International Justice Monitor

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Examination of Witness TF1-375 Continues, with Voice and Facial Distortion of Witness

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

Judge: Good morning. If there are no other matters, i will remind the witness of his oath. Mr. Koumjin, you may proceed.

Pros: Mr. Witness, good morning. Sir, yesterday, you explained to the court that you went with Komba Gbundehma to Kroobola. When was the next time you saw Superman?

Wit: I saw him at Kroobola

Pros: When he arrived there, what happenend?

Wit: they held a forum

Pros: Who was present at this forum?

Wit: SJA Musa, Superman, Brig. Mani, Col. T, Gen. Bopleh. It was a commanders forum

Pros: Were you present there?

Wit: yes

 Pros: What was discussed?

Wit: When Superman got there, he briefed SAJ Musa that Bockarie had told him to work along with Musa to try and get to Kabala. He further explained to Musa that Bockarie told him to join forces with the AFRC to try and get back to Freetown

Pros: was their any discussion for plans for offensive after Kabala?

Wit: Yes. In the forum, they said we should go and attack Kabala, then to Makeni and to Freetown, but when we got to Kabala, we had problems there

Pros: Did it suprise you that Freetown was an objective?

Wit: No. It did not

Pros: Why?

Wit: Because we knew that when we came together, we’ll get back to Freetown

Pros: Did superman come with any men or supplies or ammunition?

Wit: Yes, he came with those, very armed men

Pros: Can you tell us anything else about the ammunition?

Wit: It was the same ammunition that we had brought from Gbanga

Pros: Why do you believe so?

Wit: Because i knew the boxes. they had different rounds that they were using in Sierra  Leone and Liberia

Pros: What kinds of ammunition was it that he brought?

Wit: AK rounds, GMG rounds, RPG rockets and some mortar bombs

Pros: Who at the forum talked about attacking Kabala?

Wit: Superman and SAJ Musa

Pros: Can you explain what you mean?

Wit: Superman was the first who said so and SAJ Musa supported him

Pros: Who at the forum spoke about going to Makeni and Freetown?

Wit: SAJ Musa

Pros: What was Superman’s reaction?

Wit: He said when they got to Kabala, we’ll undertake the other missions

Pros: Was there an attack on Kabala?

Wit: Yes

Pros: How long after the forum?

Wit: the following day we started moving but we spent a week to attack Kabala

Pros: What was the composition of the forces that attacked Kabala?

Wit: AFRC, RUF and STF

Pros: Was Kabala defended by any force?

Wit: Yes, they had ECOMOG forces, Nigerian and Guineans

Pros: What happened when you attacked Kabala

Pros: We took kabala for 3 days

Pros: Were you able to capture the entire town?

Wit: No. We took over the town but we were not able to take over Kabala Secondary School. That was where the Guineans were based

Pros: Were any ammunition or weapons captured?

Wit: yes, we captured a lot from the Nigerian Contingent

Pros: What ammunition was used for the attack on Kabala?

Wit: The ammunition that we captured from Mongor and those that Superman brought

Pros: Can you recall any ammunition captured in Kabala?

Wit: yes, they had a weapon called FM, we captured upto 400, LAR rifles, Mortars, and some pistols and other weapons

Pros: Can you describe the Mortar Guns?

Wit: We captured 60 milimeters, 81 milimeters

Pros: What happened after the 3 days that you occupied Kabala?

Wit: They pushed us out of Kabala and we retreated.

Pros: During the attack, was there any communication with anyone else?

Wit: Yes, there was Superman communicating with Skinny, Mosquito, SAJ Musa was communicating with Brig. Mani in Kroobola

Pros: Who was Skinny?

Wit: sam Bockarie

Pros: Who called him Skinny?

Wit: His friends used to call him so because of his body

Pros: What happened to the forces when you retreated?

Wit: We went to Koinadugu town

Pros: Was there any communication regarding the arms and ammunition that were caprured?

Wit: Yes, Bockarie called and said we should send some of those to him so he can send them to the other front lines

Pros: What happened then?

Wit: After the communication, the commanders called a meeting and said the distance is too far to send the ammunition to kailahun. So they said they will tell Bockarie that they want to use the ammunition to attack Makeni.

Pros: What happened then?

Wit: After that, they called Bockarie. he protested and said infact he was going to send some people to go and collect the ammunition.

Pros: Did he send anyone for that?

Wit: yes, he sent ten people

Pros: When did they arrive?

Wit: I think three weeks later

Pros: What year are we talking about?

Wit: 1998

Pros: was it dry season or rainy season?

Wit: rainy season

‘Pros: How long after you were pushed out of Kabala did the men arrive?

Wit: Almost one month

Pros: the attack on kabala, was that in the rainy season or dry season?

