Court Resumes After Lunch-Break-Examination of Witness TF1-584 Continues

2:30 (3:00 with 30mins delay in video and audio);.

Judge: You may proceed Mr. Santora

Pros: Ms. Witness, you said you knew the commanders were Liberians by the way they called them selves, how did they call them selves?

Wit: They had the means of calling themselves. They will call themselves ma meh, or ba.

Pros: And you also said by the languages they spoke, do you remember the languages?

Wit: They had Gio, Manor, Kissi and Gbandi

Pros; What did you mean by the expression Jr. Commanders?

Wit: Those whom they trained at the Sierra Leone base

Pros: You said that during the time at Dia, there were upto 300 recruits, among whom were about 80 SBIs and SGUs, of the 300 people at Dia, how many were trained

Wit: All of us were at the training base. They called all of us recruits, women, children, elderly men, all of us.

Pros: When you described the training, you said you will use sticks and will be shooting with your mouth, explain what you mean?

Wit: They took us to a town to ytrain and when attacking, we will use out mouths to shoot.

Pros: You said you arrived in Kolahun at some point, is this is Liberia?

Wit: Yes, in Lofa County

Pros: Do you remember when?

Wit: Late 1992

Pros: Who were you with in Kolahun?

Wit: My Sierra Leonean relatives who had been there before the war

Pros: How long were you there?

Wit: 1993 ending.

Pros: So how long were you there?

Wit: 1 year some months

Pros: When exactly did you leave?

Wit: I cant say the exact month but it was when ULIMO started attacking.

Pros: Where did you go?

Wit: Kailahun town

Pros: After that?

Wit: The NPRC pushed us upto Koindu and I had to come to Taidu.

Pros: Where is Taidu

Wit: Between Kangama and one village called Surukondor Bendu, its on top of a hill

Pros:When you said us, what do you mean?

Wit: The RUF

Pros: At which point did you rejoin the RUF?

Wit: When i went to Taedu, that was when i was with them. But when i was in Kailahun, as long as they knew i had gone to the training base, they will class me as an RUF soldier

Pros: Who do you mean they?

Wit; Any RUF member or commander who knew me at the base

Pros: Where did the NPRC push you to?

Wit: From Kailahun upto Koindu. We dispersed and we started the jungle. We were not based in the main towns anylonger.

Pros: Do you remember when you go to Taidu?

Wit: Nov. to Dec

Pros: What year?

Wit: 1993

Pros: can you tell the court what happendd when you arrived in taidu?

Wit: I was with CO Mohamed because i knew his wife from school days. When i was with him, i used to do house chorse like cooking, taking care of his clothers, etc.

Pros: Who is CO Mohamed?

Wit: He was the Battle Field Commander for the RUF

Pros: Who else was at taidu at this time?

Wit: Foday Lansana was there, and other commanders were there with their bodyguards.

Pros: Who is Foday Lansana?

Wit: he was the sginal commander for the RUF

Pros: Who was the top ranking commander at taidu?

Wit: CO Mohamed

Pros: And you say Lansana was the signal commander, what do you mean?

Wit: he was in charge of radio communications

Pros: How long were you in Taidu?

Wit: I did not take long because i left Taidu on Dec. 24, 1994

Pros: Where did you go from there?

Wit: I went to Ngiema.

Pros: Do you know if it is spelled any other way?

Wit: Giema

Pros: Do you know why it is spelled in two different ways?

Wit: I think when the white people write it, they do so in English but when it is in Mende, they spell it the way it is pronounced.

Pros: Giema is located where?

Wit: It is between Pendembu and kailahun but not on the main road.

Pros: Describe what happened when you got to Giema?

Wit: I was still with CO Mohamde. We met Papa there who was the commander there. When we got there, they said Sankoh passed an order that they should recruit signallers. CO Mohamed recommended me to do the training and that was when i started my signaller training.

Pros: Do you know Papa’s full name?

Wit: No

Pros: You said they said Sankoh passed an order, who do you mean by they?

Wit: Co Mohamed told me that he received that ordewr. That was when he recommended me

Pros” Do you know why you were picked?

Wit: I think it was because when i was with him, he knew my output and because i could read and write.

Pros; Do you know any other person that was picked?

Wit: yes, Gbessay James, Amara Vandy, Bashiru Bunduka, we were twelve but i cant remember all the names now

Pros: Who was your trainer?

Wit: Foday Lansana

Pros: Di he have anyother name?

