International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Court Resumes after Lunch Break. Examination of Witness Continues

9:30 (10:00 with 30 mins delay in video and audio):

Judge: Mr Koumjin, you may proceed.

Pros; What happened after the first attack on Kono was unseccussful?

Wit: The fighters retreated to Bumpeh where they met all of us. A fresh attack was planned which was successful. After that, we started burning the town

Pros: Was this attack only by the RUF or there were others involved?

Wit: the AFRC guys were involved

Pros: Like who?

Wit: Gullit, Bazzy, Hon. Adams, Savage and other commanders

Pros: Who were they all taking orders from?

Wit: Superman

Pros: What happened during the attack?

Wit: We attacked Kono and we took over the town. We started looting and some of the commanders captured girls and made them their wives while some of us were burning houses

Pros: Do you recall how many houses were burnt?

Wit: No i cant remember the figure

Pros: was there any particular reason you will select a house to burn?

Wit: Yes, one of the reasons was because there specific houses whre Kamajors were based and some people pointed at house whre people were supporting Kamajors

Pros: Do you know if there were people inside the houses that were burnt?

Wit: Yes. When we set the houses on fire, we will hear the people inside screaming and when the house is burnt, we will see their skulls and bones

Pros: At this time, what was the relationship like betweent the AFRC and the RUF Commanders?

Wit: At that time the relationship was fine

Pros: Going back to when the two groups weree in Freetown, do you know what the relationship was like?

Wit: Yes. Sometimes you will see that they will work cordially and sometimes they had conflicts

Pros: Did anything change in the relationship because of the intervention?

Wit: Yes, there were differences. When we were first called to town, the senior officers of the SLA thought they were superior than the RUF commanders. So when we also got to the bush, the RUF commanders said, oh you are welcome to the bush and we are more superior here.

Pros: Mr. you said you went to Freetown sometimes, acn you give us an idea of when you first went there?

Wit: In 1997, i was in Western Area, in Jui but almost everyday, i used to go to Superman in Freetiwn.

Pros: When the AFRC were pushed out fo Freetown, about how long before that were you in Freetown?

Wit: Like two weeks before the intervention

Pros: How long after the intervention was the first Kono attack launched?

Wit: I think it was in the first one month.

Pros: About how long was the second attack?

Wit: It was just after 2-3 hours that we met Isaac Mongor and re-attacked Kono.

Pros: What was the command structure that was set up in Kono?

Wit: JPK was with us in Koidu for about one week. For the RUF, Superman was the commander, for AFRC, Gullit, Bazzy were commanders but Superman was the overall commander with Isaac Mongor as advicer.

Pros: Was any other attack planed after you took Koidu?

Wit: Yes, we attacked Motema, led by Short Bai Bureh

Pros: Do you know what happened during that attack?

Wit: Yes, before they went on the attack they were adviced to make the area fearful. So they went and ran the mission and came and reported that the operation was successful.

Pros: Were there any armed forces in Motema before RUF went there?

Wit; No other forces were there

Pros: How did you know what happened in Motema?

Wit: When they first got there, Short Bai Bureh called Superman and i was there. When they returned, some of my friends told me what had happened. They even brought some girls as their wives.

Pros: Was any other town attacked?

Wit: We attacked Bumpeh when ECOMOG were advancing, Savage attacked Tombodu

Pros: Did you take part in the Bumpeh attack?

Wit: yes

Pros: Were there opposing forces in Bumpeh when you got there?

Wit: No other forces were there so we attacked the civilians

Pros: So what was doen to the civilians there?

Wit: We asked them to leave the town. Some of them resisted, so we opened fire on them, we decapitated some and put their heads on the check point

Pros: Why would you put the heads on the checkpoint?

Wit: To make the road fewarful.

prs: Why would the RUF attack civilians in Motema and Bumpeh?

Wit: Because ECOMOG were advancing and we wanted to make the place fearful.

Pros: Did RUF have any philosphy about treatment of civilians?

Wit: Well when civilians were based in the communities, they will take information in and out and so if we wanted to base there, we will get the civilians out of the town.

Pros: Did you have any sense in the RUF about civilians?

Wit: We used to say civilians did not have blood

Pros: What did you mean?

Wit: They were not as important as we were

Pros: Did you see any difference in the way the AFRC treated civilians?

Wit: I did not see any great difference except the time we divided along the Freetown highway. We treated civilians in the same way

Pros: Who led the attack on Tombodu?

