked me “Zainab I have come for you.”  I said: “This is my father, I am in support of whatever he says.  My father should say thanks to you for all what you have done to me because we can not talk bad about you.  Because the child is young we do not know what the future will bring.”  I stayed for a month and when I asked him, he did not give me anything.  After they disarmed, I asked him for money but he did not give me anything.  Besides that they paid them Le300,000. I asked him to give me Le50,000.  He said he has no money.  I got up and went to my uncle at 55 by the name of Alikali Kanu.  He met me there and he gave me the Le50,000.  At that time it was Le25,000 for transportation from Makeni to Kono.  I paid Le15,000 to my village.  I had a child with me 3 months old Fambulleh.  I did not meet my mother she was taken to Freetown by my sisters.  I did not meet my dad also.  I lived on the Le15,000 and when the 15,000 finished I broke palm kernel; made nut oil out of it and sold it for my leaving.  I continued the breaking of the palm kernel for a long time till my mother came.  My mother helped to feed me and my child.  We continued like that till the child was weaned.  I said that Fambulleh has done a bad thing to me and I will go and look for him and take him to the police station.  By this time normalcy had returned and with it the rule of law. The law can again take its course.Therefore,  I boarded a bus and came to Makeni to look for him but I did not see him.  I went to Kono ; where I met my uncle.  In the morning, I went to Yengema and I met his brother Momoh.  I asked him the whereabouts of Umaru?  He said he went to their home.  I asked Momoh to show me where he lives and we took a vehicle to Gano.  We went to Masayneh where we asked about him.  They told us that he has left the village.  I had Le50 with me.  I walked till I reached Ganu.  I got a free lift and reached koidu town.  I cried to my uncle that I had nothing.  My uncle found a vehicle for me to return home.  Before I do anything harmful,I decided to report to TRC.Note:  I was attending school.  I was 15years old and was in class 5.  That is what is disturbs and makes me so sad about it all. And if he cannot think of me, let him think about his own child.

Prof.Kamara:         Zainab you have done a wonderful thing.  I believe your problem is one thecountry should solve.  Some of the things that happened during the conflict still have consequences for the people.  The nation has decided to do something concerning all what had happened.  We have listened to your sad story.  We need to ask you some questions.

Commissioner Sooka:  Thank you for sharing your testimony with us We need to ask you questions to know what happened to you because the Commission has a mandate to make recommendations for women and girls. They have destroyed your education and your life is in turmoil .How old were you at the time you were  abducted?  

Zainab Kanu:        I was 16years plus when I was abducted.

Commissioner Sooka:    How many other girls were abducted with you?

Zainab Kanu:        Three of us.

Commissioner Sooka:    What happened with you if you refused to have sex with them?

Zainab Kanu:        Even if you refused they would go ahead and  do it by force.

Commissioner Sooka:    Were you  raped  by  more than one person or  just this one man?

Zainab Kanu:        It was only the one man who abducted me.

Commissioner Sooka:    How long did you stay with him?

Zainab Kanu:        Two years plus.
Commissioner Sooka:    Was he kind or cruel to you?

Zainab Kanu:        At first he was nice to me and later he treated me badly.

Commissioner Sooka:    What did he do to you?

Zainab Kanu:        We fought virtually every time.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did he force you to work for him?

Zainab Kanu:    He did not force me to work for him.  Sometimes he misbehaved and beat me.

Commissioner Sooka:    During the time you stayed with him did he take any drug?

Zainab Kanu:        No.  I do not know.But he never took any in my presence.

Commissioner Sooka:    He never tried to force you to take any drug?

Zainab  Kanu:        No

Commissioner:    During the time you were with him did he force you to take part in any operations?

Zainab Kanu:        No

Commissioner Sooka:    You mentioned that you stayed in one place until the training was over.  Can you tell us about the training?

Zainab Kanu:    I was an ordinary civilian amongst them.  The training was not done in town.  I did not see where the training was going on.  In the evening they returned to town.

Commissioner Sooka:    You said your father visited you. How old was the baby at that time?

Zainab Kanu:        The child was then  a month  old .

Commissioner Sooka:    Did you want to stay with the man or wanted to return home with your father?

Zainab Kanu:        I was ready to return home because all was not well.

Commissioner Sooka:    During your delivery did you have a nurse to help you or were you alone?

Zainab Kanu:        I had a nurse.

Commissioner Sooka:    Where did the nurse come from?

Zainab Kanu:    The nurse was a civilian.  She was in town that particular time and she likes me.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did he rape again you during the time that you stayed with him?

Zainab Kanu:        I was with him and anytime he wanted, he did it.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you have any health problems?

Zainab Kanu:        I have problem.

Commissioner Sooka:    Can you tell us a little bit about that

Zainab Kanu:    I have problem with my foot.  If I sit for a long time, it will go numb.I also have a problem with my right hand.  At one time we fought and he beat me on my right hand.

CommissionerJow:    You have given us an insight of how girls suffered.  We are happy to note that you have returned and you want to move on , to continue your life.  You have your mother and father to assist you.  You said you were abducted.  How many of you were abducted?

Zainab Kanu:            Three of us.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us if the other girls were equally abducted into wives?

Zainab Kanu:        They ran away the next day.

Commissioner Jow:    Were you from the same village?

Zainab Kanu:        Yes

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell me where you stayed during the 2 years?

Zainab Kanu:        YSS compound

Commissioner Jow:    Where there other girls there?

Zainab Kanu:        Yes.  Some of them were wives and others work for them.

CommissionerJow:    Can you tell us how the YSS was organized as a rebel base?

Zainab Kanu:    I do not know . I was a civilian amongst them.  They do not allow us to know their business.

Commissioner Jow:    Did they train people at YSS?

Zainab Kanu:    They did not train people there; but that was where we usully retired to at night

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us how many people were in YSS.

Zainab Kanu:        I do not know.

Commissioner Jow:    Were there young boys amongst them?

Zainab Kanu:        Yes all of them were young boys.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us the age of your bush husband?

Zainab Kanu:        He was 21.  His name is Umaru Lahai.

Commissioner Jow:    Did you see other girls being punished?

Zainab Kanu:        Everybody faced his or her own business.

Commissioner Jow:    We want to know what YSS looked like.

Zainab Kanu:        Every master had his own wife and bodyguard.

Commissioner Jow:    We have heard about Mammy Queen.  Did you get one in your own base?

Zainab Kanu:        There was no mammy Queen.

Commissioner Jow:    How do you feel now?

Zainab Kanu:        I feel my leg and my hand at the end of every month.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you feel annoyed or sad?

Zainab Kanu:        Just moody .I sit quiet whenever I feel some of these pains.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you have nightmares?

Zainab Kanu:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    How old is your son now?

Zainab Kanu:        He is 1year and 8 months
Commissioner Jow:     If I got you right, he was given his father’s name ?

Zainab Kanu:        No.He was given his boss man’s name.

Commissioner Jow:    When you see him does he remind you of his father?

Zainab Kanu:    Yes .    That is why  I am annoyed with him because he has refused to take his responsibility.Which is the reason why I am making this report .

Commissioner Jow:    How do you support your boy?

Zainab Kanu:        I make nut oil out of palm kernel and sell for our survival.

Commissioner Jow:    Did your community accept you?

Bishop Humper:    We are interested in your story and we are concerned about you just like all the others.  I want you to know that this Commission unlike other commissions is particular about women and girls.  This Commission is given a special mandate to look into the violation of women and girls.  What is the name of your child?

Zainab Kanu:        He is Ibrahim Fambulleh.

Bishop Humper:    We are now talking about the condition and circumstances in which you were held captive and you have your child named after the commander.  It is possible that you will never see the Commander or Umaru.  Are you and your parents thinking of giving the child another name?  

Zainab Kanu:        Yes

Bishop Humper:        What do you do presently?

Zainab Kanu:        I do not do anything now

Bishop Humper:        Are you thinking of getting involved in doing skills training?

Zainab Humper:        Yes

Bishop Humper:    Talking about your child you said he reminds you of Umaru Lahai? Are you still in love with him?

Zainab Kanu:        No

Bishop Humper:     You said that the only thing you have against him is because he did not support the child.  Am I correct?

Zainab Kanu:    Because he does not support my child that is why I do not love him.  If I stay with him he will do the same thing.  I am poor and I want you to assist me and my family.

Bishop  Humper:    What if Lahai supports your child, will you like to see him again?

Zainab Kanu:    Let Lahai support his child. I do not want to stay with him any longer.  Yesterday we ate porridge at home.

Bishop  Humper:    Do you know where Fambulleh is?

Zainab Kanu:        I do not know where Fambulleh is at present.

Bishop Humper:        Did Fambulleh know that your child was given that name?

Zainab Kanu:        Yes.  His wife gave the child that name.

Bishop Humper:    Now you are thinking of changing the name of the child.  Which name do you want to give him?

Zainab Kanu:        I will name him Tejan.

Bishop Humper:        Why?

Zainab Kanu:    Because I was abducted and mishandled during Tejan Kabba’s government.

Bishop Humper:        What about the child’s surname?

Zainab Kanu:        I will name him Tejan Sesay.

Bishop Humper:        Why do you want to name him Sesay?

Zainab Kanu:    I am Kanu and my mother is Sesay.  My mother is suffering with the child.  That is why I want to give him her name.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.  You mentioned to us that you were in school before you were abducted.  Do you still want to go to school?

Zainab Kanu:        I still want to go to school.  By next year I would like to learn a trade.

Ms. Apori -Nkansah:    What kind of trade?

Zainab Kanu:        Hair dressing.

Prof.Kamara:        You have done well by answering all our questions. Now, we want you to ask us questions.

Zainab Kanu:    If I see Umaru Lahai should I deal with him or should I bring him to you so that you can deal with him?

Prof. Kamara:     This question is difficult to answer.   We want to find a way to bring you together.  

Zainab Kanu:    I say so because Umaru has maltreated  me all the way  .He said that he was an RUF and a child of God,therefore,he believes  nothing will happen to him or  harm him.  I am a Loko I want Umaru to remove his trousers and walk in the streets, naked; but because you have talked to me, when I get hold of him, I will bring him to you for you to deal with him.

Prof.Kamara:        It seems you know where Umaru is.  Can you tell us?

Zainab Kanu:        Yes.  I heard he is in Tongo mining diamond.

Prof.Kamara:          Do you have any recommendations to make?

Zainab Kanu:    I want the government to help me to go to school this year.  If it is not possible I would like to be helped in skills training.  For my child I left him suffering from diarrhoea and I want the Commission to help me with drugs for my child.

Prof.Kamara:         You said you want to go to school.

Zainab Kanu:         Yes

Prof.Kamara:        You said you want to learn hairdressing.

Zainab Kanu:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:    For you child’s health we will let our staff talk to you to see what can be done.

3rd – Witness – Mohamed Augustine Brima

My name is Mohamed A. Briama.  I am a Christian.  Commissioner Prof. kamara administered the oath.


I thank you very much.  I am here to tell you of what I did and what I saw during the 10 years conflict.  I come from a place among the Eastern provinces of Sierra Leone, which is Kailahun.  The time we were still children, in the1960’s and the 1970’s our relatives used to tell us about an old man that  made a prediction about this war. His name was Salia Koroma.  He was born in one village near Kenema called Botimu.  I am not into tribalism; but I am a Mende. I am quite sure that whoever is a Mende can say that I am saying the truth.  The Pa predicted that war will come to Sierra Leone and that the war will be gruesome.  

Before I go further, I want the Commission to know that I was with the RUF and I was an Administrator within the security department from 1992 to 2001.  I was working as Chief Clerk responsible for the maintenance of law and order  among our men.  To start with, the war came to Sierra Leone through the border in Bomaru in March 23 1991. After that, the war went to where I was born in Pendembu, Kailahun District.  The war met us in April the same year.  From my village and where the war started it was just 25 miles.

When they captured my home Pendembu, we were all gathered in broad day light both young and old.  They tried to educate us about the war.  They tried to persuade us to join them.  The most important thing why they were able to convince us was that after we have joined them we will get free education, electricity supply, good roads and water supply.  During that time it happened that I have just completed my fifth form and my parents were poor and they were unable to support me further.  After that they told us that we should cooperate with them, my first responsibility within the RUF was with the rebels from Liberia.    They elected me as a town clerk.  The village is Bana.  I was working with the Lt. Commander and his deputy.  My responsibility was to ensure that whenever they come into town,that they got the food,women,meat and whatever they wanted which we have. This  was the responsibility of which I was made the coordinator.The town commander and the deputy were uneducated and were not able to control the rebels.  I was working with them.  After these rebels had eaten all the goats, sheep, fowls, and the livestock was exhausted for all practical purposes,they still continued to demand for more.I tried to talk to my people to raise some of these fowls and goats but  the rebels had no time for that sort of talk.  At that time, if you refused them something you would be dead.  In one occasion,what we gathered and gave to them they rejected it.  They took me to the road and nearly killed me ,saying that I had disgraced them.  At that time we heard that they have just killed a town commander because he did not find food for them.  I was lucky that they did not kill me.  After that, in August that same year, we saw another group of rebels and they gathered all of us in the village.  They persuaded us to go to the base and train to fight for our country. They too highlighted free education etc.

Because of my poor background which made it impossible for my parents to support my education and the rebels made promises of good opportunities if I joined them, I had to do so.  They took us to a base in Pendembu where we were trained for 3 months;both in intensive military and guerrilla warfare.  We went to the base in August and graduated in November.  My first responsibility from the base was as an adjutant to one ground commander.  I was there for a while and I was withdrawn.  I was then assigned to the office as deputy military police in January 1992.  I worked within that capacity for sometime.  After that there was a mass enemy advancement that caused us to retreat.  In Kailahun I was given the responsibility to take care of a section at Wuwawh Chiefdom in 1992.  I was later withdrawn there and assigned to the head office in Kailahun and given the responsibility of chief council.  We retreated again because of enemy advancement.  We went and found a new base at Balahun, which is ten miles from Kailahun in September 1992.  Finally in November 1992, the enemies were able to overcome us and we fled into the jungle.  We stayed in the jungle for a while and tried to make a living.  We were trying to regroup.  Within that time the Chief Clerk I was working with died.  After his death, I succeeded him as Chief Clerk in December 1992.  His name was Jonathan Mark Saidu.  We transferred the headquarters to Jama town in 1993.  Later we went to Gwadu.  At Gama I went through something that was traumatic.It happened this way,during the advancement of the Kamajors at that time, one of my elder brothers who stayed back at home had joined the Kamajors.  When the Kamajors advanced, in the heat of the battle ,my brother was captured. He had single-barrel gun with him  .  He was taken to the Headquarters in Gaima.  I told the boss man that he was my brother.  At that time the situation was so tense.  I tried to plead with my boss to release him;that I will take care of him.  But the enemy advancement did not relent.  Then my boss got my brother, tied him up and executed him right in my presence.  Immediately after that the boss man gave me an assignment that I had to go to the border.  I obeyed his command I had no choice as I was afraid to die.  Later my boss man and I in January 1999 were sent to Segbwema to maintain law and order in Segbwema.  After that we were called back to report at Gwadu.  Finally in December 28, boss and I were reassigned to Makeni to “maintain situation” following the conflict between the UN peace keepers and our brothers.  By then things were out of control. But then the commander General Issa pressed for us to put things under control.  In Makeni we went through hard times but by God’s grace we succeeded.  

Prof.Kamara:    Thank you very much for your very important testimony.  I am sure you will be able to answer questions from the Commissioners and Leaders of Evidence.  I believe that the Commissioners have a lot of questions especially when we have just come from Kailahun.  

Bishop Humper:    
   I want for you to know that we are looking out for people like you to come before the Commission and tell us what you did, why you did it.From your presentation the Commission believes that you are one of the perpetrators and a witness.  Are we right to think so?

M.A Briama:        Yes.

Bishop Humper:    How did you feel and what were you thinking when you watched your brother die before you even though you had pleaded?

M.A.Briama:        I felt bad.  But I reckoned that war is dangerous and that war is trouble.  

Bishop Humper:    You said you started from 1991 and up to this time God has helped you to go through it all.  What went wrong during the revolution in such a way that the atrocities caused were as wicked as if you came from another world?