Wit: early rainy season

Pros: Where were you when Bockarie’s men arrived?

Wit: Koinadugu town

Pros: Who were these people?

Wit: They had Liberians among them, with some Sierra Leoneans

Pros: Can you give us an estimate, how many men approximately arrived?

Wit: Roughly, i think 60 men

Pros: Can you estimate how many of them were Liberians?

Wit: I cant remember the number but majority were Liberians

Pros: was anyone leading this group?

Wit: Yes, Senegalese

Pros: Is that a name or Senegalese?

Wit: Its a nick name because he was tall

Pros: What was his nationality?

Wit: Liberain

Pros: What else did you know about him?

Wit: he was the same Senegalese that i met in Kenema. That was when we were in Freetown. I met him with Jungle.

Pros: Do you know if he was a member of any force?

Wit: Yes, he was one of the Special Forces for Taylor in Liberia

Pros: So what happened when they arrived?

Wit: they called a forum, Superman and SAJ Musa, including Senegalese and CO Vincent

Pros: Who attended the forum?

Wit: All the senior commanders including myself

Pros: What was discussed in the forum?

Wit: Superman welcomed them and told them that they were unable to hand the ammunition to them and that they will call Bockarie and tell him they needed those men to advance to Freetown

Pros: Did anything else happen?

Wit; SAJ Musa brought out a decision that they should locate Gullit

Pros: What do you mean?

Wit: At the time, Gullit was in a jungle and no body knew his whereabout

Pros: What was Superman’s reaction?

Wit: He said they should form a battalion to go and search for Gullit

Pros: So what was done by Senegalese’s group after the forum?

Wit: After the forum, they told Senegalese to be taking care of the training base in Koinadugu.

Pros: Who if anyone was being trained at the base?

Wit: There were a lot of people at the base for training

Pros: What kinds of people?

Wit: they had adults, females, children

Pros: Did they volunteer to join your forces?

Wit: they were people abducted in Kabala

Pros: Do you recall the names of any other Liberians in the group that came?

Wit: yes, i recall a Liberian man called CO Vincent.

Pros: Anyone else?

Pros: I cant recall the names now

Pros: These Liberians, were they people that already had military training?

Wit: I cant hear the interpreter. Maybe there is a problem with the Mic.

Judge. Madam Court Officer, can you get the technicians to check it please?….Ok i am told it will take another 10 mins to get this sorted out so we’ll take a break and resume after 10 minutes.

Court adjourns.

Court resumes after 10 mins

Judge: I understand that it is rectified now. Mr Koumjin you can put your question again

Pros: Do you know if the Liberian forces that came with Senegalese already had military experience?

Wit: yes, most of them they said were former NPFL fighters and CO Venson was an SSS

Pros: On that battalion to search for Gullit, was anything done about that?

Wit: yes. They tasked each commander to give men to form the battalion

Pros: How many men were put together to form the battalion?

Wit; We cannot estimate men but when we spoke of battalion, it was 62 men but sometimes it went upto 150 depending on the situation.

Pros: was the battalion given a name?

Wit: Red Lion

Pros: Was a commander appointed for this?

Wit: One 05 from the AFRC

Pros: What was the final make up of the Red Lion battalion?

Wit: SAJ gave his bodyguards, Superman gave some of his, Komba Gbundehma gave his, and they added those to theLiberians that came from kailahun.

pros: Were there any other forces in the battalion?

Wit: they had the SLA fighters and some RUF fighters

Pros: Was Senegalese part of the battalion?

Wit: he was not part of the battalion

Pros: What orders did the battalion receive?

Wit: They told them to go and search for Gullit. They gave them a code that when they got there, they should call and get instructions.

Pros: What happened to them?

Wit: They were succseeful and they called Superman and SAJ Musa

Pros: Was there any communication about the battalion finding Gullit between the Koinadugu troops and any one else?

Wit: yes. Superman called kailahun that the men had arrived safely

Pros: What happened to the rest of the people that came with Senegalese?

Wit: Few remained with Superman

Pros: Do you know where Gullit group;s was when the Red Lion found them?

Wit: It was in Tonkolili or Bombali District. We used to call there Eagle Base. They were based between kabala and Makeni, and that was Bombali District

Pros: Do you know where they went?

Wit: They started attacking. They used to call when moving. They attacked Lunsar, Waterloo, Freetown

Pros: How do you know this movement of Gullit’s Group?

Wit: They used to call Superman and inform him directly

Pros: What was the group that you were with doing during the attack?

Wit: I was with Superman’s group

Pros: What was Superman’s group doing at this time?

Wiut: We attacked Kabala

Pros: When Gullit attacked Lunsar, do you know if there were any forces defending Lunsar?

