October 16, 2008
The witness described the three corpses. They had a rock tied with a rope around their waist, blood was all over them. Binda heard those who took them out of the cell, say that these corpses, male corpses, were going to be thrown into the river. The corpses looked they had been beaten, they were dressed in civilian clothes. Binda and the others had to carry the three corpses to a mining pit filled with water. The witness later heard the name of the pit: savage pit. The corpses sank immediately, most likely because of the rock tied to the bodies. Binda and the other five were held at gunpoint by the fighters. The fighters made them return to the cell. All civilians there, Christians and Muslims, were praying to God. After the prayers they discovered the door had been unlocked and they went outside. Binda noticed fire from houses being burnt. Binda can not say how many houses were being burnt, but they were many. According to the witness, it was the RUF/AFRC who were doing this, because they were the ones occupying the town. Binda and his brother escaped to the bush and went back to Baiama where their family was. When he reached there, there was another attack by the RUF/AFRC. He went into town when the fighting subsided. He saw two corpses and one person whose arm had been chopped. The corpses, one was a woman, one was a man, dressed as civilians. The woman had been shot, the man had his neck cut. The man with the amputated arm was Samuel Komba, a person known to the witness. The amputation took place in Baiama on the day that the witness met him. The arm had been chopped but it was not severed, it was hanging. Binda helped Samuel Komba bind his hand with a piece of cloth and then they each went their way.
Attack on the way to Kokuima
The witness went with his family in the bush where they stayed a while and after that they decided to go to Kokuima, because word had got out that ECOMOG was in Kokuima. The witness testified that ECOMOG was not doing bad things to civilians as the AFRC/RUF rebels were doing. On the way to Kokuima they were attacked by AFRC/RUF rebels in a village called Koiduwoor. Binda and others were captured. Possessions were stolen from them. Seven of them, including Binda, had to carry these stolen items to Yardu. The others, including the wife of the witness, were taken elsewhere and the witness later met his wife again in Kokuima. Binda went on his way to Yardu. They reached a junction and saw six corpses dressed in civilian clothing.
When having arrived in Yardu the civilians put the looted items down at the house of the boss of the fighters. He was dressed in short but his top was a military uniform and he told the civilians to sit on the ground. The boss told the fighters the civilians should be killed and told the fighters to go and look for rocks. The fighters brought pebbles and put them on the ground before the civilians. Some rebels had guns, others had machetes. The leader told the fighters to throw pebbles at the civilians. Those who would get hit with a pebble were going to have their arm amputated, the ones who would not get hit were going to be killed. There were seven pebbles. Binda had a pebble thrown at him and it hit him. The witness pleaded with the fighters. For three times he withdrew his hand before the fighter could chop his hand. The rebels said the witness was afraid and thinks the rebels would not kill the other people. Then the fighters used sticks and cutlasses to kill people. Some were hit with the sticks on their head and neck. Others were killed with cutlasses. The fighters were killing men and women. After the killing the witness put his right hand and withdrew again before it could be cut and held his hand behind his back. Then the fighter told him if he would withdraw again he would use his cutlass to hit his head. Then the witness held out his left hand and his hand was amputated. At this point the witness showed his arm to the Court, the hand is amputated at the wrist.
At this moment in the testimony Court is adjourned for lunch break at 1.30 p.m.