M. A. Briama:    As the Pa said, the war came in Sierra Leone in March 23, 1991 and the war came with some promises and those promises made us to join them and, we were there to make it succeed.  I am here in front of the Commission; from 1991 when the war started before our alliance with the AFRC, the revolution was a disciplined one.  Offenders were strictly disciplined; but the moment we merged with the AFRC things went out of hand.  There was no control.  It was at that time that the cutting of limbs started.  I am telling the Commission that that was not the ideology of the RUF.  That was why the RUF fought with only guns.  But the merger with the AFRC and the insurgence of the Kamajors brought the destruction.That was why those of us given the responsibility to take care of discipline  had the real  hell of a time.  At that time Sankoh was in Nigeria.

Bishop Humper:    Mohamed I thank you.  The Commission has a great responsibility.  We need people like you to come forward.  People like you will help us to know what caused the war.  We are not here to take you to court or jail.  We only want to make reconciliation

Commissioner Jow:    I want to thank you for coming before the Commission.  It takes a lot of courage for somebody to appear as a perpetrator and we appreciate your story.  You spent most of your time with the RUF in Kailahun and according to what you told us,at present, you are only temporarily in Makeni.  Can you tell us why you testify here and not in Kailahun?

M. A. Briama:        I decided to testify here because I am not in my home.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you want to tell us you stay here in Makeni?

M. A. Briama:        Yes

Commissioner Jow:    Is there any reason ?

M. A. Briama:    Yes I am here to acquire more knowledge.  During the DDR I choose to learn computer to sustain myself.  I thank God we have gone through the programme.  It is not enough for me.  These facilities are not extended to my village that is why I am here.

Commissioner Jow:    Is it true that you were town clerk in your village  ?  

M. A. Briama:    The town commander was Swary Ensah , Deputy was Lamin Brima.Both are dead.

Commissioner Jow:    Did they die during the war?

M. A. Briama:        Yes

Commissoner Jow:    Was it during battle?

M.A. Briama:    One died because of hunger.  The deputy was a member of the fighting force and was killed in a battle.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us that you were responsible for  finding food for the rebels.

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    Were people willing to give food at the beginning?

M.A. Briama:    As I said, people just had to do that.  Initially ,we were doing this for our people ;but  it came to a time when everything was, given the situation, out of control.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us some of the things you did to your people to give food to the rebels.  Did you punish them?

M. A. Briama:        They were doing it willingly.

Commissioner Jow:    They never refused to  give?

M. A. Briama:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you give us an idea of what life was like in the base?

M.A. Briama:    Life was very tense and tedious.  They took us to the base and it was raining.  We were wet and they took us out of there to learn how to survive in an ambush.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us that the three months training was difficult.

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    You lived in Kailahun for quite a while.  Do you know the slaughter house?

M. A..Briama:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    Have you ever heard of the slaughter house where the Kamajors were slaughtered?

M. A. Briama:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    Since you were part of the RUF.  Did you ever kill or commit atrocities?

M. A. Briama:    I never killed.  According to my statement I have been an administrator.  I will not deny that I did commit  human rights violation. There were  times we tried to enforce law and order and because we had a lot of them who were not disciplined we had to use difficult punishment.  We dealt severe punishment to those burning houses.  

Commissioner Jow:    My question was referring to civilian rights.

M. A. Briama:    Civilians were included because some of them too were doing wrong. For instance, there were a lot of civilians breaking into houses and we had to use these punishments.

Commissioner Jow:    Did you kill as a sort of punishment?

M. A. Briama:        No.

Commissioner Sooka:    I want to know how old you were when they first came into your village?

M. A. Briama:        27 years.

Commissioner Sooka:    Can you tell me the people who came to your village where they came from ,were they Sierra Leoneans or Liberians?

M. A. Briama:        Liberians.

Commissioner Sooka:    It is probably true that the people accommodated them when the rebels first came.

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Commissioner:    The situation probably changed as more and more demands were made on the people .

M. A. Briama:    Yes.  The community began to change after they had eaten all the food. The other time they came they forced people to meet their demands.  They  slept with people’s wives in public.  

Commissioner Sooka:    It is clear from what you said that even at that early stage they were beginning to cause atrocities.

M. A. Briama:    Those Liberians were not good.  It was because of some of these behaviour that we drove them out of the country.   They were killing our people and going after them in the bushes and our leader gave us an order to fight them and we drove them out of the country.

Commissioner Sooka:    You had to obtain food for them?  In a sense you were an agent.

M. A. Briama:        Yes. I was collaborating with them.

Commissioner Sooka:    When you were asked to find women for them what did you actually do?

M. A. Briama:        If they wanted any woman,I would talk to her and try to link them.

Commissioner Sooka:    What happened if the woman refused?

M. A. Briama:     The woman would be forced to leave the village or forced to be their wife.

Commissioner Sooka:    Can you tell us the number of people that were abducted?

M. A. Briama:        12 of us were abducted.

Commissioner Sooka:    First, you said you gave up yourself voluntarily; but now you said you were abducted.

M. A. Briama:    I say abducted in this sense: After they had sensitized us about their focus I made up my mind to go with them.  However, my mother told me that if I ventured to the base something would happen .So I stayed back.  After that they came and captured 12 of us .My mother had no alternative but to let me go and she prayed for me.

Commissioner Sooka:    How many of you were at the base?

M. A. Briama:        About 500

Commissioner Sooka:    You said that the military training was difficult.  Can you tell us what was done in the training?

M. A. Briama:    Our training commander is dead.  He was third commander in the Revolution, a special force trained in Libya.  He trained us in guerrilla warfare.  We went through ambushing; they taught us about FFAB in all positions ;when you are attacked how to escape.  We were also trained in terms of communication in the field.

Commissioner Sooka:    You know these things very well.

M. A. Briama:    I was fortunate because the book that Sankoh came with which had all the belief that we should go by was always in my file.It was my companion.  

Commisioner Sooka:    You told us that the bad things were done when AFRC and RUF got merged.  But even before the merger, the RUF abducted men and women?

M. A. Briama:    Yes; by then our own understanding was to get more personnel because the revolution was for every body.  

Commissioner Sooka:    The question I ask is was it a policy?

M. A. Briama:        It was not a policy to take somebody by force.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did the order come from the boss to abduct people to join the RUF?

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    The order to rape women was it from the boss or was it done by the RUF themselves?

M. A. Briama:    These were the sort of  things that we tried to  prevent .Even at that, it continued.

Commissioner Sooka:    When they were chopping people’s hands what did the elders say?

M. A. Briama:    They gave us strict orders to identify those people involved, investigate them and  where  guilty, punish them.

Commissioner Sooka:    Which kind of punishment was given to them?

M. A. Briama:    Where  found guilty you were put in prison for 3 months or you received  250 lashes.

Commissioner Sooka:    Many people say to the Commission that some RUF-men burnt houses and some chopped hands and feet.  Was there any order from the elders?

M. A. Briama:        No

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you remember that when people’s hands were chopped off, they were given message to Tejan Kabba?

M. A. Briama :        Such a thing was never  reported to my office.  

Commissioner Sooka:    Were you  ever involved in the forceful recruitment of anybody, or sexually- abused any woman, or have you ever killed anybody ?

M.A. Briama:    I never forced anybody to join the RUF.  The only small boy I had with me Abu; he was abducted.  One morning our brothers were in patrol and he was abducted while in his farm.  I identified him as my brother.  I sent him to the base to train.  He is still with me in my village . On the other hand ,I have never sexually harassed any woman.  I have two wives and I met both of them during the war.I met the first woman in the course of duty.It happened that this woman lost her husband’s twenty thousand Leones and we tried to solve the problem but the man refused.  After that incident I fell in love with the woman and she is presently with me.  The woman found another woman for me and; we have thus stayed together.For  killing, I have been in the office all the time and I have never killed anybody.

Prof. Kamara:         You were in the MP from about 1992 January.  Am I correct?

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:        Will you also agree that that branch is the most dreaded by the people ?

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:    Will you also accept that you collected everything the RUF needed from the people?

M. A. Briama:        Within the RUF we had a group called G5.

Prof.Kamara:    When you were in Kailahun do you know the PC*3 elected at Luawa Chiefdom?  Were you the one who flogged the chief because he failed to collect items from the people?

M. A. Briama:        No.

Prof.Kamara:    But you are aware that the MP was responsible to see that the people do what the RUF says?

M. A. Briama:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:    Do you want reconciliation with the people of the North and Kailahun.  If you are to succeed with us we want to encourage you to come out with the truth.  Not only to come out with the truth in Bombali but also in Kailahun.  How many times did you have to enforce the demands of the RUF when you were in the MP?

M.A. Briama:        It happened several times.

Prof.Kamara:        Can you give us some examples.

M. A. Briama:    Yes.  During the time the leadership was in Zogoda; they sent to us in Kailahun for food and other items.  We sometimes bought  50 to 100 bags of rice and we call the civilians and tell them to carry the items to Zogoda.The civilians were tasked to provide food and oil. They were tasked to clean the roads .

Prof.Kamara:        Did you also have to flog or kill people if they failed to comply?

M.A.Briama:        We were not shooting but we were flogging people who failed to comply.

Prof.Kamara:    You spent some times in Buedu.  Are you aware of the dungeon where they were putting people for punishment?

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:        Did you ever put people in this dungeon?

M.A. Briama:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:        Can you tell us how many people you put there?

M. A. Briama:    Many people. One of the people that I put there was one Mohamed Sankoh.  He crossed over to Liberia and this was against the policy. At that time Mosquito was the commando.  We had orders from Mosquito that when Mohamed returned he should be flogged and put in the dungeon.  Later we found out that he was dead.

Prof.Kamara:        Was he the only one that died in the dungeon?

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:        You were asked one time about the slaughter house.

M. A. Briama:    They asked me earlier on about the slaughter house and what I know about some Kamajors that were arrested in Pendembu and taken to Kailahun.  I understand that Mosquito came to Kailahun and executed those Kamajors and gave command that some should be put in jail.  Later on, he gave command that they too should be killed.

Prof.Kamara:    What other atrocities did you carry out or commit when you were in the MP.  You told us some not all.

M. A. Briama:    As far as I know, I do not think I have been involved in any other thing, except enforcing the law.  In the office I rendered a lot of assistance to people.  Even in Makeni I gave a lot of assistance to people.

Prof.Kamara:    You were responsible for helping the RUF whenever they were short of anything; by making necessary contact with the chief in Kailahun?

M. A. Briama:        Yes. And he knows me very well

Prof.Kamara:        At one time you gave him a good beating.

M. A. Briama:        No, Sir.

Prof.Kamara:    Are you prepared to apologize in Makeni and Kailahun.  Are you prepared to apologize publicly if we organized a programme?

M.A. Briama:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:    You said you have documents that belonged to the RUF.  Can you give that to us for copying?

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Leader of Evidence: Ms. Lydia Apori-Nkansah

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    We  would like to know what kinds of actions were considered as offences within the RUF and, therefore, punishable.

M. A. Briama:        Rape,killing the innocent , excessive looting of property, etc.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    That means that some amount of looting was allowed.

M. A. Briama:    At that time people had guns and were,therefore, allowed to use these guns to force people to meet with their basic needs.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Do you know a man called Mustapha Koroma in Kailahun Samcola?

M. A. Briama:        Yes

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Do you know he is now in Kailahun?

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Do you know he is learning computing?

M. A. Briama:        Yes.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    I am asking this question because you have not gone to Kailahun. Because you said you want to learn and that these are not available in Kailahun.  We want to inform you that this Commission wants you to reconcile.  We want to know.

M. A. Briama:    I have just visited my home.  I went there February 10th and returned March 18th.  The man you asked me about told me he did this course. There were also some constraints that this facility was not extended there.  I am pleased to tell the Commission that my colleagues are willing to learn computing but it was not extended there.  I did my own computing in Makeni.  I came here and pleaded with the Executive Officer here where I did my computing. I told the Executive Officer that some of my brothers would like to learn computing and I want them to open a branch there.  The director accepted my plea.  The director has made a project proposal to train 200 ex-combatants in computing.  My second reason why I am here is I work with a local NGO called Local People Sierra Leone.  They employed me immediately after the DDR programme.  Even though I am not paid I am willing to work with them voluntarily.  To be honest I did not do anything wrong to my people that is preventing me from going there.

Prof.Kamara:        Do you have any regret why you joined the RUF?

M. A. Briama:        No.

Bishop Humper :    Mohamed we hope that on Friday you will be able to come publicly to meet your people in the community.  Once you come publicly to your people and do the traditional way then; we believe that your people will accept you.  You are coming from Kailahun and you know some of the names we called.

Prof.Kamara:        We want you to ask us questions

M. A. Briama:    I have recommendations. The recommendation I have for the government through the Commission is; I beg the Commission to pay attention to the youths of this country in terms of employment, education opportunities.  It was because of the opportunity that the youths lack that they joined the RUF.I also want the government to look into the cause of the war which include corruption, lack of respect for the people etc. so that the war will not happen again? I also appeal to government for them to facilitate the reconciliation process so that people will forgive and forget.  Let them turn to a new leaf and forget about the past ;so that Sierra Leone will prosper.I want to let the Commission pay attention to the amputees, war wounded and to address their problems.I cry to the Commission to support my desire for higher education.

Prof. Kamara:         Those recommendations will be made to  the government.

4th Witness – Abu Kamara

My name is Abu Kamara.  I am a muslim.  Commissioner Prof.John Kamara administered the oath

I am from Mafora Njala.  We were at Mafora Njala one night, when we heard that rebels were coming.  We all got up.  I told my wife to take all the children and go ahead.  I advised that she must follow the other people.  We were there and all the women went ahead.  After a while one of my friends told me ,“Mr. Abu let us go down”. But then we were not sure of the direction the rebels were coming from.  It was about 2am and it was dark. For whatever it was worth, I took my cutlass along with me and we took off. Throughout that night and the morning, afternoon, and evening of the next day ,no incidents ,no encounter with the rebels.We got to a place and waited until about 2am,when we decided to find our way back home.We never knew that where we were the rebels were there, hidden in the gutters. We were about to begin our search for the way back home,when the rebels got us surrounded. I had my cutlass, so I got the first one that came with it .He  cried,” if you don’t come,this man will overpower me and he will go”.The other one came and attacked me at my back.The first one was already lying on the ground unconscious.They took a container of palm oil and threw it all over me .We were then captured.

Six of us were placed in one room.Three young boys were also captured .  After sometime I noticed an open window and I jumped through the window.But  I was not familiar with the town and did not know where to go.  I was grabbed again.  I was securely bound and blindfolded in addition.  They told me,’’ if we don’t tie your face you will escape”.  My hands were tied.  I was left in this state till the morning.  In the afternoon  or thereabout one of thecaptives suggested that we take a chance and make a bid for freedom.As we were still contemplating about this ,things began to happen fast. The rebels began to inquire about the way to Lunsar.We claimed ignorance of such knowledge until the extracted the information by force.Then ,they started chopping off hands and ears. They chopped one hand and the ears of their captives ,men and boys alike.I was the last to face the ordeal .Still blindfolded, they placed me on a bench and chopped my hand and my ears Then they left  us to our fate and went their way. Driven by the survival instinct, we continued in search of help and pathway .One  of us had a drum which I had thought contained water, not knowing it was palm oil.I was thirsty and wanted water badly.Anyway, I told the man ,if we do not hurry we will die here.On the way, the man fell as he had lost much blood. I tried to help him but I could not.I met some relatives of the man on the way and told them to go and help the man or he would die. I came across a vehicle on the way.  May God bless the driver.  He discharged all his passengers and brought me to the government hospital. There I received first aid treatment and  waited . Three days later a white lady met me at night.  She asked me, “are you staying here and did they wash your hand?” I said, “no this is the third day and it has not been washed.”  I told her that I needed every help.She  asked me to wait until morning.In the morning she came and called my name and took me where they stayed.  They untied the hand and treated the hand and I felt better.  We were there and were attended to for  quite sometime before the rebels attacked again.  They scattered us again.  We were in the bush for a long time .And I continue to feel the pain.  Sometimes I lose sleep for three days.  I cannot do any work with this particular hand.  I do not want to say much because there are a lot of people in Makeni  who know the sufferings that I am undergoing.