Wit: CO Nyaa

Pros: Describe the composition of your training?

Wit: What we were trained in was voice procedure, message coding and frequency coding.

Pros: Can you describe what you mean by frequency codding?

Wit: It is when you have names for frequencies, whereby you do not have to call that name, but when you call that name, any other person using that name will know the numbers you are referring to.

Pros: can you give example?

Wit: Eg, we have national, we used to call it the farm, which was 70110. So if i tell somebody that lets go to the farm, he will know the frequency i am talking about.

Pros: How long was your training for?

Wit: One month

Pros: Can you explain what message codding is?

Wit: Was when you wanted to send a message but you do not want other people like SLA to monitor ir get what you want to say, you will code it, like either use an Alphabet or numbers instead of what you want to say.

Pros: Who had access to this code?

Wit: Those of us who were radio operators and signal commanders

Pros: Wha do you mean by SLA?

Wit: The Sierra Leone army

Pros: You said Foday Lansana was your trainer?

Wit: yes

 Pros: Do you know if anyone who was in charge of the Giema base?

Wit: CO Papa. But when we got there, CO Mohmamed was in charge because of the position.

Pros: Were you trained in anything else relating to radio

Wit: yes, to monitor, whereby you do not talk but just listen tp what was happening.

Pros: Do you know where Bockarie and others went?

Wit: They were based in Camp Zogoda

Pros: Where exactly was Zogoda?

Wit: On the Blama highway, by Jui Koya.

Pros: After the training, what happened?

Wit: After that, CO Mohamed received an instruction from Sankoh to move and open the Northern Jungle.

Pros: Did you ever go to Zogoda?

Wit: yes

 Pros: When was this?

Wit: It was at the time that we were based at the Kangari Hills.

Pros: After the training, you said CO Mohamed received an instruction to move an open the Northern Jungle, what do you mean?

Wit: He said CO Mohamed should move and open the Jungle and be based there. Because it was a jungl;e, because we were not basing in towns but bushes

Pros: Do you know if he carried out this instruction?

Wit: yes

 Pros: Where specifically was the base?

Wit: We left Giema, passed through Peyama, moved to Masingbi, and between Masingbi and Matotoka, that was where the jungle was, ie, the kangari Hills.

Pros: Did you yourself accompany CO Mohamed?

Wit: yes

 Pros; Can you remember when you arrived at Kangari Hills?

Wit: 1994

Pros: Begining or end of 1994?

Wit: Early 1994

Pros: When you say you left Giema and passed through Peyama, where did you say you passed through?

Wit: Boajibu

Pros: So what was your position when you got to Kangari Hills?

Wit: I was the radio operator

Pros: Who was at Kangari Hills?

Wit: We were many, CO Mohamed, Co Goergee, Foday Lansana and later Gibril Massaquoi and others joined us

Pros: Were there other radio operators there?

Wit: yes

 Pros: can you name some?

Wit: Vandy Massaqoui,aka Wako Wako, Tito, Alfred Mallu,aka Man of War Chritopher Kanneh and Vandy Amara

Pros: Who was Osman Tolo?

Wit: He was a radio operator who was senior to me.

Pros: Describe your day to day activities when you were at Kangari Hills?

Wit: I used to receive and transmit messages and i used to monitor

Pros: Who were you receiving and transmitting from?

Wit: I used to receive message from my commander and sent it to Sankoh’s message or Sam Bockarie or any other station and i will receive messages from them as well to my station

Pros: Do you know how many stations were there in the RUF?

Wit: At that time, we had 23-24 stations.

Pros: What area of Sierra Leone were these stations located?

Wit: The headquarter was in Zogoda and it had sub-stations within the Kenema District. In our own station, Peyama, Tongo and Giema had sub stations. Giema was the base in kailahun district and they too had sub-stations

Pros: What do you mean by sub-stations?

Wit: Where the senior officer was, that was the sub-station and if they opened any radio station around the headquarter station, that will be a sub-station to that headquarter sstation.

Pros: Can you describe how messages moved from sub-stations to the headquarter station?

Wit: I will receive messages from the sub-stations and will send them to Sankoh as Salute Reports.

Pros: What do you mean by immediate headquarter station?

Wit: That was where my boss was where we were, that was my immediate headquarter

Pros: So at this time, what was the overall headquarter station?

Wit: Zogoda, where Sankoh was

Pros: What wre the messages that were sent to your station?