Wit: Savage

Pros: Do you know what happened during that attack?

Wit: Yes. Savage went there and did mass kilings,. They had a big valley there where he placed all the civilians. Superman and I wnet to Tombodu. Savage went and showed us the valley and Superman did not take any action.

Pros: Can you describe the valley?

Wit: It was an old diamond pit.

Pros: When your friends came back with girls from Motema, can you say the ages of the girls they came with?

Wit: Some were 14, some 20 etc. Some of them were in Koidu town with us and some at the Combat Camp. We even had one Michaela who was very small, about 14, who was with one of my friends.

Pros: How long after the attack on Koidu did the attack on Motema take place?

Wit: It was within the same month that the attack on Tombodu took place

Pros: First, the attack on Motema, about how long was that?

Wit: We took Koidu, it took a long time befor we attacked Motema

Pros: In what year did the Motema attack take place?

Wit: 1998

Pros: Can you say the month?

Wit: I cant remember the month

Pros: Can you say how many month it was after Koidu was taken by Superman?

Wit: I dont remember the month we even took Koidu

Pros: About how many months after the intervention did the Motema attack take place?

Wit: I think after 3 months

Pros: What about Bumpeh?

Wit: One and the half month after the intervention.

Pros: In Motema, was anyone killed?

Wit: Yes, as i earlier said i was in the radio room when Short Bai Bureh was reporting to superman.

Pros: Did the Kamajors ever attack you in Kono?

Wit: It was at Koidu Gieya

Pros: Where is Koidu Gieya?

Wit: Kono District. The road that leads to Kailahun.

Pros: About how far is it from Koidu town?

Its a short distance, like 15 miles, its a short distance

Pros: What happened after the Kamajors attacked there?

Wit: We repelled the attack

Pros: What happened there?

Wit: We wanted to take JPK to  Kailahun when the Kamajors attacked. We repelled the attack. Superman asked Rambo to base there. Rambo tried to make the area fearful by buring down house, killing civilians and amputating them.

Pros: How did you know about that?

Wit: After the mission, Superman sent us to go to Rambo and take ammunition. So i went there and saw for myself. People also came from there and told me what happened.

Pros: Who were the people that told you?

Wit: One of Rambo’s bodyguards including CO Bakarr who was an AFRC commander.

pros: You saw JPK was present at the planning for the attack on Koidu, did he stay in Koidu?

Wit: he stayed for some days and left

Pros: Was Koidu town ever lost by the RUF/AFRC?

Wit: Yes

Pros: When was that?

Wit: I cant remember the month

Pros: Do you remember the year?

Wit: 1998

Pros: Can you tell us what happened when you lost Kono?

Wit: There was an order that we should burn down Kono

Pros: Who took Koidu from you?

Wit: ECOMOG

Pros: Who gave the order to burn donw Kono?

Wit: Superman

Pros: Did he give you any reason?

Wit: He said he got the order from Sam Bockarie that if we left the houses, ECOMOG would base there

Pros: l was the order carried out?

Wit: Yes we did

Pros: After the town was burnt, where did you go?

Wit: We retreated to PC Town, a road leading to Guinea border.

Pros: Do you recall the real name of the village?

Wit: No

Pros: Did you call it anything else besides PC Ground?

Wit: No

Pros: Who went to this PC ground?

Wit: All of us along with Superman

Pros: Where did you go after that?

Wit; We went to Superman Ground

Pros: Do you recall the real name of the village?

Wit: No

Pros: How far from Koidu is PC Ground?

Wit: Roughly 6  miles

Pros: What about Superman Ground?

Wit: I think 5  miles

Pros: What happend to the girls and women that you had when you retreated?

Wit: All of them had their husbands, they were with them as wives. We retreated with them.

Pros: Do you recall any people coming from outside to visit you at Superman Ground?

Wit: Yes, people came from Buedu. Sam Bockarie asked Superman to send people to go and receive from Liberia at the Moa River. They came bout 8 of them.

Pros: What happend when they arribived at Superman Ground?

Wit: They called a forum, senior officers. I was with Superman. They introduced themselves. I saw some arms and ammunition including landmines. They said they want us to take Koidu town.

Pros: How long after you arrived at Superman Ground before the Liberians came?

Wit: About 3 weeks
Pros: About how many officers were at the forum?

Wit: Firs it was an open forum so many people came but the second forum was at Superman’s house

Pros: What was your duty?