Prof.Kamara:    We say thanks to you for this testimony.  We know that you feel the pain but we have to ask you some questions.

Bishop Humper:    We thank you for coming here.  Can you recall some of the names of these rebels that attacked you?

Mr. Kamara:    No.At that time I was blindfolded. I only heard the name of one person.  I heard the name Victor and he chopped off our hands.

Bishop Humper:        Where is your family now?

Mr. Kamara:        They are at Mafora

Bishop Humper:        What happened to the man that you asked his relatives to go and help?

Mr. Kamara:        His hand was also eventually chopped off completely

CommissionerJow:    How did you get news that the rebels were coming.

Mr. Kamara:    One man came to town at night and he was shouting that the rebels were coming. But we did not know the right direction they entered from.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us that when the rebels came, you went into the bush and when you were caught you fought with them.  Were they with guns?

Mr. Kamara:        He had a gun

Commissioner Jow:    How did you fight him?

Mr. Kamara:        The gun was slung over  his shoulder  when he grabbed me.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us the name of your friend that was killed?

Mr. Kamara:        Mahmoud Kadie

Commissioner Jow:    Was he of the same village?

Mr. Kamara:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    Did they burn the houses in the village?

Mr. Kamara:        No house was burnt.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you know which group the rebels belonged to?

Mr. Kamara:    The problem is once you have been captured and your attention focused on them you will not be able to know the group.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us what time the incident happen?

Mr. Kamara:        I am a farmer.  I  am not used to checking the clock for time.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us about the young boys that were captured?

Mr. Kamara:        Those young boys I have not been able to see them. 

Commissioner Jow:    I want to know about your medical problem.

Mr. Kamara:        I have not been able to see a doctor because I have no money.

Commissioner Jow:    Before this problem what were you doing?

Mr. Kamara:        I was a farmer.

Commissioner Jow:    Currently what are you doing?

Mr. Kamara:            I am not doing anything

Prof.Kamara:        You spoke of a lady that helped you with medical treatment.

Mr. Kamara:        She is a missionary sister.

Prof.Kamara:        During 1997 did you have any civil defence force there?

Mr. Kamara:        No, there was no CDF at that time because the village is small.

Prof.Kamara:        Can you remember if it was the time of the AFRC, NPRC?

Mr. Kamara:    All I can remember is that it was Tejan Kabba’s government because when the hand was chopped ,they said, go to Tejan Kabba.

Prof.Kamara:        At that time there were no government soldiers?

Mr.  Kamara:        We only had a police check point.

Prof. Kamara:        What did the police do when they heard that rebels had entered?

Mr. Kamara:        They all ran away.

Prof. Kamara:    You said you sent your wife to a different direction; when did you re-establish contact?

Mr. Kamara:        When I came to Makeni my wife met me at Makeni hospital.

Prof.Kamara:        Did you know where your wife went when she reached Makeni. 

Mr. Kamara:        I knew she was going to Makeni

Prof.Kamara:        Why did you tell your wife to follow the others?

Mr. Kamara:    Because she was carrying a child on her back.  I decided she should follow the others while I used the short cut.

Prof.Kamara:        Now it is your turn to ask us questions.

Mr. Kamara:    I do not have any questions.  I want you to assist me so that I will stop suffering.  My family is suffering.  I have three children; they all are young, and three of them are attending schools.  I want you to assist me with their education. To continue with such a talk is to begin to shed tears.  So,this is all I have to say.

Prof. Kamara:        Mr. Kamara we have noted your request.

5th Witness – Ibrahim Dauda Sankoh

My name is Ibrahim D. Sankoh.  I am a Muslim.  Commissioner Prof. John Kamara administered the oath.

I came to Bendembu in 1980.  I went there as an Arabic teacher. From my meagre salary,I made some savings and ,therefore,to augment my income, I engaged myself in petty trading. Little by little, the petty trade grew.  I opened two shops and bought a motor vehicle and a motorcycle. One day, I took a ride on my motorcycle to Sanda Terari Chiefdom.  On my way back,I stopped in one village in the course of my business transactions. I was inside a room collecting money when I heard that the rebels were coming. Meanwhile, my motorcycle packed outside had some money which I had earlier on collected on it. Therefore, I tried to take off swiftly on my  motorcycle ,but it was no use. I came under gun fire, so I left the  motorcycle and ran for cover. I hid in a near by bush watching them.  From where I was, I saw them they unload the motorcycle;  they took petrol from the motorcycle and set it ablaze.  This happened around 1995.  After all that, I  returned to my village and continued with my business;although with lots  of difficulties  .We continued to believe that the worst was over, and that in any case ,Bendembu would not be overrun .   However,in 1997 they entered Bendembu.  We ran. We left everything behind and went into the bush.  At first, they only grabbed what they needed and continued on their way .However, after two to three months, they came back.Now, after the first rebel strike, life still got back to some sort of normal. So, we were still in Bendembu doing our business .Then one day, we heard that the rebels were burning houses in Kalamba and that Bendembu  would be the next. It all happened so quickly .Gun shots began to ring out in Bendembu. We ran to the bush for cover.Then,  they started burning houses.  For two days they burnt houses.  They burnt my house and my two shops.  The houses that were burnt in Bendembu were many.  We were in the bush for a long time and  then we decided to go to Makeni. Bendembu had become very inhospitable .  In 1997 we heard that rebels were coming to Makeni.  We saw people running from Makeni.  I was so afraid. My experience in Bendembu and how I came to take settle in Makeni all flashed through my head. Accodingly,at midnight, I took my family and headed for Bendembu. After we had stayed one week  in Bendembu, we heard that the rebels had entered Makeni.   Then, without any warning whatsoever, the rebels suddenly entered Bendembu again .Now, it happened that there were talks about meetings;that normalcy was beginning to return to Makeni;that,generally,people have started coming out of the bush. So, they started  asking us to come out of our hiding places in the bush. Now,  I have  three children and I did not know their whereabouts . So I set out to look for them. Then, I came across some civilians who were already with the rebels. I was asked to join them.After about two to three minutes ,one girl came along the path and they grabbed her. She was asked, “where are the money and the properties.”  The girl said she did not have any money.  They told the girl that if she did not produce the money she would be killed.  The girl was got to  sit on the floor and they started firing bullets close to the girl’s feet.  They said “if you don’t produce the property you will be killed”.  The girl insisted that she had no money.Trouble! We were all afraid.  In the process, they also asked about who had any motor vehicle  or  motorcycle.  The girl did not have anyone to point her finger at but me saying that I had a motorcycle.In any case,they were vehemently threatenening to kill her.   So, the rebels called me and asked about the motor vehicle and the motorcycle.  I told them that I no longer had anything.  One of them told told me that if I  failed to provide them with the vehicle or the motorcycle he would kill me.  I pleaded with him,  and tried to explain that I no longer had any motor vehicle or Honda motorcycle. All my plea fell on deaf ears. He asked to sit on the ground so that he would finish me!  He had aimed at  my chest and  fired  seven shots but ,through divine intervention the bullets fell on my feet.    He rolled me over  and  fired another shot at the back of my head.He told me to get up, that he will end me up.But it  so happened that I was losing much blood and  I fell down and  lay unconscious.So, one of the rebels told him to forget about me  ,since I was obviously gone. Therefore, they left and went about the arrangements for their planned meeting.The meeting could not hold.Things were already scattered.By divine intervention, I was able to make it to the bush There I found my relatives.I needed urgent medical attention.So, they took me to a doctor. There was not a single equipment,but we had to do something fast.  I told the doctor that we can even use the needle that they use for sewing clothes to gather up the flesh.  The sewing needle was thus used. For sterilization and effect, it was dipped in naked fire  and used to stitch up my flesh. Things were that bad ,but that was what I went through and how I survived. The problems I went through in the war I have just explained. 

Prof Kamara:     That was a bitter experience, you have to be patient with us to answer questions from the Commission.

Bishop Humper:    We thank you for coming today.  According to you it seems that this happened in 1995.  Am I right?

Mr. I.D. Sankoh:    That was the first incident when my motorcycle was burnt. 

Bishop Humper:        The other one was in 1997

Mr. I.D. Sankoh:    Yes.

Bishop Humper:    As a business man what was your relationship with the people in the community?

Mr.I.D. Sankoh:        I was a stranger.

Bishop Humper:    Was there any special rebel activities.  Did the rebels get a training ground?

Mr.I.D. Sankoh:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:    Do you know a site in Bendembu were the rebels killed a lot of people and dumped them in a well?

Mr.I.D. Sankoh:    You should not count on what they told you, I was told that the rebels came and attacked the ECOMOG troops and killed many of them.

Prof.Kamara:        You know they have a well there in Bendembu.

Mr.I.D. Sankoh:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:        You came down in Makeni and stayed there till 1995?

Mr.I.D. Sankoh:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:        Then you went back to Bendembu.

Mr.I.D. Sankoh:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:    You could not have missed the activities of the rebels from 1998 to 1999.  Did you see anything happen in Makeni?

Mr. I.D. Sankoh:    During my stay there we were more often than not seeking for cover in the bush . 

Prof. Kamara:    In 1997 we had a group called AFRC.  In 1998 they were driven out of Freetown and they  came to Makeni.

Mr. I.D. Sankoh:    I have problems with the dates. I do not know.

Prof.Kamara:    You spoke about a surgery.  Where they used a needle that they used to sew clothes.   Who helped you?

Mr. I.D. Sankoh:    One of my brothers helped me.

Prof.Kamara:        Is he still alive?

Mr. I.D. Sankoh:    Yes

Prof.Kamara:        With no medical paper.

Mr.I.D. Sankoh    :    It was in a desparate effort to save my life .

Prof. Kamara:        He saved you ?

Mr.I.D. Sankoh:    I was stitched up and we were using this ordinary salt as anti-septic.  But now I feel the same pain.

Prof.Kamara:        Can you identify the rebels who nearly killed you?

Mr. I.D.Sankoh:        I can not .

Commissioner Jow:    What was your relationship with people in your community because you said you were a stranger?  Can you explain?

Mr.I.D. Sankoh:    I went there as a teacher and they also took me as an Imam to pray with them.

Commissioner Jow:    Was the relationship cordial?

Mr.I.D.Sankoh:        Yes and up to this moment.

Commissioner Jow:    As you said you were rich, did anybody meet you to support the rebels?

Mr.I.D.Sankoh:        No.

Ms.Apori-Nkansah :     No question

Prof.Kamara:        Ibrahim it is your turn to ask us questions.

Mr. I.D. Sankoh:    I am happy for this opportunity because as a result of the gunshot wounds,I have been encountering a lot of problems.  For now I am not a healthy man.  As I sit here I have pains that people say  have to do with  tetanus.  I do not have a house.  At one time we saw people who said that we should prepare blocks to build  houses and the government would build the houses.  Those that had the chance did it.  Now, we understand that the projects for the house will not materialize.  I want the Commission to help us with accommodation.  All the blocks that we prepared are getting wet under the rains.  The whole of Bendembu are preparing blocks.  I ask that this problem be addressed.  We do not know what is going to happen to those blocks. We have asked for tarpaulin but we did not get any.  On behalf of my people I  ask the Commission what do we do with those blocks?

Prof.Kamara:      I am surprised that you do not seem to know what is going on in your Chiefdom or even Bombali District.  Within the chiefdoms you have sections.  You know what sections you belong to in Bendembu.  My advice is to talk with your section chief and he will inform the PC and the PC will inform the district.  If you are ready to push forward your problem you will be assisted.  Whatever the Commission will able to do at the district level the Commission will do it.   When we write the report what you have said here will be included in the report. 

6th – Witness – Alpha N. Kargbo

My name is Alpha N. Kargbo.  I am a muslim.  The oath was administered by Prof. Kamara

In 1998, the ECOMOG forces drove the AFRC into the provinces .These rebel forces  moved also to Makeni. When they reached Makeni, they took machetes from one office and went to Kono.  When they entered Kono, we deserted our homes and  ran into the bush where we  spent about 3(three)months .  Then ECOMOG chased them to Kono.  When ECOMOG reached Kono they liberated  Sewafe.

On a Friday, the ECOMOG reached where we were staying and moved to Sabuay.  They came across a big tree that fell across the path near Bafodia.  They left their vehicle there and walked on foot.  They met the chief and told him that they wanted to go to Samuya. They told the chief that he should  get people to remove the tree across the path.  When we came the chief said :’’ECOMOG is ready to fight for us.  Please remove the tree”.  We removed the tree and they moved on to Samuya.  ECOMOG went ahead and we were behind them.  On Saturday, ECOMOG came back and they told the chief that all the people that went into the bush should come out of the bush.  They told the chief that the town was safe and they have liberated Samuya and Sewafe.  So the chief sent the message around.  At night on a Saturday we came to town.  We sat outside for a long time.  Unknown to us, the rebels had crossed the area called Konokambua. We were unaware of the reality that all the time ECOMOG was talking, they were in the village as spies.  When they came they spoke as if they were Nigerians.  They told us not to run.  They said they were the ECOMOG who have come to Samuya.  They told us to  stop hiding;that they only came to ensure that there was no problem. They started gathering people.  I said to them, “ECOMOG came they did not gather us together; but now you claim to be ECOMOG and you gather the people together?”  They said,’’let us go’’.  I entered into my house and I told my wife that there is problem.  Before we could get out, they surrounded the house.  The knocked on the door and then broke the lock.  Seven of them entered and I was  held at gun point.  They asked me to give them money.  I said, “why should I? I don’t have money.”  I said, “we were in the bush for the past three months, where can I get money from.”  They said “do you think we don’t know you.”  I said, “I don’t know you.”  He said “we have worked together.  The area we were working, we saw you supporting your boys. Sometimes you helped us.”  I said “I have nothing.”  I knew him actually but  such an acceptance would mean something horrible. He took my tape and travelling bag.  They broke the drawer of the bed but could not find money.  The man insisted that I had money.  He asked them to undress me.  When I was undressed there was money with me.  When they saw the money the man who had insisted  told them that he was sure that  I had money.  I  begged to now release my wife and I.   The man refused to release me.  He said he must take me to their commander.  His companion told him that they should leave me because they have already taken my money.  The man said if his companions lstood by that, then ,  he would shot them as well as have me shot too.  He pulled off  the cloth that my wife had on; tore it and used it to tie me up.  He took me to the boss man.  About 25 of us were  taken captive.  The other man accused me of being a Kamajor and I said I was not a kamajor.  The man said if I argued with him, he  would take the bayonet and stab me to death.  The man said they felt  like killing one person at the moment.  I was taken as a sacrifice and they said they would kill me .However,  a Limba woman was brought out at the same time.  She was begging in Limba language.  As he came nearer the commander said,’’ we are going to kill this mammy because she is making noise for ECOMOG to notice us’’.  Immediately the commander said this, she was slaughtered.  They asked about me and the commander said,’’ we are not going to make two sacrifices’’.  They laid me down on the ground and started stepping on my stomach; because I was hefty.  The other man came and cut off my ear with a bayonet.  They called a small boy to bring a mortar.  The other one asked,’’ what are we going to do with these people’’? The other one said,’’ our own group is going to chop off their hands.  We sacrifice only one person’’.  They took the mortar.  They brought out one woman, her hand was chopped off and the other was chopped half the way and  left dangling.  They gave her a message to take to Pa Tejan Kabba.  They said,’’ because you have hands that is why you are involved in politics’’.  Then, they pulled me  up and asked me to stretch  my hand I refused.  The other took my hand and stretched my hand; as he aimed to chop my wrist, the matchet chopped the elbow.  They said I should put the other hand but I refused.  I said,’’ I am ready to die’’.  He rushed at me, asblood was still rushing out from the hand , I pointed the hand to his face and the blood went to his eyes.  He started shouting. Then the boss man asked him what was wrong.  The boss man said,” I have warned you, leave this man to go!”.  They called another old man to chop his hand. I told him not to do it.  I helped the man and we went along.  As we went along, he said he was thirsty.  I said,’’ don’t drink water ,if you do drink you will die’’.  I tried to help the old man, but he  only grew weaker and weaker.  He told me that he was tired and threw himself on the ground.  I told him that if he continued to lie on the ground and the rebels met him there they would kill him. So, we took a  path in the bush that the farmers use and I got to a particular point and asked him to lie low there ; and  wait and hope for help ,since it is a path that people do use to the farm.  He asked me where I was going. I said I was going to ECOMOG.  I had no shoes on.  On my way I saw a lot of rebels.  Two of them  noticed me.  They  pointed their guns at me. They asked me to raise my hand.    I said,” they have already chopped off my hand’’.  They said,” who did that?”. And  I said,’’ your companions’’.  They asked me,’’ where are you going?’’.  I said,’’ they sent me to tell you that they are at Bayouman’’ .My explanation accepted,  they in turn, gave me messages for the others.  When they I got out of there view, I took another route.  The area I found myself I could see a lot of rebel checkpoints.  I walk on along the bush path till I got to Bobboya. Exhausted I fell down  and remained there for a long time.  Then the Lord restored my strength and I was able to get up again.  I went inside Boboya.  I met ECOMOG there.  When they saw me one of them cocked his gun to shot me.  I raised my hand.  They said, raise up your two hands.  I said,’’ I cannot. They have chopped off my hand’’.  One of them said I was telling a lie and, the other said no.  The other said to his companion,” what I want you to do is; I am ready to make a sacrifice, if he is holding a pistol .If he shots me , kill him.’’