Wit: Some were instructions, some enquiries, some information and some requests.

Pros: Instructions for what?

Wit: Relating to the front line or attacks or ambush

Pros: What do you mean?

Wit: If i can explain, there were sometimes when the instruction will come from Sankoh directly to CO Mohamed and he will instruct him to move. There are times when we’ll get instructions when he will want CO  Mohamed to do anything.

Pros: So what did you do with the messages?

Wit: If they were coded, i will decode them, write theem down in a book and take it to CO Mohamed or whoever the message was meant for. The person will sign that he had received it.

Pros: Where were these messages mainly pertaining to?

Wit: At my own location, it was between Makeni and Kono, the highway.

Pros: The messages from the sub-station, what were they about?

Wit: At our station, we didnt have any village that was a substation, but when they will go on a mission like an attack, they will send a message to us for reinforcement or whatever they will need or whether they should withdraw to the base.

Pros: What did the reports consist of?

Wit: The first will report about the town where they had gone, whether they had captured the place or not, if they captured any arms or ammunition, then they will report the problems they had encountered, whether there were casualties, if somebody died. etc.

Pros: What will they say if they were successful?

Wit: If they did, they will not code it, if they captured materials, they will not code it. They will only code if they were not succseeful or if they had casualty. They will also code the route they use

Pros: Why will they not code it if they are successful?

Wit: Because the SLA were also monitoring us and that will be a means for them to know

Pros: What was a Salute Report?

Wit: We at headquarter stations will receive messages, it was 1,2 or 3 places that they had attacked, we will put all those togetrher as one overall report

Pros: Who were the salute reports sent to?

Wit: To Sankoh and we’ll info the battle Group, who was Mosquito.

Pros: What do you mean by that?

Wit: The Battle Group’s station will monitor the message, it will write it and take to Bockarie. It was not for him directly. It was just an information that he too should know.

Pros: Did you go anywhere while you were at Kangari Hills?

Wit: I only left there when i went to Zogoda for advanced training

Pros: Describe what you mean?

Wit: the signal unit, when we had many operators, some people will not be able to decode messages well. So sankoh called for us to undergo that training and we wrote an exam to see who were capable to do the job.

Pros: What do you mean by we wrote an exam?

Wit: We took an exam on what we had first been trained by Foday Lansana, we had pens and papers, the questions were typed out and we took the exam.

Pros: How many people took the exam?

Wit: We were upto 98-99 but one person was sick and did not take it

Pros: How long did the exam take?

Wit: We spent about three weeks  but the exam was for one day

Pros: What time approximately did you go to Zogoda?

Wit: Late Dec. -Jan. 1995

Pros: How long were you based an kangari in total?

Wit: 7-8 months

Pros: About how long after you had arrived were you sent for this exam?

Wit; We had spent over six months

Pros: After you took the exam, how did you do on the exam?

Wit: I did well, i took the first position

Pros: What happened after that?

Wit: We were sent back to our stations. Those who did not pass stayed back and were taken back to the base

Pros: Did you take  any other training?

Wit: I was not sent to the base again. Some people were sent to the base and that was not radio training.

Pros: Who was running the trainint at Zogoda?

Wit: It was an RUF training base called Camp Charlie and there were many commanders there.

Pros: Who ran the advanced radio training?

Wit: Sankoh

Pros: You said you did well on this exam and you left Zogoda after three weeks, where did you go?

Wit: Back to Kangari Hills

Pros: Do you know who was the commander when you went back?

Wit: CO Mohamed was still there but he was removed and CO Georgee was now the commander. Sankoh gave an instruction for him to go to the Western Area. There was a time when they went to Kabala, he said we should not capture civilians. The men who went to Kabala went and captured many civilians, many women. So Sankoh changed his location and said they should send all the women to his own location.

Pros; Who actually went to Kabala?

Wit: They were armed men under CO Mohamed’s command.

Pros: Where was Sankoh at this time?

Wit: He was at Zogoda

Pros: How did he find out that the civilians were brought to Kangari?

Wit: he first heard it on BBC and he was also a signaller, he was monitoring communications and so he heard when the SLA reported that many people were missing in town.

Pros: So what was Sankoh’s instruction?

Wit: He said he should set up a convoy comprising armed me to take the civilians to Sankoh’s location. he said Mohamed should move to the Western Area.

Pros: So what this envoy comprised of armed men?

