Prosecution calls Witness TF1-584

Judge: Please call your next witness.

Ms. Wallace: Your honours, the witness will be examined by Mr. Christopher Santora and he will testify in Krio.

Judge: Are the krio interpreters ready?

Interpreter: We are ready your honour

Witness is sworn.

Pros: Just as a preliminary matter for the records, the prosecution is rescinding parts c, d, f and g of the court’s order. Postions h-m should remain in place. A, b and e, are moot at this point.

Judge:Mr. Anya you have heard the application by the prosecution.

Def: Thank you Madam President. We certainly have no objection.

Judge: Please proceed Mr. Santora

Pros: Just one other thing, the witness will spell if something if different from what is on the record. Ms. Witness, are you hearing the translation in Krio?

Wit: yes

 Pros: Can you state your name for the court?

Wit: Alice Pyne

Pros: Did you go by any other name?

Wit: They had a name they used to call me as a Radio Operator, Apple of Action

Pros: When you say as a Radio operator, radio operator for who?

Wit: I started as radio operator for CO Mohamed under RUF

Pros: Where were you born?

Wit: Kailahun town

Pros: How old are you?

Wit: 34

Pros: So what year were you born?

Wit: 1974

Pros: Can you say the languages you speak and understand?

Wit: Mende, Kissi, Gbandi, Krio and English

Pros: You mentioned Gbandi, what people speak Gbandi?

Wit: I spoke it when i was in Liberia

Pros: How far did you progress in your education?

Wit: Form 5

Pros: Can you read and write?

Wit: yes

Pros: Can you understand Liberian English?

Wit: Yes

 Pros: When did youy come into contact with the war in Sierra Leone?

Wit: I came into contact with the war on a saturday 21 Aptil 1991. The village where i was was Manor Sewalu, seven miles from Kjailahun. That was where i was captured. We were upto 100 or more. After 3 days, they took me to a base in Dia, 7 miles from where i was captured.

Pros: Now you stated that you were capture, who captured you?

Wit: Well it was the Liberians who captured me

Pros: Do you know what group trhey were with?

Wit: With the NPFL

Pros: How do you you know?

Wit: Duie to the way they were calling themselves and the language they spoke, that made me know

Pros: Who took you to Dia?

Wit: The fighters who captured me

Pros; In terms of the location of Manor Sewalu, can you describe where this village is?

Wit: Along the Kailahun-Koindu highway. 7 miles frrom Kailahun and 14 miles to Koindu

Pros: Can you describe they way the Liberians looked?

Wit; Well they were dressed like ordinary civilians. I didnt see them in uniform. It was only one who was a Sierra Leonean among them that i saw. He was called Jibba

Pros: What happened when they entered the village?

Wit: Well, we were in the hospital quarters when they entered. They brought us all under a mango tree. They went into the houses and started searching for arms and other things. They took them and brought them out, like monies.

Pros: Did you see them take items from the houses?

Wit: yes they took out lots of things. The Sierra Leonean money, they distributred among everybody, but for the dollars, they took them away

Pros; can you explain what you mean?

Wit: they said they had no use for the Sierra Leonean money. They shared  it among us

Pros: What did you mean by they were looking for arms in the bhouses?

Wit: they were looking for guns. They thought that when they dislodged the soldiers from Koindu, they would have come to our village

Pros: So what happened to the civilains under the Mango tree?

Wit: We ere told to go to our houses and that at 6, no one should go out.

Pros: So what happened?

Wit: After three days, they selected some people among us and took us to the base

Pros; What were the ages of the people selected if you know?

Wit: It was from 8 to 34-35, as long as you were strong

Pros: How do you know that?

Wit: I was among those that they took. I knew the people.

Pros: Where was the base located?

Wit: Dia

Pros: Can you tell where Dia is geographically located?

Wit: It is between Mano Sewalu and Koindu. It is 7 miles from Mano Sewalu and 7  miles to Koindu. Its on the main road.

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

Wiyt: The training commandant there divided us. They took the SBUs and SGUs were divided, those of us big enough were put in one place and they started training us.

Pros: How old were you when you were captured?

Wit: I was 17

Pros: can you say the ages of the SBUs?

Wit: From 8-12 or 13. Some of them, their heights made them take them as SBUs, even if they were older

Pros: What about SGUs

Wit: Small Girls Unit, they were same age as the SBUs.

