September 24, 2008
Prosecutor Werner asked the witness to clarify what happened to his brother Emmanuel after Bull himself had managed to escape. Immanuel was taken by the RUF to Motema, they had promised Emmanuel to let him see A. He saw A and the two of them spoke together and he gave her words of encouragement. Then Emmanuel was released and returned to his family in the bush.
Events in Momboma in May 1998
The RUF captured Thomas Kobie and beat him. A small boy of three years old saw the RUF, he started crying, his mother tried to soothe him, his father too, but they did not succeed. The RUF started beating the small boy. The boy’s father and the RUF were arguing. Then the RUF put all the civilians in a house, because they knew the Kamajors were around. The Kamajors later came and opened fire. Thomas Kobie was in the line of fire and got shot in the leg. The RUF took a cutlass (= machete) and chopped him, also in his head. Kobie died the next day. The witness was not present in the house but the father of the witness was and saw everything which he later related to the witness. The next day Bull went to that area and he saw the corps of Kobie with many wounds.
Foyo was the father of the boy who was crying. The RUF shot him in the chest and he died. When the witness was asked why the RUF did that he answered “the reason they know best, it is the bitterness of war”. At that moment the witness was still in his hiding place but he heard the shot and one cry of Foyo; later the witness viewed his corps.
About a man called Sandie, Bull testified that the RUF killed him, cut off his private parts, beheaded him and put his head on a stick. This Bull witnessed personally. On that day in May 1998 in Momboma a total of six civilians were killed, among them a mother and her baby.
Bull’s father was then over 65 years, he could not run. When he was captured by the RUF, he was hit and cut in his head. This was related to the witness by his father.
The next day the witness and others returned and buried the corpses. The house where the civilians were kept the previous day was burned by the rebels. On this day his first son Thomas and his brother Immanuel were taken by the rebels. Thomas was held by the rebels for ten days and then was able to escape with Bull’s father. Emmanuel was kept with them longer.
Back to Motema
Baiburreh (spelling?) was a commander in the RUF, as was explained to the witness by his father and others. In Momboma things were rough. He and his wife had each only one set of clothing. They heard on the radio in the program Focus on Africa by the BBC of other attacks to come. Bull and his family went back to Motema on May 5th, 1998 to find ECOMOG present there. A lot of houses had been burnt, but they found an unfinished house to stay in. A lot of people had to be accommodated there, but fortunately the house was big. Then the house was attacked on June 12, 1998 by the rebels when Bull and about 50 others were in the house. During the attack they killed civilians, wounded and amputated others and damaged the house. Bull was upstairs when the attack began. He heard heavy firing and the ECOMOG gave instructions to lie down. Later in front of a window he observed ECOMOG retreating and one RUF fighter entered the house. Bull had already taught others how to escape through the windows, which he and others did. His grandmother was killed, he found the body later. The ones who did not escape were captured by the RUF. The RUF rebels fired at an uncle carrying his baby girl and the uncle’s wife. The uncle and the baby died. The uncle’s wife was taken to the hospital but survived. The others were made to sit down on the floor. The witness had jumped out of the window and hid in banana trees at a short distance of about 50 feet or 17 meters, he could hear and see the rebels and the others in the house. An RUF rebel named Faiah sent one of the captured civilians upstairs to look for a machete to enable the rebels to cut of hands, but the person did not look for a machete and came down without it.
The rebels told everybody about operation no living thing. He heard the rebels shout this when Bull was outside in a pit he had dug. From time to time he heard guns firing.
Later an armoured car with ECOMOG soldiers came from Koidu to drive the rebels out and they left. They were afraid of the armoured car. When the rebels left, they found 17 corpses in the house. The chief of ECOMOG asked the civilians to bury the 17, 6 of them being relatives of the witness, among which his grandmother. When leaving the house going on the road he saw corpses of civilians lying on the ground. Even when the RUF rebels left they captured civilians and took them with them
At 1.30 p.m. Court is adjourned for lunch break.