The ECOMOG soldier came and pointed the touch at me and found out that my hand was chopped off.  He called his commander and told him that my hands were chopped at Bababfoya.  They asked me to show them the place.  They asked me if the rebels wanted to go further.  I said that the rebels gave me the message that when they left Babafoyou they would attack Bobyboa.  He asked me if it was far away.  I told him it was five miles away.  The commander came closer and asked some more questions.  At that time I was  exhausted and no longer able to see clearly.

I sat there for a while and he came back.  He asked me where do you want to go.   I said I want to go to sewafe.  I sat there but there was no car.  He told his men to escort me.  I met another ECOMOG chief at Efoma junction.  After explaining the commander instructed his men to launch their gun and when they fired the gun I nearly fell down and almost passed away.  They said,’’ if we allow this man to lie there, he would die’’.  They started pushing me until I regained consciousness.  When I reached the bridge,  I met another group of ECOMOG troops.  One SLA soldier saw me and accused me of being a rebel.  He said the kamajors has chopped off my hand.  He told them that he was going to kill me.  He took me to the rail of the bridge to shoot me.  I stood there.  The commander came near me.  The SLA soldier was about to remove his gun to shoot me.  The commander asked him why do you want to shoot him.  He said I was a rebel.  The commander asked me if I was a rebel.  I said no.  I told the commander,’’ you passed us yesterday and we helped you remove the tree.  If this man says I am a rebel, I have no power that is why I am  standing here for him to kill me”.  The commander asked him,” what proof do you have that  this man is a rebel ?  This man has passed all other checkpoints, he was not killed why do you say he is a rebel ?  Now, you are going to be the escort of this man, if I hear any gun shot I will kill you and your family.”  As we went along, he continued to talk to me nicely.  I did not listen to him.  When I reached one village, I met some women and men that recognised me.  They asked me what happened and I explained everything to them.  They gave me a pair of  trousers.  When I reached a junction I met ECOMOG troops mobilizing to go to kono.  The commander was backing me  and the other officer that recognised me immediately, asked him to take a look.  When he saw me and he cried.  He asked me if I was the only one affected.I told there that were 25 of us.  He asked why I came alone. I explained that things were so bad ,but that I was determined to get to them.   He told one of the soldiers to take me to the hospital.  There was no medicine in the hospital.  The doctor used spirit to stop the bleeding.  About the half hand that remained, the doctor said that since the bones have all been broken and the veins  all cut off, the only alternative was to amputate the hand.  I tried to pinch the hand, I felt to pain; I told him to amputate it.  When he amputated it, I fainted.  I was given three bottles of drips.  I spent the whole day there.  On  Sunday, my neighbours started coming.  Some of the people started crying for me. They had thought I had been killed.  When they saw me at sewafa they were surprised.  A journalist met me at sewafa and I explained everything to him.  An ECOMOG soldier told the journalist that they did not have enough communication equipment to communicate to Freetown.He pleaded with the journalist for assistance in communicating to Freetown for us to be taken to Freetown.     The journalist said unless he  got to the last place that ECOMOG had cleared, he would not do that. So, the journalist refused. Pressed  further,he loaded his equipment in his car and and asked for escort; they gave him two ECOMOG soldiers as escort. Unfortunately, when they reached the main highway, they came across the rebels.  The journalist  asked the driver to stop.  As the vehicle stopped, the rebels surrounded the vehicle.

The rebels burnt down the car together with everybody inside it .  When the ECOMOG soldiers saw the smoke ,they approached the smoke.  When they got there ,they saw what had happened .  They sent message to mantu check point.

The ECOMOG soldier said,’’ we told you earlier on to assist to communicate to Freetown to help your brother,but now see!’’  The ECOMOG soldiers took us to the Government Hospital at Makeni at 3:00am at night .  When we arrived, there was no light.  We slept there.  We were taken to 34 hospital.  Later on,we were taken to Connaught hospital; because ECOMOG had many wounded soldiers  and they were at 34 hospital.    We went to Connaught on a Saturday.   On Sunday morning, they told us that hospital was not operating.  The Norwegian refugee council decided to assist us.  Later on, one woman sent forms to us.  She told us that they want to build houses for us.  We told her to build an amputee village for us.  We told the woman to come to Makeni and build for us.  As of now I am in Kailahun camp.

Bishop Humper:    Can you tell me what happened to your wife?
Mr.A.N. Kargbo:    Yes.  My wife and I were captured together.  After amputating the hand of one woman in their midst,my wife and the  others were taken to one house and were locked up and, the rebels said they were going to burn down the house.The commander now left and gave order to one rebel to set the house ablaze with everybody inside.  One woman was in the house who knew the man.  She called him by name, Abdul Sankoh, and she said:” Are you going to kill your brother’s children and kill me too “?  Abdul asked,’’ who are you to call my name?’’.  The woman said,’’ I am kadiatu.  I am married to your brother in Bo’’.  Abdul opened the door and saw Kadiatu.  He told Kadiatu  to come out.  Kadiatu took one of her children and gave the child to my wife.  She said,” this is my sister please help save my sister’s life”.  He opened the door and allowed all of them to escape.  He burnt the house and told his commander that he had burnt all of them in the house.

Bishop Humper:    Can you tell us about the people in the room; how many of them survived and how many were amputated?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:    I cannot tell you all those who survived.  The ones I saw were : Hawa Korma ;Kadiatu Bangura ;Pa Mansary ;Mummy ( died later) .The  other three people are still alive.

Bishop Humper:    You also mentioned that you did not want to identify yourself when you were asked for money.  Do you know the names of the rebels that attacked you?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:    I know the names of two.  I know their family and we have lived together.  Like, Abdul Sankoh, he comes from Bombali chiefdom.  The time he passed out from the military we were in the same village and we know one another.  He was the man that chopped off my ears.  I told him that we were from the same village. But because he was  under the influence of drugs, he said, he does not know me.

Sheku Marah is a Koronko and we used to live in the same neighbourhood.   His brother  was also captured.  They did not do anything to him.  They told his brother to show them the road to Bo.  I spoke to him in the koronko language but he ignored all that and refused to help me.  The other one’s name is Papa,  if I see him I can identify him. The others I cannot identify .  The one who was a spy in the village was hired to chop off hands.

Bishop Humper:        Would you say that you were targeted?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:    Sheku targeted me.  My money had  already been taken from me. His companion told him to leave me but he refused

Bishop Humper:        Has  there ever been  any quarrel between both of you prior  to the war? 

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:        No

Bishop Humper:        Have you every seen any of them since then?

Mr. A.N. Kargbo:    Sheku passed us at Pamlamp and came to cabala. Abdul Sankoh   is  said to be staying at sewafa bridge.But  I do not know if that is true.

CommissionerJow:    In your testimony you told us that when the rebels searched you, they got Le3.5m.   Can you tell us what your occupation was?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:        I was a business man

CommissionerJow:    What type of business

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:        I sold rice in bags

CommissionerJow:    In your testimony you said when ECOMOG  came and cleared the  town of  rebels, they left the town?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:    ECOMOG forces thought that they had cleared the area and that we were safe. They thought that they had the whole place covered.But along the highway, the distance between Kono and Sandaya is considerably long.

CommissionerJow:    Were Kamajors there at that time?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:        No

CommissionerJow:    Were there any CDF?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:        None of these forces was there

CommissionerJow:    You said the rebels were speaking the Nigerian and Liberian languages?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:        They were Sierra Leonean.

CommissionerJow:    What makes you so sure?

Mr. A.N. Kargbo:    When they entered the village; they spoke in Liberian and Nigerian languages.  When they captured us they spoke in krio.

CommissionerJow:    You said the rebels took the woman to make sacrifice.  Can you tell us why they used her as sacrifice?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:    They said the woman was making a lot of noise; so they offered her as sacrifice.

Bishop Humper:    You have provided us with a vital information. Did I hear you say that Abdul Sankoh was a soldier?

Mr. A.N. Kargbo:    Yes

Bishop Humper:        What about Sheku Marah

Mr. A.N. Kargbo:    He is a soldier
Bishop Humper:    Based on all you have gone through, what can you tell this commission about the role of some of our soldiers in the rebel war?.

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:        They  only  helped   in destroying the country

Prof.Kamara:     Your story was long but very clear.  Are you together with your wife?

Mr. A.N. Kargbo:            Yes

Prof.Kamara:    Also can you recollect or  remember the name of the ECOMOG soldier who saved you from the SLA who wanted to kill you?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:        No

Commissioner Sooka:    You mentioned that they also stripped the women naked.  Beside that did they do any other thing to them?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:    After I had left I could not have known what happened to them.  While I was there they did nothing else to them?

Commissioner Sooka:    You said one of the men was hired to chop people’s hands.  Did the man say that to you?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:        He was commanded to chop off people’s hands.  He was Sao.

Mr.A.Charm:    Is it possible for you to tell us the name of the women who was sacrificed

Mr.A.N.Kargbo:        I do not know her name .

Prof.Kamara:        It is your turn  to ask us questions.

Mr. A.N. Kargbo:    My first question is about the education of our children.  Now that the rebels have chopped off our hands; what are we to do ?.  Some of us have their two hands  chopped off.  Some of us have to be in wheel chairs?.  We have to take care of our families.  What is the commission doing in terms of education?.

Prof.Kamara:      It is a repetition of a request that we have been receiving.  We are very much aware and concerned especially about the young people.  When we write our report your recommendations will be incorporated into our report.  I hope the question has been satisfactorily answered?

Mr.A.N. Kargbo:    The next question is about medical facility. We are faced with regular infection such as the issues of tetanus  and so on.  We have cried to the government to assist us with medicine.   People are under a lot of pain and need pain relief , but where is money for the medicine?

Prof.Kamara:    It will be noted.  For now we hope that some kind of help will be provided for the camp that will include medical  facility.  We will try to see that it is done.If you have any urgent attention our staff can assist you to recommend you for medical attention.

Mr.A.N.Kargbo:    During the peace accord the government promised us that if the rebels received their package, we the victims would have our own package.  But I have not seen that package ;  apart from an assistance by an NGO, is this the way we are going to continue to suffer ?

Prof.Kamara:    No.As you spoke of the Lome peace accord, the TRC talks about  war victim funds.  Your presence here is an illustration of what happened during the war.  As you know the perpetrators are only a small fraction of the victims in the country.  We have to understand your problem and how we make recommendations to government . We cannot rush into it  haphazardly, otherwise, we will make mistakes.  As we try to get all the information necessary, the government and international community are already making the effort to meet the needs of the victims.  You already told us that the Norwegian council has provided houses for you and other people.  Something more is likely to come.



Commissioner Yasmin Sooka:    We welcome you to this hearing.  We need to know what recommendations we need to make in order to make positive changes in people’s lives.  It is important that everything you remember; you should tell us.  You should not be afraid.  If you feel that you are not comfortable with any question ;please tell us.  Feel free to tell us what your experiences are.

My name is Fatmata Jalloh.  I am a Muslim.  The oath was administered by Commissioner Sooka.

I have been through a lot of suffering. I was born in Kono. At the age of 13, I  had to leave  Kono and was taken to Kabala.    We were attacked in 1998.  We ran into the bush together with my father and our family members as well as neighbours.   In the bush we had no food to eat.  This was in August and there was no food to eat at all.  We were in this situation: no food, no shelter ,no rest, no sleep.  After 15 days my father went in search of food.  On his way to town he met the rebels.  He was held by the rebels.  When they seized my dad, he was asked to show where the people were hiding.  He said he did not know.  He told them, “I am just coming to town to look for food because everybody is hungry.”  The rebels told him they were not going to release him.  They gave him their luggage to carry.  It was raining.  When they arrived at one farm hut, the rebels decided to stay there for some time and from there they started maltreating my dad.  After giving him some slaps they told my dad to continue to carry their loads.  They were all placed in one room.  They were taken out one after the other and killed .  They killed three of them.   The first person they killed was the chief of the village.He was shot dead .  The next person was killed in the same way .  My dad was also  shot but  was not killed at once. When he was shot , he fell down and the rebels thought my dad was dead. But as they  turned to leave , one of them turned around again and noticed that my father was not dead. He then shot him again. He was shot and killed; he was killed mercilessly.  I was still in the bush.  The next night I had series of dreams, the sort of which I have never had .  The next day I told my cousin about my dreams and I told her I was not sure whether my father was still alive.  Later on,just when we decided to prepare something to eat , we saw somebody coming.  We thought that it was the rebels and we ran into the bush .It later turned to be my brother . It was  at that time that we came to know that my father was dead.  My mother died when I was a child and I was staying with my stepmother. I did not even know my mother.  When my brother came I asked him what happened but he could not look me in the face.  He was uncomfortable.  Then I said, ‘my father is not alive again, my father is dead.’  The boy refused to talk to me.  They informed my stepmother of my father’s death.  My cousin had wanted to hide the news of his death from me, but a boy who was staying with us came running and shouting that my father was dead.  On receiving the news of my dad’s death, I was crying bitterly and this did not go down well with my stepmother and her children; they drove me away.  Now, when I was crying, I was not even crying out loud; I was crying within my heart. But they drove me from their group . I had no other place to go but to look for my, aunt, my father’s sister.  I went alone in the bush until finally I found my aunt.  My aunt was very sad when she saw me and she started crying.  I told my aunt that my father has been killed and my step mother has driven me away.  My aunt  persuaded me to stay with her.  After five days we received a letter that the rebels were coming to the farm house where we were hiding.  We had to leave and, we went into the thick forest.  Again there was no food and the place was very cold, because it was the during month of August.  We became tired of living in the forest and we decided to go back to the farmhouse.   It was there we realized that the rebels had come and we were surrounded.  We were just about to eat when some people came running from the other parts of the hamlet to inform us that the rebels have finally come.   We tried to run away but it was already too late. They told us to stop  and if we run they will shoot us.  All of us had to come back to the farm house.  I was the last to get back. As soon as I arrived at the farm house, I was held by one of them.  He asked me, “What are you doing here?”  He said, “I will save your life.”   I told him to leave me since they have killed my father.  He said, “No you are wrong it is not all of us that are wicked.”  He showed me his ID card and said he was an SLA.  I asked him, “Do you know if it was an SLA who killed my father?”  He said he did not know but he will save my life.  My people pleaded, but he refused.  He insisted that he will take me along.  He asked me to go to the town with him.   I pleaded with him not to take me along.  The man told me that, “right now they are killing people in the bushes; if you stay here they will kill you.  I have told you that I am going to save your life.  By the power of God nothing will happen to you.”  We went to town.  When we were going to town, the rebels told the people in the farmhouse that every body should go to town because rebels were killing people in the bush.  They took two of us on that day, a suckling mother and I.  On arrival in the town they began to loot animals like goats, cows, sheep  and   chicken.
 Now, the air around was so foul, so I asked the man the reason for the foulness of the air.  The man told me, ‘these are the people that have been killed.”  I went out to check whether I  could see my father’s body among them but it was not  there .Those bodies were already in various stages of decomposition. By that time my father’s brother had come and taken the body and thrown it in some area where it was not even properly buried.  We finally arrived where the rebels were staying.  I had to stay with this man.  I was still a virgin, but he  took it away.  As soon as he did  that, I became pregnant.  My friends were  telling me to abort the pregnancy.  I was afraid to do that because my father had been killed and I do not know my mother.   We were just two of us my brother and I.  Finally ,I  accepted to get rid  of the pregnancy and, even then I had to pray to God to forgive me.  I was directed by the lady to go and get the herbs for myself in the bush.After gathering the herbs ,I still prayed to God to guide me. Fortunately, for some inexplicable reason,I forgot about the herbs and the lady forgot about it as well. So, the pregnancy continued to develope .As things turned out , there was conflict between SLA and the SAJ  Musa and one commander whose name I have just forgotten .