Wit: To guard Superman

Pros; What was said at the open forum?

Wit: The people said they had come to protect us with medicine men and they came with ammunition. They said we should take Koidu

Pros; Did they tell you why they wanted you to take Koidu?

Wit: Well, yes, it was important to us because of the mining.

Pros; You said they brought people to mark the fighters, can you explain what happened?

Wit: yes, they marked all of us. After that, they told us to go and attack Kono. The number of people i saw die in the RUF, i have never seen such deaths.

Pros: Who did the markings?

Wit: The Liberians that came

Pros: How were people marked?

Wit: I think they gave us 168 marks. Sometimes, they used one razor blade to mark like 200 people. That is why some of us didnt want to take the marks but they forced us.

Pros: Do you still have those marks?

Wit: Yes

 Pros: Can you describe the mines that the Liberians came with?

Wit: There were land mines for armourd and war tanks and they were foot mines for humanbeings.

Pros: You said after the open forum, there was another meeting, do you know who attending that meeting?

Wit: yes, the Liberians, Rambo, Hon. Adams, Superman etc

Pros: After the meeting did you speak with Superman on what happened?

Wit: yes he briefed us the close bodyguards. He said the people told him that bwe should try and take Kono so that we will be able to mine there and move faster with the war. They said we should get mining equipment and mine.

Pros: Do you know where the mining equipments were to come from?

Wit: I didnt know but within myself i believed they were to come from Liberia.

Pros: When Superman was based in Kono, were you ever sent outside the district?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Was this when you were at PC Ground or Superman Ground?

Wit: Superman Ground. He told us to go to Kailahun. He told us to go and meeet Sam Bockarie, that he had a mission for us. They gave us escort. The senior officer with us was Col. Bakarr of the AFRc.

Pros: Where did you go?

Wit: To Buedu

Pros: What happened there?

Wit: We got to Bockarie, we saluted him, he told us to rest, he told us to get prepared to go with Eddie Kanneh to Liberia

Pros: What happened then?

Wit: We went to Foya, Voinjama County in Liberia.

Pros: Who went to Foya?

Wit: Myself, Col. Bakarr, Eddie Kanneh and some senior people from Sam Bockarie’s side

Pros: What happened when you got to Foya?

Wit: Zigzag Maaza received us, a helicopter landed and took us to Gbanga at the president’s farm

Pros: Did you know Maaza before that?

Wit: Yes, i once saw him in Buedu. He was an AFL and an SSS

Pros: After that did you ever see him in Sierra Leone?

Wit: I saw him in Buedu, and in Kailahun town

Pros: What happened after Maaza met you on Foya?

Wit: We went with the helicopter to the presdients farm in Gbanga

Pros: Who was the President

Wit: Taylor

Pros: What happened?

Wit: I met Benjamin Yeaten. He was introduced to me as the director of the SSS. Eddie Kanneh introduced us as the boys he came with to take the ammunition.

Pros: Did you get to know Yeaten in other years?

Wit: yes

Pros: So what happened when you got to the farm?

Wit: They gave us two cars. They told us we should go the President’s house to get the ammunition. The cars were driven by Jungle and Samson. The ammunitions were loaded at the Presdients house in Gbanga. That was where he used to stay

Pros: Where exactly did you get the ammunition from?

Wit: In the garrage of the president’s house

Pros: What did you ddo with the ammunition?

Wit: Eddie Kanneh told us that Jungle will lead us to Foya and the he was going to Monrovia with Yeaten to see the prosident.

Pros: can you give us an idea of the number fo boxes that were loaded?

Wit: I dont remember because we took along food and ammunition.

Pros; Where did you go with the ammunition?

Wit: To Buedu

Pros: What happeneed to them?

Wit: We handed them over to Sam Bockarie.

Pros: What happened next?

Wit: Sam Bockarie started distributing the ammunition. he gave some to Akim to attack Daru and he gave ours to take to Superman in Kono

Pros: Did you spend the night in Buedu?

Wit; Yes

 Pros: Was Akim present?

Wit: No he sent the ammunition to his target

Pros; Who was Akim?

Wit: The SLA commander

Pros: Do you know his last name?

Wit: Akim Turay

Pros: How many nights did you spend in Buedua after arriving from Gbanga?

Wit: We spent the night there and left for Kono the next day

Pros: Do you recall the month that you went to Gbanga or do you recall the year?

Wit: In 1998

Pros: Do you recall if it was dry or rainy season?

