July 9, 2008: The court resumed at 9:30am with continuation of the testimony of TF1-388, Jabati Jaward.
Prosecutor, Mohamed Bangura made a brief recap of the issues that the witness testified about yesterday and then led the witness on specific issues covering the witness’s membership of the RUF.
Operation Top 20
The witness testified about the Top 20 operation, which was a battle between the Sierra Leonean and Liberian factions of the RUF in Kailahun District. The witness stated that during this operation, many civilians were killed including the witness’s grandmother. The witness said that even before the Top 20, RUF commanders had been killing civilians in Kailahun. He made specific reference to Sam Tua, who killed five civilians for delaying to bring the ferry to take him to the other side of the Moa river. The witness said that before and after the Top 20, Liberian commanders took leadership positions in the RUF on rotational basis. He said these commanders were appointed by Charles Taylor.
Diamond Mining in Kono
The witness testified about the capture of Kono by the RUF in 1993 and how Sankoh visited the town. The witness said that that diamonds mined in Kono were regarded as sole property of the RUF.
Killing of RUF Commanders
The witness said that at some point, he was assigned to the Military Police (MP) Unit of the RUF where he worked as investigator. The witness said that during this time, certain RUF commanders were accused of conniving with the enemy and were therefore investigated. He said that before the investigations were completed, other commanders like Issa Sesay, Sam Bockarie and Mohamed Tarawally took the accused persons and executed them. He said Sankoh gave orders for the executions to be carried out. Among those executed were CO. Rashid, Jaffer Massaquoi, C.O Charles, the witness’s cousin Kaifa Wai, and Sankoh’s girlfriend Jande, among many others. In describing the way the accused persons were killed, the witness said they were tortured to death and some had hot oil thrown on them. He said kaifa Wai was beheaded.
RUF Embarks on Jungle Warfare
The witness said that in 1993, government soldiers overran RUF positions in the big towns. He said that Sankoh decided that the RUF should change their strategy and embark on jungle warfare. The witness said that various jungles were established such as Zogoda, Western Jungle, Peyamah Jungle, etc. He said that Zogoda, where Sankoh was based, became the headquarter jungle of the RUF. The witness said that in 1996, when Sankoh travelled to Abidjan for peace talks, government troops attacked and destroyed Zogoda. Mohamed Tarawaly who had be put in charge of Zogoda in Sankoh’s absence, dissapraed. Sam Bockarie then became the RUF Battle Group Commander.
RUF Diamond Mining
The witness testified about RUF diamond mining activities in Tongo and around the Peyama Jungle. He stated that Sam Bockarie was the commander in the Peyama jungle and in Tongo, Pa Abdul was the mining commander. He said that Pa Abdul handed all diamonds that were mined over to Sam Bockarie who in turn handed them over to Sankoh. He said that other mining commanders like Mohamed Konneh, Alpha Turay, etc used to hand diamonds over to Sam Bockarie.
Witness’s Relationship with Sam Bockarie
When Bockarie became Battle Group Commander, the witness became Bockarie’s clerk. The witness said that his duties included writing orders for Bockarie, monitoring his radio communications, taking notes for him in meetings, etc. The witness said that when ULIMO forces blocked the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia, thus cutting off the route for RUF supplies, Bockcarie tried to negotiate with the ULIMO troops. The witness said that the ULIMO troops traded arms with the RUF at this time. While he monitored Bockarie’s radio communications, the witness said he knew of Bockarie’s radio contacts with Sunrise, who was radio operator for Benjamin Yeaten in Liberia. The witness said that in 1998, he saw Junglle visit Sam Bockarie from Liberia. He said that Jungle had paid similar visit in 1994. He said that when jungle visited in 1998, he brought a truck load of ammunition from Liberia for the RUF. He said he saw Bockarie give Jungle a percel of diamonds to take to Liberia. He said Bockarie told Jungle that the diamonds were for Taylor. The witness said that he later went to Daru where he remained till the ECOMOG intervention againts the AFRC took place.
The clourt adjourned for the day.