This forced us to go to Freetown.  At that time they had this practice of branding people , so that you would not run away even if you had the desire.  This man I was staying with said they were not going to brand me.  That time some people were branded on their foreheads and on their chests.  They , therefore, decided to train me.  I refused and also the man I was staying with rejected the idea of my undergoing training . Anyway, we had to start the trek to Freetown.   We walked for days and nights without sleeping.  That was the time they went to attack Freetown.  We came across  rivers.  We crossed by the grace of God.By then my pregnancy was just five months.  Normally, they used to instruct us to stand in and maintain a straight line. But because of the pregnancy, it happened that one day, I suddenly moved out of the line and ‘55’4 came and hit me on the back.  I cried.  I was forced to go back in the line.  Whilst in that line they used to flog us and use abusive language(s) on us.  Especially ‘55’ he had a lot of abusive vocabulary .  Sometimes we fell into  ambush and  one had to lie flat on my stomach with my pregnancy as long as the shooting lasted  .  Sometimes you come across dead bodies on  your track and unless you remained very vigilant you would trip over them and court instant disaster. We arrived in one village where they said they will leave all the women.  This time we were really in trouble; because the CDF was around ,  should they see or meet us, they would kill us.  Unfortunately , we were not a fight force we were just held by these people.  Sometimes there was no food, we used to cook in tomato tins as if we were just playing.   At night they used to tell us to remove all our dresses.  You should remain naked.  They used to call these, “Operation Born Naked”.  Sometimes they will ask us to run naked even if you in a town like Makeni.   They will tell you to run and go across this town, if you don’t do it you will be beaten. If you fall down you will be beaten.  I had to go through all this strain whilst pregnant.  One time I fell on my stomach and I incurred injuries. Anyway, we were asked to move again from that village to enter Freetown. Finally we entered Freetown.  We stayed in Freetown until the attack on January 6.   Initially when we arrived, I had wanted to run away.  But I was afraid because some civilians had seen me with these people.   Because of that I could not run away.  We came to Waterloo.  We were forced to use the bush road with so many mountains and at that time the pregnancy was seven months.

When we arrived at Waterloo I told my husband that I wanted to go to my people in Kabala to deliver.  This man told me “how can you go at this time there is no Road.   If you try to go they will kill you.”  I told him that I was not part of them as long as I have not done any wrong God will guide me on my way.  I  tried to find a way  But as things turned out  my husband was hit and badly wounded in the leg.  I was still here in Makeni because there was no road to Kabala.  I got information about my  husband’s situation.  I went to the hospital and I met him there.  I was with him until he died.  Two weeks after his death I  had delivery, but I lost the baby.  Later on, I came across my husband’s brother who is a pastor and I told him: “Pastor your brother captured me, I want you to find a mother for me so that I can stay with her.”  Pastor took me to one Agnes Kamara.   And really she took me as her own child.  One time the lady had to go to Freetown and she left me in-charge of the home.   I took care of everybody.  Later, however, there was still a fight here and the chopper helicopter was around.   I was afraid and I went to Mile 91.  I was there for 11months.  When I heard that UNAMSIL had come to Makeni, I came back.  Later on, I got the information from my friends that  certain groups have come for the children who were abducted  during the war and  that people were coming around to train  them  in several skills .  I decided to go and register at Caritas.  They took us to Port Loko.  In Port Loko we were sent to Lunsar, because they said,they could not trust us,that they were afraid of us.  They asked us whether we  ever carried arms.   I said no.  I told them that I do not even know the arms and cannot use them.  We were taken back to Port Loko,where  we spent ten days and they brought us again to Makeni.  They told us that after the disarmament, they will take us  through skills training.  We were then registered for the different skills training.  At present ,I have learnt  cloth weaving, gara dying and batic making.

Commissioner Sooka: We want to ask you questions so that we will understand you more.

Commissioner Jow:    We say thanks to you for coming to this hearing.  As the Commissioner had said, we have a special mandate and this mandate is to focus on women and children during the war so that we can record it accurately, and make the appropriate recommendations to improve the lot of women and girls in this country ;particularly those who suffered during the war . We hope that the recommendations will ensure that what happened to girls will never happen again.  You have given us a good insight of the war, but we need to ask you questions so that we can make some clarifications.  Fatmata at the time of the incident you said you were 13years old  ?

Fatmata  Jalloh:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us the name of the village you were living?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Makakura

Commissioner Jow:    What were you doing at that time?  Were you a student?

Fatmata Jalloh:        No. I was helping my aunt to sell.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us about your family circumstances?

Fatmata Jalloh:    At that time I was living with my father, my step mother, brother and my cousins.

Commissioner Jow:    You made mention of your brother.  Was he your step mother’s son?

Fatmata Jalloh:    He was my step mother’s son.  I have my own brother who is staying with my uncle.

Commissioner Jow:    What was the relationship with your step mother?

Fatmata Jalloh:    She used to be nice to me but at a point in time her attitude changed and my father became concerned.  Anyway, more often than not, when someone loses the mother, the step mothers more often than not begin to act in strange ways.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us why your step mother sent you out?

Fatmata Jalloh:    She said that I should not give them away.  Because I was crying, she said the rebels were very close and  that I was  endangering their lives . But  I was not even crying loudly.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us about the rebels that approached you.  Were they in uniform?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Some were in full military combat uniform and some were not.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us about the other women who were caught.  What happened to the suckling mother?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Nothing happened to her she is still alive.

Commissioner Jow:    Did she go along with the rebels?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    And she remained with them until they signed they peace?

Fatmata Jalloh:        No.   All of them left at the same time.

Commissioner Jow:    Did her baby survive ?

Fatmata Jalloh:    I do not know whether the child is still alive; but she also suffered the same ordeal.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us that the rebels looted animals.  Did you join them to loot?

Fatmata Jalloh:        No

Commissioner Jow:    Can you also tell us how they get these animals?

Fatmata Jalloh:        They just run after them and seize  them.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us that you saw dead bodies on the way.  Can you tell us how they were killed?

Fatmata Jalloh:        I just saw dead bodies.  I do not know.

Commissioner Jow:    How long did it take you  to move from the bush and get to the base where you settled? 

Fatmata Jalloh:    The distance is about five miles, so we took about five days.  From the village where they settled to our own village is two miles and from the other village is three miles.

Commissioner Jow:    I am now coming to the base were you settled.  You did not tell us the name of this man.

Fatmata Jalloh:        His name was Abdul Sinnah.

Commissioner Jow:    Was it his actual name?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    At what stage did he rape you?

Fatmata Jalloh:        He did it at the base.

Commissioner Jow:    Were there people present?

Fatmata Jalloh:        No

Commissioner Jow:    Did he force you or did you consent?

Fatmata Jalloh:        I was forced . That was my first time.

Commissioner Jow:    Did you ever have ever any experience of menstruation before then?

Fatmata Jalloh:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    What did he say to you as he raped you?

Fatmata Jalloh:    He told me that at the end of  the war , he would marry me ;that he would not disappoint me.

Commissioner Jow:    Were there other women in the base?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes

Commissioner Jow:    Can you give us an idea of how many?

Fatmata Jalloh:        We were many.

Commissioner Jow:     Were there other women who were not young girls?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:     What was their role in the base?

Fatmata Jalloh:    They used to send on us errands and, if we do not do them they would beat us.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you remember any of their names?

Fatmata Jalloh:    No. It is a long time now since I left them in 1999.  At that time we just called them ‘Sissy’. We never knew their real names?
Commissioner Jow:    What else were you asked to do at the camp?  What else were you forced to do apart from being a wife?

Fatmata Jalloh:    I was not doing anything.  He did not allow me to do anything especially when I became pregnant.

Commissioner Jow:    Was he kind to you?

Fatmata Jalloh:         Yes.  He never maltreated me.

Commissioner Jow:    Did you see other girls being maltreated by their husbands?

Fatmata Jalloh:    We were not staying in the same house everyone was staying in his/her own place.

Commissioner Jow:    Were some of the girls punished by their husbands?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes some of them were punished.

Commissioner Jow:    Like how?

Fatmata Jalloh:    Most of these men have their wives in Kono but when they came here they abducted girls here and when their wives came they treated them as slaves for their wives.

Commissioner Jow:    How did you feel when you were raped for the first time?

Fatmata Jalloh:        I did not feel good about it because  it was painful .

Commissioner Jow:    Did you get any attention from the elderly women?

Fatmata Jalloh:    Yes. I told them but then they could not do much; because as soon as I had that contact I became pregnant.

Commissioner Jow:    Why do you call Andrew Sinnah your husband?

Fatmata Jalloh:        He did not marry me.  He abducted me.

Commissioner Jow:    You seem to have some affection for him?

Fatmata Jalloh:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    When you heard he was in the hospital you went to visit him.

Fatmata Jalloh:        I went there because of my child.

Commissioner Sooka:    How old was Andrew Sinnah?

Fatmata  Jalloh:        33years of age.

Commissioner Sooka:    And you were 13years.

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    After the first time he raped you, did he have sex with you every day or were you supposed to be the lady on demand for him?

Fatmata Jalloh:        He used to ask but I always told him no because it was not pleasant.

Commissioner Sooka:    What happened to you if you say no?

Fatmata Jalloh:    He used to leave me alone because he knew he had done something bad to me.

Commissioner Sooka:    What was your typical day with him?

Fatmata Jalloh:    Most of the time we were not always together because they were always on patrol. And while on patrol they got us into the thick forest  and gave us guards to ensure that we did not escape.

Commissioner Sooka:    Can you remember how many women were there?

Fatmata Jalloh:        We were more than fifty but really I cannot say.

Commissioner Sooka:    When you became pregnant were you really upset?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    What really went through your mind?

Fatmata Jalloh:        I was thinking:How can I  be a child , so tender and still  be pregnant ?

Commissioner Sooka:    You were talking about taking herbs to abort the child, was it a difficult decision for you to make?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes, it was difficult because my mother died during delivery.

Commissioner Sooka:    You also mentioned that you refused to go for training and the man who abducted you also supported your refusal.

Fatmata Jalloh:    I realized that it was going to be a waste if I was to train because I never imagined myself killing other people.

Commissioner Sooka:    What surprises me is that you were not forced to go to train and nobody forced you.  Was Andrew protecting you?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Andrew was never willing for me to go and train.

Commission Sooka:    Did other men rape you or did Andrew protect you from that?

Fatmata Jalloh:        I never experienced that.

Commissioner Sooka:    When “Operation Born Naked” took place did you also take part in it?

Fatmata Jalloh:    Yes that was a matter of must for everybody on the ground.  Even the soldiers did.  We had on our pants but we were asked not to wear white so that the enemies will not notice us.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did you witness other girls being raped?

Fatmata Jalloh:        No.

Commissioner Sooka:    You said you witnessed the  fight  between the RUF and SLA.

Fatmata Jalloh:    We were not staying in the same village.  There was a quarrel between the SLA and RUF.  The RUF ordered the SLA to go away from the village.  The quarrel was between SAJ Musa and Superman.  They wanted to kill SAJ Musa at that point.  I was only told the cause of the problem.  Whilst they were staying together the SLA and the RUF, one of the boys of Superman killed a civilian and SAJ Musa was annoyed and SAJ Musa in turn killed the boy that killed the civilian.  So Superman said SAJ. Musa should not have killed the RUF because of a civilian. 

Commissioner Sooka:    You remained with the SLA?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes

Commissioner Sooka:    Your statement also mentioned the abduction of UN peace keepers.

Fatmata Jalloh:    No.  I was here when the Kenyans arrived in Makeni.  Earlier in my statement I said that I had to run away to Mile 91.  It was during that time the Kenyans were captured.

Commissioner Sooka:    How did you know about it?

Fatmata Jalloh:        I heard that over the radio and also people  around used to talk about it.

Commissioner Sooka:    What did people say?

Fatmata Jalloh:    I was only told that they had attacked the Kenyans  in order to drive them out of this  place.

Commissioner Sooka:    How long did you spend with Sinnah?

Fatmata Jalloh:        I was with him for nine months.

Commissioner Sooka:    After the first time were you bleeding very badly?

Fatmata Jalloh:        I bled but not too much.

Commissioner Sooka:    Now do you have any long term problems?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    The doctors said you are fine?

Fatmata Jalloh:    Yes I had gone to the Magburaka Government Hospital and they said I have no problem.  That time I was suffering from stomach ache but it was worms.

Commissioner Sooka:    The reason why you lost the baby was it because of the hard life in the bush?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes. 

Commissioner Jow:    Was it difficult when you had the baby.

Fatmata Jalloh:        The pain started in the morning but I was able to deliver at 5:00pm.

Commissioner Jow:    Did you deliver at the hospital?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes, at the Pentagon Hospital.

Commissioner Jow:    Did they allow you to see the baby?

Fatmata Jalloh:        No.  The baby was a girl.

Commissioner Jow:    Are you currently in a relationship?

Fatmata Jalloh:    No.  Because now I am on my skills training and I want to pay more attention on that and wait until God’s time for me to have my own partner

Commissioner Jow:    Do you have plans of getting married?

Fatmata Jalloh:        yes

Commissioner Sooka:    Are you happy with the training you have?

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    Are you afraid of men?

Fatmata  Jalloh:        Yes, I am afraid because I still consider myself a child.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Did you get   medical attention when you were pregnant?

Fatmata Jalloh:         In the early stages of the pregnancy I did not  get any medical attention.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Can you also describe the accommodation of the base and were it was located?

Fatmata Jalloh:        We were in Yemadogu in the Koinadugu District.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    You said some of the soldiers after abducting girls later  went  and brought their wives.  Were their wives living with you in the same place?

Fatmata Jalloh:    Yes, we were living in the same house but what happened was that some of these girls because of the maltreatment from the wives, some the girls had to find other boyfriends.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Did you have casualties when crossing the rivers to go to Freetown?

Fatmata Jalloh:        I cannot tell because we usually crossed at night.

Ms.Apori-Nkansah:    Do you have any ceremony in your culture that you perform concerning  returnee(s) from abduction?

Fatmata Jalloh:    Yes.  That is part of our culture.  For instance when your child is taken away, you pray that the child comes back.  If the child returns, they wash their feet and mouth.  Those who have parents, they do it for them; but for me I have no parents.

Ms.Apori-Nkansah:    That means you have not yet been welcomed back.

Fatmata Jalloh:        Yes.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Do you have any relative to perform this ceremony for you?

Fatmata Jalloh:        No.

Commissioner Sooka:    We thank you for sharing your testimony with us.  We have asked you so many questions.  We want you to ask us questions now.

Fatmata Jalloh:    I am begging the government to have mercy on us.  We the children have suffered in the war.  We have learnt the skills but have not got the capital to start to be self-reliant.  We are appealing to the government to appreciate our predicament and come to our aid ; so that we  do not continue to suffer.  We have learnt the skills but if we are not going to practice we will not benefit from it at all.

Commissioner Sooka:    How do you support yourself currently?

Fatmata Jalloh:        I have learnt the skills and sometimes I get some jobs to do.

