11:00 3rd Prosecution witness, Varmuyan Sherif, takes the stand

The witness has sworn on the Koran to tell the truth.

Prosecutor Hollis asks a series of questions about the witness’s identity and story:

Wit: My name is Varmuyan Sherif, born on June 7, 1968 in central Liberia, a hospital close to Gbarnga.  My father was born in Voinjama, Lofa County, Liberia.  My father was Mandingo.  My mother was born in Sierra Leone.  She was Mende.  I am Mandingo.  My education stopped after high school, the 12th grade.

In 1990 I was in Kakata, Liberia.  I was attending school there, in the 12th grade.  I didn’t finish the school year because the war was coming and we all ran away from Kakata.  The NPFL was coming and we went to Monrovia.   I was there for a week, then went to Voinjama because we couldn’t stay in Monrovia because of the war.  My father’s family home was in Chocolate City, a quarter of Monrovia.

Prosecutor shows a map with marks to the witness.  Witness confirms those are his markings and his signature.  The map is before the witness, with arrows.  He is pointing out Gbarnga, Kakata, and Voinjama.

Pros: How long in Voinjama?

Wit: I was there for a month, then I went to Sierra Leone.  The war extended and the war was coming closer to Voinjama – NPFL forces were coming.  The village I went to was close to Bomaru, in Sierra Leone, which was my mother’s land.  I went there because it was my mother’s home.  I went to my mother.  I was there for almost six months doing farming for my mother.  Then we saw people coming and running.  The war was coming to Sierra Leone.  I went to a refugee camp near Kenema (Sierra Leone).  While I was in my mother’s village, I spoke Mende.  I had to leave because the NPFL was crossing into Sierra Leone.