Prosecutor Werner continued his direct examination of the witness, Mr. Camara. Mr. Camara’s testimony can be summarized as follows:
After months of fighting, Ulimo-K pushed back the LDF to Gbarnga. Eventually, the LDF retreated from Lofa County to Gbarnga together with 5,000 civilians. NPFL soldiers selected 2,000 healthy youths from among these civilians and brought them to the Cobra II base at Ganta for infantry training.
At the end of 1994, Ulimo-K had taken control of Gbarnga. At this time, Charles Taylor was in Ghana at a meeting with the leaders of the warring factions. An NPFL operation to recapture control of Gbarnga, known as Operation Envelope, succeeded in December 1994. Upon his return to Gbarnga, Charles Taylor had ordered the capturing and killing of 6 people who had high-ranking positions in his staff and who Taylor suspected of conniving with ULIMO-K.
The witness, who was at that time at Cobra base in Batala, was summoned with the other Gambians by Charles Taylor to come to Gbarnga. They were appointed in security functions and were responsible for guarding the Executive Mansion. In that function, the witness overheard several instances of communications between high ranking NPFL officers and the RUF.
In 1995 Morris Kallon, who was at Cobra base, remained there with 3-4 of his bodyguards and Mustapha Jallow. The rest of the RUF soldiers who were at Cobra base, were ordered to join the Strike Force Marine (STM). The STM was a special unit under NPFL command. Charles Taylor deployed this unit for special operations. It was known for its violence and cruelty, including acts of cannibalism. The SFM’s motto, which could also be found on t-shirts worn by its members, was “maximum death and destruction, in a minimum time”.