2nd Witness – Koya Fatmata Sanu

My name is Fatmata Sanu.  I am a Muslim.  The oath was administered by Commissioner Yasmin Sooka


I was in my village in Batkanu.   Then, we heard that the rebels had attacked the neighbouring village.  We ran into the bush.  From the part of the bush where we had taken refuge, we could hear the firing of gun shots; so we went further and further into the bush. My brother came and informed us that the rebels have attacked our village.  We  headed for another village.  My father decided to come to the village to  see things for himself.  He saw the rebels and retreated into the bush.  We were all confused and afraid and we put our hope and trust in God.  We went further into the bush , but even at that we still came across rebels .Therefore, we had to go further and further and further into the forest.   We stayed there for two months. Feeling tired of the forest  ,we  decided to take a chance. We came back to the village.
Not long after we had arrived in   our village there was a rebel attack.  We were attacked at about 2:00am.Every one was asleep when the alarm came that the rebels had entered the village. Everybody ran in search of safety.In their hurry, the left me in the house as I was in a deep sleep. I was awoken by the sound of abusive languages of all sorts all over the place.    As I woke up I tried to run away but unfortunately, I met a rebel at the door.  I tried to make it but he held my hand firmly.  They had a girl next to me.  She was wearing a piece of cloth and they removed the cloth from her and tore it and  used it to bind us.  They continued to capture other girls.  They  put us all in the same place. Then,  they  began  to ask us questions.  They asked us to show them where the kamajors and others were.  We told them that we had no such knowledge. They threatened to kill all of us if we fail to  show them .We pleaded with them and explained that we do not know about those people, but all to no effect. We began to hope only on divine intervention  . They sent one boy who was just a little taller than me.  They asked him to go and bring a mortar.  So this boy did and put the mortar in the middle of the group.  They called my uncle and asked him to lay his hand.  He started pleading.  He was beheaded.  They said they did not want to hear any word .  They called one of my friends who was pregnant.  They asked her to lay her hand on the mortar and they amputated her two hands.  I was the third person they called.  I did not say a word.  They said I should lay down my hand. I placed my right hand and they chopped my hand.  They asked me to lay my left hand and they chopped it three times; the fourth time I had to remove it by force.  The machete was dull otherwise the hand would have come off. 

They called my friend who was captured with me.  She started crying because her mother was around.  They told her to stop crying.  They said they will kill her despite her mother’s presence.  She ran to her mother.  She was killed immediately.They dragged her remains to the back of the house    When they finished  working on my hand ,they told me to sit in a corner.  They called my aunt and asked her to lay her hand and they chopped off her two hands.  The remaining people were killed ,including some children .  After they had killed some and chopped off the hands of  those of us left alive, they went their way .  The next day my brother came to town looking for us.  As he came he met my aunty and uncle killed.  He saw what had happened and took me along with him.  We walked from Batkanu to Makeni.  I was admitted in the hospital.  The doctor suggested that my hand should be chopped off.  My people pleaded with them and they asked for Le7, 000 before they could stitch my hand.  My uncle hadn’t money at that time , so he had to borrow.  Then they stitched my hand.  My uncle went again to get the prescribed drugs .  I stayed in the hospital for three days.  Later we went to Freetown.  I was taken to the Connaught Hospital.   I was treated and I stayed in the hospital for two months and I was discharged.  I was taken to the Waterloo Camp.  I stayed there until there was a rebel attack in Masiaka and I went to Freetown.  Also Freetown was attacked and they nearly captured me.  We were moved to Aberdeen camp.  From that time they separated the war wounded from the amputees and the war wounded stayed at Grafton and the amputees at Aberdeen.  Later on they decided to build a house for us.  I am presently staying there at Makama.

Commissioner Mrs.Satang Ajaratou Jow: We thank you for coming to us this morning and for sharing your  experiences with us.  This is very important for the Commission and the whole of Sierra Leone.  You have had a very harrowing experience.  It is important for everybody to know so that something will be done for people like you and the recommendations we make in our final report will help to forestall the recurrence of what happened in this country.

Commissioner Jow:    Tell us which district your village is in ?

Koya F. Sanu:        Bombali district

Commissioner Jow:    How old are you now?

Koya F. Sanu:        I am seventeen years.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you give us an idea as to when this thing happened?

Koya F. Sanu:        This is the fifth year since this incident took place.

Commissioner Jow:    How old do you think you were at that time?

Koya F. Sanu:        12 years.

Commissioner Jow:    Were you in school?

Koya F. Sanu:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us about your family circumstances at that time?

Koya F.Sanu:        They were all alive.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us when the rebels attacked you ran into the bush and then you came back. When you came back did they destroy the village?

Koya F.Sanu:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    There was no looting or burning of a house?

Koya F.Sanu:        Houses were not burnt but there was looting.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you know the group?

Koya F. Sanu:    No. I only heard some of the names .The head of the group was Cyborg , the other was called ‘Killer’.  These are the two names I can remember.

Commissioner Jow:    How many people were there in the group?

Koya F.Sanu :        There were a lot of them in large number.

Commissioner Jow:    Were they all men?

Koya F. Sanu:        No, they were mixed.  There were women.

Commissioner Jow:    What did the women do?

Koya F. Sanu:        They sit and watch the men.

Commissioner Jow:    Were they amputated?

Koya F. Sanu:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    So, that means they were part of the rebels.

Koya F. Sanu:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    You made mention of a boy who was sent to bring the mortar.  Can you tell us the age of the boy?

Koya F. Sanu:         About  18years.

Commissioner Jow:    Were there young boys in the group?

Koya F. Sanu:        Yes.  The number was large.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you know the names of the others that were amputated?

Koya F.Sanu:         Yes.  They were my relations.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us their names?

Koya F.Sanu:        Yanor Essay, Gbassy Kanu, Momoh Kamara. The other people died

Commissioner Jow:    Did they die on the spot?

Koya F. Sanu:        Yes, they died on the spot.

Commissioner Jow:    When they chopped off your hand what did they say to you?

Koya F. Sanu:        They told me to go to Tejan Kabba to give me a hand.

Commissioner Jow:    Was there one particular rebel assigned for cutting people’s hand?

Koya F. Sanu:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did you hear the name of the rebel who chopped off your hand?

Koya F. Sanu:        They were calling him Borbor.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did they dress in military fatigue?

Koya F. Sanu:    Some were in civilian clothes and some were in military uniform.  The one that chopped off my hand was in military uniform.

Commissioner Sooka:    Can you tell if they were rebels or soldiers?

Koya F. Sanu:        They were rebels.

Commissioner Sooka:    What language did they speak?

Koya F. Sanu:        They spoke Krio, some spoke Temne and other languages.

Commissioner Sooka:    Since that incident  have you again seen these rebels?

Koya F. Sanu:        No.  Even if we met I would not identify them.

Commissioner Sooka:    Have you gone back to school?

Koya F. Sanu:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    What class are you  in?

Koya F.Sanu:        I sat for the NPSC5 this year.

Commissioner Sooka:    Are you with your parents?

Koya F.Sanu:    Yes, I am staying with my mother and sister.  She is presently in Freetown.

Commissioner Sooka:    How does your mother support you?

Koya F. Sanu:    My father has been doing his best but presently he is sick.  At the moment there is no money.

Commissioner Jow:    You have helped us a greatly.I will like to know whether the rebels did other things apart form the amputations.  Did they rape any girl?

Koya F. Sanu:        No.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Do you know  the name of the person who was beheaded and the girl who was killed?

Koya F. Sanu:        Momoh Kamara, Isatu Kargbo.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you have any question?

Koya F.Sanu:        Could you please tell me why we have been asked to come here?

Commissioner Sooka:    This Commission is about recording the experiences of the war during the ten years so we can understand why it happened.  So we can understand why people’s limbs were amputated, why women were raped and why young people were abducted to participate in the war.

We especially have to ask girls what they have suffered so that we can make recommendations to government.  So that three things can happen; we make sure that the conflict does not begin again and the peace holds, we can reconcile people with their families and communities, we can make recommendations about how to help victims particularly women and children.

That is why we need to hear all that you have to say .

Koya F. Sanu:    I am saying this because I have been  derided that my hand is not straight. 

Commissioner Sooka:    Often those who have not gone through suffering  are always cruel.  Part of what we have to do is to educate people that these things happened in the conflict and that in-fact you have survived with your limbs.  It is a miracle that you are still able to move your hands. I think the Commission has a huge responsibility to educate the community.  Thank you Koya.

3rd – Witness – Isatu Isha Bangura

My name is Isatu Isha Bangura.  I am a Muslim.  The oath was administered by Commissioner Yasmin Sooka .


During the war when the rebels entered Madina, a man met me sleeping.  This man woke me from my sleep and told me he was going to rape me.  This man asked me to choose between  rape and death.I had no answer. I was there speechless .  He made the decision that he was going to rape me instead of killing me.  Indeed he raped me.  I went back to my house and then he went away. Then my mother asked me where I was coming from. I narrated everything to her.  My mother wanted to chase them but then everything had been done and they had left.  So we had to stay at home because the man had left.    

Commissioner Sooka:    I know it must have been a very traumatic experience.  The Commission has a special responsibility and that is to listen to the experiences of women and girls during the war especially about rape. We need to know why there was so much of it.  Often we ask you very difficult questions that make you feel uncomfortable.  That is not because we want to hurt you again but because we need to make sure that we have all these details recorded.

Commissioner Jow:    How old were you at the time of the incident?

Isatu Bangura:        I was 13 years.

Commissioner Jow:    Were you in school?

Isatu Bangura:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:     Which class were you  in at that time?

Isatu Bangura:        Class four.

Commissioner Jow:      Were you doing well in  school?

Isatu Bangura:        Yes

Commissioner Jow:    You said in 1999 your village was attacked by armed men.  Did you actually see them?

Isatu Bangura:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    But you knew they had come to attack your village?

Isatu Bangura:        I heard the news but I did not see them.

Commissioner Jow:    How many of them  came to your house?

Isatu Bangura:        I cannot tell.  I only saw one person.

Commissioner Jow:    You said he moved you from your house to another house  ?

Isatu Bangura:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:     Where were your parents?

Isatu Bangura:        Everybody ran away when the rebels struck .

Commissioner Jow:    You told us that you shouted when you were being raped  ?

Isatu Bangura:    Yes, I shouted because that was the first time I ever had that experience.

Commissioner Jow:    Did anyone come to your rescue?

Isatu Bangura:        No. People were afraid to come out.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you describe the man that moved you from your house.  Was he carrying a gun?

Isatu Bangura:    The trousers were in combat but the shirt was not.  He had a knife in his hand.  He said if I shout he will kill me.

Commissioner Jow:    You said he took you to another house whose house was it?

Isatu Bangura:            A neighbour’s house. 

Commissioner Jow:    What did the woman say?

Isatu Bangura:    The woman asked who was shouting then the rebel said, “just shut up or I will kill you.”

Commissioner Jow:    You said he raped you for a long time. Can you tell us how long?

Isatu Bangura:            I cannot tell.

Commissioner Jow:    You also told us you started bleeding.

Isatu Bangura:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    What happened after  the man had left?

Isatu Bangura:        I was bleeding and I felt sick for one week.

Commissioner Jow:    Your mother was angry with the rebels.  What support did she give to you after?

Isatu Bangura:    After the incident I told my mother that I was going to die.  Because she did not want me to die she encouraged me and told me she will take care of me properly.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us the name of the man that raped you?

Isatu Bangura:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    Were you the only girl that was raped?

Isatu Bangura:        No.  There were two of us but the other one is now married.

Commissioner Jow:    Did they  abduct any girl ?

Isatu Bangura:        I do not know.

Commissioner Jow:    How do you feel now?

Isatu Bangura:        I am well and ok.

Commissioner Jow:     Are you still living with your parents?

Isatu Bangura:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you feel angry at times  about  what happened to you?

Isatu Bangura:        Sometimes I   cry, but my mother has always been there to support me.

Commissioner Jow:    Have you spoken to anybody about this apart from the TRC?

Isatu Bangura:        No.

Commissioner Sooka:    Have you gone back to school?

Isatu Bangura:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    What class are you in?

Isatu Bangura:        Form 1.

Commissioner Sooka:    Are you afraid of men?

Isatu Bangura:        No.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you dream about this incident?

Isatu Bangura :        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    What do you do when you wake up after the dream?

Isatu Bangura:    I  have always told my mother but she has never done anything about that .

Commissioner Sooka:    Have you received any counselling?

Isatu Bangura:        No, except from my mother.

Commissioner Sooka:    Were you examined in a hospital after this incident?

Isatu Bangura:        No.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you suffer from any problem, no soreness, and no discharge?

Isatu Bangura:        No.

Commissioner Sooka:    Does your father know that you were raped?

Isatu Bangura:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    In your village did they do any kind of ritual ceremony to cleanse you up?

Isatu Bangura:        No.

Commissioner Sooka:    What do you want to do with your life one day?

Isatu Bangura:        I want to be a teacher.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you want to marry one day?

Isatu Bangura:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you have anybody now?

Isatu Bangura:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    Who is supporting your education?

Isatu Bangura:        My mother.

Commissioner Jow:    What does your mother do?

Isatu Bangura:        She is a housewife and she also engages herself in subsistence  farming.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you have problems paying your fees?

Isatu Bangura:    Sometimes I am driven out of school for one week before she is able to raise funds for my school fees.

Leader of Evidence: Ms. Lydia  Apori-Nkansah

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    May I know the name of your village?

Isatu Bangura:        Madina.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    Do other people apart from your family know that you were raped?

Isatu Bangura:        Yes.

Ms. Apori-Nkansah:    How does it affect you?  Do they treat you in a particular way because of the experience you had?

Isatu Bangura:        No.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you have any questions

Isatu Bangura:        I have no questions

Isatu Bangura:        I just want the government to help me with my education

Commissioner Sooka:    I can see that you are still deeply affected so I will arrange for the Leader of Evidence to put you in touch with a professional counsellor for counselling.  I know it is very difficult for you but it is very important for us to know and share your painful experience.  I am very happy to see that what happened to you had not clearly disrupted your life.  You are able to go back to school.  We will take your recommendations to the Commission and will tell the government that most of the children want to be educated.

4th Witness – John Sesay

Commissioner Sooka: We  welcome you to the hearings this afternoon.  We have taken an oath of confidentially.  We will not disclose whatever you say; so please feel comfortable and relax and tell us what happened to you.

My name is John Sesay.  I am a Christian.  The oath was administered by Commissioner Yasmin Sooka.


The day the war came to  Tongo  we were in school.  We went to school in the afternoon.  We were in the classroom when gun shots began to ring out rapidly .  As we heard that, we all began to run back to our respective homes .  Before we got home, we saw people carrying guns  at everywhere .  When they got to our home, my father was held , told  to undress and then was tied up.  They got hold of me and locked me in a room.  They said they were going to put the house on fire, we began to cry and plead for compassion and they released us.  They took hold of  my father dumped him  in the gutter and shot him dead .  We wanted to cry, they said if we dared that, they would  kill us all.  They gave us loads to carry and they took the whole family away.They turned us all into porters. We were forced into the bush travelling with the loads on our heads .We with them when they attacked  Kono.  After the attack we were there for a week.  When the rebels were repelled they went back into the bush.   We then went back to Tongo.  Later, they attacked the kamajors at Tongo.  We were in Tongo for a while and we heard that  it was time for Disarmament.  They took us in a helicopter and  brought us to Makeni.  We were camped at CARITAS.  Then the UNAMSIL problem came.There was much tension and commotion.  Then CARITAS accepted to protect us but, some bosses came and  threatened they would kill all of us if we did not vanish at once .  The CARITAS officers told them that we were not rebels but students.  They said it was a lie.  We walked until we got to  Mile 91.  They  showed our documents to some Kenyans and then they released us.  We went to Freetown.  From Freetown we went to Lungi.  From Lungi we were repatriated.

Commissioner  Sooka:    We know that you have just summarized your statement.  We just want to ask some questions for clarifications.

Bishop Humper:    Thank you for coming here this afternoon. How old were you when you were abducted?

John Sesay:        I was very young. I cannot tell.

Bishop Humper:        Do you know the year you were abducted?

John Sesay:        Yes. 1992.

Bishop Humper:        When were you released?

John Sesay:        2002

Bishop Humper:        You were with them from 1992 to 2002.