Pros: How many people were being trained when you got to Dia?

Wit: We were up to 300

Pros: Can you approximate how many were SBUs and SGUs?

Wit: I cant tell the exact number, may be upto 80 or more.

Pros: Do you mean 80 in total SBUs and SGUs?

Wit: In total, yes

Pros: Did the base have any leader?

Wit: yes, our training commandant was there, called CO Dugba.

Pros: Whi is CO Dugba?

Wit: From what he made me understand, he was one time Doe soldier, was captured by the NPFL and he came to Sierra Leone

Pros: How did you know?

Wit: I know because even among them, they like to show differences who was this person or the other

Pros: Can you say specifically about CO Dugba?

Wit: When we were at the base, that was when i knew about him. They said he was a Special Guard for Doe.

Pros: Do you remember the names of any other commanders at Dia?

Def: No foundation. The witness has not said whether there were other commanders.

Judge: I agree. Please lay some foundation.

Pros; Was there any other persons you remembered at Dia?

Wit: yes, i can remember Pele Boy. He was an NPFL fighter. he was Dugba’s deputy at the base.

Pros: Do you know who was higher between the two of them?

Wit: yes, Dugba

Pros: Do ou remember any other people on the NPFL at the base?

Wit: I can remember them but their names do not come just like that

Pros: Do you know if Dugba had a boss?

Wit: Well, the boss whom i knew that he had was within the RUF command

Pros: Do you know his name?

Wit: Well, as training commandant, i believe that the various commanders that were set like Battle Group or Filed, all fell above the commandant but he didnt have any one that they said was his boss.

Pros: Can you describe the activities at Dia?

Wit: We were undergoing training, how to attack, how to mount an ambush, how to crawl, and we did those trainings with sticks.

Pros; Can you say how you were trained to attack?

Wit: yes, you will move from the base to the town, they will show you how to enter the town, they will put those who were the advance team, the middle team, the rear, and the reinforcement.

Pros: How long did the training last for?

Wit: 3 months

Pros: After your training, what happened?

Wit: They took us to Kailahun and most of us who were women stayed there and the men went to the frontline. The SBUs and SGUs were distributed among the commanders

Pros: When you say they were distributed, what do you mean?

Wit: yes, because they did nopt take them to the frontline. They stayed with the commanders ton work for them.

Pros: Commanders from what group?

Wit: The first group that came, we had the Special Forces, the RUF commanders, and some of them, as long as one was a Captain or Major, he had an SBUs or SGU.

Pros: What do you mean by Special Forces?

Wit: I heard the term too, that means they were not part of the RUF, those who were the RUF commanders were called the Vanguards.

Pros: Do you know what Vanguards mean?

Wit: Those who started the RUF, those trained at the RUF base

Pros: Do you know where the RUF base was?

Wit: In Liberia

Pros: Do you know if the Special Forces were part of anything?

Wit: They were part of the NPFL, they said they were Special Forces from Burkina, some will say I am a Special Force from Libya, but i didnt not ask them why.

Pros; Just to understand the time frame we are at, you said you were captured in April 1991, how long were you there and what happened?

Wit: Yes. In 1991, i was in Kailahun when they started top 20, when there was fighting between the NPFL fighters and the RUF Jr. Commandos. That caused lots of destruction, lots of people were killed and we ran away. I took my family to the border with Guinea but i was afraid to cross. So i ended up going to Liberia and i was in Kolahun till 1993 when the ULIMO started attacking Lofa County, so i returned to Kailahun.

Pros: You said after Top 20 started you went to the Guinea border and were afraid to cross to Guinea because people were pointing at people who had gone to the base, what did you mean?

Wit: Our Sierra Leoneean people were pointing fingers at people, those of us who had gone to the RUF training base and they were capturing people there, tieing them and throwing them into the river. I went back to Lugbu, i walked for three days and three nights and went into Liberia.

Pros: What did you understand Top 20 to be?

Wit: They said one NPFL commander killed one RUF soldier, which was against the law. They said Sankoh passed a command to execute the man who did the killing. So that caused the infighting at the front line. So they too, whoever they saw who was Jr. Commando, they will kill him. That was what happened.

Pros: Your honour, this is a convinient time for me to stop.

Judge: We will take our lunch break and we’ll adjourne till 2:30. Please adjourn court.