Former Child Soldier Describes the Atrocities Committed by the RUF and the AFRC

May 5, 2008

12:00 (12:30 with the delay in video and audio): Court is back in session.  Please note that the following is not a transcript.

Prosecutor Mohammed Bangura continues questioning former child soldier, TF1-143.

Pros: Do you know what group captured you and the other boys and girls in Koinadugu town?

Wit: Yes.  Both AFRC and RUF because they would mark us with their names.

Pros: You said that Kabila came from the meeting and that your group had been ordered to be the advanced team to leave for Freetown, were you ordered to go to the jzo (sp?) bush before that?

Wit: Kabila said that our group should be in the advanced team so he took us to that bush.

Pros: What kind of training did you receive in the bush?

Wit: They showed us how to crawl in the bush and how to dismantle and clean guns.

Pros: You mentioned that Kabila came from the meeting and that ammunition had been distributed to him for your group to leave, did he say who distributed the ammunition?

Wit: That was the ammunition they were to have for the advanced team.

Pros: What happened when you left Koinadugu?

Wit: About 200 of us left Koinadugu.

Pros: Can you tell us what was the make up of that group of 200.

Wit: 55, 05, Kabilia, Mohammed, Samusa (sp?) and others

Pros: How old were you when this happened?

Wit: 12 years old

Pros: When did you leave Koinadugu town?

Wit: We left in the evening and walked throughout the night

Pros: Where did you go?

Wit: We went to a village but I did not know the name of the village.  That was my first time leaving my town.

Pros: You said that the advanced team was divided up into three groups, is that correct?

Wit: Yes

Pros: How was the group divided?

Wit: Kabila was in the first group, the boys and the women were in the middle group and older men were in the back.

Pros: Did anything happen once you entered into Karina town?

Wit: There was firing and we hid in the bush.

Pros: After passing through Karina, where did you go to next?

Wit: We met the advanced team where 55 had captured one soldier and 55 shot the man in his mouth. 

Pros: Who was the head of that group?

Wit: 55

Pros: Did anything else happen?

WIt: 55 and O5 ordered that all the boys be trained.  Kabila and Mohammed helped trained us and he gave me two blue tablets?

Pros: Did you experience any feelings after you took those tablets?

Wit: My eyes were red and I started feeling “bold”

Pros: What group did Kabila, your commander, belong to?

Wit: He marked me RUF on my chest.  Then, I knew he was RUF.

Pros: Do you know what group Mohammed belonged to?

Wit: Yes, he were RUF also.

Pros: You said that the men who came with Camba (sp?) were speaking a different language, is that correct?

Wit: Yes.  Kabilla said they were Liberian soldiers who came to reinforce us so we could go to Freetown and they were carrying loads.

Pros: What people were suppose to be trained by the orders of O5?

Wit: Both boys and girls who were captured.

Pros: Did anyone else join the group?

Wit: After they trained us, Camba brought his group and they were speaking a different language.   Kabila told us it was the Liberian language.

Pros: What happened after you took the two blue pills?

Wit:  55 told us to loot and kill the people in the village and we went to a house with 5 people including two men, a women, and two children.  Kabila demonstrated to us how to do it and hacked the first man on his neck.  I then hacked the woman next to him and hacked her on her chest and hacked her on her side and I hacked the child with her.

Pros: Can you slowly take us through how you killed these people?

Wit: I hacked the woman on the back of her neck and on her breast with a machete.  I hacked the child on his neck and on his side.  One of them begged me not to do it but Kabila told me to do it or he would kill me, so I hacked him as well and cut off his head. 

Pros: After that incident did anything else happen in that village?

Wit: Some of the fighters on the other side were looting and burning down houses.  Then, we left.

Pros: Can you tell us the name of the village?

Wit: That was my first time going to that village and I did not know that village.  It was three villages from Karina town.

Pros: Where did you go next.

Wit: My boss told me we were in Kamalu town.

Pros: What happened next?

Wit: We waited in the bush until the fighting ceased.  Then, we waited for a boat to go to Karina.

Pros: You have already mentioned in your testimony that you went to Karina, where did you go after Kamalu?

Wit: It was Kukuna after Kamula.

Pros: Was there fighting in Kamula?

Wit: Yes

Pros: After the fighting what happened?

Wit: It was getting dark and they told us they had arranged for boats so we could go to Kukuna.

Pros: Did you make it to Kukuna?

Wit: Yes

Pros: What happened next.

Wit: There was a White Priest who was captured and we went into the forest and heard heavy fighting.  Then, we laid down in that forest because we were told to do so.

Pros: Did you perform any role?

Wit: I carried ammunition for Kabila and I had my machete.

Pros: Were you forced to carry anything else?

Wit: Sometimes, he would give me the gun but it was heavy for me so he took it away from me.

Pros: Do you know what type of gun he was using?

Wit: He told me that the gun he was using was GMG.

Pros: Do you know what GMG means?

Wit: No.

Pros: At Kukuna, you told us there was some fighting, how did you proceed from Kukuna?

Wit: We rested at another village and Kabila was able to get another gun that had two handles.  Kabila already told me how to dismantle and clean the gun but then he taught me how to shoot it.  I shot the gun into the water.

Pros: Why did you shoot it into the water?

Wit: Kabila did not want them to hear that we were in that town.

Pros: After that shoot, did anything else happen?

Wit: Kabila brougt marijuana and I smoked it until I started vomiting. 

Pros: Were you the only one who was smoking it?

Wit: No, there was others smoking.

Pros: Prior to this time, had you ever smoked a cigarette?

Wit: No, that was my first time smoking anything.

Pros: Did anything happen next?

Wit: We slept in that town and then we went to Konelele town (sp?)

Pros: What happened in that town?

Wit: We met Samusa, John, Guillet and there was other fighters there.

Pros: Before you got to this town, did anything happen on the way?

Wit: Camba ordered his boys (Bazuh and another) to capture one girl and they put her into a house and  Camba raped her.  John was standing outside as the bodyguard.  We stayed in that village looting and taking things and then left.

Pros: Do you recall this girl’s age?

Wit: I don’t know her age.  She was fatter than me but we had the same height.

Judge: We have no record of the height of the witness at this time.

Pros: You were twelve years of age at the time, how would you describe the ages of the boys you were trained with.

Wit: Some were older than me and others were the same age as me. 

Pros: Did anything happen while you were at Konelele town?

Wit: I saw my friend, Alagi (sp?) and he introduced me to his boss, Junolion (sp?) and then I introduced him to my boss, Kabila. 

Pros: What happened next?

Wit: I met with Kabila and he told me that he was given an order by his boss, Musa.  This order was to go to Freetown and we were to overthrow the government that was in power.  We should not loot or kill.  Kabila said that won’t work but kill everything including goats, sheep, everything.  He said, “spare no soul.”

[Judges confer]

Pros: Who gave Kabila his order to “spare no soul.”

Wit: It was 05 that gave this order.

Pros: What happened next?

Wit: We walked during the night.  In the morning, we found a forest where we would stay during the day and then walk during the night.  We were going to Freetown.

Pros: Who was the group that was going to Freetown?

Wit: It was mixed with the RUF.

Court adjourns for the lunch break and will resume in 1 hour.