John Sesay:        Yes.

Bishop Humper:        Did you take part in the fighting?

John Sesay:        I was very young, I only moved with them. 

Bishop Humper:        Did they train you to fight?

John Sesay:        I was very young.  But I watched them train.

Bishop Humper:        So ,it means you did not fight.

John Sesay:        I only carried the ammunitions.

Bishop Humper:        Did they give you drugs?

John Sesay:        They prepared marijuana as coffee for us to drink.

Bishop Humper:        Since you left them have you taken any drug?

John Sesay:        I smoke cigarette.

Bishop Humper:        What did you see happen in Koidu?

John Sesay:    When we reached Koidu, they started burning the town.There was smoke every where. 

Bishop Humper:        What are you doing now?

John Sesay:        I am a student.

Bishop Humper:        What form are you in?

John Humper:        JSS 36.

Bishop Humper:        Are you one of those taking the BECE7 this year?

John Sesay:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us how many people were abducted?

John Sesay:        We were many because we were in school.

Commissioner Jow:    Were you all boys or girls?

John Sesay:        Both boys and girls.

Commissioner Jow:    Those abducted that particular day.  Were you all in the same group?

John Sesay:        No, we were scattered.  There was not only one group.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us they abducted your family in your testimony what happened to them    ?

John Sesay:        I only know about my brother and my father.

Commissioner Jow:    What happen to your father and brother?

John Sesay:    My father was  killed .  My brother was sick ;he was treated but  he was not responding to treatment and they decided to kill him.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you know the whereabout of your mother and sister?

John Sesay:        My mother is in Robia village and my sister is in Lunsar.

Commissioner Jow:    You told us that you were abducted twice.  Can you tell us how you escaped and were recaptured?

John Sesay:    When they attacked Kono; by then my uncle was still with us,we made a move but it was no use. There was no where you would go without  encountering rebels and so I was captured again. 

Commissioner Jow:    This second time you were abducted to where did they take you?

John Sesay:        To Tongo.

Commissioner Jow:    Were you trained?

John Sesay:    Being rather very young I was not trained .However,I was opportuned to being regularly taken to the training camp.

Commissioner Jow:    Were you with them from 1992 to 2001  ?

John Sesay:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    In which base did you spend most of your time?

John Sesay:        Between Kono and Tongo

Commissioner Jow:     Were you in any particular base?

John Sesay:             In Jo Bush in Tongo.

Commissioner Jow:    Which kind of work did you perform for the rebels?

John Sesay:    Whenever we ran out of food we were given the responsibility to go and search for food. Some strong men were usually selected to go with us to find the food ,while we carried the food for them.   When we came across any  river we used  banana tubes to go through the river.

Commissioner Jow:    Where you assigned to any commander?

John Sesay:        Yes.  I was his security.

Commissioner Jow:    You were his bodyguard  ?

John Sesay:        Yes

Commissioner Jow:     Where you given a gun?

John Sesay:        I was given a pistol.

Commissioner Jow:     Were you trained?

John Sesay:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:     Where and when?

John Sesay:        In Makeni at Bishop’s house.

Commissioner Jow:     As early as when?

John Sesay:        In1999 by one colonel Titus.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you know about the SBU?

John Sesay:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:     Can you tell us about it.

John Sesay:    There was a leader he was also an SBU.  At times when we want to launch  certain  kinds of attack, it is these small boys who  are organized to lead the attack.  Sometimes if you do not want to go, they grab you and put you in the vehicle. You may decide not to fight but whenever you are found doing that anywhere ; you will be shot dead.

Commissioner Jow:     Were you part of the Unit?

John Sesay:        I was so small at that time I was unable to go and fight.

Commissioner Jow:    In your written testimony you told us you witnessed many atrocities.  Is that right?

John Sesay:        Yes; for the amputation.

Commissioner Jow:    How many people were amputated?

John Sesay:        I witnessed  the scene where three children were amputated in Kono.

Commissioner Jow:    Did they tell you why they did this?

John Sesay:        They said they had to carry the message to Tejan Kabba.

Commissioner Jow:    Were you close to any of the rebels?

John Sesay:        I can identify only the commander I stayed with.

Commissioner Jow:    What was the name of the commander?

John Sesay:        Col. Titus

Commissioner Jow:    Was that the only name you know?

John Sesay:        I only know CO.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us about the attack in Koidu?

John Sesay:    In my presence, immediately they entered the town, they started burning houses and amputating people.

Commissioner Jow:    I know you were young at that time how did you feel?

John Sesay:    I felt bad because I should have been in school and not watching such obscenities.

Prof. Kamara :    It is a pity about what happened to you during the war.  We do not need to distress you, if anything we are thankful to you for having the courage to come to us and tell us your experience.  And because we appreciate we also feel we must know everything you have gone through.  That is why we ask these questions to complete the picture.  Now I want to take you back from the period you were abducted to the time you were brought back to Makeni.  The statement that we have does not clarify your movement and the time you spent with these people.  You were first abducted in Tongo in 1992.  Is that correct?

John Sesay:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:        Then they took you into the bush.

John Sesay:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:        From the bush you went to Koidu.

John Sesay:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:        At Koidu you escaped and went to your uncle.

John Sesay:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:        Your uncle took you from Kabala and took you to Koinadugu District.

John Sesay:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:        It was there that the rebels attacked and abducted you?

John Sesay:        Yes

Prof.Kamara:        Was it in the village that you tried to escape with five others?

John Sesay:        It was between Kabala and Kono.

Prof.Kamara:        The rebels killed three of the five.

John Sesay:        Yes. 

Prof.Kamara:        Do you know what happened to the other two?

John Sesay:        After the  killing of three, the other two and I went along with them.

Prof.Kamara:        So you went right back to Tongo.

John Sesay:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:        When did you come back to Bombali?

John Sesay:        I can’t remember the year.

Prof.Kamara:        You made mention that two women were abducted.

John Sesay:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:        Where was that?

John Sesay:        Between Sewafe to Kono on the bridge.  We were trying to escape. 

Prof.Kamara:        What happened to the women?

John Sesay:    One had her hand chopped off, the other the rebels took her away.  I do not know  what became of  her .

Prof.Kamara:    You were in Bombali when the rebels captured the UNAMSIL and you stayed with them until 2002 when Caritas took you.

John Sesay:    I was in the Centre when the boss man said if they met us in the centre they would kill us.  We all scattered.  We had nowhere to go.

Prof.Kamara:    Were you here when Foday Sankoh visited Makeni to talk to the people on disarmament?

John Sesay:        It was at Wusum Field but I was not present.

Prof.Kamara:    Where you here when Issa Sesay took over the control of the Northern Province?

John Sesay:        Yes.

Prof.Kamara:    And therefore you must be able to tell us some of the atrocities caused by some of the rebels in Makeni.  Did you know about a station at Magburaka were the UNAMSIL people has established a disarmament camp?

John Sesay:        I heard about it but I did not go there.

Prof.Kamara:    Did you hear about the slaughter of some Kenyans when they tried to disarm rebels in that camp?

John Sesay:    Yes.  I heard about that.  That was what caused the problem in the town. 

Prof.Kamara:        Do you know the details?

John Sesay:    We were told the rebels went to disarm but their bosses stopped them.  That brought the problem in the town.

Prof.Kamara:    Did you also hear about one English man who was the observer at the camps who escaped from Bombali to Mile 91?

John Sesay:        No

Commissioner Sooka:    You spent a number of years with the rebels.  You told us that you were under Commander Titus.  Is it true?

John Sesay:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    Was that from the beginning of your abduction?

John Sesay:        No

Commissioner Sooka:    The first time you were abducted to whom were you assigned?

John Sesay:        I was assigned to Akim.

Commissioner Sooka:    Was Akim looking after you or had he special work for you?

John Sesay:        He was looking after me because I was young.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did they ever at any time tell you  where they go and what they do?

John Sesay:    No.  But on their return they usually fired  gunshots indiscriminately which  usually frightened me.

Commissioner Sooka:    Amongst the small boys did you have any friend? 

John Sesay:        Yes.  I do not know his real name.  He was called poison.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did they give him the name for any specific reasons?

John Sesay:        No

Commissioner Sooka:    How old was he. 

John Sesay:        He was older than me.

Commissioner Sooka:    What sort of things did you discuss?

John Sesay:    He told me not to be afraid.  He said even if I am taken to the battlefield I should not be afraid. He was later  shot  in a battle against the kamajors.

Commissioner  Sooka:    When you were with Commander Titus was that the time you were trained?

John Sesay:    He taught me how to use a pistol.  He never took me to a training base because I was small.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did you say you carried their ammunitions?

John Sesay:        They threatened to kill me if I refused to carry it.

Commissioner Sooka:    Were they sending you to the battlefront or were you with your commander?

John Sesay:    They were always in front , while I maintained some safe distance behind them.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you remember how many battles you were involved in?

John Sesay:        Only in Kono.

Commissioner Sooka:    Were you frightened?

John Sesay :        Yes, because that was my first time.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did they take you along with them when they were going around burning houses and looting?

John Sesay:    They left me at home because I was not able to walk.  If I walk my foot got swollen.

Commissioner Sooka:    How old should one be to join the SBU?

John Sesay:        I do not know.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did you get any other work to do for the commander?

John Sesay:        His wife used to send me to go and fetch water. 

Commissioner Sooka:    Were they kind to you?

John Sesay:        For me it was bad.

Commissioner Sooka:    Why did you think so?

John Sesay:    Because the way we lived compared to life with  my parents was so different.  If you refused to do what they wanted they would kill you.

Commissioner Sooka:    Did they ever kill any young boy in your presence?

John Sesay:        Yes

Commissioner Sesay:    Was it your twin brother?

John Sesay:    Yes.   He was sick.  He was treated; but he was  not responding to  the treatment, so they killed him.

Commissioner Sooka:    How did you feel?

John Sesay:        I felt bad. 

Commissioner Sooka:    Did you often go hungry?

John Sesay:    Yes.  Because we were  often on the move. Generally, there was no other food except cassava and banana.  We ate them raw.

Commissioner Sooka:     You must have seen them commit a lot of atrocities.

John Sesay:        Yes.

Commissioner Sooka:    What else did you see?

John Sesay :        The burning of houses ; even ours was not spared.

Commissioner:        Did you see them do bad things to young girls?

John Sesay:    At that time when they captured the girls they took them to other towns and later came back to us.

Commissioner:        Were you ever  asked to commit any atrocity?

John Sesay:        No

Commissioner Sooka:    Did they ever try to sexually violate you?

John Sesay:        No.  I was very young.

Commissioner Sooka:    When you were placed in care of CARITAS did you receive any counselling?

John Sesay:        Yes

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you still receive counselling?

John Sesay:    Yes.  There are some times when I see my friends’ parents and I remember mine.

Commissioner Sooka:    Whom are you staying with now?

John Sesay:        I am staying with my uncle.

Commissioner Sooka:    Are you happy that the war is over. 

John Sesay:        Yes I am happy.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you still remember about what happened to your brother?

John Sesay:    No; a lot of my colleagues come to me and we play together. So many things are helping me in coming to terms with that and getting over it.

Mr. Charm:    In your testimony you said your brother and father were killed.  Can we have their names?
John Sesay:         Father - Sheku Sesay; brother – Alusine Sesay.

Mr. Charm:        Since you returned have you had any cleansing ceremony?

John Sesay:        Though there was no ceremony my mother was happy to see me.

Commissioner Sooka:     Now is the time for you to ask us questions or make recommendations.

John Sesay:        What is going to be our fate now that we are talking to the Commission?

Bishop Humper:    We are very much concerned about women, girls and children.  This commission unlike other commissions in the world, have special assignment to look at the needs of children, women and girls.  Fortunately there are organizations and NGO who will help the Commission in implementing their mandate.  The international community is expecting to see the report to know what happened to children so that they will be able to prepare a future for you.

John Sesay:        What are the reasons for asking all these questions?

Bishop Humper:    We have a job to do but we have to find out what are the problems you experienced during this war period.  So that we can record it to say that this is what happened to the children in Sierra Leone and we also have to find out why some of these things happened and based on what you have experienced and the scars it has left on you we have to recommend on what we think better.  We also have to make sure what we need to do so that another war will not break again.  Our report will go to the government,the UN and other international agencies.  That is why we intend to  make sure that the government follows our recommendations.  We need to know so that we can do something about it.

John Sesay:        Why should the perpetrators be set free?

Bishop Humper:    That is a difficult question.  For you perhaps there may be no answer to satisfy you.  I hope that in the end you will see the logic and accept it.  You have been with these people you were so distressed and so afraid that everyday of your life was miserable.  So I am sure in your heart, you wanted that kind of situation to change immediately.  Government was also thinking about people like you and others the rebels abducted.  So they were finding ways of getting them to put down the arms.  Finally through the support of the international community they were able to go to Lome and negotiate the cease fire.  But as you know those rebels who were causing all these troubles, were themselves Sierra Leoneans. For them to accept the peace to come to Sierra Leone was to endanger them. So they decided that they are ready to accept to put down their arms’ but you must let the people of Sierra Leone forgive us and accept us.  If we can’t get that security we can’t put our guns down.’  So this forgiveness is the price we all have to pay for the peace we are enjoying today.  If you are happy for the peaceful Sierra Leone it is because the government did this for us the Sierra Leonean citizens .That is why we cannot go and task them for what they did to us.

Commissioner Sooka:    It is a crime in terms of International law for those who recruited young boys and abduct them to fight in a way.  Everybody can’t be punished the heads have been charged by the Special Court and one of the crime which they have been charged for is the abduction of young children.  I am sure many people like you want these people to be punished but because of the peace we cannot punish them all. That is why it is important to listen to your testimony.

John Sesay:        I do not know when CARITAS will fold up as they are presently responsible for our  education ?  We need support and assistance in our schooling.

Commissioner Sooka:    We thank you very much.  You did not know which day you may have been killed so no child wants to come up in that condition.  You are alive with your hands and feet in tact and you have gone back to school.  You are a brave young man.  We are happy that you have gone back to school.  I am sorry that your brother died.  I hope that this is being as useful for you as it is for us.

5th  – Witness – Ferenkeh Jabbie

My name is Ferenkeh Jabbie.  I am a Muslim.  The oath was administered by Commissioner Yasmin Sooka.


Since we all believe in God ,I ask everybody here present to call on Him in the manner of his or her own religious beliefs.  I am happy to see you all around me.  First of all I want to tell you that I have lost my mother and father and I believe that the IRC8 will be my mother and father.  At present I am happy but my heart is in a lot of distress.  I am telling IRC thanks for they have done great things for me.  They have built a house for me.  I am staying with my younger brother.  They also furnished the house.  I am suffering because we do not have anything to eat.  I am in JSSI . When  my younger brother  returns from school he goes to the UNAMSIL to work .From there he gets some food.  That is the food we share and it is over for the day.  I   tried to sell the things provided by IRC but they advised us not to sell them.  While I should not be spoilt with food ,I do not think that it is right for me to die of hunger.   I have undergone several operations with several synthetic materials in my system.  My intestines are made of rubber.  When I am hungry the intestines fold and stretch.   My younger brother consoles me.  At present he has gone to the UNAMSIL camp to find some food.  The rainy season is fast approaching, therefore   I am appealing to you to help, for we have no food to eat.  I am staying there with other amputees; some of them will go to the street and their problems are external and visible. People sympathise with them. But I cannot go to the street because my problem is internal and  not obvious.