Wit: yes, the Nigerian ECOMOG and the Gnethese

Pros: Who were the Gbenthes

Pros: They were the same Kamajors. That was how they were called in temne. The CDF

Pros: Do you know if Gullit’s forcese were succesful in taking Lunsar?

Wit: yes

 Pros: Where was your force when they attacked Waterloo?

Wit: We were moving towards Makeni

Pros: Was your force facing any fighting?

Wit: Yes, at first, we fought among ourselves and later we started attacking Alkalia, going towards Bumbuna and Makeni

Pros: What led to this internal fighting?

Wit: That was the time Senegalese was appointed as the training commandant. He beat up a trainee and killed him. SAJ Musa said he should be court martialed. Superman said no, such instruction was to come from Bockarie and SAJ Musa said he would not take orders from Bockarie. So we fought with guns.

Pros: Who was fighting against who?

Wit: RUF and STF versus AFRC

Pros: Who was leading the STF?

Wit: Gen. Bopleh

Pros: Were all of the SLAs together with SAJ Musa?

Wit: No. Brig. Mani, Col. T, Rambo Redgoat were with Superman

Pros: Who was Rambo Red Goat?

Wit: He was one of the senion AFRC officers

Pros: Where did this fighting take place?

Wit: In Koinadugu

Pros: What happened after that?

Wit: Civilinans went and informed ECOMOG and the Kapras about this and so they attacked us. SAJ Musa ran to the bush, so when he came back, we moved to Pumkin Ground. We burnt Koinadugu town.

Pros; Who were the Kapras?

Wit: They were part of the CDF. They were from Kabala.

Pros: When SAJ Musa moved with his forces, what happened to Rambo Red Goat?

Wit: he surredered to us and said we were all brothers

Pros: Can you explain what Pumkin Ground is?

Wit: When we got to the town, we did not meet anybody there, we only men pumkin in all the houses, so we called it Pumkin Ground

Pros: What is the real name of this place?

Wit: Yiria Filaia

Pros: What happened after you went there?

Wit: We based there and Superman said we should start runing missions to attack the ECOMOG forces

Pros: Did you attack any?

Wit: yes. We attacked Ali kalia, called Korankoh London

pros: Were any weapons or ammunitions captured?

Wit: yes we captured alot

Pros: Where did you go next?

Wit: We started moving towards Makeni

Pros: Do you recall when this was?

Wit: Yes, i think it was Dec. 1998

Pros: On your way to Makeni, were any other places attacked?

Wit: Yes, they attacked us for the first time and the second time we attacked

Pros: Where were the forces that attacked you based?

Wit: In Bumbuna town, the ECOMOG

Pros: What contingent?

Wit: The Nigerian forces

Pros; What happened after you were attacked in Bumbuna?

Wit: The attack was around Bumbuna, not in Bumbuna.

Pros: Thanks for the clarification. What happened after the attack?

Wit: There was a jet raid, i even had a problem on my thigh

Pros: As your forces were moving towards Makeni, do you know where Issa Sesay’s forces were?

Wit: yes, around Magburaka

Pros: Do you know if Magburaka was defended by any forces?

Wit: yes, the Nigeria ECOMOG

Pros: was there a battle in Magburaka?

Wit: yes, RUF succeded.

pros: Where were you when you heard these communications?

Wit: I was with Superman’s Group?

Wit: Where was Superman’s group at this time?

Wit: We attacked Binkolo

Pros: In which direction were you going?

Wit: Towards Makeni

Pros: What happened in Binkolo?

Wit: We entered Binkolo, captured some priests from the Catholic Mission

Pros: What happend to the priests

Pros: They were taken to Superman. I had some problems and was resting so i didnt know what they did to them

Pros: Were you no longer among  the fighting men?

Wit: No. I was no longer among them at that time

Pros: Where were you?

Wit: I was always behind them, the back team

Pros: Were you listening to the radio at this time?

Wit: We at the back were the ones who listened to the radio, our own radio, FM, BBC, etc

Pros: How did you learn where the other RUF/AFRC forces were?

Wit: It was through tha radio, that was where i was, so whenever comminication was going on, i will listen

Pros: You said you had a problem with your thigh, is that why your movement was restricted?

Wit: yes. I had an injury but that did not stop me from going with the forces. We were moving and i was at the back.

Pros; You had talked bout SAJ Musa leaving Koinadugu, do you know where he went?

Wit: Yes, one day we were sitting down. The radio man called that they wanted to talk with Superman. He spoke and it was SAJ on the radio. He said Musa said he had no problem with him. he said Musa had joineed Gullit’s group and they were advancing to Freetown.

Pros: After Musa joined Gullit, do you know if there was any communication with Gullit?

Wit: yes, there was

Pros: between Gullit and Who?

Wit: And Superman

Pros: Was there any communication with the Red Lion Battalion?