Wit: I think it was in the begining of the rainy season.

Pros: Did you take the ammunition to Superman?

Wit: yes

Pros: Was there any operation after you took the ammunition?

Wit: Yes, operation Fiti Fata

Pros: What was the goal od Fiti Fata?

Wit: To go on the rampage and take over Koidu

Pros: When you went to Gbanga, were all the people you went with Sierra Leoneans?

Wit: Yes

Pros: Did any other person come with you?

Wit: Yes, Jungle, Daniel Tamba, Samson

Pros: Was Fiti fata successful?

Wit: No

Pros: What were you using to transport the ammunition to Superman?

Wit: Cars escorted us to the crossing point and there were civilians present there to take the ammunition.

Pros: What was the distance from the crossing point to Superman Ground?

Wit: Upto 12 hours work

Pros: Do you know if the civilians were paid?

Wit: They were not paid

Pros: Did they volunteer?

Wit: No

Pros: What happened to the ammunition when you took them to Superman?

Wit: They were distributed.

Pros: Where did they go?

Wit: Some went to RUF Rambo, soem to Bai Bureh, some we took to Wordu to Komba Gbundema and some remained with Superman.

Pros: Where did you yourself go to Kono?

Wit: To Wordu, to Komba Gbundehma

Pros: Did Superman give any orders for areas that should be attacked during the mission?

Wit; He told us to go to Komba, and to go to Kroobola to meet SAJ Musa.

Pros: was this before or after the fiti fata mission?

Wit: Like 2 days after the mission.

Pros: Who was Komba Gbundehma?

Wit: he was one of the RUF commanders

Pros: Where was he?

Wit: Wordu

Pros: Were there any civilians with him?

Wit: yes, he had civilians, they used to call them Junta Two. They wrote on their chests RUF

Pros: What were the ages of the people with him?

Wit: From 5 years upwards.

Pros: Were there adults with him?

Wit: yes, he had his own son, all the others were abducted.

pros: The persons that had their chests marked RUF, what ages were they?

Wit: Both children and adults, men and women

Pros: Who was Brig. Mannie?

Wit: One of the Senioe Officers in the SLA

Pros: Who was Gen. Bopleh?

Wit: he was commander of the ULIMO forces or the STF

Pros: When you attacked Monog Bendugu, who participateed in this attack?

Wit: Myself, Komba Gbundehma, and Col. T

Pros; Was SAJ Musa involved in that attack?

Wit: No

Pros; Did he take part in the planning for that attack?

Wit: yes

 Pros: Were any forces present there when you attacked?

Wit: yes, the Guinean forces

Pros; What kind of weapons did the Guineans have?

Wit: They had a 40 barrell, 50 calibre, armoured tanks, etc

Pros: What was the result of the attack?

Wit: It was successful

Pros: Can you describe what occured?

Wit: We killed lots of Guineans, civilians and we took arms from them

Pros; The killing fo civilians, was it intentional?

Wit: Some were killed intentionally like some who were hiding under their beds and some were killed in the cross-fire

Pros: When the RUF captured a town, did you use civilians to support you?

Wit: yes we did

Pros: can you recall any specific weapons that were captured?

Wit: Yes, we managed to capture one 40 barrell wepon, an armoured car, a 50 calibre and some one barrel.

Pros: Did the houses remain intact?

Wit: We burnt down the houses, the we burnt the armlured car and the one barrel because we had no way to carry them.

Pros: The houses you burnt, were people inside them?

Wit: Yes, there were people in there. We heard them shouting.

Pros: What did you do with the weapons that were captured?

Wit: the ones we could carry, we took to SAJ Musa. Superman came and joined us. We undertook a mission to Kabala with the ammunition that was captured in Mongo

Pros: Do you recall the weapons that you took to SAJ Musa

Wit: We took lots of bombs, mortars, AK-47s, short pistols, etc

Pros: What ammunition did you use to attack Mongor?

Wit: the ones that we brought from Liberia

Pros: What year did you attack Mongor Bendugu?

Wit: Late 1998, the end of the rainy season

Pros: can you give us an approximate month?

Wit: I cant remember the month.

Pros: This will be a convinient point for me to break because i want to move to a different topic.

Judge: Very well. Mr. Witness, we are going to adjourn now for the day but i want to remind you that you are not to discuss your evidence with anyone elses as your oath is still binding. Please adjourn court for 9:30 tomorrow morning.