In the first place when I was abducted, I was still  very young . I was given human faeces to eat.   After that one of them took a bayonet and ripped open  my stomach.  ECOMOG came and took me to Freetown. I was unconscious and  so I just saw myself in the hospital.  I later was discharged and sent to waterloo.  The doctor there was Dr. Dunstan, working for ADRA.  When I got there I was  in much pain.  What he did  was to try to loosen the stitches. Then  I was taken to the ward.  I was taken again to the theatre because I was still feeling much pain.  The Dr. was confused and performed the operation three times.  He said I nearly lost my life in the theatre.  And that they   prayed until  I came back to life.  He came out and told the nurses that I had died but the Lord has brought me back to life.  A lady working for Handicap International called Valerie, the doctor, told her about me; and she started bringing provisions for me.  I ate eggs for a long time but I could not walk and I was ,for all practical purposes, a skeleton.I had to begin again to learn how to walk .  The nurses had to hold my hand and walk with me inside the hospital.   I stayed there for a while and the nurses were very sympathetic with me.  Rubbers were fixed from my nose to my stomach.  I spent one year in waterloo and I was not eating rice; I was drip-fed all through.  After that as I regained my health, I was taken to my tarpaulin booth.  I was there until the rebels attacked Waterloo and we went to Old Wharf.  There some white people came and built tent for us.  They used to cook rice for us and everybody would go with his/her own dish.  Old Wharf was attacked again and we went to the National Stadium, we were there but unable to get supply of provisions.  Our chairman called Muctar Jalloh who has now gone to America went and begged the people and they started supplying us.  We were transferred to Aberdeen Road.  The place at Aberdeen Road was not conducive so they took us to Grafton.  The IRC people met us at Grafton  and said they  were going to  build  houses for us.  They told us however, that they will not go to our individual villages ,  but that they will construct the houses in every district.  When we came to Makeni, the  WFP gave us three months supply.  I  could not eat the food supplied by the  WFP, so I sold it and bought rice for my brother and myself.  Since that time they have closed and we have not seen them.The way things are,  it is difficult for me to continue to live.  My younger brother who works for UNAMSIL helps me.  I   make this plea because I am sick.  We want to attend school my brother and I.  Even when we go to school we do not have lunch.  We do not have food to eat let alone lunch.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you give us an idea as to where this incident took place ?   

Mr. F. Jabbie:        It was in Kono.

Commissioner Jow:    What part of Kono?

Mr.F. Jabbie:        Bondamado.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you remember the year?

Mr. F. Jabbie:        I was  very young then . I cannot remember.

Commissioner Jow:    Do you know the group which abducted you?

Mr. F. Jabbie:        There were about three groups: Red Lion, Jungle Warrior, and Cyborg.

Commissioner Jow:    Were you ever in contact with these groups?

Mr.F. Jabbie:    When they attacked anywhere, Red Lion will be in front and then Jungle Warrior and Cyborg will be the last because they do no talk.

Commissioner Jow:    How long did you stay with them?

Mr. F.Jabbie:    I cannot remember. I was   very young .But I remember they captured one man and cut his throat.  He was offered as a sacrifice.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell me why they gave you faeces to eat?

Mr.F.Jabbie:    A lot of young boys were captured .All of them were killed  one by one.When  it came to my own turn to be killed,  they gave me human faeces to eat instead. But  the other one said “let us kill him ,he will not survive”. And the other one took the bayonet and stabbed me.

Commissioner Jow:    Did you sustain any injury when you were stabbed?

Mr. F.Jabbie:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    What immediate help did you get?

Mr. F.Jabbie:    It so happened that about two to three hours after I was stabbed   ECOMOG came and flushed out the rebels and they took me to the Connaught Hospital.

Bishop Humper:        These three groups of fighters were they all RUF?

Mr.F. Jabbie:    I cannot tell.  I only spent two days with them.  I do not know the actual group.  I do not know if they were mixed up.

Bishop Humper:    Tell us how you feel   now having gone through this traumatic experience.  What can you tell the elders concerning what happened to you and your age group?

Mr.F. Jabbie:    I want to appeal to the government to strengthen the security so that there will not be a repetition of the war. On the other hand, we, the children are the leaders of tomorrow and therefore, I would like ,  the children to be protected.

Prof. Kamara:     At the time when these people stabbed you with the bayonet, was your stomach showing any signs of swelling?

Mr.F. Jabbie:    After I had taken the faeces, my stomach began to swell and the others said,” let us bayonet him.”  At present even a navel, I do not have.  It has equally been cut off. 

Commissioner Sooka:    You said you were young when they took you  ?

Mr.F. Jabbie:    Yes. At that time I was very a small boy; but I was able to  see and discern  certain  things.

Commissioner Sooka:    How long were you with them?

Mr.F. Jabbie:    Two days.  My companions were abducted first and, I was  abducted later on. My companions were killed and they did this to me.

Commissioner Sooka:    You said your mother and father  are dead  ?

Mr.F. Jabbie:    I do not know the whereabouts of my father.  My mother is dead.  It was my mother who took care of me.  My father never took care of us since birth.

Commissioner Sooka:    When was the last time you saw him?

Mr.F. Jabbie:        It has been  a long time.

Commissioner Sooka:    Do you have any other family?

Mr.F. Jabbie:        Except my uncle, but he too was amputated?

Commissioner Sooka:    So you have nobody to assist you.

Mr.F. Jabbie:        None, except God.

Leader of Evidence : Mr. Abdulai Charm

Mr. Charm:    You said you spent two days with the rebels do you know whether other villages were attacked?

Mr.F. Jabbie:        No; I have no idea about it

Mr. Charm:    The group that abducted you ;do you know if they were under the influence of drugs?

Mr.F. Jabbie:        Yes .They took them.  They smoked and drank.

Mr. Charm:        Can you tell us the age of the commander?

Mr. F. Jabbie:        I cannot remember.

Mr. Charm:        Were there boys amongst them?

Mr.F. Jabbie:    They had both men and women.  And the women were cooking for them.

Commissioner Jow:    Presently, do you have any medical attention?

Mr.F. Jabbie:        That is the problem. I have no medical attention.

Commissioner Jow:    So you do  not go to the government hospital when you feel pain? 

Mr. F. Jabbie:        I  do not have any idea about that.

Commissioner Jow:    What about the camp.  Do you have any medical facility there?

Mr. F. Jabbie:        No, there is no medical facility there.

Commissioner Jow:    Do the UNAMSIL people know about your condition?

Mr. F. Jabbie:    Yes, I have two friends who are aware about this problem.  The last time  one of them gave me Le10, 000.

Mr. F. Jabbie:    I want to thank you very much.  Now I am staying with my younger brother.  I am appealing to you and the government; if you cannot help me or assist me, please take care of my younger brother.

Commissioner Sooka:    We ourselves do not take care of anybody.  We will not be able to take care of your immediate needs.  Our staff will take you to the government hospital in Makeni.  We need to know the name of your younger brother.

Mr. F. Jabbie:    I have two brothers, the one that is assisting me is Lansana Jabbie and the other is Foray.

Commissioner Sooka:    We will find out about the NGO in Freetown that will help you with your problem. We want to ask your permission for a snapshot of your stomach to be taken so that we can know exactly what to do.

Mr. F. Jabbie:    I am happy about that.  I know it will be to the benefit of all of us.  I am ready.

Commissioner Sooka:    It is a pity that you do not know the whereabouts of your father; we could have  found him and taken legal action against him for not discharging his responsibilities.

6th  – Witness – Mohamed Kamara

My name is Mohamed Kamara.  I am a Christian.  The oath was administered by Commissioner Yasmin Sooka


May the Lord help us. I hail from Kailahun District, Mahilah Chiefdom.  I was born there but was brought up at Kono.  I was working at a bakery in Tankoro.  My residence was a bit far from my work place.  We were there at the work place when the town was attacked.  I was abducted in September.  When I was abducted I was taken to Gandorhun.  I was a small boy.  The only person who was taking care of me was a Temne woman  who was equally an apprentice in the bakery .  We spent there 12 months as captives before we escaped .  The woman said, “here there is a lot of problem”, she said, “do you know the whereabouts of your people?” I said, “I don’t know .”  She brought me to Makeni and I stayed at Campbell Street.  I had no problem before this time, but when we came to Makeni I developed Hernia.   I  had experienced the hernia in Gandorhun,but by then it was no serious threat and I took no notice of it.  The woman told me she had heard of an organisation called CARITAS.  She said, “Since you do not know your mother, I want CARITAS to help you.”  We made contacts and I was taken to the Director of CARITAS.    The Director saw my problem and he told me to wait  awhile.  Then he said to,’’before CARITAS takes up your problem,do you remember the name of the commander that abducted you?”  I said I did not know.  The only person I know is the woman who has been taking care of me and her name is Wanjama.    When Caritas wants to confine children as ex-combatants they take them to Magburaka for disarmament. So I  was taken to Magburaka.  At that particular time, I was not happy with my inclusion into a disarmament programme but because of my sickness I had to. He said : “The only way I can assist you is to go into the programme and disarm.”  He asked me “what skill were you learning?” I said I was a bakery apprentice.  He told Mr. Andrew, “please try to teach this young man a job.”  The Dr. tried in helping me, Caritas tried too, but it was that woman who helped me  the most.  Had it not been for that women I would have died.  Caritas paid the Le 150,000 and the operation was performed.  I am still under Caritas.
Prof. Kamara:    You have been displaced. But your perhaps tough and unpleasant experience is better than the others  we have heard.  Have you ever been in contact with your parents since you were abducted?

Mohamed Kamara:    I have not been able to see my family.  The only people I know are Andrew and the woman I told you about

Prof. Kamara:        Have you ever tried to find out about them?

Mohamed Kamara:    I cannot take that venture alone I want Andrew to help me.

Prof. Kamara:        Have you asked  CARITAS  to reunite you with your family?

Mohamed Kamara:    Yes.  They were only waiting for the operation to be done.

Prof Kamara:        So ,you will remind them to help you trace your parents?

Mohamed Kamara:    Yes.  Even if I find my family I will still continue to do my job.

Prof. Kamara:        You were abducted by rebels, is that correct?

Mohamed Kamara:    Yes.  I don’t know their name.  I was a small boy.

Prof. Kamara:        Did they abduct you and hand  you  over to the woman?

Mohamed Kamara:    I was abducted together with the woman .But when the rebels wanted my identity ,the woman claimed that I was her brother .

Prof: Kamara:        Where were you taken to  ?

Mohamed Kamara:    To Gandorhun.

Prof. Kamara:        From Gandorhun, where did they take you?

Mohamed Kamara:    We escaped to Makeni.

Prof. Kamara:    How long were you with the rebels before you escaped from them?

Mohamed Kamara:    We spent 12 months with them.  I was together with the woman.

Prof. Kamara:        Is she old or young?

Mohamed Kamara:    She is of middle age.

Prof. Kamara:        Is she married?

Mohamed Kamara:    She has grey hair .She is no longer a young woman

Prof. Kamara:        Has she a home of her own where you were living?

Mohamed Kamara:    The woman is dead now.

Prof. Kamara:        You now rely on Caritas and Andrew.

Mohamed Kamara:    Andrew is a worker of Caritas.  They are the only people I know.

Prof. Kamara:    Do you still want to be an apprentice at a bakery so that you will open your own bakery business?

Mohamed Kamara:    Yes.

Prof. Kamara:        Have you discussed this with CARITAS?

Mohamed Kamara:    They told me that the Director is in Freetown.  When he comes back they will tell him.

Prof: Kamara:        Are you happy with Andrew?

Mohamed Kamara:    Yes, I am happy with him because since I met him he has treated me like a good brother; to the extent that even when I am out ,Andrew’s wife cooks and keeps food for me.  I have no problem with him.

CommissionerJow:    You told us that you were born in Kailahun, but you were brought up in Kono.

Mohamed Kamara:    I was staying there with my father but my mother was staying in Guinea.

Commissioner Jow:    How many people were abducted with you?

Mohamed Kamara:    We were many.

Commissioner Jow:        Were there boys like you?

Mohamed Kamara:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:        Where they all taken to Gandorhun?

Mohamed Kamara:        Yes

Commissioner Jow:        How long did you stay at Gandorhun?

Mohamed Kamara:        12 months

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us some of the things that happened to you when you were with the rebels?

Mohamed Kamara:    The only thing I remember is that sometimes we cooked, laundered and fetched water for them.  Sometimes they took us out in search of  food .They would give you a bag of rice to carry not minding your capacity, they would force you to carry it.

Commissioner Jow:        Were you ever punished during those 12 months.?

Mohamed Kamara:    Atimes. I was beaten for my inability to continue to carry rather very heavy loads. The woman also usually received serious beating for such failure on her own side.

Commissioner Jow:        Did you see anybody slightly bigger than you being trained.

Mohamed Kamara:    The smaller boys and women were put in one place and the bigger boys in another place.

Commissioner Jow:        Did you ever see them in training ?

Mohamed Kamara:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    Did they give you anything in particular to drink so that you will be strong to carry the loads?

Mohamed Kamara:        No.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you remember the names of some of those people who were in the camp with you?

Mohamed Kamara:    I never stayed with them for any reasonable length of time.I stayed with  the women. Atimes for some reasons unknown to me,  they would send me a safe distance away from themselves.

Commissioner Jow:    Did you ever see anyone being killed or any atrocities committed?

Mohamed Kamara:        No.

Commissioner Jow:        Mohamed you told us that you escaped in 1993.

Mohamed Kamara:        Yes.

Commissioner Jow:    How long did you stay with this woman before you went to CARITAS?

Mohamed Kamara:    When we came here I told the woman that I am grown up and I want to go and look for my mother in Guinea.  I went there and I did not meet my mother but I met her brother, my uncle.  I asked for my mother and my uncle said she is in Freetown. I left my uncle because I know he will not be able to take care of me.

Commissioner Jow:    Can you tell us why you joined the DDR Programme ,since the DDR Programme is for the Ex-combatant?

Mohamed Kamara:    I was never a combatant. I never carried any gun  .  But I  was under CARITAS.  Sometimes CARITAS would go to the streets and pick up street children and take them to DDR.  I  was sick and needed treatment and I want to be educated.

Bishop Humper:    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Now that you have gone through all this trouble, what is your hope for the future?

Mohamed Kamara:    I am presently engaged in two trades.  In the morning I sell bread. Later I would go to my shop and learn  tailoring  skills.

Commissioner Sooka:    Were there other people abducted at the time you were abducted?

Mohamed Kamara:        Yes I have said it.  Some boys were also abducted.

Commissioner Sooka:        What happened to them?

Mohamed Kamara:    I do not know.They were still there when the woman and I made our escape  .

Commissioner Sooka:        Was there any time you were punished in any way?

Mohamed Kamara:    The only punishment I can tell you about was that we carried loads and sometimes we pounded rice.

Commissioner Sooka:        At that time were you afraid of them?

Mohamed Kamara:    Yes. I was afraid of them because they were very cruel; even at one time the woman was beaten up because she told them I was a small boy and should not carry loads.

Commissioner Sooka:    When you were abducted can you give me the name of the unit commander to which this woman belonged?

Mohamed Kamara:    When we were there I never asked her. But when we came to Makeni I asked her  and she said she did not know but that  she heard a name called Komba Gundama.

Commissioner Sooka:        Were there times when you went hungry?

Mohamed Kamara:    Yes, sometimes we collected bananas and cassavas  spread  them out for sun-drying and from there scrapped out sustenance. 

Commissioner Sooka:        Can you tell us the name of the woman you escaped with?

Mohamed Kamara:        The woman was called Adama.

Commissioner Sooka:        Did she die a natural death ?

Mohamed  Kamara:        Yes.  She had a fatal attack of epilepsy .

Mohamed Kamara:    I do not know where my mother is.  I want the government to assist CARITAS so that  CARITAS would assist me by providing a workshop for me.  At present I am practically alone and helpless in this world but for CARITAS and Andrew.

Commissioner Sooka:        Can you tell us Andrew’s full name?

Mohamed Kamara:    Andrew Sesay. My mother is Adama Mansaray and my Father is Sandy.

Commissioner Sooka:        We have heard you and we will make our recommendations.

Mohamed Kamara:    Andrew has been very helpful to me. At night I  sleep in  the bakery.    I cannot blame  Andrew for my sleeping in the bakery.After all he is married and stays in a single room. If the government can assist me by making a workshop for me, may be I will be there and make an extension for accommodation and I will be doing my job.

Commissioner Sooka:        Do you receive any counselling?

Mohamed Kamara:    No.  I have not received any form of counselling.  Sometimes Andrew serves as my counsellor.And even though I have had the hernia operation  ,once in a while I still feel the pain .

Commissioner Sooka:        You said your mother went to Guinea?

Mohamed Kamara:    She was born in Guinea.  She has no relative here in Sierra Leone.