Wit: yes

Pros: Who was communicating from the battalion?

Wit: Superman’s bodyguard, Major CY

Pros: Do you know what CY told Supoerman?

Wit: Sometimes he used to tell Superman that things were fine and that they were moving to Freetown and sometimes there were problems.

Pros: Did he say what kind of problems?

Wit: Yes, when SAJ Musa got there, he put a strong rule that whoever wanted to communicate with any other station, he was to go through a procedure.

pros: What happened to SAJ Musa?

Wit: When they were moving towards Freetown, i understood that he was killed in Benguema

Pros: Where were you when you heard this?

Wit: We were moving towards Lunsar

Pros: Where was Superman?

Wit: he was in makeni.

Pros: How did you learn that Musa had died?

Wit: We moved to Lunsar with an advance team, with Komba Gbundehma. The following day, Superman joined us at Lunsar and he told me that Musa had died, there was a problem so we should get to the other people

Pros: What were the reactions of  some of the people you were with?

Wit: Some SLAs felt bad but some RUF like Superman and Komba Gbindehma were happy.

Pros: Who took Musa’s place?

Wit: Bazzy

Pros: Where was Gullit at this time?

Wit: He was there with them

Pros: what was the relationship between Gullit and Superman?

Wit: They had a good working realtionship because during the death of SAJ Musa, Gullit was now communicating with Superman. That was after Musa’s death.

Pros: Where did you go when Superman joined you?

Wit: We attacked Gbere Junction

Pros: Do you remember the month and year that the attack on Makeni took place?

Wit: Dec. 1998

Pros: Who attacked Makeni?

Wit: RUF

Pros: Were you part of that attack?

Wit: I was there but did not take part

Pros: Who were the commanders of the forces that attacked makeni?

Wit: From our group, it was Superman, from the other group, it was Issa Sesay

Pros: Do you know if Issa brought heavy weapons for this attack?

Wit: Yes, he brought some mortars with him.

Pros: How do you know about the forces that Issa brought

Wit: Earlier, we were in Binkolo. Issa and Superman communicated where Issa said he had taken over Magburaka. The next target was to attck Teko Barracks. So Issa said Superman’s group should attack the barracks while he will attack Makeni town.

Pros: Did you ever actually meet Issa’s forces?

Wit: Yes, the fighting in Makeni took three days. We took the town after 2 days and the 3rd day, we took the barracks. So we were all together and we saw all of them. We were all in the town. I saw them with my own eyes.

Pros: During the fighting, did you have anyway to know what was going on?

Wit: yes. I was not at the frontline but we had the safe zone. I was based near the radio with Issa. Issa did not take part in fighting. I was with him when he got all his reports. So i knew everything.

Pros: Did you ever learn where the heavy weapons came from that Issa brought?

Wit: No. Some of the weapons they said they had captured in Kono

Pros: Who was defending Makeni at this time?

Wit: The Nigerian ECOMOG

Pros: Did the defending forces have any heavy weapons?

Wit: Yes

 Pros: Did they have many vehicles?

Wit: Oh yes

Pros: How long would it take to drive a vehicle from Makeni to Freetown?

Def: This is a sweeping question

Judge: And we will assume that he knew how to drive at that age

Pros: He can be a passenger. Sir, have you ever been in a car from Makeni to Freetown?

Wit: yes

 Pros: How long will a truck take from Makeni to Freetown?

Wit: Like 2 and the half hours

Pros: What happened to the forcese there?

Wit: We distabilized them, we killed many

Pros: Was anything captured during this attack?

Wit: Yes, we captured armoured cars, trucks, combats, and other things.

Pros: After Makeni, where did you go?

Wit: To Lunsar with Komba Gbundehma

Pros: Do you remember about how long this was after Makeni was taken?

Wit: I think it was a week period. Five days, we advanced to Lunsar.

Pros: I need to go back to the attack on Makeni, what if anything happened to civilians there?

Wit: Most of the civilians, everybody got married. Whoever saw a woman will take her, some people looted.

Pros: What do you mean by everyopne got married?

Wit: We captured girls and made them our wives, we captured SBUs, gave them guns and got some civilians to work at our houses.

Pros: What do you mean when you say they made them their wives?

Wit: They took them home, they slept with them

Pros: What do you mean they sleep with them?

Pros: We are all matured people here, so i cant go beyoned that, but when you say you have sex with someone

Pros: Who had sex with who?

Wit: The RUF had sex with the girls

Pros: Was anything taken from Makein?

Wit: At the first instance yes. The first two weeks, people looted and later Issa said he was Temne and those were his people, so he started killing people who looted.

Pros: I think this will be a convinient point to stop.

Judge: Very well. We’ll take our morning break now. Please adjourn court to 12:00PM.