Wit: yes

 Pros: How do you know that?

Wit: I received the message and i was there when they took them away. I also sent the message when they moved.

Pros: What do you mean by the western area?

Wit: It was around Mile 91.

Pros: You said CO Georgee stayed at Kangari. When CO  Mohamed left, who was left in charge of Kangari?

Wit: First, it was Goergee but when we left and went to Black water, it was CO Isaac.

Pros: Did you leave with Mohamed?

Wit: I stayed at Kangari.

Pros: Do you remember when this was?

Wit: It was in March 1995

Pros: What other commanders do you know stayed?

Wit: Foday Lansana, Isaac, Jackson

Pros: Who is Col. Isaac?

Wit: He was a former Battle Group Commander at the time the war initially started and he was a Liberian

Pros: Do you know his full name?

Wit: Isaac Mungo.

Pros: After Mohamed left, how long did you remain at Kangari?

Wit: Approximately one month.

Pros: Where did you go?

Wit: We went to Black Water

Pros: Where is that?

Wit: I dont know the names of most of the villages but it was around Baomahun, Matotoka and Mongere. It was a gold mining village.

Pros: Why did you leave Kangari?

Wit: We left because of an air raid. Where it was located, ni ground force could go there.

Pros: Where you still a radio operator?

Wit: yes

 Pros: And who were you working for at this time?

Wit: It was CO Goergee first.

Pros: How long did it take you to go to Black Water?

Wit: A day and a night

Pros; What happened when you arrived there?

Wit: When we got there, we did not stay in the village itself. We went accross the water and established a Zoe bush there

Pros: What do you mean by Zoe bush?

Wit: A kind of society bush or where a head of a society will stay, where civilians were not allowed to go.

Pros: Did you establish a Zoe bush at Black Water?

Wit: yes

Pros: What hapopened aftyer that?

Wit: We were there when at a point intime, CO Goergee formed a group who were armed and unarmed men who went attacked the South Africans at Matotoka.

Pros: Did you participate in the attack?

Wit: No

Pros: When did this attack occur?

Wit: It was around June 1995

Pros: Who were these Executive Outcomes?

Wit: I was nlot in town. They told us they were South Afrucans. The men who went on the attack told us. We used to hear of them over the media

Pros: So what happened in that attack?

Wit: It was unsuccessful. We lost so many men

Pros: So the group was based at Matotoka?

Wit: Yes

 Pros: So the remaining RUF withdrew to Black Water?

Wit: yes

 Pros: What happened?

Wit: The South Africans alongside the SLA came and attacked us at Black water. They were unable to use the road. So they airlifted their tanks and men and droped them in the town. They attacked us for three days and nights. The jet will bomb the area whgere we were. The helicopters were bombing. So we left the Zoe Bush and went to another location along the same black waater.

Pros: So were you still a radio operator?

Wit: Yes’

Pros: For whom?

Wit: Isaac

Pros: When did you change from Goergee to Isaac?

Wit: I was just there as station commander, so when the command changed, i worked under the immediate commander.

Pros: So did the change occur before or after the South African attack?

Wot: Just after the command.

Pros: So when you left the bush,where did you do?

Wit: We were still around black water but i didnt not see any village. We just relocated to another base

Pros: How long were you at this new location?

Wit: We were there upto the time we were attacked by the Kamajors, that was when they were going on with the peace accord.

Pros: Between the South African attack and the kamajor attack, did anything happen?

Wit: When i was there, i did daily monitoring. I had assignment to monitor the SLA station. So if any RUF station went to any of the frequencies, i had the right to stop that person not to communicate with them. So when i was talking in the radio set, the SLA too were on the same frequencies. So some of our operators were also talking and so i had to stop them. The SLAs started insulting us. I went to the SLA defense station and told Sankoh about it. He told me to continue monitoring there and to tell them that he wants to speak to them. I carried out that instruction. By then, Maada Bio was the president. The SLA informed them and we set a time at 1:30 to meeet on same frequency and talk. It was at that time that they spoke of the cease fire and the peace process. I did not take part in the discussion but i heard what they said. So the SLA and RUF agreed that the problem was a Sierra Leone problem and it should be solved in Sierra Leone. So they decided to meet at Mongeri while the ceasefire continued.

Judge: We are just about out of time and this is a convinietnt time to stop. Ms. Witness, while you are under oath, you shoild not discuss your evidence with any other person. We will now adjourne to 9:30 tomorrow.